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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.

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Hiding (again)

25 Mar

Hiding, away from the world. It has become a habit, instinctual. The world is frightening. Life is frightening. Mental and emotional paralysis takes hold.

Hiding from everyone. Lose speech, voice and communication. Words and thoughts slowly crumble, falling into a void.

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Tired eyes

11 Mar

Tired eyes, tired eyes, oh I have such sore, tired eyes.

So much to do, my mind is willing, but my tired eyes say no.

Tired eyes are burning, burning, burning.

Nothing, nothing, nothing can be done with these tired eyes.

Tired eyes refuse to read, watch, look or see.

Talking, walking, listening, thinking are a struggle with my tired eyes.

Tired eyes won’t even let me eat.

Trying so hard to fight tired eyes.

Tired eyes are staging a mutiny, taking over my brain.

My senses have succumbed to these tired eyes controlling my consciousness.

Tired eyes will give me no peace until I rest them with sleep.


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