Numinous Childhood

From Childhood to Eternity Those eyes, still so fresh with the dew of youth, Will see things no poet’s pen could ever entrap; Noble Mexican tapestries, French vineyards of olden silk, Azure domains, verdant realms, celestial weaves, Waves without ships or men, races of a thousand hues, Greeks, Kurds, Quechuan and the ancestors of man….

Carnival of the Dead

Carnival of the Dead Today is the dawn of an old winter. Death, so friendly and chatty, descends Like a pregnant ash cloud to kiss the roofs of our mouths. A carnival of life mocks the dead, Their dancing further burying the black corpses Until their remains lie so far buried That we are allowed…

Inner Landscapes

Childhood   What world is this With so many blues? Birds fly like planes And houses Have balconies for faces. Olive trees Shake hands With palms. And beaches Drown with the tide. Oh mother, I don’t know!     The Pen   Like snow To a mountain, Or the cocktail To the man who screams…

The Origins of Travel: Grace Under Pressure

  We are often told that travel is freedom. It’s a romantic view of what is essentially leisurely migration. I don’t see it that way. Not anymore. Wanderlust: one of the most beautiful words in the English language (and typically of Germanic origins) is an evocative word that breathes mountain air and wistful breezes. But…

For Whom My Children Grieve

  The blown sand heaps on me, that none may learn Where I am laid for whom my children grieve . . . O wings that beat at dawning, ye return Out of the desert to your young at eve! – Rudyard Kipling –   Karen Knudsen Copenhagen She looks literally dead, Anna thought as…

The Voyages of a Devoted Reader

Literary Travel Guide to Europe and the Americas   Travel guides. Is there anything more miserable, more cliché-making, complacent and sheepish than those small, compact dictionaries-of-places that you can conveniently, nay embarrassingly, carry in your pockets? All you need to scream out ‘tourist’ even louder is a sun-hat, bermuda shorts and sandals. What happened to…

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…

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…

The Proust Questionnaire for my Main Character

The Cuban     Finishing the first draft of a novel you’re proud of is a feeling worth more than wealth. And I choose my words carefully. As this is a novel about wealth – or lack thereof, or, better still, the lack of desire for wealth.  The main character of the story is Tony…

Hekk Ikun

Hekk Ikun   Mur aqbadlu jdejh. Mur zejjen il-kwiekeb mieghu. Mur sorgi fuq il-lewn maghzul, Mieghu.   Kollox mieghu. Ja melodija tas-sejjieh, Ara, mohhok hemm: Ser titlaqli jdejja Biex tmur hdejh, U ara, hares sew, Kif tmur tigri wara dak it-tifel B’ghajnejh Zonqor u xaghru xemxi U tbissimtu moderna daqs l-eternita’ – Araha titlaqli jdejja…

Love in the Meander

  The embrace of the future Deposits warmth.   A future generation adores you And you feel the cymbal of immortality.   That love is like space and time Meandering, interweaving, mysterious.   A child hugs what you’ve always been And you feel what you will always be.   In the eyes of that embrace:…

Valletta: the European Capital of Hipsters

    “On the long dinner table a field of food waved yellow in the dim light of dusk. The Cuban prepared deep fried pork rinds like they did in Cuba, but the rest of it was Maltese stuff; cold pasta, timpana, Maltese bread and sausages, aljolli, and saucers with olives and capers.” The above…