Rose Of Determination

Walking, talking, moving
Pierced face and eyes
An old woman, a girl
Physically drawn to her
She walked over to her
And gently touched her
That night
The room became alight
Nurses, doctors, family
Safe in a world
And in its originality
A vacant bed
Across the view of her face
Left an empty space
In a fragile heart
And the strength of a rose
Released a determination
Of self creation
That she made her own
She left
An empty space
Before the time
That she would die
Of the originality
Of a world she made her own
Made her feel better
For a time
She left an empty space
Across the view of her face
Before the time
That she would eventually die

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

The Desert Rose. Darwin, Australia

This is a poem that I wrote today as I remembered the time I was in hospital. I had an illness and I nearly died.

I was too young to understand this as a girl, and the impressions that stayed with me were the activity of people around me. I seemed to have absorbed the idea of death, and carried the impressions forth in my life and I eventually came to write this poem.

The poem ‘describes’, if such a word is adequate to use, the unspoken, spiritual relationship of an anonymous dying old woman sharing a hospital room with a girl who is fighting for her life. Two souls are joined as one.

When I write of ‘her’ I am referring to both the old woman and the girl, who is of course me. I was 13. When I refer to shelter and the ‘world she made her own’, this is the youth and innocence that protected me from knowing what was going on.

To this day I don’t know what happened to the woman. I presumed she died. I was deeply saddened by the old woman’s death and my potential fate. I didn’t know why it was happening, but it stayed within me subconsciously and I wasn’t able to comprehend it until I became an adult.

This is the audio of a prose that I wrote a while ago while I was living in Germany, related to this theme.

Now I’m in Darwin, Australia and my impressions are different again. The word ‘rose’ in each poem I wrote is used to mean the noun and verb of the word ‘rose’. For example, if you read the desert ‘rose’ as a verb, you will get a different meaning to the desert ‘rose’ as a noun. Both meanings are intertwined. The photo is of a desert flower found in the bush, not too far from where I live in Darwin. It is a symbol of strength and survival.

The Desert Rose

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.— Leo Rosten

A Winter Butterfly

Color my eye
of what I see
Make up, A woman
A power to see
To be

Butterfly Caught

Image via Wikipediof what I seeMake up, A womanA power to seeTo be

Existence and simplicity
To enable me to see
The intricate make up
of life
of love
I unconditionally see
Enables me
To simply be
Because, just because
On one fine day
I sprouted up high
Like a winter butterfly!

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

A poem dedicated to my friends in Europe who are coping with minus zero degrees and the deepest snow.  A poem about womanhood and how the power of being is made more so with the essence of style and grace.

Read my poem in German. Click here.

A Place For My Tentative Birth

Me looking out at Darwin Nightcliff beach

Rain arrived one night
Like plentiful ripples of rivers
Blessed with watered light
Of a trillion subtle droplets of mirrors
That marked the moon on the earth
And colors of sun gave immaculate  birth
To a dotted rainbow that filled the skies
Brought fire to water,
Turned darkness to day
As I watched the elements together at play
A cause to further explore
A question that calls for more
Is there water in the universe?
And is there a place for my tentative birth?

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.
— Anne Rice

A Work Of Intimate Art

The woman,
She looked in the mirror,
Saw herself and entered it
She painted herself
Every day

English: An intimate, quiet look at Dilnaz con...

Image via WikipediaShe looked in the mirror,Saw herself and entered itShe painted herselfShe painted herselpainted She Every day

She looked in the mirror
For confidence
Looked away,
Eliminating her face
For the sake of passionate grace

Foundation, A clear canvas
Like that of what I require to write
Blemishes and scars
Are camouflaged
Like that of the journey I ignite
Eyebrows and lips
Stayed on her face
They left their mark
With the other bits
Left for last
A portrait done
Hair out, not in a bun
It is how she starts her day
Every day
And at the end
The moon is soft from afar
And from the nearest distance
It is glowing hard
She turned to dance
In it
From the nearest distance
Of it
Stole a glimpse in it
With uncertainty
Of it
And saw a piece of art
Oh how she danced!
She entered it
She made space for everyone
And she looked up
With caution filling the glare
As hard as the beam that danced the dream
And as soft as the moon from afar
The woman
She looked at it
Saw herself and entered it
Moulded by the liquids of the glass
She became a work of intimate art

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

I See A Poem

I see a poem 
A piece of art work,
In design
A material
To serve a way
of life
A way of seeing,
To nurture a role
That of the hand
Connected to the mind
To stimulate imagination
Inside and outside integration
Giving an awe of light,
Temperature and air inside

Hand technology,
Empowering control
Hand, body, mind
Reaching the spirit
A light
Apart from the body
I bear,
The role of the hand
The evolution of
Care and quality
Stimulate the mind,
And curiosity,
With a sense of wonder,
of simple patterned,
Fine detail
I see a poem
Free of obstacles,
Power and direct control
Empowering the mind,
To reach unknown potential

By Maria Grujicic

Listen to the poem:

This poem is dedicated to my good friend Kathy Meyer.


