Monica Maria Grecu



Praise the beauty of your garden
By the flowers, never by the fallen leaves;
Savor thy life by its golden hours
And forget the clouds that it brings.
Embrace the nights for their stars,
And pay no tribute to the shadows;
Count thy days by the smiles
And push away the tears' curtains.
Joyfully welcome each new day
By niggardly counting thy true friends,
Ignore the storing of the years . . .
And live without that distress.

Reno, 2001

Mother and Monica at nine months.

I Saw You

To my mother

I saw you first, while in my small cradle,
And joy wrapped me in all its magic power,
When your lovely face touched mine, like a flower,
And thin arms lulled me into my first dream . . .
I saw you later, leaving me in school,
When tears drenched my cheeks and my starched collar . . .
A stady smile was on your face,
But your eyes were full of bare horror.
I saw the pride all over your face,
When I took my terminal degree,
And nothing ever made me happier
Than knowing that you believed in me.
It was deep winter when I saw you last . . .
The same loving gentle, full of wisdom face,
How could I ever hope to forget the past,
When my life was yours, long before my birth?

Reno, 1991

Mother and Monica after Monica's PhD defense.


For my mother

Half dozen of bright yellow roses
I placed at your headstone today.
Looking at them, I could but wonder
If you might really like them.

Reno, 1987


To my mother
I love the sun, and
Long for peace,
I love the Lord, and
Join in his bliss.
I sing my life, and
Take true pride in it,
I look at you, and
Think of the infinite.

Reno, 1985

The Day . . .

The day that makes a leap year
Has brought my darling to me,
And since then, the slow falling snow flakes
Have kept their magic on me.
Each year, when winter sets in
With sleepless eyes I wait
A snow storm with fluffy snow flakes
To bring you, again, at my gate.
Though years have passed, much too many,
And winters have come and have gone...
The promising white swirls of winters
Brought no trace of you, dear one.

Reno, 1990

At the time of the happy leap year in "The Day."


You too, are gone
And after you, my soul
No pain will ever pile.
Few tears, yes!...and work,
Sad songs, new books, perfumes,
My old, sure healing style.
A parting is a split of roads,
A quiet burial of sorts.
Grey, veiled Lady, please come in!
I looked for you,
I searched the streets,
I asked, and prayed to find you.
You are the hope of my heart,
What better company I'd want?

Cluj, 1973

At the time of hoping for oblivion.


A night as sparkling white
As a polar fox with its busy tail,
Sly, creeps along the snowy paths
Of an exhausted world.
Hands over tired eyes,
I try to persuade my mind,
That time has come to drift away
And leave the thoughts behind.
Instead, renewed, the tossing of ideas
Attacks the tortured soul.
As there is not rest,
I'd better face the dreaded whole.
There is no food, no hope, and no peace,
My lovely cradle land is an abyss. . .
Good Lord, at least for just a while,
Could you, repeat the miracle of bliss?
And multiply the bread, the fish, the hope
And teach them not to stare in the hole
But jump it, as if it wasn't there,
And find happiness that's everywhere.

Reno, 2000


Life is a game, may be
A favorite game for a while,
Sometimes a vain, void game,
But most of the time is living
Mere and simple . . .
Later, much later,
We tiptoe through the core of our memories
Barefoot, as in a muslim temple
Like clouds, our hours on earth
Hurry, pushed over the horizon
In quick, long waves,
And the day comes when
The sign of passing can't be ignored
Any more.
The sly vanity's gain:
Where there is not death,
There is not renewal.

Reno, 1999

Blue Room

I sit and dream in this blue room
I call it "music room" . . .
The Northern sky is grey today,
But blooming twigs caress my window,
And all that gold dancing in the wind
Convinces me that there's not so cold
In here it is peace, and warmth, and music
Of a far world, blue seas, white homes,
And deep inviting rhythms. . .
A wave of joy takes me to those shores.
Memories of slender cypress trees,
Of youth, of love and family
Swirl around and around . . .
Where are you?

Reno, 1998

Kogalmicann Street, Babes-Bolyai University, the statue of writers


Chestnut and lime trees in bloom!
Look around,
Kogalniceanu street heavy with scents
And footprints of past generations;
High-school emotions and sounds,
Libraries and archives;
The Gothic church wrapped in buttresses,
Ancient buildings lined with baroque columns,
Music of classic concerts and fancy balls,
Melancholic statues under leafy trees,
We so much enjoyed.
As night and rain embraces us in the cold,
We walk hand in hand
In the place where Love touches Soul.
My shadow glides along the walls
Defeating the passing of time,
Ghosts guide memories of days gone.
You and me, reverently climbing
The steps of the University,
Where, once, our parents made
Their own intellectual beginnings...
We shall never be one in that space,
In that time.

Cluj, May 31, 2000

I Choose . . .

I choose Love . . .
As no occasion justifies hatred,
No injustice warants bitterness,
No inhumanity makes room for cynicism . . .
I choose Patience . . .
And overlook the inconsistency of our world.
To the one who takes my place, I say, "Do so,"
When the wait is much too long, I pray . . .
I choose Peace . . .
Nothing good is won by force . . .
I will face life with honest joy.
I will forgive, so that I may live.

Reno, 2001

No Good-Bye

On the narrow path
Behind the toss of her long skirt,
Dead leaves fly frantic here and there.
Swiftly she walks towards the river,
As if time is running out,
As if he might be waiting for her there . . .
At home,
A lonely white dove
Flies up to the top of the roof,
Few late violets shake their heads in the breeze.
A distant sound of a splash, then silence.
Quiet, round ripples enlarge their circumference. . .
The shadow enters a new home.

Reno, 2000

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