Duška Vrhovac







Being a part of everything.


Damned impossible night.

What are these ghostwakes that ooze from each pore

howling to crawl back under my skin?

If I could just spread my arms, open my eyes,

what damned impossible word would I utter,

a word that limped on

from dusk to dusk

entirely made of maimed movements.

I carry on, but still I glance back.

I dare not even grasp a knife

to this deep quiet, this calling,

I have been utterly emptied out

but still some kind of song limps on,

a rotten fruit sprouts in my breast

and, powerless, crows morning.




Being a part of you


At the time I loved you

I walled an invisible house

over our heads, and under your skin

I laid a mass of fertilised cells,

in your gaze I bricked a hearth

and on its stone my breath fanned fire

until you grew, and yielded

like a surrendering virgin.

At the time I received you in

and so released you from yourself,

on a thread around our bed

I beaded ripe autumnal fruits,

and turned rain droplets into milk.

At the time I loved you

all that was yours found repose in me

and I believed we would save each other.

But now, here we are, separating

and neither of us knows how

we’ll forget each other, our selves.






Sometimes it’s hard to admit

you’re scattered

over unknown

over alien

and distant waters

that your eyes have fallen

on a star

and the word is powerless

sometimes it’s hard

this huge alien state

and you’re a corpse

in the middle of the desert

still bearing live

and healthy children

being an integral part of everything.












Duška Vrhovac –  poet, writer and translator, born in 1947 in Banja Luka, ex Yugoslavia. She graduated from the Faculty of Philology of Belgrade University. She has published 20 books of poetry, many of which have been translated, in part or in full, into more than 20 languages. She has received important international awards for poetry and the gold medal for the “generosity, dedication, perseverance and creative contributions that are made to spread the culture of the nationalities of the Republic of Serbia ». She participated in many literary and other gatherings, festivals and manifestations in the country and abroad.


Duska Vrhovac is a member of the Association of Writers of Serbia, Association of Literary Translators of Serbia and she is Ambassador to Serbia by Poets of the World (Movimiento Poetas del Mundo). She lives in Belgrade/ Serbia.


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