WHEN YOU HIT YOURSELF WITH AN AXE WHILE CHOPPING THE WOOD

by Tomica Bajsić


WHEN YOU HIT YOURSELF WITH AN AXE WHILE CHOPPING THE WOOD

you don’t think about poetry then

or about great deeds

or about politics

you don’t defy God

you are as small as a pea

as you wait for the pain

to go away.

 

When you are riddled with shrapnel

from a mortar grenade

you don’t think about the impression

you leave upon women

or about the national anthem

you crawl under a rock

and wait for the pain

to go away.

 

when the door of the remand prison

shuts behind your back

- that’s when you think about freedom.

Translated from Croatian by Damir Šodan

KADA SE LUPIŠ SJEKIROM PO NOZI DOK CIJEPAŠ DRVA

onda ne misliš na poeziju

ili na velika djela

ili na politiku

ne prkosiš Bogu

malen si kao zrno graška

dok čekaš da bol

prestane.

 

Kada te izbuše geleri

od minobacačke granate

onda ne razmišljaš o dojmu

koji ostavljaš na žene

ili o nacionalnoj himni

zavučeš se pod kamen

i čekaš da bol prestane.

 

Kada se za tobom zatvore

vrata istražnog zatvora

onda misliš o slobodi.