Her Birthday  


By my Love for You,


I am.




I.                 Apology  ...

My Wife:

Sometimes I watch you from behind:

your shoulders, avian, aflutter.

Your ruby hands;

the feet that carry you to me

and then away.

I know I wrong You.

Your eyes black pools; your skin eruptions of what is

and could have been.

I vow to make you happy, but

my Hunchbacked Self

just tolls the bells

and guards you from afar.

II.               ... And Thanks

In the wasteland that is Me

You flower.

Your eyes black petals strewn

across the tumbling masonry.

Your stem resists my winds.

Your roots, deep in my soil,

toil in murk to feed both you and me,

to nurture Us.

And every day a spring,

and every morn a sunshine:

you’re in my garden,

you blossom day and night.

Your sculpted daint feels

in my hands like oneness.

III.              In Toronto

So much is left unsaid between us.

Your crests of silence

fallen on my shores of pain.

IV.             Dedication (9th Edition of “Malignant Self-love”)

My Wife:

You are in every carefully measured space,

In every broken word

That we had mended with

The healing hyphens of our together-


This book, the memory of us,

A record of survival

Against all odds.

Malignant Self- gives way to love, two points, we are:


V.               Happy 2014 (dedication on the book “Macedonian Woodcarving”)

Carved in the wood of our togetherness, entwined,

the chiseled hurt of us:

sprawled in your arms, my wounds

and your iconic smile,

Madonna of leaves and angels.

Only one unicorn we are,

sheltered behind the royal doors

to our love. And you?

My own Iconostasis.

VI.             Dedication (10th Edition of “Malignant Self-love”)

In the tenth edition of our lives, we:

muscles aching,

voices raised,

backs bent upon

the pain of editing the past.

You in my studio, I in your night,

pecking at keyboards,

nearsighted, glazed.

And outside? Rain chases Sun

and cats among narcissi

and new life sprouts and old.

We leave behind only these sheaves

of paper children,

off spring.

VII.            Remember Me

Very often, I cannot remember me.


But I remember that you make me happy.


You make me happy when:


We watch a film together


We eat your delicious food


We talk (and talk and talk)


You smile with enormous cheeks


I hold your delicate bird-like hand in mine


You run and stumble on the way to our bed


You talk to and agree with or argue with yourself


You make our apartment a home with gentle touch and souvenirs


You return at night, flustered, excited, loving


You listen to the birds, feed all the cats, talk to the dogs (they listen)


You make me very happy Lidija.


And this is why I am not back - because I never left.


In search for Sam, I am moving towards him - not away from you.


And in the dim, dreamlike existence that I lead,


in the turbulent whirlpool that I am,


a vortex and an apparition,


a sepia shadow of myself,


pure dust - from this nothingness,


for lack of another, better word, I feel.


I call it love. My love for you.


Having forgotten all else - even us - I remember only you,


and survive from one visit of yours to another,


knocking on echoed doors behind which I am not,




scribbling furiously in a journal,


a diary that will never be written.


Your Sam


VIII. The Traveller


Forty days and forty nights the journey lasted. Over mountains, across seas and lakes, traversing plane and prairie. Until the wearied traveller, famished, fatigued, and parched fell to the ground in a foreign land and stirred no more.


He didn't know how long his stupor lasted but, when he woke up at last, he beheld the most marvellous flower he had ever seen: at once fragile and strong, scented and beautiful, its petals colourful and shimmering in the sun.


The flower nodded gently in the breeze, brushing against the traveller's bristled cheeks. Invigorated, the journeyman got up, found a stream of water, drunk from it, and washed himself. He picked low-lying fruits for his meal and all the time he eyed the tiny flower with wonderment and gratitude: it gave him life and hope and beauty.


Weeks passed and the traveller decided to return to his home. He made preparations: packed his meagre possessions, scooped water into a basket made of bark, and assembled fruits of all kinds into a blanket he has tied to a stick he had improvised from a fallen branch.


Time came to depart, but the traveller could not leave without his flower. He gently and lovingly dug it out, wrapped it carefully in an earth-filled kerchief and embarked on his way.


When he reached his destination, his family and friends marvelled at the flower. He bought a plot of land, cultivated it meticulously, to make a new home for his flower, the saviour of his life.


But, as the days turned into weeks and the weeks to months, the flower withered. Its petals dimmed and fell, its proud stem stooped, its scent diminished and then vanished altogether. Perplexed and saddened, the traveller called upon the greatest botanist of the land and asked him to inspect the flower and render his opinion.


"No need" - responded the botanist - "for I have seen these things before. Some plants can flourish and thrive only in their native soil, where the right admixture of sunlight and water is available, where insects indigenous to these parts help them reproduce. Only there these flowers giveaway their natural gifts: their beauty and their scent. If you really love this flower, take it back to where you found it. Give it its life back as it has given you yours!"


And the traveller who loved the flower greatly did just that.


Never doubt my love for you, my beautiful flower and my life.


Sam, your traveller


10/8/2007---> forever


IX. 1138 – A Love Poem


On our rented porch,

above the starlit city,

the Sun sets in refracted wine.

We sip the silence,

quivering limbs entwined.

Pain harks to pain.






We explore each other's

shrines, like pilgrims

in the holy land

of our Love.


X. Crimson Marriage


In your work-weary hands

you drew the squarish box

sheathed in crimson velvet

and you asked:

"Do you know what this is?"

"No," brows raised.

"It is your wedding ring,

but it doesn't fit you"

(When I finally tried it on after

15 years of naked finger).


And there was such resignation in your voice

as you contemplated with ashen eyes

this patinated relic of our

fading union.


The marriage I buried in the squarish box

sheathed in crimson velvet.