Going Home
i - Looking Back

A Poem by Alma A. Hromic


Sometimes the wind touches me
with familiar fingers,

I stand on the shore of an ocean.

The place where I was born was once a sea,
so they say.
There is sand and rich black composted loam
on the flat fertile plains now red and gold
with poppies and wheat,
soil which sometimes throws fossils of shells
at the plough-follower's feet.

I stand on the shore
of a different ocean.

This is a foreign land.
Its people's souls are strange and hide
behind dark Polynesian eyes.

And yet we were all sailors together,
all leaving some old shore for new —
navigating by wind and star
waiting for a sign
that land was Becoming,
drawing itself into shape from the line
of the horizon
where sky met sea.
Eyes on the edge of the world
until the mysterious became
familiar —
a piece of driftwood floating by,
a gull's cry,
some strange shore emerging
from beyond veils of cloud.

Feet step onto the unimaginable
grown solid
grown real;
toes curl in alien sand.
Step forward – claim
the undiscovered land,
looking forward.

And yet —
it is achingly not, can never be,
the place that was left behind.

Arriving, you leave the boats
on an alien strand
and turn to look
at the empty sea you have crossed,
and distant, familiar voices whisper
insistently in your mind
about the home that is lost —
always remembering,
always looking back.


[Ed. Note: This is the first part of a 10-part poem that we will publish in its entirety over the next few renditions. Next »]

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Alma Hromic, the author with R. A. Deckert of Letters from the Fire, was born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia. However she has lived outside her native country for much of her life: Zambia, Swaziland, South Africa, the UK and New Zealand. Trained as a microbiologist, she spent some years running a scientific journal, and later worked as an editor for an international educational publisher. Her own publishing record includes her autobiography, Houses in Africa, The Dolphin's Daughter and Other Stories, a bestselling book of three fables published by Longman UK in 1995, as well as numerous pieces of short fiction and non-fiction. Her last novel, the first volume of a fantasy series, Changer of Days: The Oracle, was published in September 2001 by Harper Collins. Last January, Hromic won the much coveted BBC online short story competition. Her story, The Painting, was broadcast in the UK in the last week of January 2001.

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This Week's Internal Links

The United States v. Democracy - by Stephen Gowans

The Wrong Stuff - by Deck Deckert

The Hand Of God - by Alma Hromic

Of Rice And Men: The Mistaken Promise Of Genomics - by Jan Baughman

Self Interest - by Milo Clark

Israel - by Milo Clark

Massacre Or Not? It Depends On Which Side Of Washington's Ledger You're On - by Stephen Gowans

Blackmailing Palestinians: Plucked, Cooked, Baked And Packaged - by Gilles d'Aymery

Going Home: ii - Taking Flight - Poem by Alma Hromic

Dollars for Terror - Book Review by Milo Clark

Blighted National Priorities - Book Review by Milo Clark


Alma Hromic on Swans

Essays published in 2002 | 2001

On the Anniversary (September 2000)

Subject: Into Myth (September 2000)

Sadness in Novi Sad, Serbia (April 2000)


Published May 6, 2002
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