Cassandra’s Poems

  Kronos Eclipsed   My father used to tell me stories About the atrocious gods Who devoured their own children. I always used to believe The stories foretold my own destiny.   I don’t believe in gods anymore, Nor in the impossible tracks of destiny. I don’t even believe in my father. I believe in…

The Ungratefulness of Being

  “If I had to define man it would be: a biped, ungrateful.” Fyodor Dostoevsky put these words in the mouth of his unnamed character in Notes From the Underground. The rambling, idealistic, unsettling novel was written in 1864. Dostoevsky was uneasy with the notions of utopianism and unbridled optimism that were becoming fashionable in…

Budapest Skies

  The whole city felt like it could fit in the palm of his hands. The darkness of night was interrupted by a honeycomb of lights. He recognised every street, every dome, every reflection in the river’s black mirror. The piercing spires of the parliament looked like burning stalagmites. St. Stephen’s Basilica wore a skirt…

On the Death of Anthony Bourdain

“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”  …

One and Only Childhood

One and Only Childhood   A house lit by the solitary sun Crowns a hill too distasteful to name. A white sky and a grey vertical climb, Greets the memories of my One and only childhood.   Days spent in the cobweb of fantasy Travelling, scheming and manipulating, Universes that only I knew existed. These…

Mono no aware

Mono no aware   All day long the sky dreams of stars. Yet when the stars begin to sing The sky is filled with regret.   A sparrow leaps across the old sky, The Medina sinks in the pond of violet dusk And there is nothing but the morrow.   The capers crawl into the…

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….

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…

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…

No Longer Afraid Of Virginia Woolf

    The first book of 2017 that has shared its reality with mine, indeed made its reality a quarter of mine, is a book that is about a mooted family holiday to a lighthouse on the shores of England. I hadn’t read To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf since I was a sixteen-year-old enthralled…