something real

Expat life is a pocket full of privilege and some days that sits more comfortably than others. Walking down the dock to join the ‘monster Halloween party’ boat, dressed as a disco diva modern witch, it really wasn’t all that comfortable.

Faking a confident stride walking beside a scary ghost and a zombie bride, I felt more than a little silly striding down the jetty groaning with fruit sellers, hawkers and ferry men waiting for a fare. They looked at the three of us as if we’d blasted down from another planet. They weren’t that far off.

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Street song

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There is the measureless madness of the streets,
That cacophony of horn honks,
The thick packed traffic I step through in staccato stops,
Backed up blocks,
Radiated by engines idling,
Hot and cancerous.

There is the smell, ripe, rich, revolting,
The contagion I haven’t caught from smashed up flat run-down rats,

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depths called high

There is tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Each rolls on, dark, unrepentant.
Dry days heap one on one in dusting heaps since you plunged forth,
Quiet in your falling,
Silent off slipping,
But inwardly, awkwardly utterly missed.

You were not lost, not misplaced careless.
There just came a time when the depths called high.
We knew they would.

You dove on brave, on some days,
Frightened others but always bold.
No regret left, except for those left,
In tears behind. Continue reading

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reading menus…

Menus leave me muddled. Even in English, here they’re mysteries. There is a whole page of reindeer meat specials thousands of miles from a sniff of snow. On another, plated palmistry is offered alongside deep fried frog and stomach stew.

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violet skies….

The night is moist to touch.
Wet, warm, sensuous, just a little too much.
It’s the kiss you pull away from.

Air heavy hot,
Only cut clean by the rat a tat rattle of the distant train track,
An edge to hand the road off.

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caught in the net…

Back in the mosquito net I doze, jet lag drugged as the fan glitters, irritable with the electricity. The bed is too short for both feet and head so I wriggle restless, thoughtful – thoughtless.

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unhappy endings…

Heya Bab,

It is rolling up to two months since I got home and there is still much I can’t quite say. There are things I want to write but so far I can’t even speak them without a round lump rising up in my throat and emotion adding extra tones like cornflour, thickening out my voice.

I have beginnings, so many beginnings on note pads, post-its, the doodle pad on my phone. But they don’t even close to speaking it. I want to do justice to where I’ve been and that makes me a tough auto-editor. War demands a genre that I can’t write and there is a lot of paper in the recycling bin. Continue reading

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God is bombing us…

God is bombing us. So it seems as the fireballs arc up: meteors that rise and fall inexorable back down down. They are bright and beautiful, starbursts, but this is not a firework show.

It is hard to watch, and know lives are ending unseen, snuffed out, stopped up as the blazes ball back into darkness below. Continue reading

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what I cannot…

I cannot stop this,
Cannot fix it.
I cannot hold myself a halt,
To pause a comma.

I am caught in cannots but bind myself belief,
To find a word to bring you.
And I would bring you,
To this somewhere else beyond bomb bangs,
Gun bites. Continue reading

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love lasts longer…

Love lasts longer than the falling sigh,
The cast down look. Continue reading

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