Child of the Revolution, Adult of the Resolution

This poem was prompted by seeing a remarkably well-dressed man rooting through the bins of Rača, the district of Bratislava where I live. It’s not uplifting, but I never claimed this blog would just focus on the positive side of life in Slovakia. Hopefully a focus on some of the negative things (and the number of people I see rooting through rubbish on a daily basis in Bratislava is actually quite shocking for a European country) can help those negatives, in time, to become positives…


You walk down the street, and it’s straight – without end,

And the breeze blocks and smokestacks do not relent,

And abysmal spectral faces spectate

And you’re spent – so sick and so tired and spent.


The angles stab you, the sad fog grabs you,

All-day casino bars shriek from the pavement,

Tannoys play Patrioticheskaya,

And you wonder what the words could have meant.


And you’re not in the motherland anymore –

You’re in a land of your own – of cement,

You can’t see the future for the travesty,

Nor all those nice woods for the barbed-wire fence


And the ones that taught you: where are they now?

They sold you or bought you and told you: relent.

And the new generation: where did they go?

All the way down to get stoned in the basement.


Na prenájom, všetko na predaj*

Is all you see from the cracks in the pavement

Or maybe the smoke as it rises from ashes

From the sixth-floor window of your tenement.


And the tram trawls by but it’s gone – you’re too late,

And the bar is warm and convenient,

The brandy fires you, the ice-cold wires you,

Thus you see; clearly; life – and where it went.


For rent, everything for sale

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