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The other side of Vrbanya bridge

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Listen to poem:
Their story haunts my memory, I'll tell it to you plain..
in the city of Sarajevo, a place war could never touch,
and hope it never will again.

Already thousands remain so silent under rock and clay, 
in fields of Saffron flowers of May,
and white blanket of snow come the Winter's day.

-Boško-
I remember that moment you led me to your heart.
'mira you shared your deepest secrets as you wept..
In my arms a promise made, 
a promise that will be kept. 

Like signet ring the cross topped spire of Sacred Heart and Gazi Husrev-begova minaret, 
glanced down at burned out cars, and scars of war... 
only a moment of trepidation..,
their future bright 30 meters on. 

-Admira-
 Someday, when we awake..
and our children's laughter no longer a forgotten hope.  
On that day, there will be no more war..,
when people forget what they were fighting for. 

Though war sapped away their will to live,
Admira embraced him just once more..

Encircled by Serb tanks and artillery positioned in the surrounding hills,
divided along ethnic lines.. 
they defied the monstrosity of war by showing that love knows no bounds.

 In Sarajevo during the war, everyone had a bullet with their name on it,
Some people were hit, some were not. 

-Rada-
Sitting once with her alone and I asked her, "Can this war separate you from Bosko?"
-Admira- 
"Dear Rada, only bullets can"

If there was a way to talk to the dead and tell them "I'm sorry"
would you help me find a way?

The sniper's bullet failed to sunder their bond of truth,
though born away from war-torn life.. 
left a love in everlasting youth.

If there was a way to talk to the living and tell them "I'm sorry"
would you liken it to solace prayed?  

Though war sapped away their will to live,
Admira embraced him just once more..

Treacherous ties that bind, promises made in deceitful plan,
they know only betrayal, now.
Only sorrow awaits, when you cross 'No man's land'.

Can a bargain be struck in Deutschmarks, yet debt remain to repay..
intermingled in Christian and Muslim blood?
 
The random thump of mortar shell, and Kalashnikov carries, 
pall of smoke, fiery Molotov and ever raining incendiaries, 
tear life away in one quick moment. 

Boško and Admira walked onto the bridge as two war-crossed lovers madly..
hand in hand, united. A madman's bullet could never separate two so in love.

Though war sapped away their will to live,
Admira found her way across the divide..
to lay beside her Boško forever more..

-Admira-
Dear mother, I know it's been hard for you and dad to go on..,
please pet Yellow..maybe you both won't be as lonely..,
I'm sorry it ended this way.

I'll see you when we meet again one day,
the other side of Vrbanya bridge.

