“Pomegranate heart” and other poems by Miriam Calleja

Miriam Calleja

Four million years of eyes

Heady honeysuckle sweat
Skin ripe fruit

Lips floating

Four millions years
Of eyes

(first published in Pomegranate Heart by Edebooks)

Pomegranate heart

She counts the seeds
Of my pomegranate heart
The same, always the same
No matter how many times she counts.
Her fingers are stained
And though she may wash and scrub
There I will be
In her skin, lodged in places
Where she cannot wash me out

(first published in Pomegranate Heart by Edebooks)

A new kind of courage

You give me a new kind of courage
you’ve seen me crawl out of my own skin
frustrated beyond words
shaking my fists and my beliefs
at a world that

because, who am I?
and who are you?
and what is it we are doing collectively that
would matter at all?

you’ve seen me rise out of the destruction
of my own dreams
brushing every bloody tear off my face
in the way only long, hot showers and music can

you’ve seen me run and crash
and change direction
breathless, jaw-clenched, eyes circles that don’t

you’ve seen me consistent and committed
to the grave
I started to dig
in my own creation of a beautiful garden
and then smile with conviction
as I covered it up and swore to you
it will never happen again
and I believed it

and we both know
that I am a fool.


Without end

Translation by the author of ‘Bla tarf’ – a poem originally written in Maltese

A fire without edges
I’d cuddle up inside of it
but without hesitation
it gets away

melts between my fingers

darkness without edges
I cannot figure it out
it falls to the ground spreading out
it cannot be picked up

darkness without ends
I’ve forgotten where I’ve put it
I cannot understand how it opens

darkness of memories
of another world
you’ve already forgotten about me in the dark

I’m going to find the darkness
I’m worried that I’ll never find you in the dark
it’s dark as I finally get home to settle in for the night
I’m full of joy for you

I open the windows to let some light in
but instead, I let in the dark



Translation by the author of ‘Ottubru’ – a poem originally written in Maltese

I’ve left the saltiness behind
the scents of the sun
the ground still warm beneath bare feet

I let the months drag on
then at the end, in the last few hours,
I melted them in sweet ambrosia

(I wish you’d told me
you’d help me turn a new leaf
it’s as though we’ve started over)


Pomegranate heart and other poems are © Miriam Calleja

Miriam CallejaMiriam Calleja is a bilingual author from Malta. Her poetry collections, Pomegranate Heart (EDE Books, 2015) and Inside Skin (EDE Books, 2016), have been described as ‘fresh’, ‘intimate’, and ‘sensual’. In 2015 she was shortlisted for a literary excellence award for her poem Burying the Dark, which has been published in an anthology by Magic Oxygen in the UK. She dedicates her time facilitating creative writing workshops, writing for performances or publications and devouring words. She has read at events in Malta, London, and New York. In 2017 she was recognised by the Network of Young Women Leaders as a leading female artist in Malta. She moonlights as a pharmacist, loves the sea, cats, and coffee, and would like to travel as much as her poetry does.

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