Who says there are no ghosts?
Six hundred years ago the Serbs lost Kosovo –
were ousted from their homes and homeland, having lost
a battle with the Turks.  And spirits (memories?)
of warriors slain still wreak their bleak revenge today.

Since 1389,
a hatred deep within the wounded Serbian soul
has smoldered –  nurtured, stoked by generations – sons
receiving burning coals that seared their patriots’ pride
from fathers passing on the torch of that grim day.

And now the  embers flare
with vicious pent-up force – unleash atrocities –
of pillage, murder, rape – from Serbs with deep-felt hate
to strike descendant sons of ancient muslim foes,
destroying all they see, six hundred years too late.

“God is on our side,"
they say, with perfect faith. “Those people worship God
in ways unlike our own. They must be wrong, and God
will surely thank us now for cleansing earth of those
He hates."   The smiling ghost of Prince Lazar agrees.

The embers now are real,
from cities set aflame through vengeance, pride, and rage.
But in that smoldering ash lie bitter seeds from which
new ghosts will spring to keep alive the vicious hate
to burn within new souls, till vengeance breaks their chains.

The troubles in the area go back to 1389, when the province was the site of the Battle of Kosovo Polje. A Christian army of Serbs, Bosnians, Bulgars, Albanians, Vlachs, Poles and Hungarians united under Serbian Prince Lazar to check further expansion by the Muslim Ottoman Turks. They fought the army of Sultan Murad I -- and lost. The battle marked an end of the independent Kingdom of Serbia. The Turks took control.

- Jim Garamone - American Forces Press Service

Written June 1999 by David L Brungart - © Copyright