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Shortlist Saturdays: Salvation by Petar Penda


An insidious intent tells our inner selves

Of sacrifice and solitude, suspense and sacrilege,

Of sorrows and souls' starvation,

Of our death and rebirth.

Aroused by winds and bending top trees, 

The calmness must abstain from the action 

And open to the changes whirlwinds bring,

Absorb calamities and accept deaths,

Listen to storms and eat clouds,

Swell to the endmost bounds and beyond,

Swallow seas and drink gales,

Oceans of air and dust until the lungs, 

deformed and inflated,

Burst out and vomit the anger,

Spit on the sun's eye and cover the earth's surface.

Oblivion will take it all gratefully 

And share its void with us 

Until the sickle of time cuts  

The last budding rose and its blood 

Turns the ashes into the soil 

And gives birth to new leaves of life.

Cycles of life and death are endless

And observant seers see through them

Just like you and I see desperate lies

We feed on in an attempt to be dishonest

About our desires and hunger for each other. 

The flower's thorn will make the world purple 

Slowly penetrating the earth's crust 

Until it reaches its center and stirs

The golden sleepy volcanos and

Start their journey of utter destruction.

Infidelity is never forgiven 

And you're glad the mind's images

Of our enamored and smiling faces 

You could not set to fire 

Will be eaten by flames of wrath.

Only fire can put out the fire,

Amend the wrongs and misdeeds,

Cleanse us of ourselves and others.

In the purity of ashes is our salvation.

Petar Penda is a professor of English and American literature (University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina), literary critic, and translator. His translations have been published in renowned journals in the USA and the UK. His poetry and flash fiction have been published in "Fevers of the Mind", "Lothlorien Poetry Journal", "A Thin Slice of Anxiety", "Trouvaille Review", " Amphora", "Dark Winter Lit", "Suburban Witches", and other journals.


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