Cenote of Maya Blue – Part I

  The smell of the suckling pig flew into the air like the musical aroma created by a butterfly’s flapping wing. If you go close to it as it marinates in the banana leaves you could smell the potently acidic citrus that comes from the bitter orange that drowns it. Angelica moves past me and…

Dear Mother Landfill

    The sun that hides behind the snaking fumes, the woods that sleep beyond the mounds so hideous, and the very sky somewhere above; none of them know where the football is buried. Fernando – don’t tell anyone watching him, but yesterday was his 11th birthday – digs his hand into the rubbish that…

The Ghostly Cries of Istanbul

She had barely run out the door when her mother cried out to her: “it’s just a plane!” But the girl didn’t hear her, or anything, only the shrill engine of the plane; she saw her mother’s hand reaching out to her, but she turned away and cried: “bombs! Bombs are coming!” “Is this a…

Day of the Dead

In the Xicotencatl, somewhere in the soul-deserting streets of the Coyoacan neighbourhood, Alicia found La Santa Gula. It was the only place in the whole of Mexico City where she could hope to speak Maltese. Her Spanish was pitiful, lazy, and speaking it elicited painful memories that used to be happy. No: she changed too…

Cosmic Thoughts – Light

Originally posted on Art Inspired by Nature Blog:
The lights we see from stars and planets emit a beautiful array of colours. But light isn’t just about illumination. Light is the very DNA of a celestial body’s chemical make-up. By using spectroscopy, astronomers can deduce what elements are present on a planet or star. Each…

The Ghost in the Arena

  The Ghost in the Arena     Writing is a blood-sport. And in many blood-sports you tend to find the influence of religion. Think of the superstitions of bullfighters. Or the outspoken religiosity of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. Or the Zen-like spirituality of karate. Faith brings these fighters, who frequently flirt with death…

Check-Mating Free Will

  Free will exists. It has no choice but to exist. Our entire legal system is predicated on its existence. However free will has its limitations. Imagine a game of chess. A player is of course free to choose any move he desires. Move a pawn, a knight, a rook, try a philidor defence or…

Seventeen Summer Haikus

  A painting that’s green An embrace of golden arms What a day to swim.   Forts without colour A sky undressed by summer Hues of life and death.   At the funeral An insect lies with the worms And the slum lives on.   Time after time now I have asked why lesbians love…

Pool, Bulls and Humanity

What does Mosul and the festival of San Fermin have in common? Humanity. A photograph I saw recently on Twitter (the featured photo above), of a group of Mosul residents, including children, playing pool in a recently liberated district of Mosul where IS previously forbade pool, filled me with that rarest of elements: hope. Hope…

Silhouettes on the Sea

On Sea   The word hovers in the lilting air It sucks in all meaning into itself. Ravenous, greedy, a vacuum crunching up all life All so it can devour all meaning. To cannibalise it, for meaning is also a word, And strip away that universe of connotation Until all something is rendered nothing. The…

Championing Our Divisive Modern History

    As a devoted admirer of the art of history, a tour guide and a writer who lives on an island so densely packed and renowned for its history you would be right to expect a historical novel or two from me. I recently read an article about Jon Cassar, a Hollywood producer of…