Ballad about a stinking flower



by Vinko Kalinić  
May 27th 2011


I met this flower many times
and every time I touches me
with tousled beauty of its colours,
and also with a sad, untold story
about how people behave
and name things.

If there's a crumb of soil,
as they tell me - it's growing everywhere!
And just because of that
people named it:
stinker!

As if they want to taunt
his non - squemishness.
Simplicity.
Stubborn and defiant will,
that brings forth a life
from a scratch.

And this flower doesn’t call itself.

It doesn’t need
our words.

Nor it needs our names.

It silently grows
near piles of rocks and dry stone walls.
In a front and behind the houses.
Even there
where house folks
throw their excrements.

Sprouts.

Grows on its own.
Doesn’t require our attention.
And it becomes the whole bush of it.

Few rich flowers
blossoms on one little stem.
As it would like to say:
Look, how much of me!
My roots grow from the very heart
of this poor and bare soil.
(Soil that you defiled,
and I adorn it, in spite of you!)
They are bigger, deeper,
wiser and stronger,
than all your
words.

And names!

....

I met this flower many times
and each time I lean over it.

Spontaneously.

Sometimes even against
my own will.

At least as lightly.
Just so that my hand
caresses the leaves.
- Wide green leaves,
full of juice! Leaves that
itself remind me of open arms.
Some ancient, old hands,
with all vessels transparent.

With that spontaneous, uncontrolled,
and totally intimate gesture,
which I sometimes find
quite funny – does the flower understand
our gestures? – as if I wish to
whisper to it: I know! I know!
It is unfair what they are doing,
those who are estranged from the land.

- Do people understand the speech of flowers?
With their stench they marked
one completely innocent being.

Sometimes I also stop.

Intentionally!

In front of everyone I pick
the largest flower in the bush.
(I count, this is the oldest one!
It lived his life away, so I guess
it will not get so angry.)

I smell it!
So that
everyone can see.

Its scent is really gentle.
Quite tranquil.
And mild..
Almost inaudible.

Even its petals
fall by themself.

Instead of us,
as if they are ashamed
of ruthless
touch of people.


(Translated by
Darko Kotevski)



Balada o smrdljivom cvijetu



Sreo sam ga bezbroj puta
i svaki put me dirne
razbarušenom ljepotom svojih boja,
kao i tužnom, neispričanom pričom
o tome kako se ljudi ophode
i imenuju stvari.

Gdje ima i mrvica zemlje,
kažu mi - raste svugdje!
I baš po tome
ljudi su mu dali ime:
smrdećan!

Kao da se žele narugati
njegovoj neizbirljivosti.
Jednostavnosti.
Tvrdoglavoj
i prkosnoj volji,
koja iz ničega
iznjedri život.

A on se ne zove.

Njemu ne trebaju
naše riječi.

Niti naša imena.

On šutljivo raste
uz gomile i suhozide.
Ispred i iza kuća.
Pa čak i ondje
gdje ukućani
bacaju izmet.

Nikne.

Izraste sam.
Ne traži našu pažnju.
I bude ga čitav grm.

Po nekoliko raskošnih cvjetova
razlista se na jednoj nožici.
Kao da nam želi reći:
gledajte koliko me ima!
Moje žile rastu iz samog srca
ove škrte i gole zemlje.
(Zemlje koju ste vi uprljali,
a ja je krasim, usprkos vama!)
One su veće, dublje,
mudrije, i jače,
od svih vaših
riječi.

I imena!

...


Sreo sam ga bezbroj puta
i svaki put se nad njim nagnem.

Spontano.

Nekad i mimo
svoje volje.

Makar i onako ovlaš.
Tek toliko da mu rukom
pomilujem lišće.
- Široko zeleno lišće,
puno soka! Lišće koje me
i samo podsjeća na raširene ruke.
Neke drevne, prastare ruke,
na kojima se  proziraju žile.

Tom spontanom, nekontroliranom,
i sasvim intimnom gestom,
koja se i meni kadikad pričini
posve smiješnom - razumije li cvijet
naše geste? - kao da mu želim
šapnuti: znam! znam!
Nepravedno je to što čine
oni koji su se otuđili od zemlje.

- Razumiju li ljudi govor cvijeća?
Svojim smradom obilježili su
jedno sasvim nevino biće.

A ponekad i zastanem.

Namjerno!

I na očigled sviju uberem
onaj najveći cvijet u grmu.
(Računam, taj je najstariji!
On je odživio svoje, pa se valjda
neće toliko naljutiti.)

Pomirišem ga!
Tako
da vide svi.

Njegov je miris
zaista nježan.
Sasvim tih.
I blag.
Gotovo nečujan.

I latice mu
otpadaju same.

Umjesto nas,
kao da se srame
nemilosrdnog
dodira ljudi.


Komiža, 27. 05. 2011.

Vinko Kalinić