Thursday, February 13, 2014


In the forest where none may pass but you, your bones have been drained of their sunlight. You journey into dusky voices; they call your name, and point the path to follow. Instinctively you know you must ripple like a memory through your own veins, a small, barely perceptible quiver, moving through the convoluted darkness alone. Moments shy away from you now, receding like an ever-shrinking spine, and you must quickly pay homage to your body, the vessel of you, so leaden with your blessings and your shortcomings, miraculously afloat after endless storms. As gently as liquid you pour into your feet, saluting them for resolutely walking the decades. In the moment you pass through them they are warm, pulsating like dance; then you are gone and the toes separate like strangers, cold and indifferent, oblivious to your presence. You move on, aghast, unable to look back.
You are a throb in your ankles now, twitching, rising, until you are clutching at your slippery knees. You pause with them a moment to rekindle the hours knelt in prayer. Soon you are on your way, humming through your brittle joints, momentarily reminiscing days that boasted limbs with the waxy-softness of saplings. You whisk through your loins now, with the rush of a stallion that has no need to pause at this place anymore. There is no longer a water trough here, and the memory is lost of the fruit you bore long ago, fruit that is now as quickly shrivelling as you are.
Next you hover at the rim of your stomach, an angry whirlpool that sucks you into its gurgling depths. Up you paddle, faster, faster, resurfacing, eager to be free from its endless mutterings. You can hear your heartbeat now, the echo of its pebbles reverberating in some distant well—plop, plop, plop. You undulate towards it, tired of the heavy darkness of being, seeking the light—and the lightness. It is hard to face your heart this moment, for it knows too much about you, has harboured your demons and your angels. You know when you leave it behind all that will be left will be of lightning swiftness, a hint of an eye-blink and no more. You kiss, abrupt as doubtful lovers, and move on; the voices are beckoning you to hasten.
Into your chest you spin at full force. You feel the rush of purpose now, propelled by the urgency of the moment, but nipped by a tugging fear; what lies ahead? Whatever it may be, there is no time to contemplate on past or present or future. The voices are hushed now and your body parts are stilled. All that is left as you gasp into your throat is trembling silence; your mouth solemnly opens to release you to an unspoken otherness. You have made your circular journey, a journey which began long before you did, and leads you home, the solitary traveller of your own night, in a forest that bears only your name.


When the brushwood thins and the knots in the road unravel
when your path is not rock nor bog
and your journey is less obscure,
do not seek ways to slow yourself down,
to grind away the soles of your shoes,
to bleed your feet.
The  blood and the mud will find their way.
For now, trudge on, while there is still a clearing.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


 I see a stone cottage somewhere,
balanced on a tranquil lake, with
 a solitary chimney that floats a ghost of smoke into embracing hills. 
Summer roses drench its window box, their heady scent scrawls memories.
The skyline is streaked with sunset, and the lake
bursts the purple blueness of a dying day.  
But I haven’t seen the cottage in a long time.
And now I am afraid I may never have seen it:
it belongs to wishful memory-- a cottage of the mind. 
I capture it beneath a glass dome, the kind that snows glitter.
I set the roses in resin, their scent clings to a cloth handkerchief, decades old. 
Sunset and lake are postcards, souvenirs 
of unknown time and place.  
And we move on to death forgotten.   

Friday, January 17, 2014

Lost Opportunities

Every morning is to be loved. It is crisp and curled,  and carries the promise of great things. There is so much life crouched within the hours that are yet to unfurl, moments to be caught and crystallised into eternal words.  I look out a window, wherever I am, I breathe, and tell myself I will honour the day, I will be true to myself and my art. But somewhere amidst those abundant hours, I am tricked, robbed of time, and I do not capture any of the day's inspiration.  Golden moments may cry out to be cherished, but they will slip away, drop by drop, until another day gets washed away to oblivion.
But tomorrow I will.
 I will still the morning and woo it. I will tell the moments they are worthy of being remembered because they are God's gift to me for my short time on Earth. And I will drink the moments,  that the morning may weep my loss  when I am gone.


