Category Archives: Family

The Grandmother I Never Met

The Soul I Want to Keep

What I do know about my grandmother is what my father always told me. “You have her voice, you have her eyes.” She had style. I saw a photo of her published in a book. She was posing for the camera in the most distinguished way with my grandfather next to her. I stared at the old photo hard, trying to see some of her personality that I could take away with me. I dearly wanted to know her and perhaps learn more about myself so I created her in my mind.My grandmother was just 15 when she met my grandfather, who was much older than her. It was illegal to marry that young in Greece so they went to Marce, France. So the story goes.As a baby she sang to me. It was over the time we visited Greece. I have the vision of her cradling me in her arms and it won’t leave my head. Tragically she died young. She had diabetes and for some reason did not care for it so it spread. The doctors needed to amputate her leg because it got infected and she died because of the loss of blood.If you ever visit the island of Kalymnos, you will find a statue of a woman holding a ‘laina’. She is the symbol of strength for the island. The woman worker who prepared the house. She gathered food, dealt with household chores and cooked for the family. How interesting that in such a male dominated culture a woman is the symbol of the island. She’s interesting to me because of her beauty, strength and grace. Likewise, my grandmother is highly spoken of and my grandfather who was great in his own way, seemed to be her shadow.

The Pull of A Spiritual Bond

Chasing My Roots

Kalymnos Independence DayI look and act like my grandmother. She is the one I hold onto. She is my dream of who I want to be; graceful and kind with a thorn by my side, that allows me to breath among human kind. I remember her, I have a kind image of her. A young woman, the reflection of a mother of the past. Living a life of the now, holding onto that while everything else is destructive and in ruins. The tension love holds, the veins I hold in place and the heart I guard for dear life. Oh how it plays in my mind, that thought I left behind in the anonymous land I love.

Every time I visit Greece I’m immersed in emotions that haunt me in beautiful ways. I yearn for these feelings when I am far. Do we all feel a spiritual bond with a specific family member? Or is it just me? Are my genes so strong that they are pulling me in her direction or am I over-romanticizing the thought?

I ventured abroad 10 years ago to find my roots as I searched for clues to my identity. It’s a funny ole thing to do because one might think they they already know themselves. But I needed to search my past and it wasn’t because of untold stories. I was drawn by my past spirits. A home will always have this power of attraction. The problem was that I was pulled between Greece, the origins of my family and Australia, the place I was born and grew up in. The power of this pull eventually came from different directions as I made my home in different cities of Europe. And attracted me so deeply to Paris.

I have family living in France that I never met properly. I’ve seen them once when a few members visited my aunt in Kalymnos. It was the first time I heard Greek spoken with a French accent. It was delightful and I pondered about visiting them. But what would I say since they are now so distant? And besides, the bond I have is with my grandmother.

When I visit Greece again I will search for the photo of my grandparents and add it to my post.

By Bike To Australia & Back

Inspiration of Greece

By Bike To Australia & Back

A story of poems that illustrates a continuous beginning. Fresh and anew again and again. My poems are about absorbing the world around me with a pencil and paper in my hand. The way I see my life and the lives of others as I build my own outlook. There are poems for every mood in each chapter, sequenced like a story. A story of every day life, love, family and travel.

Paris

The Romance With My Art

A Portrait In ParisOh how I yearn to learn the language and live in France one day. Paris is the place for artists. It’s where one goes to create, to be appreciated, to discover and to be discovered. It was where I had my portrait done and where I returned again and again for various reasons in my life. When in doubt, I always turn to Paris.

The last time I was in Paris I danced! I wrote my impressions and formed them to created poetry. I love being with my arty friends because they don’t see me as weird. They yearn to have their senses challenged in the same way as I do. I talk to them about my ideas and I can see in their faces that I’ve triggered something. They speak with no words and I then know I’ve created a spiritual bond. Just like the one I have with my grandmother.

Poems That Touch The Soul

“Sometimes we need to step away from our immediate surroundings for all to become clear and find truth.” I started writing to introduce my poetry book. Included are color photos of our dance adventure in Paris. If they give the same impressions as my own, you will experience unexplained emotions that can never be replicated or told again.

I continued to write, “This is true for myself. It is how I came to write my poems as I realised my subconscious love and passion for dance. My varied life experiences at home and abroad led to self-discovery and a realisation of a life of dance that I have always led that relinquished my disappointment of lack of pursuit.”

I explain my nomadic life and it is this life I have led in the pursuit of finding my artist self, the spirit of my grandmother.

“Life is dance, and without dance there is no life, and love for these are inseparable. I’m a dancer and poet at heart. Two inseparable art forms, one soul. “Poems that touch the soul & don’t adhere to the pattern of life”, refers to a nomadic lifestyle that lends itself to reach the unexplored self. This is an art form, one of its kind because it can dance and has always danced. It unites strongly through poetic philosophy that delves into ethical boundaries, aesthetics, education and love. A concept that encompasses and revolutionises a soul. It becomes true in its purest sense as every word put to paper is felt by my heart and a final breath celebrates creation.”

