Milica Jeftimijević Lilić (Serbia)
Milica Jeftimijević Lilić was born at Lovac near Banjska, Kosovo & Metohija, on August 28, 1953. She graduated at the Faculty of Philosophy in Priština, and won a master’s degree in philological sciences at the University of Belgrade. She was a professor at the University of Priština, and editor on Belgrade TV. She has published the following collections of poems: Dark, Salvation (1955), The Hibernation (1998), The Travelogue of the Skin (2003), and a collection of stories The Subject-matter of the Case (2002). She has also published books of criticism: Poetics of the Premonition (2004), The Epsistomlogical Illuminations (2007), Critical Roots and Ranges (2011),
The Exactness of the Secret (2012)…Partenon buildings of stars, (poetry) ,Arka Smederevo , Stari Kolašin, Zbin Potok, 2015, The letters to Ulysess (poetry), 2017, Alma,Belgrade, An unexpected encounter, Centre of culture, Raška / Zadužbina Vladete Jerotića, 2017, Hidde on the shine of eyes, (stories), 2019, BKC, Novo Miloševo, KRK, Vest Čester, SAD, About Kosovo, again, ( and other poems), Prishtina, Jedinstvo, 2019.
She also writes stories for children which have been published in Children’s Papers, Jedinstvo, and other newspapers.
Shi is representedin many anthologies and has many literary awards of national importance as international…Her poems and pieces of criticism have been translated into Russian, English, Italian, German, French, Hungarian,Macedonian, Turkish, Swedish, Polish and Arabic….more than 28 lenguages of world.
She was vice President of the Association of writers of Serbia, a member of literary society of writers of Kosovo and Metohija and a member of the Association of Journalists of Serbia.
Lives in Belgrade since 1999.
THE UNROLLING OF THE SCROLL
in that way the scroll of the language
of my tribe unrolls.
I am a Lord’s scroll,
unrolled by the dark.
The nearer I am to the end
the closer I am to the Rudiments,
I perceive the law given to me
at the moment of my birth:
You will be an enigma to the very end
they whispered to me on the third day.
I did hear that voice
before I got my eyes.
Utter a sound and you will know who you are:
everything is within you,
you have just brought everything,
you will give all you already possess.
Keep following the track,
the scroll reads slowly.
You grow up to decipher
the Holy script of Vincha
dripping from your veins.
You enter the obedience,
the Egypt of the Great Self.
The parchment is made by Heaven,
only the fingers are yours.
The vision is not weakened by the waking,
our eyes are protected by the membrane
against the excessive light.
We slowly take a veil off
layer by layer together with the skin.
Every day we are closer
to the Great Light.
We sacrifice piece by piece of oursleves.
When the last bandage is removed
we ourselves will be
The last sacrificial ritual
will occur then.
Devoid of the dark
integrated with the One
behind us the print of the first foot
the Sroll in it
looking for the eyes.
“Give me my glasses,”
Fernando Pessoa said
in order to see death better,
although in the cold hospital room
it was visible to the chaplain, nurse and doctor,
who watched over him at the fatal hour
as if he had never meant anything to anyone.
So, with his glasses on,
and calm-eyed he entered eternity
through the duration door he had opened with his poetry.
His undying ironic pomes
mocking the frailties,
remained as a good pledge for the death of the hungry body
that was demanding, restraining, requesting.
And he rose up to infinity
in order to bring back the sound of double meaning:
for everything is pain – soul’s moaning, emptiness,
the cramp of the matter and spirit, which is a poem,
flying off the Creator’s lips, and even when blaspheming
hidden at the bottom of the being, conceived who knows when,
it is an unexpected fruit that wants to live
lured by a glass of the resurrected vicinity.
Thence the poem sets off, its bare life
which will obtain its body
when the poet gives it his soul, mind, image
like the sea presents a shell with the sound
so that deep mysterious noise roars
the fury of fire and the rumble of the Universe
united forever in the hidden pearl
just like in the passion the bodies of ascension
get united, the diptych poem of the Matter
not expressed by words or images
but by a scream of the beauty of frenzy
of the happiness itself equal to the moment of birth or death
out of which a delicate poem flows
the lasting halo, the fresco of the Matter.
The Creator’s habit that for a moment hides us
from baseness of the world and deceptions of ourselves.
