The day I died / Ziua in care am murit

POSTED IN contemporary poetry, essays December 8, 2019











The day I died / Ziua in care am murit

I was eighteen,
I woke up that morning
and I thought:
today is my last day on earth.
I went outside,
a November morning
dark and heavy
looked at me morosely.
Yet what I saw was
the fire of a daring sunrise
at the horizon.
The rain fell cold
yet I saw its rhythm,
the physics of its gravity,
the teardrops like diamonds
falling in a silent dreamy dance.
I watched the barren trees
and I saw their heart beating,
the vim in their veins,
the buds and leaves gestating
in their wombs,
waiting for Spring.
I watched the sad wet houses
and I saw life inside their walls,
I felt the scent of morning coffee,
the sleepy fire
laughing in flames
like a newborn waking from a dream.
I knew then that I was happy.
Today, many moons later
I woke up,
in a December morning,
I drank my coffee
watching the trees, the heaven, the rain, the houses,
I heard little voices calling my name
and my grandmotherly hands knew what to do.
I thought a little prayer:
“Thank you for
I haven’t been living my life
Ziua în care am murit

Aveam optsprezece ani,
M-am trezit în dimineața aceea
Și-am gândit:
azi este ultima mea zi pe pământ.
Am mers afară,
o dimineață de noiembrie
întunecată și grea
m-a privit morocanoasa.
Totuși, ceea ce am văzut a fost
focul unui rasarit indraznet
la orizont.
Ploaia cadea rece
totuși i-am văzut ritmul,
fizica gravitației sale,
lacrimile ca diamantele
căzând într-un dans visător tăcut.
Am urmărit copacii uscati
și le-am văzut inima bătând,
seva în vene,
mugurii și frunzele gestand
în pântecele lor,
așteptând primăvara.
Am privit casele triste și umede
și am văzut viața în pereții lor,
am simțit mirosul cafelei de dimineață,
focul adormit
râzând în flăcări
ca un nou-născut care se trezește dintr-un vis.
Am stiut atunci că sunt fericita.
Astăzi, dupa mult timp
m-am trezit,
într-o dimineață de decembrie,
Mi-am băut cafeaua
urmărind copacii, cerul, ploaia, casele,
Am auzit voci mici care îmi strigau numele
iar mâinile mele de bunica știau ce să facă.
Am gândit o mică rugăciune:
“Mulțumesc pentru ca
nu mi-am trăit viața

Maria Magdalena Biela

Cos’è mai la Poesia…? / What is Poetry …?

POSTED IN essays March 23, 2019

Cos’è mai la Poesia…? / What is Poetry …?

Cos’è mai la Poesia
se non un’emozione
del cuore, scritta
con l’inchiostro
nel intonso bianco cielo
d’un foglio?

Si sveglia nel
cuore della notte
e pulsa, e freme
impaziente al lume di candela
o ai primi cinguettio del mattino:
come uccellino ancora implume
dal nido vuol alzarsi
e in un canto alto levarsi in volo.

Nell’albe d’ogni età
e d’ogni tempo
è impaziente…
Germoglia con il gelo o in pieno sole
ti grandina nell’anima
nel tormento di un’insonnia.
Ha sembiante di rondine.
Ma a volte no:
A volte è nera
come un corvo
ed esala tristezza e pena.

Altre, ha levità e colori
di farfalla a primavera.
Si posa e s’annida
su ogni ramo d’anima
su ogni fiore che l’accoglie
come un’ape la feconda
con la sua gioia:
la tormenta di melanconia.

Nasce ovunque,
senza distinzioni
nel cuore di una capanna
tra i marmi di un palazzo
nelle piazze affollate
o negli ermi in riva al mare.
Non distingue tra le genti
contagia e vaga senza sosta.

Ogni tanto presa da improvvisa urgenza
senza un foglio e con un lapis inumidito
al primo passante che incontra chiede:
“permette la sua mano…
mi sta nascendo una poesia!”

Grazia Montanaro Lombardi
What is Poetry …?

What is Poetry?
if not an emotion
of the heart, written
with ink
in the blank white sky
of a sheet?

it wakes up in the
middle of the night
and pulses, and quivers
looking forward to candlelight
or the first morning chirping:
as a featherless bird
from the nest it wants to get up
and in a high song take flight.

