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    Iolchan
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    Some Damned Trouble in the Balkans



    Some Damned Trouble in the Balkans


    I heard a high wild whine of pipes
    Already old when Man was weaned,
    Upon the high, and Scythian steppes;
    The one who played the tape explained
    These were Bulgarian bagpipe tunes.

    Still sitting civil in the Room,
    A curtain opened on the Sea
    Where Macedonia does Loom.

    Northward, I saw the Bosnian plain,
    Where Serbs and Croats, dignified,
    Were dressed in Sunday suits; their best.

    Fading, I saw an ancient Wild: deep,
    Dark, of mountainous tangled woods,
    Where Women of King Phillip’s race,
    Though bronzed by Turkish centuries,
    Remained; and where the mountain Goat,
    Of the Primordial type, roamed free…

    His Eye, a Wonderment of fire,
    Was barbarous as the pipes of Pan,
    Whose notes did pierce my ear.

    And Then, I heard the canny words
    Of some old diplomat - a German -
    (He had long ago entered rest;)
    About, what bodes it, if I jest;
    Lit tinder will burn, if it can:
    “Some damned trouble
    in the Balkans.”

    ***

    Mark Walter Evans,
    Mendocino,
    1979

    Last edited by Iolchan; 09-16-2011 at 10:37 PM.
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