Poetry by Adina Dabija

The Garden’s Invitation

I did want to belong
to a place, or a time, or at least to a man
but I had to learn non locality
I had to learn to build the garden anywhere
from the quicksilver of a dew drop
rolling on a leaf that existed only in my imagination
somewhere in Alhambra
where water and stone flow into each other
just like spirit flows into matter

And when I got confined to small apartments
of crowded cities with eye of the needle size spaces
I was shown to sow seeds
of roses, and mints and petunias
that grow lush up to the sky 
with birds and butterflies
reminding me of something so rarefied
that can only be expressed as scent or wings flutter
Let me dwell in that language!

And when amidst struggles,
when life pulled me in all directions,
the gardener herself called me in the garden
to show me how to make
rows and spirals moving with the stars
order and harmony
orchestrated by the loving touch of an invisible hand
like in Konya’s garden
where roses sway in the wind whispering love’s name

Century after century, 
season after season,
the garden has always kept its gates open 
– take a walk!
part of you needs to overflow here
in this sunlight.

Crescent Moon


The crescent moon shines its sharp blade
on your forties
you are at your midlife

you are ripe like peaches in July
ready to be sacrificed
split in two
offered to the invisible

one half will stay on earth
the other one will be offered up
just like the moon offers herself to the sunlight

This is your first death
it’s a good one
take it!

About the contributor

Adina Dabija was born in Aiud, Romania. A poet and playwright, she now lives in New York, where she practices oriental medicine. Her first book, poezia-papusa, was awarded the Bucharest Writers’ Association Guild Prize. In 2011 she published Beautybeast (North Shore Press), her first collection of poetry in English and in 2012 her first novel, Saman (Polirom).

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