Malena

A Poem

This poem illustrates the journey of finding my artist self through my grandmother of whom I’ve never met. I can feel it. I do have her voice, I do have her eyes. And what more, I have her name ‘Maria’. Traditionally girls are named after their grandmother in Greece. I chose the name Malena which represents my artist self.The poem is published in my book, Sudden Clarity. Last night I created an audio for this poem just so I can share it with my readers.

LYRICS

Colors emerge with age
Rusty browns and creamy whites
Classic and timeless
Up to the present day

Poise and stance romanced
I searched for the thought in my head
Like an apparent fate
That raced to catch the bait
Only to return home instead

I went in search for you
I found you
And ironically returned without you
Hidden virtue of love and sacrifice
The torture runs again and again
as you,
The thought remains in my head
To let go of it
And free it
Is a symbol of love
for it
Freedom of self,
Alongside it
A vision of self
Within it
Flight,
Is a hidden virtue of love and sacrifice
for it

And there she was
I saw her from afar
She was
There
She was
I looked back
And there she was
I saw her below
She was
There
She was
And I thought that was me
I saw her near
She was
Here
She was
Enclosed in a city
High buildings
Surroundings
Like walls
She was,
In a coffin
I saw she was

It was a coffin for me
Preserved
It was

Like the flowers he gave
She froze
The frozen flowers,
He gave
Like the photo
She took
Long ago
Desperation
For preservation
Of the love
He gave

Youth
A curse
That buried her head
In love
they were
Two decades apart
they were
She unlocked her heart
It was a place
He buried his head
To rest
And watched
The times
People walked by
Without a care for a soul
A heart, a body
Unnoticed
When it grew old
And youth, a past
A curse to bear
Use her, describe her
Find her!
She called
Malena was her name
Paris, France
Was her ultimate aim
Ich habe eine kofer in Paris,
Was her claim

I might be related to the Greek Australian journalist John Mangos!

Did you know that I might be related to John Mangos? Whether it’s fact or fallacy, I’ve been told this all my life. Before I changed my maiden name, people asked me ‘Are you related to John Mangos?’ all the time!

“John Mangos has had a thirty-six year career in journalism, the past thirty-three years in television. He is currently a news presenter for the Seven Network and is a regular guest on the Sunrise and Morning Show programs.” http://www.johnmangos.com/biography

The Family Member You Feel Most Connected To

A Dancer’s Life

Dancer

Dancer

Looking back at my own childhood I find happiness, peace and love of which I treasure. I remember the way my father had a type of charm with us. We loved him wholly and did not leave his side. Now I watch him in action with my nephews and nieces. Thomas, my two year old nephew is a clear example. Everyone is absolutely bemused by his attraction with Papou. Papou is Greek for Grandfather. He turns to tantrums and fits of cries when he has to leave Papou. Thomas makes coffee and washes Papou’s clothes, and plays a game on the swings called kounia bella in Greek. When Papou goes into his room to take a nap Thomas screams and bangs on the door for him to come out. My family is dumbfounded. Thomas is like a little alien who has taken over the house and we can’t do anything to stop him.

Thomas empties and fills the tool box, and puts things where they belong in the kitchen. He can’t rest until everything is put to order. He has an uneasiness about him and he doesn’t stop walking about the yard and the house. He is like a little man going about his little man’s business. When Thomas has a problem he runs to Papou for support. At the sensitive age of two Thomas is free to explore the garden. Watching him play is like witnessing a secret waiting to be revealed.

Thomas has a home education based on love. He is learning to love himself and others as he builds his own beautiful world. My own childhood is where I discover the heart warming experience of unconditional love. My past is a place where I try to learn about myself but I don’t have the answers because I’m so distanced by the events. So I focus on emotions, building a secure identity from which to explore; fulfilling an unpredictable, exciting new life and a story to tell. My father was like a wizard who burst into song and laughter, even when times were tough. He told stories by inserting our names in them as the main protagonists. My mother was like the beautiful, strong Afroditi The Goddess of love. My parents were a big influence on my life and I have a spiritual bond that will never break. As a girl, I was surrounded by games, stories and songs and connecting to these in adulthood led to discover my gifts. Over my travels abroad I’ve learned to take away my fears and take more risks. My parents were always with me spiritually, like a voice in my head during the tough times. They taught me that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it.

To read on, please click here on my published article on iuEmag!

