Plam / Flame

Verica Delova Srma is a proud mother and grandmother who is also a textile artist and poet.  An active member of the Serbian community in Canberra, Verica organises events with the Serbian Church as part of the Kolo Srpskih Sestara (Circle of Serbian Sisters), and describes herself as a ‘child of God’.

Verica wrote this poem in her mother tongue, Serbian.  Its original version is accompanied here by an English translation, prepared by our co-Editor-in-Chief, Dunja Kaczmarek (née Cvjetićanin).



Iz ognjišta sam ponela,
na dlanu,
komadić žara
i gledam kako
poslednja iskrica
na pod pada,
u pepeo se pretvori,
al’ osećam,
nešto mi govori
da onaj u srcu
peče, plamti, gori..,
gori od sebe sam
i još uvek se nada…

Ponekad suza
na njega se slije
da ugasi plam,
dok shvatila nije
da je ta vatra sve,
što još uvek
od ognjišta imam…



I took a piece of coal
from the fireplace
and clutched it in my hands,
and now I sit,
watching how its embers
fall to the floor,
turning to ash.

But I feel –
something in me tells me –
that there is another piece of coal,
somewhere deep in my heart,
that bakes, blazes, and bristles on…
burning in and of itself,
and keeping hope alive.

Every now and then,
a tear
falls onto the coal in my heart,
trying to extinguish its flame.
It doesn’t seem to realise
that that fire is everything
that remains within me
from that old fireplace.


© Verica Delova Srma, 2019