A place, a scene,
I didn’t expect to be
I found something,
I left
And what remained
was a dream

I dreamed
And I floated
With my conscious Mind
My body,
I didn’t feel,
And I walked
With friendship
By my side
A Bond
Connected the bits
It was friendship,
Happy and free
I found this
to be
My dream
My past, present, and future
A distant dream
And the what I call reality
A distant dream
I create,
To shield my heart
I create a shell
of luminosity
for all to see
Clothes to bare,

They pull my skin
Together again
And create gravity
That bolts my body
In place
In a scene,
I didn’t expect to be

By Maria Grujicic

Listen to the poem.

A poem, a dance dedicated to my close friends Gala & Lena. A friendship, a place, a dream to be ‘In’. Danke xx

Tribal Hair & Makeup

English: Tribal fusion dance with Balkys at re...

Image via Wikipedia

Tribal fusion dance is more than a set of movements pulled together to make a choreography.

It’s about character, joining personalities to create a self expressive art, and ultimately a performance. My dance teacher, Gala nurtures every dancer, and helps them develop their look, their grace, their style. Ultimately creating a bond so great between the dancers that is hard to ever break. They are tied. Each very different and together they are one.

This is why I’ve developed such a bond with my dance teacher and the dancers that I never thought possible. And now that I have to leave the group from Frankfurt, Germany to return home to Australia, I am more than saddened. I am like a child about to be separated from the sacred womb of a mother.

I never thought possible that any friendship of this kind could exist. Gala places emphasis on every dancer in the group, and treats everyone as special. She spent a lot of time talking to me about my life goals, the way I project my look, and involved me in the choreography.

I’ve studied and continue to study the tribal fusion philosophy and how the concept evolved. This has helped me understand womanhood, and the evolutionary triumphs and struggles placed along side it.

Tribal style bellydance movement began in 1967 in San Francisco. It was founded by Jamila Salimpour who taught Mashor Archer, a feminist visionary to remove sexist stigma on Bellydancing. Through my search for the place of my cultural roots, I was drawn to the tribal style because the more ethnic and folklore look of the dance and costumes fulfilled my identity. My dance classes are a place to find and be my true self, and I feel accepted and free. So far my favorite tribal styles are Tribal Fusion and American Tribal.

American Tribal Style Dance, also abbreviated as ATS is like tribal bellydance, but features a specialized type of group formation and an improvised, lead-and-follow cueing between the dancers. I have just started learning to do this dance, and I find it graceful, flowing and becoming.

Tribal fusion belly dance is a modern form of belly dance, and it is the style I find the most interesting. It evolved from American tribal style belly dance. It blends elements of ATS with any other style of dance such as hip-hop, breakdance, cabaret bellydance, and more traditional forms, flamenco, kathak, bhangra and other folklore dance styles.

This makes me wonder about the possibilities of mixing the styles of dance that make up my cultural roots and those of which I’ve experienced, such as Greek dance styles, Serbian and Manchegas from Albacete.

The costuming is very similar to other styles of tribal dance. Though tribal fusion mixes authentic belly dance movements with elements from other dance genres. In addition, the music for tribal fusion is often very modern or eclectic. I can only imagine the possibilities that can be created, and this makes for a very interesting process of discovery, creativity and ultimately a performance.

I adore the layered look of tribal bellydancing. The beautiful, often quite covered up look, with heavy fabrics and extensive yardage in the skirts, harem-pants and tops, for me create the romantic look that goes with my personality.

Fabrics tend to be opaque and natural, such as cottons and rayons. Choli tops and other blouse/vest combinations are worn alone or layered with decorated bra tops. Ethnic jewelry, tassels, turbans, and tattoos can also be used extensively.

As a girl I didn’t learn a lot about make up and I’m not sure why. I tried to apply it, but I managed it all wrong. Growing up, I lacked a lot of confidence applying make up because I was worried of what others thought. I loved to put make up on, and abundantly so, but I had the courage to do it only when I went out dancing.

I lacked consistency in my application to makeup and my insecurity showed in my face. Tribal bellydance make-up may be heavy and exotic with facial tattoos and ethnic hairstyles created with braids and hair extensions. I love this because the look is very liberating and celebrates womanhood and femininity, creating a look of  authentic ‘woman power’.

It gives me confidence that I can also use in my daily life. It is through dance that I’ve found a voice, and a way to express my thoughts, and ultimately defining them to find and develop who I am.

Are you a member of a tribal dance group? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comment box below.

Thank you for reading.
Maria Grujicic (Malena)