Welcome to my A-Z 2018, for which I am revisiting Africa, the continent of my childhood and my dreams. The posts are, as always, infoheavy and opinionated, but they are sectioned off - some music, the day’s topic, couple writers, a slideshow from the safaris – plenty ways to cherry-pick. So you may consume just as much, or as little, as you're cool with. Zero obligation to agree with any of my views either, feel free to air yours :)
Wednesday, 29 January 2014
Saturday, 25 January 2014
The Islamic Museum of Art in Cairo has been majorly damaged in a bomb blast targeting the Police HQ. Collateral damage, I guess.
Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Thursday, 16 January 2014
milky coolness of china cups tinkling
while the lazy light outside thins and fails.
some folks would have them, sure, there is no doubt,
but mine’s the same blank day, and nightfall.
those are the only rules that are certain,
and certain is the toil that breaks the soul.
the toys and food, terraces facing south,
the breeze-in-hair trips to picnic spots.
violent men who tottered at our doorsills
women who were always tired and sunken.
I’ve no answer to this teatime nitpick
the names and games played with salt and sweet.
For my framily in MR, who, unlike the researcher above, never pushed past anyone's aunt. With love and many fond memories.
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
the hunger and thirst of other places
were heightened and deepened by it, so what
if the heart was filled? The empty knots
remained still, lurked subtle between faces
of complexities, in flattened foils of thoughts,
in tangled dreams and strange wakefulnesses.
It didn’t fill everything, nor quite made
the earth and heaven spin, it just lit
a tiny flame that trembled at the shouts
of many bearded blizzards, of grave trade
winds, at their forbidding, sharp-tongued wit;
and cowered small, but refused to be put out.
Read the first thought here.
Sunday, 12 January 2014
without white markings, no signs, nothing urban
just the growing sound of an aeroplane
overhead, preparing to touch down
its lights winking, the sea is a black pane
of glass, nothing else for miles around
one huddled island, some huddled humans
melding into the vastness of earth and oceans.
Galali, and more generally, Bahrain has been on my mind recently, along with friends I made there. All of us have moved on, Galali is no longer the same, I left Bahrain almost a decade ago, and my friends too, now settled elsewhere, many continents away from the nights spent plane spotting.
Thursday, 9 January 2014
So, a lake has come to be called
by a somewhat grandiose name;
and just as well I tasted a drop
because lakes and death both might be
named different from what they ought;
based on their past reality.
and I mulled them over as I walked -
the names of lakes, their taste and size;
a lagoon had somehow cut off
its lifeline to the birthing sea
and so both lakes and death might morph
beyond their size and history.
a drop of bitter on the tongue
on second taste gets close to nice;
meanings acquired when I was young,
as I change I must cut free,
but they persist, correct or wrong -
lakes; and death; and eternity.
somewhere between bitter and hot
and no way of pinning the fault -
whether it’s my taste that is flawed
or that’s the truth of salinity?
All that’s certain is that I strode
down the shores of a once live sea.
Tuesday, 7 January 2014
in some ancient time, before the ground
knew the tongue of my feet, before my small
dreams and ambitions fought over control
of dark spaces, and cliffs of frothing sound
crashed on parched oceans; before the blue bowl
was flipped to cover them, before profound
meanings were read into chapter and verse.
Overall, it seemed rather a recent
demand that it fuel the earth’s turns and twists.
I was fine with what love achieved, its sparse
course, its breathless spasms. It’s hardly decent
to ask for more. An insolent wishlist.
Friday, 3 January 2014
the guide’s laconic. Meanwhile, some of the city
has been clawed by the sea into its depths
cobblestone streets gobbled, the warp and weft
of grand architectures of peace and probity.
not as golden hope, bloody fancy metaphors!
just a plain warning, turn away, keep off,
keep off the grass, the rock, this shore, don’t stop.
The moth and flame in vaguely shocking reverse.
it simply. Teenage kids high-five on the pavement.
A black and yellow waspish cab in cruise mode
rubs up slow against the kerb. The waves erode
the rough shoreline till the backwash is spent.