Ninth Poetry Podcast Show on The Quirks of Travel

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and reflections.

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and reflections.

Hello with another welcome back! I’ve developed a habit of recording my podcasts on Sundays with Mondays to enjoy my day off.

Travel prompted me to make some changes in my life and the biggest was lifestyle. The shops and other services such as medical services are in the neighbourhood. I wouldn’t need to leave at all if it wasn’t for traveling out to work.

Before I relocated to Albacete, Spain I couldn’t find anything about the city on the Internet. What I heard about the city was not positive, but I moved there anyway. There were many conveniences about living in Albacete, including how easy it was to get around. I didn’t need a train or bus, and rode my bike everywhere.

On this Podcast Show, I talk about making friends from different places. I made an unconscious choice to make friends for who they are, not because of where they’re from. So, in Europe I heard people refer to their friends, for example, Ana from Italy, Raquel from Spain and so on.

Interestingly, I met more people out of  UK than in UK. So where were they hiding?

After moving from the UK and other places, I could bond with different people more easily. Traveling also helped me with my Geography. My favourite country as a girl was Japan, and I loved to trace and colour it again and again. The shape made my imagination wonder about what it might have been like there. Of course, just recently I visited Japan.

Madrid was a place that never slept. I always had a good time going out in Madrid, and I especially enjoyed the places that I discovered from word of mouth. I will always remember the churros place, where we regrouped, got our energy back and went to another disco.

Listen to the Podcast Show for more, including travel tips, poetry reading and reflections.

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Eighth Poetry Show on Children’s Stories & Poems

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

On my eighth podcast poetry show I reflect on how I was inspired to write through my work with children. I give ideas for parents and teachers on how to use my poems to educate their children on different topics.

Do an artist study on Hunderwasser, learn about the Magic E to help with spelling, and learn about self-concept through songs and drama. Some of the poems can be sung at bed time too!

I talk about the inspiration for my book, ‘One Little Caterpillar’ and how I used it to teach concepts in English. Each time I read the story to the children, it captures their attention straight away. They’re expecting to see caterpillars but they see hands. Once all the caterpillars hatch, they crawl all over the children’s body to find a leaf, and we say ‘Ewwwww!’ to shoo them away. In a sense, we are the trees.

The simple lyrics tell a longer story through the pictures which are transformed into actions. The actions use hands, body and it can be acted out as a group, much like a play.

Another story that is also a play is called ‘Colour My Ball.’ It has blank pages so that the children can draw their own illustrations. The book is about a group of friends who enter a mirror. I got the idea for the poem when I was mixing play dough colours with the children at the school I was working at. We were also mixing paints and creating our own mask, reflecting our feelings.

I also watched a dance class of children who were doing dance improvisation and playing with props. And as I was taking the photos, I was creating the story and choreography.

The illustrations don’t show the full potential of the ideas I have in my head. I haven’t written these anywhere, though I’d like to develop it into a dance musical some day.

I also created my own poems to teach skills such as spelling. This next poem is called ‘Magic E’. It teaches about how the vowel changes its sound when an ‘e’ is added at the end. For example, ‘rid’ turns to ‘ride’. As the poem is read, it gives examples of different words and tells a fun simple story.

Many of my poems are about developing self-concept. Who you are, what you look like, how you feel and so on. These help children develop their own self-confidence and feelings which in turn help them identify in the feeling of others and empathize. Being egocentric helps them keep safe and learn to take care of themselves.

I sing a poem called, ‘Little Mirror’. Listen to it at the 11.30 minute mark of the audio. The poem is about looking at your own reflection as you discover how to stand tall, and what your laugh looks like, and so on, as you develop confidence.

The poem ‘Yellow Shadow’ is about a guardian angel or a spirit that follows you, much like your own shadow. The yellow shadow looks after you. It’s also a symbol of protection from the dark.

