National Poetry Month: Greek Poets – Mary Houmis-Diab

We’re celebrating National Poetry Month, spotlighting the work of several contemporary Greek poets. This week, meet Greek-American poet Mary Houmis-Diab.


National Poetry Month 2017: Celebrating Greek Poets

Welcome to our latest series, in honor of National Poetry Month,celebrating the work of Greek poets.

From Sappho to Ritsos, Greeks have always had a way with words. In celebration of National Poetry Month, we have collected some delightful and moving poems by contemporary Greek poets. We’ll spotlight a different writer each week. We hope you enjoy this series.

This week, we present Mary Houmis-Diab. Mary selected the following poem, “Moondust and Tears”, because it’s become a fan favorite– it’s the most requested poem at her readings. She said she wrote it “as she dreamt it,” after her husband passed away in 1969. She said it resonates most with people who have lost their partner in life.


Mary Houmis-Diab Greek Poet
Poet & Author Mary Houmis-Diab


“Moondust and Tears” by Mary Houmis-Diab

is that moondust on my pillow

is your fragrance in the air

do I hear your gentle breathing

are you in my room somewhere

as you’re reaching to embrace me

softly whispering my name

do you touch my breasts and kiss me

set my aching heart aflame

if I waken will you vanish

like a phantom in the night

leave me trembling and longing

for your arms to hold me tight

if I slumber will you love me

like you did so long ago

with a sweet and tender rhythm

only you and I could know

are those teardrops on my pillow

is there sadness in the air

do I hear the lonely beating

of a broken heart somewhere


Related: National Poetry Month: Greek Poets – Lia Siomou

Meet Mary Houmis-Diab

Mary Houmis-Diab hails from Steubenville, OH, but calls Chicago home. She is a first generation Greek-American, and traces her roots to the island of Chios. Mary developed a passion for poetry, when as a child, her mother would read poems to her, as well as nursery rhymes.

She came to Chicago to pursue opportunities. For a time, Mary worked for the Greek National Tourism Organization, in their Chicago office, and for the State of Illinois in Ethnic Affairs. She has attended classes at Columbia College.

A prolific writer, Mary has published short stories, and two chapbooks of poetry. For years, she wrote a travel column, called “Trains, Planes, Boats, and Camels”, for What’s Happening newspapers. Her interviews with Greek restaurant owners for The Restaurateur were wildly popular. Mary was a contributor to the former Greek Press, and several other publications. Most recently, she published  her first novel, All Kinds of Love, (under the pen name Maraki), set in Ohio and Chios. It’s now available on Amazon.


Connect with Mary Houmis-Diab: Facebook

Meet these poets, featured during National Poetry Month 2016:

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Georgia Kolias

 National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Apollo Papafrangou

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Alexandra Kostoulas

National Poetry Month: Greek-American Poets – Georgia Bellas

Maria A. Karamitsos

Maria A. Karamitsos

Founder & Editor at WindyCity Greek
For 10 years, Maria served as the Associate Editor and Senior Writer for The Greek Star newspaper. Her work has been published in GreekCircle magazine, The National Herald, GreekReporter, Harlots Sauce Radio, Women.Who.Write, Neo magazine, KPHTH magazine, and more. Maria has contributed to three books: Greektown Chicago: Its History, Its Recipes; The Chicago Area Ethnic Handbook; and the inaugural Voices of Hellenism Literary Journal.
Maria A. Karamitsos

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