In the dawn of every age
and every time
is impatient …
Sprouts with frost or in full sun
hails you in the soul
in the torment of an insomnia.
It has the appearance of a swallow.
But sometimes not:
Sometimes it’s black
like a crow
and exhales sadness and pain.

Other time, it has the levity and colours
of butterfly in spring.
It rests and nests
on each soul branch
on every flower that welcomes it
like a bee fertilizes it
with his joy:
the storm of melancholy.

Born everywhere,
without distinction
in the heart of a hut
among the marbles of a palace
in crowded squares
or in the golden sand by the sea.
It does not distinguish between people
infects and wanders without pause.

Every now and then taken by sudden urgency
without a sheet and with a wet pencil
the first passer-by met, it is asked:
“allow your hand…
a poem is being born to me!”…


translated by Maria Magdalena

Dona, d’aquí a un temps / Femme, après un temps

POSTED IN essays January 5, 2019











Dona, d’aquí a un temps

Dona, d’aquí a un temps,
després de tu i de mi
i de les flors marcides,
¿què en serà, d’aquest dormitori
on ens hem estimat?

¿I què en serà, del mirall,
del penja-robes, del balancí,
del retrat de nuvis que tira a magenta,
de les fines esberles
del guix, que han absorbit
el nostre alè, la mortal malaltia?
Ah, no ho sé!

En canvi sé una cosa
més gran i més antiga: passaran milers d’anys
i, no ho dubtis, tornaré a escriure
en aquest paper
per primer cop com ara
les mateixes preguntes.

Màrius Sampere

Femme, après un temps,
après toi et moi
et des maudites fleurs,
que va devenir cette chambre
où nous nous sommes aimés ?

Et que sera-ce du miroir,
des vêtements suspendus, de la chaise berçante,
du portrait de mariée aux nuances magenta,
la fine poussière de gypse
du plâtre,
qu’ils ont absorbé
notre souffle, la maladie mortelle?
Oh, je ne sais pas!

Au lieu de cela, je sais une chose
plus grand et plus vieux: des milliers d’années vont passer
et, avoir aucun doute, j’écrirai encore
sur ce papier
comme pour la première fois
les mêmes questions.


Maria Magdalena

The scent of a father

POSTED IN essays September 19, 2018















The scent of a father


Since I was a toddler up to the age of 14, when I went to high school, my family called me MITSUKA, especcially my Dad.
I didn’t know why, where from the nick name, sometimes, while growing up, I thought that it may have been an influence from Mitzura Arghezi…But no..
I remember being around four when on Sundays the most waited moment by me was the moment when my father started to shave. That happened in the mornings. I had the honour ( and a very important job !)to assist my father, to hold the instruments, to take care of the hot water and, the most important, to spray on his hands the perfume which he would use to refresh his face after shaving, making funny noises.
That perfume was MITSOUKO, by Guerlain.
After he finished the ritual, fresh and nice, he would reward me with a kiss on the top of my head and a drop of Mitsouko…
Well, in time the memories fade…Mitsouko was replaced by other scents, of my youth, of my other ages ( Cacharel, Trussardi, L’heure bleu)…
By a fortunate accident I met my childhood perfume a few years ago in France…So, MITSOUKO for MITSUKA, the scent of my father, the scent of me growing to become Milena of Cacharel – Anaïs, Anaïs, Maria Magdalena of Trussardi, is once again my scent.
Yet, nothing compares to that time when, being four years old, I was waiting the Sunday morning to get a drop of Mitsouko from my father…


Maria Magdalena Biela

Colour me gone

POSTED IN contemporary poetry, essays, Spring March 21, 2018











Colour me gone


Colour me gone

I’m just a pawn

In life’s chess game


I’m just a non-

person, a yawn,

and all the same.


I take no heart,

I play no part

In this last act


I’m game for Art,

my counterpart,

and that’s a fact.


I know not why

I’m a far cry

from all that’s known



a harvest fly

of the wild rye.

colour me gone.


Maria Magdalena Biela

Happy Independence Day, Finland! SUOMI 100!

