Djurdjevdan is a Spring festival celebrated throughout the Balkans, particularly the former Yugoslavia. The following is a folk song immortalized by Bosnian musician Goran Bregovic and his band Bijelo Dugme.


Proljeće na moje rame slijeće
Đurđevak zeleni
Đurđevak zeleni
Svima osim meni

Drumovi odoše a ja osta
Nema zvijezde Danice
Nema zvijezde Danice
Moje saputnice

Ej kome sada moja draga
Na đurđevak miriše
Na đurđevak miriše
Meni nikad više

Evo zore evo zore
Bogu da se pomolim
Evo zore evo zore
Ej Đurđevdan je
A ja nisam s onom koju volim

Njeno ime neka se spominje
Svakog drugog dana
Svakog drugog dana
Osim Đurđevdana

English Translation:

Spring lands on my shoulder
On the green lily of the valley
On the green lily of the valley
Upon all but me

The roads go but I remain
There is no Star, Danica
There is no Star, Danica
My fellow traveler

O! Who now, my dear,
Smells of the lily of the valley!
Smells of the lily of the valley!
Never again (will I smell it)

Here comes the dawn, here comes the dawn
So that I may pray to God
Here comes the dawn, here comes the dawn
O! Djurdjevdan has come,
Yet I’m not with the one whom I love

Let her name be called
Every other day
Every other day
Except the day of Djurdjevdan

Written by Goran Bregovic
Translated by Mensur Gjonbalaj

Hymns of the Failed



Hymns of the Failed
Breathe in,
Breathe out.
Problems come
and go;
But may lead
to paths unknown.
Good or bad as they
may be,
There’s always
a possibility
to turn the table
And rig the game
in your favor.
Seize each moment,
be it with a simple breath
or the smallest step;
Things won’t always be
But tomorrow’s another day
to rise above the toil
and embrace the mortal coil.

By Mensur Gjonbalaj
November 1, 2015

The Vampire


The Vampire

A poem by Conrad Aiken, 1889-1973.

The Vampire

She rose among us where we lay.
She wept, we put our work away.
She chilled our laughter, stilled our play; And spread a silence there.
And darkness shot across the sky,
And once, and twice, we heard her cry; And saw her lift white hands on high And toss her troubled hair.

What shape was this who came to us, With basilisk eyes so ominous,
With mouth so sweet, so poisonous, And tortured hands so pale?
We saw her wavering to and fro, Through dark and wind we saw her go; Yet what her name was did not know; And felt our spirits fail.

We tried to turn away; but still
Above we heard her sorrow thrill;
And those that slept, they dreamed of ill And dreadful things:
Of skies grown red with rending flames And shuddering hills that cracked their frames;
Of twilights foul with wings;

And skeletons dancing to a tune;
And cries of children stifled soon;
And over all a blood-red moon
A dull and nightmare size.
They woke, and sought to go their ways, Yet everywhere they met her gaze,
Her fixed and burning eyes.

Who are you now, —we cried to her— Spirit so strange, so sinister?
We felt dead winds above us stir;
And in the darkness heard
A voice fall, singing, cloying sweet, Heavily dropping, though that heat, Heavy as honeyed pulses beat,
Slow word by anguished word.

And through the night strange music went
With voice and cry so darkly blent
We could not fathom what they meant; Save only that they seemed
To thin the blood along our veins, Foretelling vile, delirious pains,
And clouds divulging blood-red rains Upon a hill undreamed.

And this we heard: “Who dies for me, He shall possess me secretly,
My terrible beauty he shall see,
And slake my body’s flame.
But who denies me cursed shall be,
And slain, and buried loathsomely,
And slimed upon with shame.”

And darkness fell.
And like a sea
Of stumbling deaths we followed, we Who dared not stay behind.
There all night long beneath a cloud
We rose and fell, we struck and bowed, We were the ploughman and the ploughed,
Our eyes were red and blind.

And some, they said, had touched her side,
Before she fled us there;
And some had taken her to bride;
And some lain down for her and died; Who had not touched her hair,
Ran to and fro and cursed and cried And sought her everywhere.

“Her eyes have feasted on the dead, And small and shapely is her head,
And dark and small her mouth,” they said,
“And beautiful to kiss;
Her mouth is sinister and red
As blood in moonlight is.”

