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,

Undulating, oscillating

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,

Of neighbourliness,

Of trust.


We should let this take root in ourselves

Ever-blossoming as we are borne back into the world.