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The man to my right was more than eight feet away. I was going to have to move closer to him to catch my limit of four trout. I halved the distance between the two of us and noted the sideways glance he shot me. I apologized immediately and asked if I was crowding him.
     “No, you fine,” he replied within a thick Serbian accent.
     “You’re with them?” I asked, pointing to the crowd of people on the bridge some 30 feet upstream from us. I had heard the crowd of eastern Europeans talking earlier, and their accents were unmistakable to me. He nodded and we continued fishing.
     With my new angle I was better able to pick my fish in the water, so that’s what I did. I spied one and tossed my jig toward him. It took five casts but eventually, he took the bait. As I netted it in the swift, ice-cold spring water the man beside me congratulated me on the catch. I thanked him and added it to my stringer. This made three, and I only needed one more.
     “What’s your name?” I asked him.
     “Ivan”.
     “Have you been in the states long?” I asked, after the pause following his short reply seemed to invite more questions.
     “Since ‘96, my family live here. It is good.”
     “You like living here?” I wondered aloud.
     “Yes, the fishing is good. It is like back home in Serbia, or in Germany. We have this fishing there.”
     “You mean trout?”
     “Yes, trout...and some other fish like these, in water like this, but I can’t go home now.” He looked away momentarily. His lips pursed, and his brow furrowed. I pulled my line in, wanting to ask him more and not wanting to be distracted.
     “Were you in the war?”
     “Yes, I was in the Serbian police force.” My heart pounded. “When I was in the Serbian police force, we did what you see on the news. We went into villages and we killed them. We killed them all.”
     I cast my line back into the water, spying another trout. Ivan shrugged and cast his own line. I couldn’t tell what he was using but it looked like cheese of some kind. “I was drafted in Serb police when I was 15. I had no choice. If I refuse, they **** me. I did what I had to do.” I nodded, and ****** my line, missing a fish. “Before the war, I fished. After the war, there were not so many people, so fishing was very good.”
     The air around me was alive. The trees were greener, the water was colder and clearer, the sun was brighter, and the sky was bluer.
     “I’ve been fishing for a long time as well,” I responded. My father used to bring me here as a child. He nodded and continued.
     “After the war, all the fish come back, no one fished during the war, so there were many of them. You just had to be careful of the mines.” He grunted and gazed skyward.
     “The mines?”
     “Yes, during the war they mined the water.”
     I watched trout number four take my jig and I carefully reeled him in. Ivan congratulated me a second time, and I thanked him in return.
“You’re a good fisherman,” he said turning back to his own pursuit of the four-trout limit, as I left the water to clean my catch.
All imperial, resource-based wars are bad wars. There are not good and bad actors, only competing wealthy interests.
Paul Butters Jul 2018
It’s over, all over.
Our dreams have faded away.
Blackest January sadness blights July.
England beaten by Croatia
In The World Cup.

We reached the semi final
For the first time since 1990
Only to lose in extra-time:
Failing to see the danger
With our very youthful eyes.

So much to be proud of.
So much better than before.
We should have scored a hat-full,
But see the final score:
(One – two).

I really do hate losing
Whatever I watch or play.
It really will be ages
Before this pain fades away.

My defeats I long remember,
It’s from these things I learn.
Seeking to be a winner,
My inner passions burn.

We’re building to the Euros,
On in two year’s time.
Well ahead of schedule,
So losing’s not a crime.

The World Cup stays way out there,
Hopefully just on loan,
For in the hearts of England
Football has come home.