Sometimes children might feel scared at night at bedtime. They need a little light, not too much to keep them awake, but just enough so that they can feel at ease. And also the yellow shadow is a symbol of confidence, a spark that gives confidence. Listen to it at the 15.20 minute mark of the audio.

Truth: As I create these Poetry Podcast Shows I have in the back of my mind the hope that my family will some day listen to them. I haven’t had the chance to sit down and chat to them about everything I’ve experienced. I also hope that if some day I’m gone, that my family, especially my nephews and nieces will have a place to listen to Auntie.

Listen to the full audio here for more poems and stories about how I was inspired to write with children.

If you find value in my Podcast Poetry Show, please sign into itunes and rate it. I would very much appreciate it. Thanks for visiting!

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Sixth Poetry Show Music Learning Abroad & Giving Back to Your Community

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

Stories about life, love and travel that inspired the poet to write. Listen to poetry readings and responses.

Learn about how to be part of the community in your adopted city abroad. Be inspired to learn a musical instrument and give back to your home city.

We start the show with a poem ‘From Behind’ accompanied by music. I adapt her poetry and creates lyrics. There are some trialed and failed attempts at traveling abroad. I believe that all experiences are valuable. You can find out more on my sister blog, Traveliterature.

In Spain I started singing lessons at an academy and later at a community centre. I believe that this is the best way to start a musical instrument because you develop an ear for music.

On my Sixth Podcast Poetry Show, listen to a special song from my guitar teacher in Spain. It was recorded on my trusty cassette recorder back in the days- do you remember using one of those small cassettes?

It’s such a beautiful souvenir of my experience there and after going onto Germany, I didn’t find an experience like it. So I didn’t play guitar after that. I still have my guitar and play the songs I learned on my own. It’s wonderful because I can look back on those experiences and it makes me feel good.

Have you ever learned a musical instrument abroad? What was it like? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

So the most precious aspect about traveling abroad is giving back to your community. Learning through such cultural experiences is priceless. Money can’t buy the sensations abroad and it gives me great pleasure to share these with you. Listen to my Podcast audio for more!

I’m also happy to announce that you can now access my Podcast Poetry Shows plus books on iTunes.

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Copyright © Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Garden of Six Principles of Poetry

Soon I will be in Japan! I look forward to the sensations and inspiration travel brings. Since I was a girl, I was curious about Japan, mainly because of the shape of the country, and the small islands.

I usually research my destinations before I travel. Not only does it help me plan, but I have some background knowledge to help understand the people and culture. Learning all that I can is important to me because I will know what to say and do. Although, I reserve all expectations!

I found out that in Tokyo there is a garden called Rikugien, which means Garden of the Six Principles of Waka , meaning ‘Japanese Poem’. Waka is a type of poetry in Japanese Literature which has six elements.

The most widely-composed type of Waka throughout history is Tanka. After googling it, I found this definition:

‘The Tanka poem is very similar to haiku but Tanka poems have more syllables and it uses simile, metaphor and personification. There are five lines in a Tanka poem.

Tanka poems are written about nature, seasons, love, sadness and other strong emotions. This form of poetry dates back almost 1200 years ago.‘ An example can be found here.

Furthermore, I was interested to read about the ‘poetic culture’.

In ancient times, it was a custom between two writers to exchange waka instead of letters in prose. In particular, it was common between lovers. Reflecting this custom, five of the twenty volumes of the Kokin Wakashū gathered waka for love.

In the Heian period the lovers would exchange waka in the morning when lovers met at the woman’s home. Read more on Wiki here.

The park was built between 1695 and 1702 with permission by the fifth shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty of Japan. After his death, the park was neglected and was restored again in 1878. According to what I read, it’s a place of ‘scenic beauty’.

I would like to take some time to enjoy the gardens, and perhaps sense the poetry of the place.

I read that there are a number of dramatic bridges and a leaf viewing forest in the garden, one of which was inspired by a Waka poem..