POSTED IN classic poetry, essays December 6, 2017












Happy Independence Day, Finland! SUOMI 100!


Sua muistamme ain, pyhä syntymämaa,
mikä lieneekin toimemme, työmme,
ylin onni Sa oot, minkä ihminen saa,
elon aurinko, tähtönen yömme;
Sun korpies kuisketta kuulimme lasna,
sitä unhota emme me harmajahasna,
Sun valtaasi tahdomme vahvistaa,
Sua lempien leipääsi syömme.
Oli kielesi kirkkaus jo vertaamaton,
kun soi sitä äiteimme huulet,
sen kauneus nyt karttunut, varttunut on,
tänä päivänä kun sitä kuulet:
se kaikuu nyt huipuilta valtion vapaan,
mut kaikuvi maammojen, taattojen tapaan,
käy tietona, taitona taistelohon,
miten muuttuukin maailman tuulet.

Ja mielesi meille se suurna jo soi,
kun orjuus uhkasi maata,
se rintaamme rautaa ja rakkautta loi,
jok’ ei konsana sammua saata;
kun vallitsi kerskaten keisarivalta
ja uhrinsa otti jo orttemme alta,
me tunsimme: et sitä sietää Sa voi,
jos tahdo et voimasta laata.

Siks syöksyimme kuin sinivirtaisi vyöt,
siks seisoimme kuin valon vahdit,
siks tulta ne tuprusi pohjolan yöt,
soi mielten ja miekkojen tahdit,
mut Sulta me tahtomme, tarmomme haimme,
Sult’ yksin me voimamme, voittomme saimme,
Sun hangistas nous unet, urhojen työt,
nous taattojen, maammojen mahdit.

Ylt’ympäri Sun, nyt katso ja nää,
pyhä lippusi pystynä liehuu,
voi leijona viirinä lennähtää,
jos taas kirot sortajan kiehuu,
mut muuten se vapauden, rauhan on vaate,
kuin risti sen rinnassa rakkauden aate,
jos ei sitä turmele tuuliaispää,
ei riitojen myrsky, mi riehuu.

Valan vannomme juurella viirisi sen
yht’ olla ain kansaa maamme,
tätä heimoa pohjolan pakkasien,
min tuskat ja riemut me jaamme,
mi talvessa taistellen itsensä nosti,
mi kalliisti kalleimman onnen sen osti
nyt seisoa parvessa parhaiden,
jost’ ylpeät olla me saamme!

Suomen Tasavallan itsenäisyyspäivänä 6.12.1919.


“Caldura” finlandeza

POSTED IN contemporary poetry, essays July 24, 2017













„Caldura” finlandeza


„Bucura-te de lucrurile marunte. Într-o buna zi s-ar putea sa privesti înapoi si sa descoperi ca erau cele mai importante lucruri.” Robert Brault 16 iulie 2017, Kotka, Finlanda.


Mottoul ales pentru corespondenta de astazi este definitoriu pentru modul în care locuitorii din Kotka si foarte multi turisti care s-au implicat si au participat la activitatile derulate în cadrul Tall Ships Races 2017.

Am scris odata ca în general ne plac comparatiile, între diferite elemente pentru ca ne dau imaginea unei stari de fapt, a unor situatii sau a profesionalismului si valorii unor oameni. Astfel, daca activitatile de la Halmstad le-am comparat cu cele derulate la SAIL Den Hender 2017, balanta înclinând fara rezerve catre escala olandeza, de aceasta data, activitatile organizate la Kotka au fost de departe mai interesante si mai antrenante decât cele din Halmstad.

Derulate sub egida împlinirii în acest an, a 100 de ani de la declararea independentei Finlandei, activitivitatile din Kotka au fost numeroase, dinamice si parca tot orasul a fost cuprins de febra evenimentului. Micul orasel din cel mai estic golf din Marea Baltica, traversat de râul Kymi, a fost gazda activitatilor derulate în cadrul Tall Ships Regatta 2017, dupa o pauza de 10 ani; iar, spre bucuria autoritatilor locale, Kotka va reprezenta în urmatorul deceniu un port important pentru activitatile organizate de Sail Training International. Kotka este însa si cel mai nordic port din Europa unde a ajuns NS Mircea în marsurile sale de instructie si reprezentare.

