Milan Orlich

The Keeper of the Fire: The Damn Beautiful Trade of Writing

This is how it had been: writers’ trade damn beautiful,
sometimes perhaps
bitter but only from the outside. It is gone,
long gone,
the time when the royal gardener
marked the plots
of poets. In his hands the royal seals
he held. The long
winter afternoons in a warm armchair, with the hot
fire from the fireplace,
in the royal palace, he enjoyed . Openly
took pleasure in the contests
for the King’s favors; the competition of the literary
humpbacks, just escaped
from the catacombs which, at the literary cemeteries they
inhabited. That time is gone, long gone
that beautiful time.
Or at the tournaments: while they were from faraway kingdoms
for the Princess’s hand, grace
and beauty

Translated from Serbian Mira N. Mataric, 2009.

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