‘One if the bridges, Togetsukyo was inspired by a Waka poem about the moon moving across the sky as a crane cries in a nearby rice paddy.

The bridge is made up of two large stone slabs that are laid parallel to each other. Read more on the tour here.’

Before my research on the garden, it was unclear whether it was built based on the forms of waka or if the garden influenced the forms of poetry. I read on to find out that famous waka poems were the source of much of the design of the garden’s landscapes and features. It’s incredible to know that poetry can be the source for recreating such beauty.

It seems that Japan is a great source of inspiration for writers! I may also go on a day trip to Kamakura, a city that a writer friend recommended.

I’m told that it attracted a huge number of writers and Japanese creatives in the past, and that many literary figures have made it their home.

My friend tells me there are hills, forests, temples, shrines and beach. It’s also close to a small island, sitting off the main coastline, Enoshima, connected by a short bridge. I will also go to Horishima, and spend one night there. It’s terrifying to read about World War II and the atom bombing (1939–1945). To read more click here.

There was once a garden on the Berger Strasse, a street in Frankfurt where I once lived, which was an inspiration for my poetry. It was when I started to write and publish so abundantly. The words flowed so freely and easily. There was no right or wrong, no rules, just enjoying the surroundings as I wrote. Much like a witness to beauty, with a camera to take photos. As I took the photos, it felt like I was seeing for the first time, like I was focusing in more on the details, enhancing the beauty of the object.

Looking back, I think that the contract between the walk there, the shops, cafes, and people, and the tranquility of the garden, was what moved me to write.

Upon my return from my trip to Japan, I might post some photos of my travels.

Have you been to Japan? As always, I look forward to your comments.

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Copyright © Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Protools Audio Experimentation ‘A Picture of Art’

Every Saturday I wake up fresh and ready to go. No messing about for me- the weekends are for catching up on all the creative stuff I was craving to do during the week.

With one goal on my mind, I started sifting through the housework before relaxing. Planning is the key- the shops are closed on Sundays! So I walked out the door only to find no shops!

‘Why?’ I thought. And with not that many people about, I remembered it was a public holiday.

Luckily I had some food stocked up and lots of tea. A weekend in my PJs and audio equipment- A dream! One of the best investments towards my happiness is my Protools Express. I was planning to do an audio spoken word of my freshly published book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces‘, but instead, I worked on a song I abandoned 7 months ago.

I was frustrated at myself for not being able to reach the top notes, and my voice kept going higher and higher. It’s hard to sing in my apartment because I’m self-conscious about the neighbours. They can hear me when I sneeze- the other day they called out ‘bless you’.

‘I will get more singing lessons to find my voice,’ I told myself, not to get frustrated again. I might attribute teaching music to having more success this time round, and a new strategy of mixing spoken word with singing. Plus a lot of patience and tea breaks!

This is an experimental version of the audio I will finally produce later on. If you can spare a few minutes, I would very much appreciate some feedback? Any comments would be helpful.

The song has special meaning because I created it when I was having a tough period in my life. I guess I was trying to restore my faith in friendship after getting badly hurt by a close friend. This rarely happens to me, so it was quite a shock. I held onto the love I had for my husband to help me. The song is dedicated to him with a story he and I share.

The song is an old poem that I revamped and made it longer. Working on it kept my mind off things and gave me some purpose, at a time when I felt worthless.

compliment a poetI love creating and in fact, my life turned around when I got a job where I can be creative. It’s only temporary though and I’m making the most of it while it lasts. But one never knows what might bloom from it- right?

Did you listen to the song until the end? There’s a snippet of a poem that I’m going to make longer later on.

Can’t wait to create more audios. Thanks for visiting and hope you enjoyed another one of my posts!

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Copyright © Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The revamped poem ‘Picture of Art’ is featured in my latest book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces‘.

