Particle perception

18 Sep

She sensed a consciousness in the bricks of the house, mirrors, windows, tiles, pipes, roof, kitchen utensils, metallic jewellery boxes, grass and dirt in the garden, ceramic flower pots, lace curtains, woollen blankets, wooden furniture, rugs, books and newspapers. She lay awake in bed at night thinking of them and listening for sounds of their breathing. Did they wake when everyone was asleep? She focused intently to detect their movements through slight displacements in the air around her.

She thought of every particle in their composition, and how they reacted to the cold, heat, rain, sunshine, darkness, scratches and marks, loud noises, time, human activity and emotions. How much did they stay the same and how much did they change?

She wondered what they observed and knew, what they felt, and what they absorbed of the people who owned and used them. What did they do when the people were away? Did they ever feel the absence of human life, or was it imperceptible to them?

She wanted to find the hidden space where their particles shimmered and pulsed. She tried to feel them into being, to see the secret.

They awoke for her and spoke only to her. No one else in the house ever knew it was alive.

Missing days

20 Jan

Today is your birthday. It is the 25th time I couldn’t wish you a happy birthday. For 25 years, this day has felt hollow. There was another anniversary last month, another marking of the persistence of your absence. That day was quiet and calm, free of the beautiful comforting voices and the oppressively respectful rituals and customary sad thoughts. That day I remembered you alone.

Maybe you are still around, a witness to all our misery and joy, to our mundane successes and daily ugliness. What are you thinking when you see this? What would be different if you had not gone?

Maybe you left at some point, got bored with our routines that no longer included you. Or, you wanted to explore, see what else was there beyond our little lives.

Maybe you were never here, left us as soon as you could.

I wonder where you exist, where you are now. If, you are, at all. There is science in this somehow, but it is not explained or discovered yet. There is so much of the science here now that you loved. So much science you tried so often to interest me in and tell me about. I am more interested and fascinated by it now. I did not understand as much before.

I don’t ‘talk’ to you, as some might. I sometimes think of what you might be like now, if you had not gone. I sometimes dream that you have come back, but it is always an odd and awkward return, one that does not feel as right or good as it should.

If you had not gone we could have talked about so many things, swapped ideas, debated all there was to debate. I miss that. We could have discussed existence and non-existence, your existence and non-existence. I miss my sparring partner.

So many missing days, missing birthdays. Happy birthday.



22 Nov

I hear a man’s voice on the news, and immediately it has my attention. Now a woman speaks in a similar manner, a familiar pattern of speech, one I know well. They speak in a borrowed language, bending and stretching and filling it, marking it with their histories and traditions, making it their own, another home for their voices. They speak comfortably, confidently and fluently in a language that tried to discomfort, belittle and undermine them.

The rhythm of speech is uncontained in this borrowed language. The patterns refuse to fit, and the intonations are out of order. It has an alien tongue, giving well-worn words different dimensions and alternate realities. Imported lives, bodies and sounds weave new threads and add texture to each word, changing the landscape of the language.

We hear it distinctly and differently.

You mock it so casually, without hesitation, with no harm intended. It is an easy target for your lazy laughter, an endless source of amusement. Too easily recognisable, their accents are unappealing and ugly in this language, your language. There is no time to understand. Every word spoken is dissected and mimicked. You make its speakers one-dimensional, inept and redundant, but with no harm intended.

My ears translate it. I hear the voices of my family, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. It is spun with warmth and laughter, kindness and comfort, sadness and longing, tenderness and loss. It is the sound of home, and of complete, unquestioned, abundant, never-ending love. It is a code conveying extraordinary generosity and everyday ordinariness.

It rests deep in my being, always instantly decoded. It is the voice of my mother and father. It is beauty and life.

It is a code that you, pitifully, are unable to decipher and hear in its entirety and magnanimity. It is a code for a hidden world.



3 May

Scattered and floating into recognisable patterns inside an intangible mutable net, a shape is apprehensively formed, but always falls away, lacking the strength to solidify. The patterns are clear, but the outlines lose definition, with a seepage of particles to the edges of the net, ebbing and flowing unpredictably. They come together again, trying hard to connect, to focus all energy on creating cohesion from the chaos inhabiting the space. A shape forms, slowly filling the many tiny holes with a force of rebellious intent, determined to take hold inside the distracted net, where even chaos has order and knows its boundaries.


