But know what it is in your mind
This is the key to unleashing
the wretched disguise of patterns
in daily life
I write and keep writing
This is what will remain of me
after I die
With a set of clues
Only to anonymous eyes
I place my soul in my own heart
& I will always have you
When I feel the rays of the abundant stars
Your words will always live in my head
Your body and mine will always be
This is the love I have
for an anonymous star
By Maria Grujicic Copyright 2012
I’d like to introduce you to a Serbian singer named Toma Zdravkovic. An unknown, Toma Zdravkovic started singing in a pub. You know the kind, a smoky room full of people, entertaining them while they drink, smoke, chat, laugh.
Memories of The Last King of The Pubs
He was inspired by women, alcohol… He grew up in a very poor village and started singing ay 15 years old. Because of poor and bad life he decided to go and move to a town close to his village. Frozen on the street he came across a female singer, Silavana Armelvic who took him to a pub close by the street. Afterwards he went to a town called Tuzla and he spent 5 years in one hotel making the party room full every night.
Afterwards a friend brought him to Belgrade and he got a job. He met his first wife in Novi Sad and he had one daughter. He got a divorce. His first love sent him a telegram in a hotel in Novi Sad that she was very sick in Bosnia. He decided to spend time with her up to her death. After that he wrote a song called Buket Belih Ruza, in English Bouquet of White Roses…..
He had cancer and the doctors told him he had only a few years to live. After I learned of him, the words of his life touched me so deeply, a sadness crept up on me. Why didn’t I know of him sooner? Why didn’t I experience his magic? But a reply in my conscience realized his soul lived on by the words he left behind. The video alone one can view and sense the atmosphere that radiated through his charisma, his voice was like a touch that said all will be all right if we can live this remaining life together.
Toma Zdravkovic said in an interview that the pub was the place for his performances because it was like a theatre. A unison of famous people joined with him at this pub, entertaining. Watch them in the video. He was an unknown, an anonymous star, he touched their soul, and he expected nothing more from that but another night of the same.
At the end of the night after everyone left he found some unknown to give all his earnings to. Incredibly it took him 15 years to produce his album. 15 years battling cancer, and other challenges life brings, he wrote all his own songs. He felt humiliated performing at first, he was laughed at in his first performance because he was so shy. About 5 per cent of the world population knew about him, people in a pub who loved him. He carried on and after 15 years he produced his album and he was on TV, and shortly afterwards he died of the cancer that he battled up to that point. I was further touched to find out that he had cancer of the throat.
I dedicate this poem to Toma Zdravkovic. The man I never met but touched my soul. His story alone, his music, his stance, the emotion in his eyes that he pulls away, seemingly hidden away, touching souls by his voice, his music. My poems are designed to touch a soul, to reach the unknown, not to reveal the mystery of life, rather, be immersed in it. At times I give up. I had a spell of not writing for months, but after some soul-searching with Toma Zdravkovic I was presented by an answer.
There are those that battle to be rich and famous, and those that battle each day just to do what we love. Give me a chance of another life again and again, and I’d choose to pursue my passion.
The story is based on word of mouth because I don’t understand the Serbian to interpret his interview. If some details aren’t correct or if you have more information about Toma Zdravkovic please let me know. The poem is part of my new poetry book titled, Poems That Touch The Soul.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. Anaïs Nin
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