A story about tragedy

Nikola Popović has worked as an adviser and researcher across state and federal governments in Australia. He holds a Master of International Relations from the University of Sydney. Nikola is currently a PhD candidate at the Australian National University.


When the tanks rolled through the fields,
the saints of the land arose.
and the soldiers stood like ghosts.
One soldier lit cigarettes,
hiding briefly under the moon’s shadow
began to confess his misery to the smoke.

In the summer,
they rested in the countryside,
carrying a basket and an old radio.
Every morning,
she drank coffee by his chest.

By autumn, 
nothing seemed imminent.
The children sang
and came back before sunset.
Every evening,
the stars were a cluster of jewels.

On both sides,
someone had left.
In the trains and armoured vehicles,
they departed in all directions.
They remember the summer in the countryside.

For the millions watching,
whose senses are numbed by propaganda,
fall to sleep shocked, confused.
Could this be me?

In this land
where the simple man asks for little
pays a lot.

© Nikola Popović, 2022