System: set and reset

3 Sep

Mouth, full of words failing to escape through the gap between teeth and lips, as tongue swells, speech silently swallowed.

Pressed and compressed.

Face, weighed down by the gravitational pull of heavy thoughts, all lightness and youth consumed, cast in a plaster mask.

Drawn and withdrawn.

Shoulders, proud and defiant, try in vain to lift the body to its suit of dignity, limbs eager and distracted.

Dress and redress.

Heart, tender and curious, feels everything at once, bleeding and ecstatic, beating with purpose and caution.

Erupt and disrupt.

Throat, collects and chokes on anxieties, vocal chords parched and scratched, weakly whisper wounds.

Strained and constrained.

Breath, an intake of cold air, calm and focused, steering a chaotic and erratic system, controlling the pace and averting collision.

Solve, resolve, absolve.



2 Jun

Bright happiness of the glistening day, washed in the stark light of the sun.

The decided darkness of the night is illuminated by distant dying stars, hinting at the incomprehensible expanse of the universe, ancient and unending.

Shimmering cosmic skin of Krishna, dyed deep in dharmic divinity, desire dancing and flirting across time to the unpredictable talkative rhythmic language of a tabla.

The moods you wear, from trivial playful disinterest to profound meditative melancholy, changing shades as the sky changes its tone and complexion.

A welcome embrace, wide open arms boldly hold me tight in warmth and comfort.

When I close my eyes a final time, covered in the glorious royal coat of a peacock, I am home, where, as far and wide as my soul roams, there is only blissful bountiful blue.



28 Mar


Rising at dawn, half-asleep, getting ready to go to a lesser known corner of the world. We nearly miss the ride, but like many things in this land, amid the chaos it all works out.

The early morning fog lingers, dense and opaque, making it hard to see anything as it greets the tall wild grass, adding to an atmosphere of mystery and anticipation. Quietly the fog fades and the land returns to our vision in patches, revealing its many and various residents, going about their ordinary leisurely lives. We approach on the backs of humble elephants, reluctantly but graciously allowing us to retain our positions as masters of the planet, and witness this beautiful wilderness in safety. The animals stop and stare, unafraid, familiar with this daily ritual. No harm will come, just strange flashes of light from metal objects. They do their duty and pose, and then leave, paying us little attention. They have become accustomed to this odd routine.

Continue reading

Temporal orbits

7 Jan


A buzz, a mass, anticipation afoot
Laughter, chatter, unguarded voices excited
Perfect summer night all smiles and cartwheels
The hour approaches every body is pulled
A full moon drawing tidal disciples

Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock
Rigid black hands heading home to the beginning
Tick tick tick tock tock tock, heading to the end
Untrained howls calling out numbers with strange discipline
Choruses urge the determined hands to a triple kiss

Now at the finish line. Struck! Dong!
Jubilation is instant, the future is here
Moment is frozen, coloured fire sparks fly across the sky
Jumping and leaping mimicking the feelings of those below
Ground dwellers with fire and spark in every breath

Steady black hands all three barely glance at the spectacle
Waves of bodies gathered to witness an alignment
A mechanical eclipse orbiting time
The moment is unmarked work is still to be done
Eternity awaits stretching out yet to be noted



Dirty orange sky

28 Oct

Dirty orange sky
Collecting anger from furious fires
Burning and crackling
Emboldened by devious forceful winds
Licking anything
Within ever expanding horizons
Sending signals of
Smoke and haze, the bitterness of burnt air
Stings throat and palate
Filters every view with growing fear
Unready for more
Failed resistance yielding to intense heat
Hiding from its march
Heads turn upwards with eyes fixed searching for
Hope in forlorn skies
Darkened by dull amber hues filling a
Bright October day
Waiting anxiously for night to command
An end to the purge


Between sleep and wake

18 Sep

Suspended in a washed out wakefulness,
heavy head cradled by foggy senses,
trying to discern noises and voices,
the doorbell rings, again, and once again,
its sound is clear, crisp, it rings, rings again.

Birds conspire conspicuously in the
mid-afternoon sun, its warmth reaches through
the window, gently stroking bare brown skin,
happily imbibing cosmic manna,
absorbing this transforming energy.

Sinking into this in-between space haze,
uncertain if dreams or thoughts pass by in
casual, usual, confident strides,
real and unreal merge into giddy peace,
as body digs a glorious comfort.

