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Poetry by Tatjana Lukic 

Tatjana Lukic is an Australian with a strong Slavic accent. Published four collections of poetry across former Yugoslavia in the 80s and won a few national awards for poetry. She migrated to Australia from the bloody Balkan wars in 1992 and lives by the lake in Canberra: working as a researcher, raising her daughter, walking her dog and writing and translating poetry.




© 2003 Tatjana Lukic





olive skin/dark eyes
young at body and heart
new in the town/no ties
came by sea in good health
never homesick/sincere/gentle/and honest
educated by all means/all alone/good at listening/slow at talks
good sense of humour/better sense of sorrow/don't pray at midday
all possessions mobile/work hard/day and night/sleep in spare time
hardly ever dream/prefer all food/like to try all things new/smoke
if there is a chance/sometimes suddenly cry/then again laugh/would like
to sing and dance
or just walk with you
it will take time but ALA/all letters answered
quiet neighbour/trusting mate/never ever kissed in this land
'i just want to fall in love'








'i recovered a book from the river tigris where it was thrown by the mongols,
it was the year of the hejira 656, i was poor for the mercy of god' then as i am
now, laying motionless in a pit, but a river is seized and it is burning tonight,
what can i recover after this siege? a wounded  bird near me, a babbler,
is driving its head, burying its frightened eyes into sand,
its heart is a beating alarm clock,
rock-hard, tick-tock, a bomb
programmed to burst in the morning, 
i will recover you, a birdie, you will go off with the first blast of dawn,
off through the red sky to the heavens' gate to spread our news, a fire is
set at the gailani library, you must tell them, and the book i took from the river
is in danger again, the barbarians are back






we do the same job
searching for gold
but he is up there, high above
as 'it's best to maintain a perspective
of clouds and mountains', and i persist
on all my fours dipped into the warm mud
tackling the earth's heart

if gold is gold it will shine
and light his flight down
to its sparkling mine

if gold is real i will know at once
when it touches my palm
even covered by soil and dust

again and again, led by a foxy twinkle
he swoops down eagerly to an empty pit

i stroll around all the same, digging the ground
with no precious stone at my bust but dirt and muck

what a team we would make
if we ever meet
and couple in our search lust!
the golden cave would open
alone its heavy gates
at the sight of us
or crawling?
side by side

but nesting in a cloud
an eagle won't spot
an ant toiling around the lawns,
and vice versa,
the up and down
don't make a pact

the world knows
how to keep us apart
and hide away its glowing treasure intact






All work is copyrighted property of Tatjana Lukic.



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