In Memory of Kurt Schork - January 24, 1947 – May 24, 2000

Copyright © | Year Posted 2019




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Date: 10/13/2019 2:15:00 PM
These words bled out of you. Intense and a well penned portrait of history. It hits hard. Powerful
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TheRaven Avatar
Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/13/2019 9:26:00 PM
Vegter, Thank you for that comment. Makes me wonder at things. I just read your poem 'Broken Afrikaans'. It has a melancholy call all its own. -Richard
Date: 10/12/2019 12:22:00 PM
Great poem! Nicely penned! I love the picture for this poem! Great job!)
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/12/2019 2:32:00 PM
Natalyn, Let's hope we've made the world a better place. Try to remember those that paid too high a cost. Live each day according to gifted grace. And never be afraid to visit the bridges crossed. -Richard
Date: 10/9/2019 7:53:00 PM
An amazing write my friend! Your way of telling the story is wonderful!;)
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Chiri Avatar
Brenda Chiri
Date: 10/10/2019 11:19:00 AM
The photo is beautiful!;)
TheRaven Avatar
Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/10/2019 12:02:00 AM
Brenda, So glad to see your comments tonight. I hijacked all the other's, so might as well...anyway please forgive. There are so many people whose life hangs on a thread, everyday. Their lives, all lives, are no less important. If there is a message it would be 'Life is precious, don't waste it'. PS The merged photo is the moon over Sarajevo and the two of them taken from a family album. -Richard
Date: 10/9/2019 6:15:00 PM
what a powerful and poignant write, understandably so, war is always senseless and sad...the ending lingers on long after the read and echoes in the mind...excellent penning Richard... hugs
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/9/2019 11:38:00 PM
Sandra, Thank you for the comment. This life is so full of wonders never known, unless you know where to look. Admira's mother told of the death of Brana, Admira's close cousin and mother of two boys, who had lost her husband before the war. During the war she was killed by a 60-millimeter shell while putting her sons to bed. Bosko and Admira became surrogate parents for the two orphans. She would bring them books, toys, and chocolate Bosko got from the army. Mrs. ISMIC: "She knitted sweaters, made slippers for them-- anything to make them happy." "It's war. You're not able to buy anything-- no stores." "It's only what you can find on the black market, if somebody's selling something." "They loved those kids so much." My point is..,those boys remember them in a different way than you and I. -Richard
Date: 10/9/2019 12:20:00 AM
Hi Richard, the Bosnian war was ruthless, wars are, these young lovers died in the name of love disregarding the danger of the flying bullets, they wanted to die together, a modern Romeo and juliet, or a Bonnie and Clyde and then Bosko and Admira . This story tugged at my heart strings, shed a tear, really sad but yet beautiful as they took their love to beyond the bridge. Wonderful tribute to Kurt Schork - They will be remembered. Well penned Richard. Hugs, Jennifer
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/9/2019 10:39:00 AM
Jennifer, What a comment, thank you. Too many stories in the news miss the mark. Kurt knew this one was a little different. They died six days after Admira's 25th birthday. Should the story of their life & love die too? I decided not. -Richard
Date: 10/8/2019 5:06:00 PM
I don't know the story but you certainly made it come alive. Someday war will no longer scorch planet Earth - Daniel 2:44; Revelation 21:3,4
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/8/2019 10:53:00 PM
SoS, Thanks for the comment. You can read the Frontline transcript and watch the documentary online for the details. -Richard
Date: 10/8/2019 1:44:00 PM
Wow. What a moving poem, Richard... I taught English to a number of refugees, almost all Bosnian, from the region from 1998 - 2000. So the story has particular meaning to me. Thank you! Peace and blessings, Gershon
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/8/2019 10:46:00 PM
Gershon, Thanks for the comment. Their are many people still sensitive to the events that unfolded all those years ago. I tried not to dwell on any faction or try to place blame. Only intended to give a voice to those who no longer can. My heart goes out to their families. -Richard
Date: 10/8/2019 9:52:00 AM
A short play in the scenery of the civil war. Impressive and dramatic. Great tribute to Kurt Schork. He died in another war, but it doesn't matter: all wars are the same. Kurt sympathizes with Kurt.
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Ravidas Avatar
Kurt Ravidas
Date: 10/8/2019 7:36:00 PM
Interesting fact. Noted. Thanks, Richard.
TheRaven Avatar
Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/8/2019 10:10:00 AM
Kurt, Thanks for the comment. Kurt brought the story out of Sarajevo and into the world's view, with some help. I can't help feeling the irony that he too was killed in an ambush while on assignment for Reuters in Sierra Leone. Half of his ashes are buried with the Romeo & Juliet of Sarajevo. -R
Date: 10/7/2019 6:58:00 AM
A powerful powerful piece. Very moving.
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/7/2019 10:34:00 PM
Richard, Do you remember the story, and where you were when you learned of it? It had a great impact on me, though it comes and goes. -Richard
Date: 10/6/2019 8:42:00 PM
this is so heartbreaking. very emotive and heartfelt. I wasn't sure if it was a couple you invented and then I read Tom's comment below. They are truly modern day Romeo and juliet!
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TheRaven Avatar
Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/6/2019 9:48:00 PM
Andrea, Thanks for the comment. Sometimes facts are stranger than fiction. I think that's why I remembered it from so long ago. But Bosko & Admira did live, and by all accounts, were deeply in love. That love kept Bosko in Sarajevo when his mother and brother left. And it was the same love that led Admira, away from her family and her cat Yellow, out onto the Vrbanya bridge with only a suitcase and a dream. -Richard
Date: 10/6/2019 3:08:00 PM
Wow what a brilliant poem.. my wife is a war refugee from Bosnia.. so I relate to your poem..
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/6/2019 5:44:00 PM
Silent One, Thanks for this incredible comment. BiH's culture is worth looking into. This crazy world leaves more questions than answers. The who, what, where, when..,all accounted for. But no answers for the why. -Richard
Date: 10/6/2019 8:59:00 AM
War torn lovers...heart achingly brilliant. I felt like I was there solely bc of how well you worded ??????
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/6/2019 1:43:00 PM
Tara, Thanks for the comment. You see how easy it is to pour your heart out? And you have such a good one, you know. Now go and write that poem. -Richard
Dawn Avatar
Tara Dawn
Date: 10/6/2019 9:00:00 AM
Date: 10/5/2019 11:20:00 AM
"If there was a way to talk to the dead and tell them "I'm sorry" would you help me find a way?" I love this line because I do talk to my father who has passed, and my father-in-law and my mother-in-law. We know they are here by their fragrances and my mother-in-law slams the kitchen cupboards. Beautiful write! Gorgeously done. BRAVO Richard. BRAVO!
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/5/2019 2:24:00 PM
Caren, So glad to see your comments. Yeah, it's a strange and wonderful world we have created. I can't believe it's been a year, reading poems from such wonderful poets, like yourself. Here's to all us dreamers. -Richard
Date: 10/5/2019 8:13:00 AM
I hate the word "casualty" and this piece reminds me of that. Each life full of hopes and dreams and love and all destroyed... Excellent write.
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AWTRY Avatar
P.S. AWTRY
Date: 10/5/2019 3:07:00 PM
yes, very true. Thank you for writing this moving account. :)
TheRaven Avatar
Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/5/2019 2:31:00 PM
P.S., I hate that word too. But maybe appropriate in this instance. The message is still important..,their love will never be a casualty of any war. 'Romeo & Juliet of Sarajevo' will always have a special place in my heart because of this. -Richard
Date: 10/5/2019 5:11:00 AM
Pain and sufferings.. Humanity busy waging wars.. tearing each other apart.. spreading rancour and wrath in the name of "no Man's land"!.. Love that bright light of hope ever struggling to save Humanity from evil and greed claws.. always there would love stories.. souls who are bold enough to stand out against Hate.. I liked very much your work, Quoth.. So much pleased to read and save in my fave list.. Wonderful! Regards and blessings.
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/5/2019 2:02:00 PM
Dear Besma, Thank you, your words make it worth the telling. Oh it's a bit messy, no stylish airs. But perhaps..,better than leaving the page empty. May blessing come your way too. -Richard
Date: 10/5/2019 5:07:00 AM
So sad - I'm not sure where this is, but all war is horrible and leaves so many wounds and irreplaceable lost lives. Your poem is a dedication to many. God bless you always, Gina
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/5/2019 1:56:00 PM
Regina, The place is Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The time..long ago. 19 May 1993. Yes, this could be dedicated to many others anywhere in the wide world. Thanks for the comment. God bless you too. -Richard
Date: 10/5/2019 2:51:00 AM
I remember seeing it on the news Richard, so tragic. Tom
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Quoth TheRaven
Date: 10/5/2019 1:47:00 PM
Tom, Tragic indeed. Is it important for the generations that follow to know.., the sacrifices that were made? Maybe so. -Richard