The Reward Of Giving

Hand me downs
The gifts my mother returned
I gave with myself in mind
Years ago
In idle youth,
My mother’s gifts
mirrored the woman I always wanted her to be
grace, beauty and womanhood
I coaxed her with the possibilities
A life she deserved but sacrificed for me
Relevant only now
I opened my eyes
When gifts became hand me downs from my mother who recognized
I gave a part of me
She kept me preserved and new
Sorted in scattered bundles all over the floor
The dresses, skirts and accessories
My mother had no occasion for
My reward and anguish of giving to someone who sacrifices
Is a lifetime of hand me downs
to my mother who holds my memories
I’m at her mercy
It takes courage to write honestly
When one is open to the unknown
Though I do
because happiness is a habit I try to share
Years later,
upon a swift turn of my head and a glance
Who would have thought
I finally wore the clothes a real woman was born to bear

By Maria Grujicic
31/12/2012

This poem is dedicated to my mother, the most giving soul I have ever met. Like every giving soul people do take advantage, but even so she is so beautiful that it doesn’t seem to affect her. Her goodness lives on in her, she has grace, she has virtue, but she has her true self. She has lost her youth but she is still alive and strong. And she gives this power to me.

An Untouched Christmas Cheer

Physically and mentally closed
The heart links to the soul
Connection versus entrapment
In a body of beings
Unpredictable events
Unfold
From a patterned obligation
A meal with contents of cultures
Mixed
Who will buy what, pay for what
BYO or of the what
Phenomenon disappears
Upon explanation

Beauty, neglect, unaware
What is the value?
It’s a habit of mine
A pattern seen only by the passing of time
Rituals of a mind
Places and people combined
Purpose of direction
A meeting place each year
In, on, at
A point in time they meet
Relationships are based on that
Family
Unpredictability
Comical stances race to find something new
And perhaps a different character in you

Poem By Maria Grujicic
Copyright 19th December, 2012

NEW Poems That Dance Cards Video

There’s a story to tell along with this video. I will need to write it another time. But for now, enjoy the range of new poetry tags!

AS ALWAYS
Impressions Welcome.

If you prefer, mute the audio in the video and use this one. :)

The desire to write grows with writing. Desiderius Erasmus

NEW Sudden Clarity Poetry Book

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hi Everyone!
I’m pleased to announce that my poetry book “SUDDEN CLARITY” is out now. It is so far my best work and I couldn’t have done it without my artist friends from around the world. And of course my husband who is also an artist!

No words are enough to describe my feelings.
Keep on dancing!

To read the REVIEWS Click here.

 

Come And Review My Next Poetry Book!

The Skies of Darwin, Australia. Photo By Maria Grujicic

I just finished putting together a poetry book that I really love. It has a very different flavor from my other books for various reasons, but mainly because of the setting. The people who have been following me will know that I have moved back to my home city from Europe. I now live in a very tropical environment with not a lot of people in sight. With distance a barrier, and the expanse of the horizon, nature is more visible. The sense of reality is different here in Darwin, Australia. It has its own set of challenges along with its pleasures, and certainly a huge transition period for me. Change is the underlying theme of my poems and this includes memories of home, transition of times, and adapting to the new.

If you are interested in reviewing my poetry book, you can either join my Facebook fan page where I will be posting the link, or add me as a friend on Fastpencil. This is particularly useful if you would like to some day publish a book yourself! I hope to soon find the resources to do up an audio CD of my poems as well. If anyone has advice on this, I most welcome it!

LINKS> To Fastpencil
To Poems That Dance Fan Page 

You are also welcome to join me on Twitter!

I look forward to your comments!

Thank you for reading,

Maria Grujicic *Malena*
The scariest moment is always just before you start.Stephen King

Nature At Play

Play
Bonds personalities
As we grow and learn
It was my turn
As she followed me
To a place of no return
And when I arrived
I realized
It wasn’t a place where I could stay
It was a place of no words
No way
To explain
A place of no return
And when she escaped
I turned to applaud
Don’t we all play as kids?
It is what bonds our personalities
Helps us grow and learn
It is a place of no return
Elements of life
A protective guide
Innocence and play
To protect and create
Is innate
Hurt is forgotten
No thought to forgiving
It is automated
Following each other at play
A reason to stay
A sign of unconditional love
It was her nurturing role
That bonded everyone

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

Mighty Me

Isadora Duncan performing barefoot. Photo by A...

Image via Wikipedia

A Woman, A Mother
Mouth Patient, Mind Listens
A Heart Decides
She saw my bare feet
And covered these
Skin hid a story, Eyes Told a story
Mouth pout
in place
A point of her eyes
The Center
Random and Blind
Interior mind
Adhering the outside
With walking, talking bodies to bear
Her thoughts
Humbly talk with the white of her eyes
A stable thought
And told a story
Her skin hid a story
Long hair,
Intimately Wavy
Neatly placed
Blond tinted every strand
Her family house
Kept in the same way

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

This poem is dedicated to Vera Grujicic.

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