Poetry: Selections from Petar Penda
Sometimes I presume life a brushstroke laid on a white canvas,
Colours white and black, curved lines and irregular spots,
Almost Rorschach’s inkblots, mysterious and vague,
Telling a lot or nothing.
Or, the fiery colour orange, raging red, combined with a flashing white,
Excitement beyond comprehension, the pacing of the heart,
Riding a wild stallion in the open field, wind in the air.
Then, cold blue, soothing green, and the touch of resigned and distant purple,
Soberness and peace, calculation and unmistakable emaculation,
Dispassionate nobility of the mind, quiet and placid.
Again, it is a straight, black line,
Thick and firm, steadfast as the foundations of a mediaeval cathedral,
Somber and serene, at times gloomy and ominous, almost lifeless.
Then all of it together, smudged and unrecognisable, one drowning in another,
A perfect painting made of minor imperfections, obsolescence of reason,
A dilution of hardships and the pregnancy of joy.
Clutching to the tree branch
Towering high in the sky
Fingernails driven in the soft bark
I can feel it aching
almost begging for mercy
the naked body sways in the wind
the breeze caresses the torso
softly touching the shoulder blades
licking the calves and kissing the waist
nearly an erotic feeling
if it wasn’t a deadly encounter.
The dream that haunts me every night
and makes me think of ifs and whys, whats and hows,
whereabouts and whens of yesterdays.
Foamy furrows gently slide over my tiredness
Glistening drops dub their music
Salt feeds the skin pores
Ebb and tide make me dance
Whispering charms into my ear.
I move in the rhythm feeling strokes and rushes
Overpowered and surrendering
Waving along the waves
Taken willingly by the current
Oblivious to the offering of peace.
Petar Penda has a PhD in English and American Modernism. He is a Full Professor at the University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Along with the translation of a number of short stories, poems and novels, he published a prefaced and bilingual book of translation Eight Contemporary American Poets and a selection of poems and short stories from Bosnia and Herzegovina presented at the literary festival in Athens (Greece) in 2014.