Vjera Vitošević (Montenegro)

A Monster

A monster slumbers in man,
deep within him
like rancid fear.
A monster slumbers in man.

Head of a lamb,
stumpy legs, wolf’s paws
and a tail
that can snap like lightning.
A monster slumbers in man.

It lies twisted in sleep
devoid of courage,
in a rotting carapace.
A monster slumbers in man.

The days and nights
on this trodden Earth
have scarred faces
in which one can see
that a monster slumbers in man.


Vjera Vitošević

Translated from the Serbian
by Herbert Kuhner and the author


The question that has to be asked
is whether those dedicated to a good cause
are as dedicated
as those who are dedicated to an evil cause.

Your heart should be in the right place –
the same goes for your mind.

Idealists always dream of a better world,
but their dreams usually come to naught –
and the world invariably gets worse.

There’s not a bad side
and a good side.
There’s a worse side
and a better side.

Inhumanity seldom leads to humanity
but invariably to more inhumanity.

Regretfully those who are oppressed
often end up emulating their oppressors.


Herbert Kuhner

Our Business

Murder is our business.
And what we do,
we do well.
We’re professionals
who are dedicated,
to our profession,
but meting out death
is more than a profession,
it is a true vocation.

Blood is the bond
that binds us,
and nothing binds
like spilt blood.

True brotherhood stems
from shared guilt,
and our guilt
is so pure and unadulterated
that it is virtuous.

We adhere
to a scorched earth policy.
We kill every living thing
we find in our path,
whether it be man, beast or plant –
sparing none and showing no mercy.
(Mercy is a word we seldom use
and when we do,
it’s uttered mockingly
and with disdain.)

Our cruelty
knows no bounds
and is so extreme
that it is creative.

The only way to stop us
is to use our methods against us.
Murderers can only be prevented
from murdering by murderers.
And those who try to kill us,
might die themselves in the process.

Grinders establish a bond.
when they bind.

We’ve Got to Get Them

We’ve got to get them
before they get us.
And we know
they’re out to get us.

We’ve got to get them,
even if it means
getting them
before they’re born.

We’ve got to get them
before they have a chance
to grow up
and get us.

Sometimes you have to behave
like a barbarian
in order to prevent others
from behaving like barbarians.

The Great War

World War I
is referred to as the Great War.
World War II should be referred to
as the Greater War.
Is the “Greatest” one coming?