Created timeless images with the whole
with the diptych Poem of meaning and music
with the tear on the face of the false History
mocking the death of the travelling poet
who gives birth to soul even when the body dies.
THE TOUCH OF A DISTANCE
My clairvoyant hands,
as hot as a sorcerer’s hands
set in motion by thought
touch the chosen thing,
it is them that have encountered you.
Seeing better than the eyes
they impeccably guide me,
Logos always appeals to me.
I write down a word or two
and the rainbow gives a flash
fusing two violent waters
aware of the might of the said.
It shoots them through to the bottom
integrated by the force of origins.
Out of the overheated core
sterling flows over
with a deep trail.
I touch letters one by one,
they spread energy with ease.
Receiving it you light up –
you open all doors
to me – a woman.
And you do not know what breaks you:
either the touch of fire or the might of the said
that defeated you at once.
Or the secret of the being from afar
that flashes when fusing with you.
We have never parted with words
There have always been silences
In blazing horizons
Feeding the shrieks of the Soul.
I vow to silence
After all emptied words
Full of sterling and jade,
I vow to its might,
To its healing depth,
When one suffers with all heart.
Words used to build up bridges
And to knock them down,
But few things have remained.
The helplessness of speech. . .
Eloquent is the speech of the secret
That preserves the unspoken.
Now when I am at the opposite side
And when we do not touch with words,
And when their meaning is set in motion,
Will silence fuse us better
Than the passion and hugs?
Now when all the forthcoming
Is totally mute,
I know a more meaningful being
Than everything so far said
That you will perceive with your heart,
That flame of deep silence.
And when you get permeated by the hush
And when your words bounce off
Like furious waves when hitting a rock
That howl helplessly
For not being able to fuse with it,
Always in touch and yet separated
Like the two of us,
So that you will not know where to with them
Or how to decipher
The mute language of silence
That originated from the word.
You will not know the answers
That I kept secret
Because premonitions did speak.
Now divided, plunged into yourself,
You are tied to the unreachable dream of the Moon’s sickle
With hundredfold chains,
So that you are stuck
Not knowing where to with yourself,
But I know that.
Thy solitude shall flourish?
That you will be shaped by the new state,
The vigil in the silence of pain,
I follow that eternal knowledge
Going toward my wiser self
Ready to die again
In order to be born stronger.
THREE TRUTHS ABOUT CRYING
Let my crying
And all my sorrow
Be carried away by winds
I did cry
Bitterly at birth
(It was the First truth)
To bow down
Before the Sun.
Happy to hear my own voice,
Its multiplied echo
Of my crying
Like a mysterious poem
Full of undiscovered meaning,
As groundless as all poems
As all suffering
As all life.
That crying used to come back
With the Phases of the Moon
Modifying everything I would touch.
My soul became heavy carrying it
And it converted into wind
Its pain resounded
Profounder than my dream
And took it away
To fan it all over Egypt.
And the echo came back to me
Through pure laughter,
Through intimate poem
Like the shake of the heart
And the twinkle of the eye.
All inside me met it
With extended arms
(It was the Second truth)
It was not crying any longer
Nor was it pain
Broke through it
From the horizon
Carried by wind,
My deep melancholy
Condensed into the shine.
And I said
Quietly like Sappho:
Nothing is always
Changes are perpetual,
Long-carried Crying gives birth
(It was the Third truth)
Out of it the spring
And winds carry
What they carry.
The wise suffering remains
For crying slays
Like a sword.
Being born out of body and mind, I am a duality
Defined by heavenly and bodily existence.
Sometimes I celebrate the Creator, the soul of everything,
Sometimes I am only a body,
My earthly being burns brightly.
Sometimes helpless I curse base intents of the world,
Sometimes I whine sadly
For the lost home, man, and mind.
But I am always open to the rapture of the heart
Fleeing to me.
I am a shelter for unappeased minds,
Always pliable for the exploring hand.
And I will be what I am at any cost.
I am the very life condensed in the uttered,
The very soul that has cast off the fetters of the body,
The very passion that has risen up above the body.
I am the Truth of the world (about world) undenied,
For ages I’ve been breathing through the newborn,
I disregard those who are deaf to my warnings,
Even if they are sages, sorcerers,
I despise merchants no matter how deftly
They celebrate my premature childen.
