Featured Writer Barbara Pogačnik: One Poem

Hours, Sailed Forth from the Cellar

L`heure qui pousse son troupeau
Mais on cherche ceux qui le gardent

.                               Pierre Reverdy

We polish a clock
like a drop in the sea,
and all the while it is falling back into the water.

The cats are worrying at socks & who’ll hide solitude.
Footprints around our sleepy fishing nets
are forming into clouds. A flock of hours sways by the jetty.

In the halo of pine resin new roads are emerging
shouting Schengen! Pages of history are buried below
the cats’ paws. Waters are posited according to new time.

How will we fall asleep with our throats opened to
a sea which is let into our dreams drop by drop?
Even so, we are building a palace out of dry bread.

My temporary home is a cling foil bandage
separating me from unhappiness. My home is a paper house
which is leafed through whenever someone stops breathing.

Everyone changes colour when brushed by love.
We are getting ready for a shift from pigeon greys.
A crash against the eyes, brimming coffees.

Someone is slotted into unhappiness like a filter into water.
You don’t know what to do: you struggle with letters
yanking them from the earth which is not yet – or no longer – yours.

And sometimes when the letters multiply
you no longer know what you are yanking for.

The drops have fallen into the sea.
Cats miaow in the middle of the path.

You have to stop a while & let dreams go.

-Barbara Pogačnik

translated from Slovenian by Ana Jelnikar and Stephen Watts


Ure, vzplule iz kleti

L`heure qui pousse son troupeau
Mais on cherche ceux qui le gardent
.                               -Pierre Reverdy

Loščiva uro
kot kapljo v morju,
in ves čas nama pada nazaj v vodo.

Mački cefrajo nogavice, kdo bo skril samoto.
Stopinje okoli najinih zaspanih ribiških mrež
se oblikujejo v oblake. Čreda ur se ziblje ob pomolu.

V soju borove smole vzidejo nove ceste
in vzklikajo Schengen! Listi zgodovine so pod
mačjimi šapami. Vode so postavljene na novih urah.

Kako bova zaspala z grli, obrnjenimi v morje,
ki ga po kapalki spuščajo v sanje?
Vseeno s suhim kruhom gradiva palačo.

Moj začasni dom je celofanski ovoj, ki me loči
od nesreče. Moj dom je papirnata hiša,
ki se lista, kadar kdo preneha dihati.

Vsakdo spreminja barve ob dotiku ljubezni.
Pripravljava se na prestop iz golobje plave.
Trk ob oči, zvrhane kave.

Nekdo je postavljen v nesrečo kot filter za vodo.
Ne veš, kaj bi: boriš se s črkami
in jih puliš iz zemlje, ki še ni ali ni več tvoja.

In včasih, ko se črke namnožijo,
ne veš več, za katero stvar se puliš.

Kaplje so padle v morje.
Mački mijavkajo sredi poti.

Obstati moraš za hip in izpuščati sanje.

-Barbara Pogačnik


‘Ure, vzplule iz kleti’ was originally published in Slovenian in Barbara Pogačnik’s second book of poems, ‘V množici izgubljeni papir by LUD Literatura in 2008. The English translation, ‘Hours, sallied forth from the cellar’, was first published in the anthology ‘In Unfriendly Weather: Four Slovenian Poets’ which included Slovenian poems accompanied by English translations (LUD Literatura, 2011). ‘Ure, vzplule iz kleti’ and the English translation, ‘Hours, sallied forth from the cellar’, have been republished in Rochford Street Review with the author’s permission.


Barbara Pogačnik photograph by Ivan Dobnik

Barbara Pogačnik. photograph by Ivan Dobnik

Barbara Pogačnik is a Slovenian poet, translator and literary critic who graduated from Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and completed her MA at the Sorbonne in Paris. She has published four books of poetry: Poplave (Inundations, 2007), V množici izgubljeni papir (Sheets of Paper Lost in the Crowd, 2008), Modrina hiše / The Blue of the House (2013) and Alica v deželi plaščev (Alice in the Land of Coats, 2016). Her first volume of poetry, Poplave (Mladinska knjiga, 2007), was nominated for the Best First Book Award and the Jenko Prize. Her poetry has been translated into twenty-eight languages with books of her selected poems translated into Romanian, French and Spanish. She has participated in more than fifty different festivals in at least twenty countries and has been a writer in residence at multiple international organizations in various countries. She has translated more than one hundred and fifty authors from French, English, Italian and Serbo-Croatian into Slovenian and from Slovenian into French.




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About Zalehah Turner

Zalehah Turner is a Sydney based poet, photographer, cultural journalist, and Associate Editor of Rochford Street Review (RSR). Zalehah regularly contributes articles and interviews on poetry, art, film, and new media for RSR and the UTS magazine, Vertigo. Zalehah’s poetry was projected onto the Federation Square Wall in Melbourne as part of the Overload Poetry Festivals, 2008 and 2009; exhibited at Mark and Remark ,107 Projects, Redfern in 2013; and displayed in Alice Springs and Moruya thanks to Australian Poetry Café poets, Laurie May and Janette Dadd respectively. Her poems have been published in Writing Laboratory (2013), Sotto (2013), Social Alternatives (2016), Vertigo (2016, 2017), UTS’s The Empathy Poems Project (2017) and Rochford Street Review (2017). She co-judged the New Shoots Poetry Prizes 2016 alongside, Tamryn Bennett, Artistic Director of The Red Room Company, and published the winning and highly commended poems. Zalehah is currently working on an intermedia poetry collection entitled, 'Critical condition', focused on the interstitial threshold between life and death in medical crises based on personal experience. Zalehah holds a BA in Communication with a major in writing and cultural studies from the University of Technology, Sydney where she continues to pursue pushing the boundaries of multimedia poetry in Honours (Communication- Creative Writing).

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