Blog Archives

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

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.

Wide Open Eyes

I was excited to find this video while looking for a dance to go with my poem.

Enjoy the audio along with the video. Play them together.
Try playing the audio at different times or repeating it.

Lately I have been pondering about many issues in my life and those of others around me. I have also been thinking about things that perhaps most people don’t. These are the details that pass us by that perhaps would give more meaning to one’s life, but we ignore. Perhaps this ignorance is simply a way to feel accepted among the crowd. Or an intelligent way of relieving alienation. Whichever the viewpoint, it is a safe haven. It is an issue of personal significance that I’ve explored in my poems. It has been a long time since I wrote and the answer is hidden away in my poems because I cannot truly put it into words.

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

A Winter Butterfly (In German)

Ein Winter-Schmetterling
Färbe mein Auge
mit etwas, das ich sehe,
Erschaffe, eine Frau,
Eine Energie, zu sehen,
zu sein.
Leben und Schlichtheit
um es mir zu ermöglichen,
Details zu sehen.
Das verworrene Make-up
des Lebens
der Liebe
die ich bedingungslos sehe,
ermöglicht mir,
einfach zu sein
weil, einfach weil
ich eines schönen Tages
in die Höhe schoss,
wie ein Winter-Schmetterling!

Von Maria Grujicic (Malena)

A Special Thank You to Lena and Gala for translating my poem in German for me.
To read the poem in English, click here.

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.Agatha Christie


Frau (Photo credit: withrow)

Where Visions Meet Reality

soft VIII

The Prince
Is one she drew as a child
It was a picture encoded
Romance met
Searched for an image
Through her life
Until one day
A love
A man
A soul more profound
Than a mortal mind
It was then
Visions met reality
And womanhood pronounced
Upon waking the wind
Caressing her face
It was her character
A living being at play
A setting for a theatrical game
A comical place
We call life
Where visions meet reality

By Maria Grujicic (Malena)

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’m not sure 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 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)

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.

Here is a video I found about makeup and hair. 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)

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.

Habitual Phrases

It rained on me today
I closed my eyes and played
I trusted my hands
to move away
As I envisioned my eyes
Playing in the rain

I forgot to drink my tea
That day
But remembered to drink the wine
Oh, how its liquid shined
The color rose
It held my grace
I trusted my hands
to move away
It tasted divine
As I played in the rain

See, love, do
You’re a big girl, you can do it
If you’re a good girl, you can have it
If you’re a bad girl, you’re restricted
Clinched, Pinched, Reached
With the palm of my hand I hold
The curves of my intimate wrist
A hand band the tenderness of my breast
It rose
Like the pure red petalled flower
of wine
A taste so divine
Inner tender wrist
Exposed for all to see

A symbol
The magic of a folklore ritual
placed to the side of my fertile parts
Energy released in place of my womb
My origins rose
To the highest parts of the sky
It rained on me today
I closed my eyes
And played

By Maria Grujicic

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read the poem in German. 

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