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  • Writer's pictureMarielle Velander

A TRAVEL POETRY LOG OF SUMMER IN CROATIA

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

In 2019 I desperately wanted to extend my summer. So after my summer vacation in Sweden in August, I worked remotely from Croatia for two weeks. Fun fact about me: I express myself most easily through poetry. During my trip there, as a break from working on tiring reports, I recorded my travel adventures in prose poetry form. Here is a peek into my brain as I journey across this beautiful land.


When: Sept 7 at 22:30

Where: 4 Kantuna, Zadar, Croatia


The cracks in the walls hid shadows, carrying long-lost words rising from the diners below. The garden polished, plants contained, amid the tables so steadily laden with fresh plates. The cosmopolitan atmosphere, combining languages and music so borderless in their recognition that they made the days flow together, denied the unique history of its looming facade. What years of love, laughter, hysteria, and heartbreak hid within these neighboring walls, over the times since these cracks had first formed?



When: Sept 8 at 21:30

Where: Kanoba Skoblar, Zadar


Each wave moved her kindergarten eyes, the long lashes fluttering like butterflies over the blue-green-gray-yellows of a world passing by. Her eagerness welled up inside of her, and escaped in a stream of words once foreign to her. Meanings translated become connections to the wider world, to a new friend to which she tenderly stretches out her hand - a hand that will hold and let go of so many over her life. A hand not all too dissimilar from that of the old man who steered his boat around northern shores, and now follows his loneliness inland, into southeastern lore.



When: Sep 11 at 14:00

Where: Bus Zadar to Split


The monster still hisses at my tortured gut, the lengthy price to pay for the reckless haze of a Monday night escape. It started as planned, my intention caught on the wind as I looked at the sky expectantly, rushing towards the sunset as waves rush to the shore. At nightfall, flavorful wine on my lips and the taste of fig and lamb still lingering on my breath, I accept the bold offer of my fate and take a seat among boys. Questions and words and laughter rise and fall like the cadence of our youthful desires. We are always testing our own boundaries. My innards first rebel already amid the gardens where the electronic music beat to our hearts. But experience has given me tact. We wander along the sea, my memory a blur until we sit amid a light show, like nightly warning signs from the sun, as we wait for a whisper of a wave to make the stones sing at our feet. We like to think we are musicians, when we are actually instruments. The hours flow into taxi rides and camping grounds. As the sun rises, and I expose my deepest fears, we stagger over pebbles, into a world painted in pastels. The water feels like the wine we drank. Summertime, it was called.



When: Sept 13 at 20:00

Where: Stina Wine Cellar, Bol, Brač, Croatia


The near-full moon slid like a silver coin on a mirror over the indigo sky. The waves, of transparent clarity, hushed upon the pebbly ground, and folk tunes surged from catamarans bobbing off the coast. She could feel the force of the molten earth rising up - the birth of the moon’s face on her part of the world signifying more than just tides turning over volcanic stone. Love grew like a reed inside of her. The music to come already beat in her bones, she didn’t need her headphones. The rhythm of the waves, the melody to the songs she sang with German and Belgian blondes, the boyish dancing of eager young men - this corner of experience was arriving at a deeper maturity, a swan song. Each name of a new person or place glittered like a gem stone in her mind, as she awaited the calling of crystals. So many fears left behind, in the alleyways of impatience around the Diocletian palace, or in vain.



When: Sept 15 at 11:00

Where: Ferry Hvar - Split, Croatia


I am forever chasing the rise and fall of daylight, addicted to the sense of time passing by. I find thrill in the sense of a great earth turning under my suddenly tireless feet. As the horizon softens into dawn, or dusk, I am drawn into the promise of my presence. Each swiftly fading color is a reflection of a moment in my life, of so many lives, the words that aren't marked in stone.



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