Dupa o ploaie torentiala si rece, tot orasul s-a mobilizat si a participat la parada organizata în cadrul Festivalului Maritim; astfel, unii au defilat – aratând diversitatea de profesii, asociatii si obiceiuri din Kotka, iar ceilalti au umplut bulevardul central si au urmarit parada. Aceeasi multi locuitori i-au aplaudat pe cadetii de pe Mircea, la parada echipajelor, care au traversat tot orasul si au avut ca punct de final stadionul Arto Tolsa.

Chiar daca n-au câstigat premiul pentru cea mai frumoasa prezenta la parada, cadetii de pe Mircea au aratat sentimentul de mândrie ca reprezinta România, iar scandarile „Mircea”, „România” si „Finland” au fost aplaudate de locuitori. La Kotka, Mircea a fost din pacate, singurul ambasador al României si s-a descurcat mai mult decât onorabil, tinând cont de aprecierile formulate de vizitatori si de faptul ca multi dintre ei s-au oprit pe banca din fata bricului, sa-l admire. Dincolo de reprizele de ploaie din primele zile ale escalei, a fost cald la Kotka (maxim 23-24 grade, dar e ceva peste medie aici, în tara lui Mos Craciun), o caldura care parca s-a transferat si de la locuitorii orasului la echipajele participante. Echipajul NS Mircea s-a internationalizat si aici prin sosirea cadetilor polonezi, astfel ca acum avem la bord alaturi de cadetii români, cadeti din Bulgaria, China, Polonia si un student al Facultatii de Comunicare publica si interculturala în domeniul securitatii si apararii din cadrul Universita?ii Nationale de Aparare, aflat în stagiu de practica.

Într-o discu?tie interesanta, cineva spunea frumos ca nu-ti trebuie mult sa fii fericit. Iar ceea ce am vazut la Kotka – un oras în care am fost, recunosc, sceptic ca se pot întâmpla lucruri frumoase – înseamna în definitiv viata simpla si frumoasa, asa cum ar trebui sa fim în masura sa vrem sa ne-o facem fiecare dintre noi. Si poate nici nu trebuie sa a?steptam un moment special din viata noastra pentru a fi fericiti. Mircea se pregateste sa dea mola parâmelor care l-au legat de aceasta parte de Finlanda ?i sa ia drum spre alt port finlandez – mai obisnuit cu regatele organizate de Sail Training International – Turku.

Urmeaza acum parada navala de-a lungul coastei si apoi patru zile, în Cruise-In Company, în care vom fi cam singuri pe mare, deoarece la recomandarea organizatorilor, cvasitotalitatea velierelor vor face o escala de 2 zile fie la Tallin în Estonia, la Festivalul Maritim, fie la Hanko, Kasnäs sau Nagu-Nauvo, pe malul Finlandei. Cultura marinareasca este si aici la ea acasa si fiecare oras-port se bucura de prezenta velierelor.

„Un prieten este cineva care te cunoa?te asa cum esti, întelege ce ai fost, accepta ce ai devenit si te lasa sa cresti în continuare.” William Shakespeare.
Poate ca uitându-ne la calmul afisat de finlandezi, la felul în care par a valoriza lucrurile simple, vom avea întelepciunea sa vedem dincolo de lucrurile care par importante si nu sunt decât fire de nisip într-un desert, vom avea curajul sa renunsam la masti – pentru ca spunea Tudor Musatescu ca „în viata, joaca teatru numai cei care n-au niciun rol” si ca vom redescoperi ce înseamna încrederea si ne vom (re)gasi prietenii pe bric. Despre aventurile cadetilor de la bordul legendarului velier românesc, în corespondenta viitoare.

Pâna atunci, de la bordul lui Mircea va transmitem ca de obicei, dragoste, speranta si încredere!



Itsenäisyyspäivä / Independence Day

POSTED IN essays December 12, 2014












Independence Day!