Between sleep and wake is a room full,
smells and tastes long forgotten nestle in,
strange gods and ghosts come and go, winking smiles,
and gravity descends, wrapping around,
turning this from a dawn to the gloaming.



16 Sep


Earth, stone, blood, bone, bound together forever by history.

Bodies, bent, broken, bloodied by slow, painful, heavy labour.

Offer of sweat, tears and flesh to build solid permanence draped in magnificence.

Pray to painted, petty, impatient and impetuous gods.

Angry deities who do not answer and never forgive.

Lives limp and lost, looking for some magic to lull them into a long final sleep.

Sacrificed souls severed from skins held together for short time.

Cruel glory haunted by ghosts trapped in ancient ambition.

Bitter force hits the heart with intent, unbalancing senses, unsettling nerves.

Earth, stone, blood, bone, ever awe-struck-some-ful.


Mindless rhythms

18 Aug

Auditioning a host of untamed words
haphazardly strung together in jest
to revive my atrophied mind, muscles
weak and in the doldrums, not wanting to
navigate tricky twisting tunnels of
profound problems demanding earnest work.

Dum-de-dum-de-dum taps inside my head,
rhythms easier than exercising
a deflated brain, neglected cells plead,
insisting, use me, use me, give me life,
cacophony of noisy thoughts smothered
by an incessant dum-de-dum-de-dum.


Poison word

31 Jul

A word, exotic, so potent, defined
clinically in the dictionary,
something foreign, strange, flora or fauna.

An idea, romantic, unfulfilled,
alluring and alien attractions,
waiting to be discovered and unlocked.

An adventure, the determined hunt for
treasure, pleasure, mystery, enchantment,
merchants seeking unknown fascination.

A label, wilfully misunderstands
lives, lands, loves, histories, traditions, tongues,
to theorise, write, argue, make judgements.

A curse, of gazes, suffocates women,
unwanted fixations on difference,
disguised compliments mask less equal thoughts.

An accusation, imprisoning men
in distrust, suspicion, fear, ridicule,
disposed and undeserving of respect.

A subject, studied, practiced, distorted,
frozen museum exhibits stripped of
humanity for curiosity.

An act, of power, wields weapons, striking
coldly, unleashing uninhibited
calamity on brave and weak alike.

A thirst, satisfied by poison poured down
greedy mouths relishing each drop of a
toxic brew, disfiguring minds, souls, fates.

A word, exotic, blunted by misuse,
jagged, rusted edges carve deep, raw wounds,
scarring soft flesh, inscribing hardened bones.


Visitors in dreams

17 Jul

I am the one who comes at night to play
a game of hide and seek when you are fast
asleep, dream of flocks of birds locked in full
flight, weaving in and out of unhurried
clouds, keen to nests as darkening skies make
homes for age-old stars, shining ancient light,
tell tales of times with memories made full.

I come in the darkest hour of the night,
pulling you out of dreams of birds and stars,
calling your name in whispers low and cold,
sending trembling thoughts to your restful mind,
jolting awake fear and panic, wreaking
havoc in your slumber, no longer sweet,
nightmares lurk in the midst of happy dreams,
creeping into unsuspecting spaces
of your deep sleep, tonight, you hide, I seek.


birds sepia purple


‘This skin’ re-posted

14 Jul

I wrote This skin for another blog. Posting it here as well, since it’s a creative piece about feeling trapped in your situation and skin, and longing for freedom.



This skin


Always invisible, between worlds, on the borders, in the cracks. Never wholly anywhere or anything.

Always reaching out for the sun, its warmth, its light, its love, its food, its life. Its easy gift of dignity.

Always searching for imagined and unknown places, spaces, faces, that offer a promise of fond embrace.

Always wishing for the stars, the planets, the galaxies, and everything beyond our earthly and stunted understanding.

Always trapped, in this game, in this shame, in this time, in this crime. In the fiction that creates truths to imprison.

Always trying to escape, to resist, to scream out, to be known, to be named, to become visible and whole. To become human.

But this skin, this skin that contains me, keeps me, hides me, locks me, chains me, maps me, owns me, mocks me.

This skin, my enemy, my existence, makes me and destroys me.

This skin, I want to shed and replace, this skin is my life, my mind, my disguise, my history, my unknown.

This skin is at once everything and nothing, real and imagined. A translucent membrane to see me through, an invisible wall to keep you out.

This skin, stands between where I want to be, where I need to be, where I long to be, and where I am.

This skin, will not leave me.

This skin. This skin.


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