Blogger’s Block and Chit-Chat on Writing

I’m not sure why but lately I have blogger’s block. I’ve tried writing on my blog a few times but can’t. Today I’m trying a new strategy and I’m writing word after word as it comes to mind. Hopefully I’ll snap out of it and will find my voice again! I now need to regroup and think again about what writing a blog post is all about. I need to stop listening to  too much advice.

“I don’t like reading blog posts without a meaningful content,” a friend once said.

‘Ooomf,’ I thought. ‘I write just about anything that comes to mind on my blog. Should I step up the quality? Quantity?’

Ooh! There I go again… deleting words, doubting myself. Time to now regroup – writing a blog post is not like writing an article. At least, I don’t think it is. The difference? Before I start my blog post, I make a mental plan of what I want to write but not a structure. Sometimes my blog post goes in a very different direction to anything I ever thought I’d write. This is exciting because I find myself exploring my inner thoughts, and using my writer’s voice.

Blogging is a way to reach out to like-minded people, much like small chit-chat (it has to start somewhere) and form a connection from there.

Blogging also gives me the discipline not to edit until the end. It’s practice for my published work. I’ve written draft poems on my blog and have looked back on them thinking… ‘That poem looks totally different now!’ Today was such an example.

I spent a lot of time thinking about which project to tackle first. I’m overwhelmed. I look forward to the weekend to be creative and then get stuck. Oh boy, I had to start somewhere. So after doing some jobs around my place, I settled into writing a few poems, which got me thinking…

I used to share a lot more of my poems than I do now. I guess I’d like to reserve some privacy for myself. I also like to look back on them and edit some more. I spent some time looking up archaic words. These are some of my favourite:

alack = expression of sorrow or regret
baisemain= kiss on the hand
whosoever= everyone who
avaunt= away/ hence
fain= happy, inclined
hark= pay close attention
soothly= in truth
Fervent = glowing
Love apple = tomato
’tis = it is
’twas = it was
verily= truly, certainly
watchful = wakeful
wise= a manner, way or extent
without= outside

You can find more here.

Poetry sounds more elegant, dramatic, and more beautiful using archaic words. But of course one needs to be careful to use the correct grammar. I sometimes use the more commonly known archaic words and often search for new meanings in the dictionary. I also invent words like the title of my blog.. unless it’s already been ‘invented’? I also use the grammar of my mother tongue, Greek. This is because I sense it more. Hence, I grew up with it. It just occurred to me that this could be why I appreciate the beauty of the English language.

English, is like the Mona Lisa. It has been admired and used by so many and for so long that we forget how beautiful it is. I do think the old English is more beautiful, but one could refer to modern English as a reminder.

Word study helps me create the exact picture of what I want to express.

As mentioned before, I’ve stopped sharing my poetry on the site as much as I did before. I need to dig deeper to answer the question why. Are my poems more personal now? Have I been hurt too much and have avoided giving my poems away? Am I more sensitive to ridicule more as I get older?

I have, however, always published my poems and have a collection of books now. I figure that if anyone truly enjoys my work, they would buy a copy. Not that I own all the copies of my books. I’ve learned not to parade the ones I have, because on past occasions I didn’t have the heart to say ‘no’ when people asked for them. So in a sense, I’m now reserving my worth and integrity. I’ve compiled a set of poetry excerpts that give a sample of my work.

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If you’re interested, look on my Twitter or Facebook Page as I upload more.

I’ve also included poetry excerpts in my book, The Hidden Beauty of Darwin, Australia, which accompanies beautiful photos of the bushland in the neighbourhood where I grew up. Real wild life live there, and yep- spiders and snakes too!

Lately I’ve also been looking in my post box at least three times a day for the arrival of my latest book, ‘Unpredictable Spaces’. Life, love and travel is what inspires my poetry and this book encompasses the unpredictable nature of my discoveries. More on that later.

