Voyages / Poem by Maja Herman Sekulic

Poem by Maja Herman Sekulic



When the greatest traveler of all times

Calls me to the land of snakes and pearls and

Tells about the Indian king

Who died 84 times as if for pure pleasure or
Was it Leisure?

When he teaches me how to dig out diamonds

From caves full of snakes

And shows me other miracles

I follow him without complaints

For when Marco Polo

The very subject of dispute

Between the Korchula isle

And Venetian duke

When this Venetian merchant

In the year of our Lord 1298

From his prison cell

Describes the world he saw

While Rusticello of Pisa scribes it in French

To add to The World Wonders

Marco Polo’s portraiture of Kublai

The great Mongolian Khan

He had served 17 years

To whom he voyaged from Hormuz

Via Kerman

Along the Gobi to the peak of Palmira

This very Marco Polo

The traveler supreme

This Venetian emissary proud

Has just a simple message for me –

“You will travel

And see and hear it all and

Be yourself surprised!”

And indeed I did

Asking myself when did this round world of ours

Become so flat

No true wonders

Only smart phones

Even though my own country disappeared

The one where I was born and

I can travel through it only as if

It were a foreign land

Or even lands and

To be on the safe side

Only if I pay attention to differences between

Local variants of


Or when I am

Like Proust

To understand that

Outside my own four walls

There are no miracles any more

Only troubles and

When with cork

I wish to insulate myself

Because it seems that I can marvel

Only if I travel

In my imagination

To Zagreb or Sarajevo perhaps

Where I heard

Some graduates are

Translating me

In Croatian

Or was it Bosnian?


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