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…

Words of Our Own Making

Fading Words   “I’m hurting from desire.” Repeat after me: Desire desire desire Desire desire. Has the word lost meaning yet?   “I’m desperate for the forbidden thrill.” Repeat after me: Thrill thrill thrill Thrill thrill. What can you see now?   “I’m trapped in my own wanting.” Repeat after me: Wanting wanting wanting Wanting…

An Ode to Travel

  “Journeys are the midwives of thought.” This quote from Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel goes a long way in explaining why almost everything I’ve ever written has been tinted with wanderlust. Human beings are lofty animals because we, uniquely, have a name for happiness. Other animals can only ‘do’ happiness – be…

Beauty and Impermanence

  He first noticed the girl the day after her mother died in a car crash. It was such a perfect day. One of the first days of spring that fills the sky with screaming brightness. How such a tragedy could happen on such a divine day was a mystery that hung heavy in the…

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…

Epicurean Realism

  Ever since I was small I was fascinated by the big role little things played in people’s lives. Being an argumentative sort I always pitted imaginary battles in my heads: food vs. career; football vs. relationships; mementos vs. ambitions. Of course now that I’m older and presumably wiser I know it’s not a case…

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….

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…

Triptych of Fading Pleasure

  Pleasure’s Fading Shadow     The child does not know the man So as the fig does not know the fig tree. And if the child knows the daybreak The man knows only the dusk.   The cold shoulder of passing years Casts a veil of black silk over the nine muses. What you…

Poems Shedding Time

Time Lapse   A city of dread, chiming hearts, cherubs in PVC, The day rolls on and the sky is shorn. To truth we rove, to truth we strive, To mourning we dive and celebrate; Like tail-less lizards across the nocturne.   There are gods welded into truth. And truth is the forge of gods….