A Poem: Watching A Fly On A Slate Table: A Fly Tetralogy

With the full privilege of a month in a Himalayan hut, I was granted the rare liberty of observing a common fly for a period not too removed of two hours.  I’d avoided flies in Rishikesh: they’d usually flown hot, straight from a homeless and vomiting cow’s arse.  But here in the flowery mountains, I imagined this one had just danced from a pink rose or at worst had been pestering a butterfly.  You may think that flies are just black dots that you brush off, but I firmly advocate closer inspection.  A whole world is waiting in the minutiae.  My protracted period of muscidae monitoring resulted in the following poem.

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To Achieve On Merit, Should I Vote Tory?

I want to achieve on my own merit. I want to work hard and be the best person that I can be. So should I vote Tory?  After all, a vote for the Tories is a vote for, ‘The Great Meritocracy’.

Hailing from a poorer family but having half a brain, I’ve always felt that the idea of a meritocracy is a good thing. Encouraging people to achieve whatever they can achieve and finding their place in society by their own endeavour. I think it’s healthy to promote values of entrepreneurship and effort. It seems I align with a mainstay of traditional Tory themes here. Continue reading

Meditations from Jibhi

Our bedroom is in the attic of a handmade house. All wood with a slate roof, there’s nothing we are wanting for. A comfortable mattress on the floor, some make-do pots and pans in the kitchen, a place to meditate and practice asana. Beyond the rough hewn door is a balcony that frames the most extraordinary view. Bougainvillae creeps around the struts and beyond are the steep sloping terraces of Jibhi. Green upon green, the pines rise up to the peaks, and dotted irregularly are the pink and green homes that remind us we are still in India.

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Hello To The Queen

Dessert has arrived. It’s confusing. An industrial block of ice cream. Some broken biscuits. A few bananas nudged in. Snapped Oreos jammed in the side of the block. Finished with five butterflied satsuma segments, four raisins and chocolate sauce. I’ve seen, ‘Hello To The Queen’ on every traveller’s menu since Fort Kochin. It seems to have some heritage here but a quick Google suggests that no-one knows what it is, where it came from or how to make it. There was no, ‘Up Yours Elizabeth’. I’d have preferred that. I’m reminded of Blighty. I consider the forthcoming election. Continue reading

Pot of Gold

From the counter at the front of his hardware shop, Sudhir’s eyes vacantly stare through the passing traffic. A look we have seen so often here. A man in the abyss. Our arrival nudges him to consciousness. He rubs his eyes and recognises us from two days ago.

“It’s crazy out there.” I blurt as we stumble in. Our nervous systems are in tatters after the chaotic journey.   We sit opposite Sudhir at the counter. He seems resigned and he shakes his head. There is a sadness with him. A sense of futility. My comment seems to have prompted something.

“It is crazy.” He replies in time. He inhales slowly, still climbing from his brain-death. But he fixes to talk. Collette and I both sense we are about to get more than we came in for. We lean in to listen as he talks: Continue reading

out of work. Into life.

“Your forehead smells like a lost corridor, as you move towards the staff quarters of a Balearic hotel”. Pete.

Born on the day of verbal acuity, Pete has always had a way with words. He manages to articulate and translate the world in the most remarkable ways. Sights, smells and experiences are all wrapped up in alarming, acrid metaphors. Vivid, corporeal and often crude, he speaks the world alive in ways that often leave me awestruck. And often lost for words. Which is ironic because my writing business is called Found for Words.

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Dearest and Favourite Aunty Margaret

 

Double Bed Cabin Near The Back
Overnight Bus Ride
Mumbai to Jodphur
West India
Asia
Earth
Milky Way
Universe
Somewhere in Space

9th April 2017

 

Dearest and Favourite Aunty Margaret,

When we were called at 9:50am this morning to be advised that this bus was now leaving at 10:25am as opposed to its scheduled departure time of 11:30, we had to get our Mumbai skates on. Typically Indian that. We feel very lucky to have made it on board.

Bandra was our date night location for our final night in Mumbai. The preferred, ‘happening hotspot’ for the stars of Bollywood, we were hungry for some Bollywood bling. It turns out it’s mostly a place where Indians with privilege take the opportunity to treat Indians in service like dog shit; valet parking, ‘Bring my chicken over here,” “Clean my table.” “Dust my ego.” This kind of social-hierarchy bollocks. And it plays out constantly here. In traffic jams, in bars, buying vegetables, arranging transport. When I get them to clean my bum hole etc. Continue reading

Good Haveli Bad Haveli

“These review are all from jealous people.”
Abu

We made some lovely new friends in Jaisalmer. As a thirty five year old boy, I’d instinctively refer to this quartet of handsome and bright seventeen and eighteen year olds as boys. However I have no intention to condescend, in fact, the opposite. At their age I was vomiting Blue WKD behind Squares. Here, these men were embarking on a final cultural venture prior to their looming two year stint of compulsory national service for their native Singapore. Hussain, Sanni, Ratch and Nas looked like an entry to South East Asia’s Got Talent in their matching desert outfits and through the laughter we talked; politics, travel, photography, Youtube, history, art and dreams.

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XL Bar

Do you remember those CD multi-stackers that were hidden in the boot of posh cars in the late eighties and early nineties? Imagine loading a five-stacker with; N-Sync, Now That’s What I Call Country, Nickelback, Michael Buble and Cher. Now press random play. Collette and I went to a one-percenters bar last night. Proper dregs.

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