Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Alí Calderón

Sarajevo

The wind is cold it burns
and causes those that wait for the quiet
crossing of the tram to shiver
The elderly lean
their heads against the glass
The boredom of life furrows their faces
They fog up the window with their lost
gaze their distant indifference
It’s Sarajevo the sun
lodges itself in holes left by mortar fire
the ruins the facades
There’s a transparency that wounds
the flight the course of birds
Faraway
the hills and lying in wait
they prey upon Sniper Alley
Nothing surprises me now or causes me to give up
not even should you say you’re leaving
that all you know how to do is leave
The waters of Miljacka
run suddenly old
they darken as they pass under the Princip bridge
With one perfect shot they killed
an Archduke here
We have died
in excess many lives together
On the threshold of an orthodox church
someone watches how
the light of the candles is used up
Extinct now the torches are taken away
The candlestick is empty
Welcome to hell reads
graffiti from another time
Of hell all that’s left
is this slow calm
that lingers even after it dwells in us
Cats root about in trash bags
Grass grows on the gravestones of garden cemeteries

The tram has passed
a racket a trembling
of the air behind the tracks
maybe a memory
nothing

Sarajevo

De wind is koud brandt
en doet rillen wie wacht
op de doffe doortocht van de tram
De ouderen leunen
met hun hoofd tegen het glas
Levensmoeheid groeft hun gezichten
Hun verloren blikken werpen een waas
op de ruiten hun verre onverschilligheid
Het is Sarajevo de zon
verschanst zich in mortierschoten
de ruïnes de gevels
De doorzichtigheid schrijnt
de vlucht de trekroute van vogels
In de verte
de heuvels vanuit een hinderlaag
bestoken ze Sniper Alley
Niets verbaast me meer niets doet me wanhopen
zelfs als je zegt dat je gaat
dat jij alleen maar kunt gaan
Het water van de Miljacka
stroomt voort, plotseling verouderd,
verduistert onder de Princip-brug
Met een perfect schot werd hier
een aartshertog gedood
Wij zijn keer op keer
gestorven vele levens samen
Op de drempel van een orthodoxe kerk
observeert iemand
de dovende kaarsen
De opgebrande toortsen worden weggehaald
Het kaarsenrek is leeg
Welcome to hell verkondigt
graffiti uit andere tijden
Van de hel rest alleen
deze trage kalmte
een langgerekt, overweldigend na
Katten wroeten in vuilniszakken
Gras groeit op grafzerken in begraafplaatsparken

De tram is gepasseerd:
kabaal het trillen
van de lucht onder de rails
misschien een herinnering
niets

Sarajevo

El viento es frío quema
y hace temblar a quien aguarda
el sordo paso del tranvía
Los ancianos reclinan
la cabeza en el vidrio
El tedio de vivir les surca el rostro
Empañan los cristales con miradas
perdidas su lejana indiferencia
Es Sarajevo el sol
se encaja en los disparos de mortero
las ruinas las fachadas
Hay una transparencia que lastima
el vuelo el rumbo de las aves
Lontano  
las colinas y al acecho
caen sobre la Sniper Alley
Nada me asombra ya ni me resigna
si dices que te vas
que sólo sabes irte
Las aguas del Miljacka
corren de pronto envejecidas
oscurecen su paso bajo el puente de Princip
De un disparo perfecto asesinaron
aquí a un Archiduque
Nosotros hemos muerto
hasta el hartazgo muchas vidas juntos
En el umbral de una iglesia ortodoxa
alguien observa cómo
se consume la luz de las candelas
Extintas ya las teas se remueven
Ha quedado vacío el kirostatis
Welcome to hell advierten
grafitis de otro tiempo
Del infierno no queda
sino esta lenta calma
prolongado después que nos habita
Los gatos hurgan en bolsas de basura
Crece la yerba en lápidas de parques cementerios

Ha cruzado el tranvía deja
un estruendo el temblor
del aire tras los rieles
quizá un recuerdo
nada
Close

Sarajevo

The wind is cold it burns
and causes those that wait for the quiet
crossing of the tram to shiver
The elderly lean
their heads against the glass
The boredom of life furrows their faces
They fog up the window with their lost
gaze their distant indifference
It’s Sarajevo the sun
lodges itself in holes left by mortar fire
the ruins the facades
There’s a transparency that wounds
the flight the course of birds
Faraway
the hills and lying in wait
they prey upon Sniper Alley
Nothing surprises me now or causes me to give up
not even should you say you’re leaving
that all you know how to do is leave
The waters of Miljacka
run suddenly old
they darken as they pass under the Princip bridge
With one perfect shot they killed
an Archduke here
We have died
in excess many lives together
On the threshold of an orthodox church
someone watches how
the light of the candles is used up
Extinct now the torches are taken away
The candlestick is empty
Welcome to hell reads
graffiti from another time
Of hell all that’s left
is this slow calm
that lingers even after it dwells in us
Cats root about in trash bags
Grass grows on the gravestones of garden cemeteries

The tram has passed
a racket a trembling
of the air behind the tracks
maybe a memory
nothing

Sarajevo

The wind is cold it burns
and causes those that wait for the quiet
crossing of the tram to shiver
The elderly lean
their heads against the glass
The boredom of life furrows their faces
They fog up the window with their lost
gaze their distant indifference
It’s Sarajevo the sun
lodges itself in holes left by mortar fire
the ruins the facades
There’s a transparency that wounds
the flight the course of birds
Faraway
the hills and lying in wait
they prey upon Sniper Alley
Nothing surprises me now or causes me to give up
not even should you say you’re leaving
that all you know how to do is leave
The waters of Miljacka
run suddenly old
they darken as they pass under the Princip bridge
With one perfect shot they killed
an Archduke here
We have died
in excess many lives together
On the threshold of an orthodox church
someone watches how
the light of the candles is used up
Extinct now the torches are taken away
The candlestick is empty
Welcome to hell reads
graffiti from another time
Of hell all that’s left
is this slow calm
that lingers even after it dwells in us
Cats root about in trash bags
Grass grows on the gravestones of garden cemeteries

The tram has passed
a racket a trembling
of the air behind the tracks
maybe a memory
nothing
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