Paul Butters

© PB 12\7\2018.
World Cup Semi Final Result - England 1 Croatia 2 (After Extra Time, Half Time score 1-0).
Luka D Feb 2018
Usred noći nagon me probudi
Moram na WC na visokoj sam uzbudi
Svjetlo palit odlučio sam neću
No nasred hodnika suze mi poteću

Na kraju hodnika On tamo stoji
Zovem psa u pomoć on se ničega ne boji
Na poziv upomoć on se nije odozvao
Čak i i nakon obećanja keksa nije se pojavio

Sada ja i Slenderman smo ostali sami
Prokleti lik koji stanuje u tami

Zajebi ti ovo, pišat više nemoram
Sad svaki put iz sobe sjekiru furam

Pod plahte skrivao sam se uplačen
ovu avanturu ponovit ne želim
Opran paranojom sada ti kažem
Iz ove kuće se što prije selim
It's in Croatian, it's about your mind playing tricks on you.
Kye Jun 2017
at 8:03
dad woke me up

at 8:36
i washed up

at 8:58
i made coffee

at 9:03
i sat outside

at 9:04
i looked out

(and)

at 9:07
the horizon disappeared
Terry Collett Oct 2016
Are you some kind
of Schopenhauerian?
Abela asks,
peering over at me
as I read
a Schopenhauer book.

No, but I like
reading the guy,
I reply,
looking at her
over the book.

I want to go out,
she says,
see that string quartet
play at that hall;
they're playing
Bartók's string quartets.

Just this one paragraph
before we go,
I say.

She sighs loudly;
stomps around
our hotel room
like an elephant
with piles.

Ok, ok , I'm coming,
I say,
and put down the book
on the bedside cabinet.

She looks at me and says:
you haven't got to go,
I can always go alone.

I am ready,
I say,
and put on my jacket
and comb my hair.

She smiles and says:
if you're good
we can have
a good session tonight
and that foreplay I like.

I smile and watch
as she puts on
her small white coat.

She has a slim neat figure,
dark hair coming
over her shoulders,
and a nice ***.

She picks up
a glass of white wine
she had begun
and finishes it off
in one swallow:
just to warm up,
she says.

I know her warming up:
the night before
she was so warmed up
she feel asleep
on our bed fully clothed
(except for her shoes
which she kicked off),
and I slept on the sofa,
listening out for her
in case she threw up,
but she didn't,
she just mumbled,
and once at some god knows
the early hour,
sang a Mozart aria,
until I said to hush it.

We leave the hotel room
and enter the elevator
and prepare to go down;
some Schmuck enters
with his wife
who is wearing
a black fur coat
and made up
with make-up
like some female clown.
A COUPLE ON HOLIDAY IN CROATIA IN 1972.
Terry Collett Sep 2016
We're back from dinner,
and that piano recital
she wanted to go see
some pianist
at some hall
in the City
playing Chopin
and Ravel.

She's unwrapping herself
from the small coat
she was wearing
and puts it on a chair
in our hotel room
and stands there
swaying some.

Fingers, that pianist's fingers
how they moved
over the black
and white keys,
Abela says,
she gestures
with her fingers
in mid air,
didn't he play well?

Yes he did,
I say,
watching her movement,
best get you
ready for bed.

What bed already?
why the night is young,
she replies,
get to bed yourself,
I'm not ready for sleepy byes.

She wanders drunkenly
over to the window
and stares out:
what a fine night it is,
she says.

I walk over to her
and stand nearby:
bed is best for you,
I say.

What?
O I see
you want your ***
don't you
want your ***
before I pass out.

She turns and gazes at me:
no I want you into bed
so you don't fall down
or sleep on the floor
as you did
the other night,
I say.

I didn't sleep
on the floor,
I slept in the bed,
she says.

She walks swaying
to the bed and sits down:
there you are, I’m on the bed,
happy now
Mr **** Man?
She says,
looking at me
or past me.

Sure, but into bed
is best,
I say.

O Benny, you're such
a worrier,
here give me a kiss
and then turn
on that radio,
I want music,
she says.

I kiss her,
then go to the radio
and switch it on,
and Mahler come on
his 5th symphony.

O Mahler,
she says,
depressing ****,
here get me
out of these clothes.

I go to her
and begin to unzip
her dress
and she sits there
swaying.

Haven't you
unzipped me yet?
God I never felt
so useless.

I take off the dress
by lying her down
and pulling the dress
down over her feet,
and she lies there
******* the air
in a conductor pose,
then I sit her up
and put on her nightdress,
a thin thing of blue
and over her head
and get her arms in
and pull down.

