Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Will you understand?

(I loved this poem of Tatjana's so much I wanted to post it for everyone to read)

squeezed into my patter
as an embryo in the womb's
i curl muscles and pucker up lips:
my name is
beg your pardon
thank you

it is easier to read the winds around me
than pronounce these chits

i can flee all the rages of the seas
but the cloud of my mother tongue
that follows my boat, a greedy sea-gull
will it ever leave me alone?

the only one i have, a bad penny
the alphabet stiff as a birthmark
once shiny, dainty and rich
now a weary rug stuck to my skin
just a puff, groan, a shivering heave
i can't strip off my flesh

it does not make any sense a moan
i gasp to the wind, who will ever grasp
what is behind my silence once i reach this land?
oh mein gott! mio dio!
boze moj! my god!
will you hear me better
when i touch the furthest shore

and understand me
with no translator
when i sigh
my lord?

© 2007 Tatjana Lukic

Vale Tatjana Lukic

Tatjana Lukic, who was a member of the poneme list for quite a while, has died. she passed away in the early hours of yesterday morning, after a courageous battle with cancer over the last two years. she was almost 49. too young to die.
[Joanne Burns, on the poetry list 'poneme': August 11th 2008]

About Tatjana:

Tatjana Lukic was born in the former Yugoslavia (Croatia) where she spent her first 33 years. She received degrees in philosophy and sociology from Sarajevo University, and lived in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and the Czech Republic before leaving the region during the wars in Croatia and Bosnia. In 1992 she arrived, with her young family, as a refugee in Australia. She did not speak English, but learned the language, studied and worked.

Prior to her exile in Australia, Lukic had published poetry throughout former Yugoslavia, and won national poetry awards. In recent years she started to write again, now in English. Her English poems have appeared in international journals.

(information from the ICORN international cities of refuge network )

A tribute to Tatjana is on Ralph's blog -

Links to some of Tatjana's published poems can be found on this blog as well as an exert from an interview with Tatjana for the Australian Poets at Work series in Thylazine no 12 (June 2007)

Her death is a sad loss to Australian poetry.