Moreover, I write for family and friends, and of course for my husband, and in a sense, I also write for myself. I hope you enjoyed my post enough to hit the ‘like’ button, and would love to hear from you too. You made it this far, I have too. No more blogger’s block. Nice to know you’re there.

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© Maria Grujicic and, from February 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Maria Grujicic and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Beetles That Cry

On your way home with some friends you notice a lady bug on the floor and a wasp lying next to it. You don’t know what to make of the coincidence. Two insects side by side on the same train- what are the odds? One of which is injured and can normally fly away. Not to mention- sting!

Nevertheless, the lady bug stays dutifully next to the injured wasp!

Worried, the beetle would get stomped on, you help it up onto your finger. Your friends have a laugh about it- you play along. Who would actually admit to helping an insect? There are millions of insects, why worry about these ones? One of your friends picks up the wasp with a plastic card, examining what might be wrong with it.

Finally, you gently put the beetle in your bag on top of some things, hoping no one would see. You don’t want them to think you’re crazy! You figure that if it is clever enough to enter a train full of busy people and survive, the odds would be better in your bag. You want to put it in the garden once you get home and so you hold your bag ever so gently.

You recall hearing that lady bugs bring luck and research some more. You found out the lucky person will then succeed in love, have good weather, experience financial success or simply receive some other desired wish. You get excited! Click here to find out more.

But now you wonder about the wasp. Your friend left it on the train. Should you have picked it up as well? This idea prompts you look up the symbolism of wasps and find this quote!

‘You are being reminded that simply thinking about your dreams will not make them a reality as quickly as going out and doing it. Make a plan, keep working towards it and let nothing get in your way. Perseverance, desire and action are what is called for. Apply your passion to the reality you wish to achieve!

Alternatively Wasp is letting you know that resistance to change is by definition self sabotage. It’s time to allow yourself the notion that all things are possible, and that you deserve to have all your dreams come true. Be the best you can be!’ Read more on the symbolism of wasps here.

The wasp was injured. It didn’t ‘fly into your life’ like the article describes. So what does that mean? You wonder now if the lady bug was feeling sorry for the wasp, like it was trying to save it.

Are you going crazy? No, actually this is the preparation for a new poem, and can’t wait for the weekend to have the head space to figure out the puzzle.

A few months ago you had a difficult time and recently you’ve been having some good luck. You’ve settled into a wonderful environment, enjoyed all that you do and you love the creative energy in your life.

But superstitious you can’t help wonder what the wasp might mean?

Coincidentally Maria Grujicic’ latest book has a red rose on the cover, with a white silk background. You wonder now about the symbol of the red rose. It’s special and after looking everywhere, the poet couldn’t find any other flower like it. The ancient Greeks associated the red rose with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

‘You give a red rose to show love and passion, people who you have great respect for, and those who have shown great courage.

Burgundy means unconscious love, dark crimson is used to show mourning. A withered red rose is used to show that the love is over. A red rosebud symbolizes youthful love and beauty.’ Click here for more on roses. So you must be careful with the choice of rose!

For her book cover, Maria Grujicic used a bright red rose, which means love.

You have a theory about the meaning of the wasp you found but for ethical and personal reasons you keep this to yourself. Also, it’s not about you. In life, we need to let go of the things we can’t help, to help ourselves. You’re a happy person but have for a long time allowed others to affect your feelings and life direction.

Although you achieved a lot in your life, so people say, you’ve never been satisfied because you were doing more for others and leaving yourself for last. Familiar story?

Ever since you identified this, you’ve allowed yourself to move on. The provocations of your life prompted you to write differently. Your work is more intimate, revealing, and deep.

You enjoy writing poetry because emulating life, meaning becomes clearer as the themes go deeper.

The lady bug reminded you of Maria Grujicic’ poem ‘Beetles That Cry’. You gave it this title because of the emotions that are kept inside, that are trying to be released. Do beetles that cry? You wonder. Now you want to go back and read the poem at a different angle to see what comes.