She just sits there
and stares:
what about
my underclothes?
Going to leave
those on ?
Don't you want
them off?
She says.

If you want them off,
I can,
I say.

She lies on the bed
and gazes at the light shade
a white thing
gathering dust.

I take off her underwear
and get her into bed
and her head on the pillow.

There go to sleep,
I say,
I’ll sleep on the sofa,
best that way,
I say.

Sleep alone then,
lover boy,
forget the ***,
she says.

Her eyes close
and I go to the sofa,
trying to sleep,
but only doze.
A MAN AND WOMAN IN CROATIA ON HOLIDAY IN 1972
Terry Collett Jun 2016
Abela
sighs out a
big breathy

******
satisfied
woman's sigh

*** is done
we lie there
on the bed

satiated
she glowing
me sweating

just moonlight
in the sky
with sprinkled

shiny stars
hotel room
(3 star joint)

window open
some music
from afar

want more *****
she whispers
in my ear

I get up
out of bed
pour her a

white wine
myself scotch
with cold ice

we lie and
sip our *****
when we're back

at the shop
we must have
modern art

I suggest
that old stuff's
too boring

she lies there
sipping wine
her fine legs

slightly spread
no guessing
I suppose

studying
her soft fruit
what's ahead.
A MAN AND WOMAN IN CROATIA IN 1972
SelfOfTheDivine Sep 2015
It's already past midnight, no more light is there,
On black velvet lays the heavy somber night;
On my forehead linger memories of your hair:
"My distant love, when, near me, will you alight?"

You are gone. As if you have died. Where are you? Where?
Separation possesses death's woeful might,
In  heart tingles and passions, in soul doubts and scares:
"I'll die this eve and after my dear take flight."

"Love is not joy!", do you know when you said such things?
"Love, it is a wound, one that so horribly stings,"
"Love hurts, it hurts, as only life of pain can hurt,"

"Woe, woe are they whose love is madd'ingly stalwart."
You're wrong. Love is pain, a flame burning to the bone,
But it only hurts when I'm lonesome – as a stone.
Another translation of a poem by Antun Gustav Matoš, a Croatian modernist poet. I kept the rhyming system and the number of syllables intact; it changed the original structure of the poem, but hopefully it hasn't damaged its quality.

Translated on 13th of September, 1E 2015.

abab abab ccd dee
12 11 12 11, 12 11 12 11, 12 12 12, 12 12 12
Slavica Jun 2015
Ona
Miris ukoričenih stranica:
Poznat prizor raširenih ruku.
Ona sjedi.
Mirna. Pogleda uperena u neke daleke svjetove.
Gdje li je sada - tek siluete odaju
(Uživa li istinski?)
Krivulja u kutu usana,
odsjaj sunca u lutajućim očima.
More! Njemu putuje, znam.
Ona sretna je - sluti dom.
U njenim očima ustaju valovi,
morske mijene igraju u pogledu:
plima i oseka izmjenjuju se
na pučini njezinih snova.
Vječno sniva o modroj svakodnevici,
o slanim jutrima i čarobno crvenim zalascima.
Iz sna budi je vlak na trećem peronu.
Uz dubok udah spoznaje da ovuda
galebovi ne lijeću, vode slane nisu niti
srce na mjestu počiva.
(Što sve uzdah neće skriti)
No krivulja ne jenjava.
Snovi tek su vremenom udaljeni!
A čitav svijet pogled je daleko.
Ona lijepa je dok prebire po slovima
radošću djeteta koje putuje.
Bože, koliko života u jednom kupeu!
2015.
Slavica Apr 2015
Različite vizije
u istom spektru riječi
Gaslo ulično svjetlo
i ljupka narnijska lampa
Obasuti bijelim pahuljama
i zagrljeni crnilom noći
U pratnji borova
ili uličnog pločnika
S obzorom grada
ili netaknute prirode
Isti spektar riječi
Sličan spektar boja
Ali različite oči
Različito zrcale
Istih slova zvuk.
2014.
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