Poetry Monster

Ballad about a stinking flower by Vinko Kalinic

Ballad about a stinking flower

by Vinko Kalinic

I met this flower many times
and every time I touches me
with tousled beauty of its colours,
and also with a sad, untold story
about how people behave
and name things.

If there’s a crumb of soil,
as they tell me – it’s growing everywhere!
And just because of that
people named it:

As if they want to taunt
his non – squemishness.
Stubborn and defiant will,
that brings forth a life
from a scratch.

And this flower doesn’t call itself.

It doesn’t need
our words.

Nor it needs our names.

It silently grows
near piles of rocks and dry stone walls.
In a front and behind the houses.
Even there
where house folks
throw their excrements.


Grows on its own.
Doesn’t require our attention.
And it becomes the whole bush of it.

Few rich flowers
blossoms on one little stem.
As it would like to say:
Look, how much of me!
My roots grow from the very heart
of this poor and bare soil.
(Soil that you defiled,
and I adorn it, in spite of you!)
They are bigger, deeper,
wiser and stronger,
than all your

And names!


I met this flower many times
and each time I lean over it.


Sometimes even against
my own will.

At least as lightly.
Just so that my hand
caresses the leaves.
– Wide green leaves,
full of juice! Leaves that
itself remind me of open arms.
Some ancient, old hands,
with all vessels transparent.

With that spontaneous, uncontrolled,
and totally intimate gesture,
which I sometimes find
quite funny – does the flower understand
our gestures? – as if I wish to
whisper to it: I know! I know!
It is unfair what they are doing,
those who are estranged from the land.

– Do people understand the speech of flowers?
With their stench they marked
one completely innocent being.

Sometimes I also stop.


In front of everyone I pick
the largest flower in the bush.
(I count, this is the oldest one!
It lived his life away, so I guess
it will not get so angry.)

I smell it!
So that
everyone can see.

Its scent is really gentle.
Quite tranquil.
And mild..
Almost inaudible.

Even its petals
fall by themself.

Instead of us,
as if they are ashamed
of ruthless
touch of people.


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