Then poets forgot their jeweled words And cut the sky with glittering swords; And innocent souls turned carrion birds To perch upon the dead.
Sweet daisy fields were drenched with death,
The air became a charnel breath,
Pale stones were splashed with red.

Green leaves were dappled bright with blood
And fruit trees murdered in the bud; And when at length the dawn
Came green as twilight from the east, And all that heaving horror ceased, Silent was every bird and beast,
And that dark voice was gone.

No word was there, no song, no bell,
No furious tongue that dream to tell; Only the dead, who rose and fell
Above the wounded men;
And whisperings and wails of pain Blown slowly from the wounded grain, Blown slowly from the smoking plain; And silence fallen again.

Until at dusk, from God knows where, Beneath dark birds that filled the air, Like one who did not hear or care, Under a blood-red cloud,
An aged ploughman came alone
And drove his share through flesh and bone,
And turned them under to mould and stone;
All night long he ploughed.

Conrad Aiken

Echoes of Silence


Echoes of Silence

Echoes of Silence

The wind blows gently across her body as she runs into the silent wilderness.
Her hair flies with the air’s smooth motion,
her sublime hips sway side to side in grace
and accentuate the stunningly simple beauty of her jogging legs
as they pace in a seductive cadence.
I walk and stare, unable to fathom the wonder brisking before me.
When I catch up she stands, hinting a smile prudishly,
and lock her eyes on to mine.
I’m betwixt. Absolutely inept.
The more she glares at me without a flinch of the eyelid
I am further awestruck.
The silence is calm and soothing, echoing through the forest like a rumble of sweet and subtle vibrations canoeing amidst a sea of stars.
Like the stars, my heart burns with fire,
yet it is as silent as the wind.
All I hear are echoes – chimes of a love incapable of being transcribed onto paper
and too angelic to be sung into song.
I’m unaware of the sacred thoughts that dwell in the confines of her mental sanctuary.
I can’t help but to think if she feels as I do.
The pleasure of being alone in the presence of such a wonder leaves me without care.
No moment is to be wasted.
Every moment is to be cherished and adored.
She takes three steps in my direction and I could now smell the scent of her raspberry colored lips.
Her eyes sturdily locked on mine, I place my hands upon her soft cheeks, more tender than my heart when I’m with her,
and I join my lips with hers.
The silence remains and the echoes stir.
As we kiss and greet our vine-like tongues, slathering them together as if they were part of the same tree,
I pull her body towards mine and now we are one.
The blood in her veins pump to the beat of her love-induced heart.

By Mensur Gjonbalaj
Written December 23, 2014



Michael Hutchence of INXS

All veils and misty
Streets of blue
Almond looks
That chill divine
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leaving broken hearts behind

Mystify me
Mystify me

I need perfection
Some twisted selection
That tangles me
To keep me alive

In all that exists
None have your beauty
I see your face
I will survive

Eternally wild with the power
To make every moment come alive
All those stars that shine upon you
Will kiss you every night

All veils and misty
Streets of blue
Almond looks
That chill divine
Some silken moment
Goes on forever
And we’re leaving
Yeah we’re leaving broken hearts behind

You’re eternally wild with the power
To make every moment come alive
All those stars that shine upon you
And they’ll kiss you every night

Words by Michael Hutchence

The Wings of Shahwah



The Wings of Shahwah
I fell
into the abysmal hell
where angels doth fly
with wings of feather,
gliding high
into the nether
of angelic decadence.
Rhyme doth come with ease
when betwixt by lust,
for it blows a breeze
of formidable thrust,
Rendering the prey powerless
and thus,
stricken by the whims
of a lady’s prowess.

Wherefore art the dwellings
of the sirens
who call upon brazen youth,
feeble in mind and deft of might?
In green pastures frolic a coterie
of maidens,
fair in complexion
and fine in proportion –
well endowed in their rears
with shapely cushions
and graced with a loft of resilient bosoms.

By God,
who hath created this gem,
free me from the trials
of endless desire
and a hunger that may
never be quenched.
A toil I bear to death,
I am left out of tune
and bereft;
My senses weakened,
T’is a knackered beacon
of fortune’s plight,
burning the eyes from sight.

Yet as I continue to fall,
the ship of a thousand
dreams shall overbear
and ne’er haul.
Upon thy rosé cheek,
O goddess of flesh!
Do I attest to thy
Damnéd I may be,
be it an eternity,
I am forever enslaved
to your heavenly affinity.

By Mensur Gjonbalaj
July 10, 2015