The land of forever snow is only mine. It is not like any other country.
My Finland is blue and white. My Finland means the deep woods where live the fairies, the legends. It is the place where the heaven and the earth meet.
My Finland is the incomparable Kalevala. My Finland is sauna.
I felt the sanctity of the sauna, its silence, the silent moan of the water dying on the hot stones, giving birth to sauna’s spirit, “löyly” , which cannot be translated in any other language.
Then I hid in Finnish language like in my mother’s arms.
I don’t know when I fell in love with it. Maybe at those nights when I was crying helpless, because I could not understand it.
This Finnish language is so itself, one of a kind, silent, lonely, independent, like me.
It resembles no other language. It did not want to borrow anything from any other language. And that little bit which it has borrowed, it has merged with itself so that it is not recognized as loan.
It has enriched its vocabulary by creating new words from the old ones combined together. In any other language we use complete words to construct a sentence, only my beloved, stubborn language expresses itself by using suffixes and post-positions.
I think that only in Finnish language “I love you” sounds as deep, strong, mysterious as the real love is.
Today, December the 6th is the Independence Day of Finland.
Have a peaceful birthday, my country of forever snow!



Ikuisen lumen maa on vain minun. Se ei muistuta mitään muuta maata. Minun Suomeni on sininen ja valkoinen. Minun Suomeni on syviä metsiä, joissa asuu haltijoita, elää taruja. Se on paikka, jossa taivas ja maa kohtaavat. Suomeni on Kalevala, vertaansa vailla. Suomeni on sauna. Olen tuntenut saunan pyhyyden, hiljaisuuden, veden hiljaisen valituksen sen kuollessa kuumille kiville, jotka synnyttävät saunan hengen, löyly, jota ei voi kääntää muille kielille.
Sitten piilouduin suomen kieleen kuin äidin käsivarsille. En tiedä milloin rakastuin siihen. Ehkä niinä öinä, joina itkin avuttomana, kun en voinut ymmärtää sitä. Se suomen kieli on niin oma itsensä, ainutlaatuinen, hiljainen, yksinäinen, riippumaton, aivan niin kuin minäkin. Se ei muistuta mitään muuta kieltä. Se ei ole halunnut lainata mitään mistään muusta kielestä. Ja sen vähän, minkä se on lainannut, se on sulauttanut itseensä niin, ettei niitä tunnista lainoiksi. Se on rikastuttanut sanavarastoaan luomalla uusia sanoja yhdistelemällä vanhoja. Missä tahansa kielessä käytetään kokonaisia sanoja muodostamaan lauseita, vain minun rakas, itsepäinen kieleni ilmaisee itseään suffikseilla ja postpositioilla.
Luulen, että vain suomen kielellä “rakastan sinua” kuulostaa syvälliseltä, vahvalta, salaperäiseltä, niin kuin todellinen rakkaus on.
Tänään, 6.12., on Suomen Itsenäisyyspäivä!
Rauhallista syntymäpäivää, minun ikuisen lumen maa!


Maria Magdalena Biela


I am tired.

POSTED IN essays January 20, 2014











I am tired.

Damn damn damn. I would not have you find me so led by others, but perhaps you are right.

I realize how I am so unrefined and stupid. I get down because I do fight the blues. I do suffer from what I accuse other of suffering from, vanity. I seek praise. I seek to impress you certainly. Maybe I have written four or five really good poems. I fear I have lost my ability in writing. I don’t know if it is in the medications I take, or in my attitude, in my lack of love, or lack of desiring love. I admit, I miss trying to woo you. I apologize for this. First, it is not something I should have done,  and I apologize that when I tried, I did it with all my heart.

I tell you sometimes I see your picture and it is difficult to keep my promise to myself and to my wife. I fight to maintain a situation that never improves.

I send you the beginning of a poem I did not send you because it was no good. But here are my feelings in a few sentences.

We lie shivering in our bed
I believe, if I were to uncover you
I would see the steam rise
and that if I might warm my hands over your fire
all would be well
Believe me a fool
I love Estella
and women of my own creation

I was raised as a fool, and maintain this foolishness. You paid for my years of foolishness with the words from my wife. I still am sorry you caught the heat.

