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StainedTo Nina Zivancevic's previous piece

Royal Chase
(after Nizami)

We walked into the garden
With miniature pine trees, casual deer and
Singing fountains : it was then
That I realized the royal hunt was
Going on, scorched grass,
Illuminated manuscripts smeared with blood,
Santours in flame; the clock- you said-
Was turned here 400 years back
And the battle of Kosovo
Shifted in time, with bright yataghans
And mutilated soldiers : the rigid,
The senseless and the cruel ruled
Your garden, my shah of shahs,
You had to leave Nizami's garden quickly,
And become a nomad burnt by fame! I was the last
'Northern province' of your empire
you fought for, my house disappeared
in heavy bombing, the language
of our children sprinkled with foreign accents,
the angels on Christian frescoes
in distant monasteries had lost their wings,
their flights reduced to nightly escapades
to the cover-pages of some dubious
newspapers where EVERY THING is fit
to print, except for our exiled songs
and our daily worries that bear no
official translator's stamp.

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