I write stories. People die in a lot of them. Not gory graphic deaths, they just die, physically, spiritually.  There is much separation between people in the things I write; I don't have any happy endings.
Why is that?
I guess  I don't really believe in happy endings. They don't seem to bring out much creativity in me. I prefer tragedy. I think it is closer to life.
If we are to talk of all things woven in this blog, then I am made of sad fibres. It is not a question of whether or not I am happy, because I am grateful for my life and happy I am where I am, knowing and accepting that I am exactly where I should be for this moment in time.
It is simply that I see life through sad, puppy eyes.
So a lost friend is not found on the last page of one story,  a sick narrator goes home to die in another, a couple do not resolve their differences and their marriage is as dead as their child in a third, and so on.
Even my poetry speaks of "twisted, worming things", of being robbed of  "living long enough to die a martyr",  of someone so lonely and unhappy that their smile "is only worn to prop up the threadbareness of a soul."
When I am in my true element,  my work is miserable, and that is when I can say it is at its best.

The Book of Me

I came across this fragment in my drafts, from last year:

I met Karima for coffee in the club one morning. She had a rushed hour to spare, and with the weather being gorgeous in the morning these days, we thought to catch up on our vitamin D. So we sat in the perfect sunlight and chatted, and soon Karima remembered--

I have no clue what Karima  soon remembered--the best remedy for vitamin D deficiency? The first time we met?  That she had forgotten to turn off the oven before she left that morning?

Reading over the piece didn't remind me of anything, and I doubt I will ever know.
Does it matter? It's annoying, yes, but I am old enough not to lose sleep over it.
But it makes me wonder just how much of our lives we can recall, if we don't keep track of it. And then I ask myself again if it matters, and what it's all about, anyway?
Well it kind of does matter, and I think it is all about death, though we don't necessarily realise this.

Time passes, we change, we leave our former selves behind in yesterday. Capturing those moments is so important to us, hence photos, and writing (yes I know, I keep harping on about writing).  What is really sad is that by not remembering what was so compelling in that morning meeting  to make me want to preserve the memory of it, I have lost it, like the moments of life we lose and forget.

But no.

All is not lost. Well here it is,  but here is not forever. And my mind is not the infinite universe.

I know that my memories are preserved in a book that grows longer and longer with each passing day. And there will come a time beyond this forgotten life when that book will be laid open for me to view. It is the Book of Me,  the resting place of all my moments:  the lost and the found and the indelible, and  every shade of everything  in between. Even this moment-- as I falter, then write, then backspace, then write again, only to forget the next time I read this--will be saved. There will be time enough to read it all, relive it, in all its grief and joy and shame and triumph, to see how much of it was worthy of my earthly moments, as I stand before God the Judge.

What a daunting thought. 

So it doesn't just kind of matter; it matters a whole lot. 

I hope at least that whatever it was we shared that morning, Karima and I, it was something that reads well and speaks beautifully of me in Eternity. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Something for a new set of numbers

It's 2014.
I wrote about writing regularly twelve months ago, but nothing became of that.
That is why I don't believe in New Year resolutions; when they aren't met, you can feel like a miserably underachieved failure.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't set goals. We should. And we should try our best to achieve them. We should use all those great inspirational words to help us along:

Go forth,

But we don't have to mark it down as something we do when a new year comes along. Start today if you can, even if today is half way through an apparently fruitless year. Every day is new, every moment is packed with potential, as they say.

But remember to be kind to yourself when you let yourself down. Give yourself a hug, not a slap. Pick yourself up with love and move on, don't look at that grid of numbers on the wall,  yes that one, the one you hang on your wall every year  to represent the days of your life. You are greater than the sum of your days, even the  dullest, emptiest days of all. It has taken me so many years to discover this simple fact.
 So today I will be kind to myself. I will give myself a hug and know that I am exactly where I ought to be at this point in time.  However much that may or may not satisfy me is unimportant.  What is important is that I am here, and that I have been, and always will be, the best version of myself, for that particular moment. Even my darkest moments are exactly what I needed for me to see and love and appreciate, the light that followed.

There's my thought for a budding 2014, for a set of numbers that will never come again.
And about the writing: I will write, as I can, when I can.
And I won't slap myself when I don't.  Maybe that way I will write more.