Sometimes I don’t know what is real and what isn’t. I fight the desire to sleep my days away and dream of young women walking the shore in Crete. Or past muses (not you) lying in my bed in Florence. I am in love with all the pre-Raphaelite models like Lizzie Siddal. I love Botticelli’s models. I love my own characters. I love Lippi’s women, or Daphne in the Bernini sculpture. I see women speaking flowers. I dream of making love while flying on a magic carpet (really). For awhile, with you and the other muse, I would hold my hands up in the air, in the dark, in bed, and hope, pray, ask for your ghosts to visit. No, just to sit with me and run your hand over my brow. God help me, but that is who I am. I do not believe in spirits but in the divine spirits perhaps.

I think of you as a divine spirit. As goddess. As vampire perhaps that I would gladly die for. I wish–I wish I had my wife back. I wish she thought me not stupid and unable to speak and devious. I wish she found me sexy or at least, bearable.

Now you know. So, believe me led. Believe me silly. Believe me without skill. But believe me.

I am just a man full of memories. That is all there is. I remember the old days. Yes, women who sprinkled baby powder on them who would kiss me for hours. Women who danced with me in velvet dresses and then lifted the dresses later in the car. When I am not dreaming, I am imagining sitting in a room in North, in the cool evening, with a midnight sun, and talking and being nervous with someone I desire who I should not desire. Looking her in the eye, and then looking down, and listening to that marvellous, small, intelligent voice.

I imagine too much, and live too little in the real world. So, the real world makes me dull.

Tomorrow there will be church and more proverbs and the wisdom. And sometimes I wish the hell with wisdom.

I ache sometimes damn it. So, there you go. This is me. The worst and the best of me. The dreamer and the man who can not live real life and can’t leave it.



Fernando Cordoba

The Tale of the Three Brothers

POSTED IN essays January 12, 2014












The Tale of the Three Brothers

There were once three brothers who were traveling along a lonely, winding road at twilight. In time, the brothers reached a river too deep to wade through and too dangerous to swim across.. However, these brothers were learned in the magical arts, and so they simply waved their wands and made a bridge appear across the treacherous water. They were halfway across it when they found their path blocked by a hooded figure.

And Death spoke to them. He was angry that he had been cheated out of three new victims, for travelers usually drowned in the river. But Death was cunning. He pretended to congratulate the three brothers upon their magic and said that each had earned a prize for having been clever enough to evade him.

So the oldest brother, who was a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard who had conquered Death! So Death crossed to an elder tree on the banks of the river, fashioned a wand from a branch that hung there, and gave it to the oldest brother.

Then the second brother, who was an arrogant man, decided that he wanted to humiliate Death still further, and asked for the power to recall others from Death. So Death picked up a stone from the riverbank and gave it to the second brother, and told him that the stone would have the power to bring back the dead.

And then Death asked the third and youngest brother what he would like. The youngest brother was the humblest and also the wisest of the brothers, and he did not trust Death. So he asked for something that would enable him to go forth from that place without being followed by Death. And death, most unwillingly, handed over his own Cloak of Invisibility.

Then Death stood aside and allowed the three brothers to continue on their way, and they did so, talking with wonder of the adventure they had had, and admiring Death’s gifts. In due course the brothers separated, each for his own destination.

The first brother traveled on for a week or more, and reaching a distant village, sought out a fellow wizard with whom he had a quarrel. Naturally with the Elder Wand as his weapon, he could not fail to win the duel that followed. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the oldest brother proceeded to an inn, where he boasted loudly of the powerful wand he had snatched from Death himself, and of how it made him invincible.

That very night, another wizard crept upon the oldest brother as he lay, wine-sodden, upon his bed. The theif took the wand and, for good measure, slit the oldest brother’s throat.

And so Death took the first brother for his own.

Meanwhile, the second brother journeyed to his own home, where he lived alone. Here he took out the stone that had the power to recall the dead, and turned it thrice in his hand. To his amazement and his delight, the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him.

Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, killed himself so as truly to join her.

And so Death took the second brother for his own.

But though Death searched for the third brother for many years, he was never able to find him. It was only when he had attained a great age that the youngest brother finally took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. And then he greeted Death as an old friend, and went with him gladly, and, equals, they departed this life.








Beedle the Bard