I am coquettish and I do not seduce in vain.
I will not ingratiate myself with conceived entourage,
The loving eyes are enough.
And I will survive without tricks
Of morose commentators.
More advanced is my Knowledge,
I will not carry favor to be heard
By people trained for Recognitions
After the fashion of clans.
No, I am not a green lass
Who must go ahead,
And I will not sit on the lap
Of respected Professors,
Academicians, to set in motion
Their consumed Eros
With my young blood.
I renounce snivelling on my strong breast.
I have been created for the collision with hurricanes
Which I will outsmart with my Constancy,
I am the healthiest daughter of mind and body.
I cannot be stopped by anyone
Although the Universe has conspired to silence me,
But I am its cosncience, and sooner or later I will say everything!
For a long time I did not trust in myself
Knowing neither you nor me,
Fearing the great secret.
But like the reflection of Your might
All is worth admiring
Unbroken, the One!
I did not perceive at once
To be a part of Your secret.
I kept searching for answers,
Earthly and heavenly ones,
To conceive the Being,
And everything kept eluding painfully
So that in that emptiness
I did not know myself for a long time
Unaware of that unity.
But I did respond to Your calls
Following the marked track
Where I was taking shapes
Through miraculous visions.
I did not rsepect myself enough
Requiring more of myself
Even when I became aware of You,
And could I really Exist
Without Your consent,
Without Your share in my life?
In that ignorance I suffered
And You inhabited the home of every being
With Your strength, with immeasurable love.
With miracles visible to every eye
Until I became more wisely alert to every shake
With which You made Yourself heard
Waking up my undiscovered forces
Arisen from Your mercy,
To verify You
To provide answers
Shining with Your brightness
Transformed to transform
Whatever I touched,
Taking on lease Your gifts
To multiply them
And to sculpt them anew with pure light.
When I began to trust you
I perceived myself anew,
And I got rid of fear,
Of the care that kept pulling the independent being
To the abyss.
Your life-saving shelter
Like Your persistent part
Approved on the road to eternity,
Called on by You,
That for a while was hampered
By the earthly traps
Intended for temptations, for the testing of faith.
IT IS DUNDAY
The unanimous performance of birds and cicadas
Overshadows sirens, the noise of a metropolis.
I attend it from an empty park.
It is not hampered by the absence of audience or applause.
The singing is so sincere.
I detect that the celestial moment
Of the unexpected concert
In one hundred birds’ voices
Can heal millions of people.
All those who have not bowed their heads
Or surrendered to hopelessness
Who are not oppressed by hunger
Accused before themselves
For the wrong steps or choices,
Who are not forced to kneel publicly
In order to touch the ruler’s feet
Like all slaves.
Free breathing is taught here,
Singing on free topics,
Everything may wait,
Terms of divorces,
It is Sunday morning.
The liturgical sound of birds’ prayer
Children are on their mothers’ laps.
Fathers are turning the pages of dailies.
The conversation of old women coming
Through open windows is quiet
And without everyday tensions.
Nobody is weeping,
Running or swearing.
It is Sunday.
We consumers of virtual era
Update statuses on a regular basis,
We surf passionately,
And share selfies constantly.
In the absence of our own things
We peep at other people’s profiles,
We wait for likes
As if they were life-saving
Like a lottery ticket,
As once we waited for Whistles at eight
What we send off to the world
Is the created truth, not God-given one.
Do we believe in a photo or an image?
People either admire us or they envy us
The truth is familiar only to us –
No one can cheat life,
The truth hides and lets us go
Until its hour comes
Then it tells its own story
Neither adding nor subtracting
And it becomes clear to everyone
Who’s who and what’s what,
Who has the last word,
Who is concerned with themselves.
As tiny as ants
We gather around
The virtual fireplace.
We are all here
Like sparrows on a wire.
Grains – far away
And hunger for the unreachable so close
We keep stretching
Toward something that allures
That suggests exit from the circle of the known
Where someone always waits
And though we have already
Passed half of the way by ourselves
We cannot resist the call of distances.
Too close is only the emptiness
Devoid of splendour,
We prefer mysteries
Let it last as long as it can
The very life is a trick
We can stare at it all days long
But it slips free in no time.
Only the illusion remains
The most lasting possession, unwanted.
Translated from the Serbian by Lazar Macura