Ellie Ruby was inspired by the town of Srebrenica during her time there with TCFT. She shares four of her poems about the beautiful town.
You roamed around and barked conspiratorially at the water
And when you turned we saw your eyes:
Different, and defunct, we wrongly assumed
But you saw as clearly as the river in your wake.
Walking through the dusk it dawned upon my friend
That this creature was like its land:
Two different yet platonic things housed in the same vessel
A Church and a Mosque standing side by side in a valley.
I’ve heard Srebrenica described as a damaged place.
Yet at its head healing water flows, unbridled by its body of history.
An apex full of hope.
Spring seasons land with health and hope
In a town wintered in itself
A font of life ripples,
Rooted in the earth, yet moving us forward.
Enamel rain from a weeping sky
Splintered in the bones of the land
Incongruous; things begetting things.
Painstakingly collected, arranged as the last vestige of love
Graves are just a nudge in that direction,
Where ends meet; the rest of everything.
There is a fountain in Potocari.
Its angles are such that water seems to fall more slowly in places
Time does similar things - distorts at its peripheral lines
Srebrenica eludes this.
No sleight of hand can change the square feet
Where we pay our respects.
Rooms are the places
Where memories manifest,
Marking spaces between the spaces outside.
Strange that stone stands still
As life hurtles like wind through the bones of a building
Dwellings are where you dwell on things,
Keep them in boxes and hide them away.
Here those walls are broken –
Nature pours in through entrances, which were not made to be entered.
Riddled with holes, echoing buildings resonate allegories:
There is so much life in Srebrenica.
It’s a place of beauty,
We should let this take root in ourselves
Ever-blossoming as we are borne back into the world.