Margaret’s Dragons Have Strange Ways

The story is tragic, but quite curious,
The subject dead and alive at the same time,
The name not attached to anything, anymore,
And it's the front page of a four-page-paper.
The name will surface there and elsewhere,
But the shock wave will come to you
Who's to say that you won't start it all?

Gotta stand with your brothers,
Gotta make a choice here,
Gotta decide who your brothers are.
Gotta decide who wins here -
That's what the diplomats said
And the idea of winning is strange to you.

It's St. Elijah and you need to watch for the storm,
But now you're more inclined to believe in Virgin Margaret.
It's St. Elijah and you need to tell the wife to take laundry in,
In eight years' time you will believe in his twisted sister.
Remember how she can tame wild dragons,
Remember how those she spoke to ended,
Well, do you see a connection here?

This is how the century begins,
But it will properly begin and end with you.
This is how it all of it starts,
But it won't truly start until it involves you.

You'd better remember that name.
Whatever you read it like,
Whatever you write it like,
You'd better remember that name.

- November 27th and December 03rd, 2016


A collage of frightening titles of various European newspapers that are NOT from the 1990s.

This poem required a couple of frightening Google searches, researching how a minor event was received by the media in an era where the news travelled for weeks and how it all impacted the conflict that killed more people than anything else in the human history. AND YOU CAN'T BELIEVE THESE TITLES ARE NOT FROM THE 1990s. I mean, "Balkans Racial War"? How come the ethnic cleansings existed before somebody from - sadly - my country coined that term? How come that we never learn?

The Margaret referenced in this poem is Virgin Margaret, a saint. In Serbian folklore, she is "the sister of st. Elijah" and we call her Ognjena Marija - the Mary of Fire. On the day this holiday is observed, you are not allowed to mess with fire, you should not be cleaning because bad luck will strike you. The point of view expressed here is the one of a Serb who has a vision of World War I after he picked the "Politika" newspaper which had some disturbing news long before major European newspapers did. And at the time this takes place, all Orthodox Churches are using the Julian Calendar, so Virgin Margaret is observed on the same day, so he attributes it to "Ognjena Marija".

The man needs to "watch for the storm", but he quickly rationalises it with yet another folklore belief - that St. Elijah's sisters - Ognjena Marija and Blaga Marija (Mary Magdalene) hide St. Elijah's birthday from him and then he gets angry and flies around in his carriage, causing storms.

The rest requires extensive knowledge of Balkan studies.

Copy Is The Original is the more spiritual and subjective twin to this poem. Oddly enough, this one is full of metaphors and that one is pretty much what it says.

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