Whitby Writers Group

a self-help writers co-operative

The Latter Yugoslavia

Beauty makes it worse.
Attractive little countries
trying hard to impress;
still soot stains like old snow,
multi-toned colour washes,
or stone cladding, cover scars
along the stunning coastal road.
Only the churches betray them,
so many, so new; prosthetics.

Inland grimmer evidence,
untended olives, lavender, vines.
The vegetation hides much
from the Austrian built motorway;
IMF funded, repayments worrying.
Always the young seek dreams
leaving their parents nightmares,
and the tallyman’s knock.

The new farmhouses
and their owners
shun the ruins
across their yards;
border posts
the limits of their trust.
They talked to their neighbours last week,
a flag got burnt; they went home.


Roger Gould
3 May 2018

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