Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Breathing With Trees, The Novelist’s Peace

I stretch into morning,
my own dreams and voice,
free of extraneous clutter,
pausing with pine and cool air, 
engage in the yoga and walks and exercise,
we are allowed every day,
remove the barriers,
that never belonged 
between the universe and our gifts,
write with trees,
a miracle worth pursuing
for all the beauty
our fragile selves can find, 
stand in the radiance of evening
where quiet meets health
and energy rests 
in spring sunsets wrapping the earth,
traversing time, 
as all is renewed,
the moon by my side
whether or not I ever finish,
starlight on the wind.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

To Lie Down in Green Pastures

Dedicated to Jude Neale who came up with the prompt, "Add a day to any month and tell me what you'd do with it" and insists that I give myself daily writing time.

If I could add a free day to any month, 
I would give it to May 
so I could see you tomorrow.
I would read Harry Potter all morning in bed
inscribe dreams in its pages, 
then don the coral Italian silk blouse,
the one with billowing sleeves
that I paid too much for
and paint my nails cherry tree floral
with lime leaves
because I deserve to be pretty.
I would breathe spring light
and wear pink petals in my hair,
let the wind weave ocean mist through my curls
as I inhale the aroma of fresh sea salt,
ferrying over to your love.
I’d travel to friends who make me write poems,
who pick me up and drop me off at the shore
and share the afternoon reciting verse on comfortable couches,
who serve me white wine with homemade cauliflower soup
and invite me to peruse wedding albums of Hawaii, 
lifetimes of story,
with only a labradoodle to keep time.
I would taste the starlight in royal blue skies,
aquamarine blossoms travelling deep in the night
and live solely on my terms.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Everyday Light, A Review of A Blooming

“Life, I repeat, is energy of love, divine or human,” William Wordsworth confessed. Jude Neale embodies that axiom in all that she does. Her latest release, A Blooming, from Ekstasis Editions, 2019, is a mesmerizing collocation of light, music and higher love that offers the reader permission to be passionate. The cover is resplendent with colour, much like the soul of her work through this striking collection. It compliments her exquisite poetry, unafraid of bright, direct colour and precise diction. In sharing her communion of experience, Neale explores the paradox of gentle strength, inviting readers to journey with her through all the ways to unveil light, to breathe the strength of who we are. The audience is carried through spirals of “Ruddy / benevolent / majesty.” The rhythmic play of alliteration and assonance unveils paradox after paradox of everyday light until we surrender to the magnificent, even in grief. It’s difficult to talk about light in concrete terms and yet Neale does this eloquently. She invites the reader into the nirvana of her words to drink in her peace like soothing honey to a scratchy throat, an ocean of reassurance and kindness.

When an opera singer composes a manuscript, the richness of music is transported into breaths of imagery, a delicate inviting rhythm, carved with precision and room to exhale. Each line is a universe in itself, grounded and strong. Diction like “requiem” and “melodious” permeate the pages. Composed between midnight and five AM, the writing reveals maturity and depth in this earth walk and beyond. Through the motif of tree and branch imagery, poems stretch in a multitude of directions, to those before, present and to come. Poems for Neale’s children and grandchildren invite the reader into compassionate ways of seeing, to nurture the profound nature of children:

“when it is so easy
to forget about
their luminous light.”

“You, my child's child
stretched the borders
of my wonder.”

The cadence of verse suggests that the work is designed to be read aloud, with extra line breaks for proper pauses between images. Neale’s opera training directs her use of space:

“and I know I shall never
let go of this love,

that blooms
like a September sunflower.”

Each melodic line is visually accessible, washing over the reader like a painting. Neale’s economy of words is intentional, so that poems connect directly with the reader without awkwardness or unnecessary intellectualization. The result is pure heart to heart connection.

"You are on loan
to my grateful heart,”

she says in “Both of Us Must Cross.”

As the title “A Blooming” suggests, a flower motif is woven powerfully through the poems, as Neale makes symbols her own, elevated with added depth and personal meaning:

“you once scattered my letters,
porcelain orchids,
onto the grey circle of stones.”

She creates clear, concrete metaphors, single atoms in a vast universe, in her original combinations of specific adjectives and nouns to give an already delicate symbol like “orchids” a new shape. Every image has a unique texture, the building blocks of a Jude Neale universe. The subtle significance of symbolism is woven with her portraits of the Canadian west coast such as the moon shrouded in cloud, sea phosphorescence and mystical dragonflies. In “The Wild Rose Suite,” Neale recalls enchanting dragonflies with “iridescent blue and green wings” landing in her grandmother’s raven hair, taking the readers on a meditative journey through colour and light, then ends the poem with the contrast of “…heavy white winter / when colour is the only thing / we want to believe.” The poet’s use of juxtaposition creates an engaging tension resolved in higher love, as her magic breaks open the eternal in the everyday. The whole book is a flower, exquisitely crafted. One could sit with it all spring and summer, long into autumn and be dazzled by its violet blooms through winter, digesting each line over and over. “I’m part of a glazed design / buried in the obsidian sea.” The whole rhythmic volume connects with the deep light in all.

Neale surprises readers with closing thoughts such as, “when love / was the last thing / to go.” Finishing couplets speak to the battles of lifetimes: "still needing to win / my unbridled love.” Her honesty and example of self-acceptance are a gift to anyone who’s struggled with feeling allowed to exist and to self-actualize. No matter how dark the content of a poem, her last two to three lines elevate the material and the reader with enriched understanding and compassion as she opens a new dimension of comprehension, bringing it all together, forgiven, heard, seen and remembered.

This is a poet with the courage to share her private suffering so that others may experience the healing on the other side of trauma. She has gone to the edge and beyond. She’s been deeply to depressing places. Poems like “I’m Not Waving, I’m Drowning,” allude to struggles with bipolar illness, where Neale moves through dark places and shows us the relief on the other side, so that we can hold it inside us eternally like a sunlit forest. She bravely leads the way across despondent fears into an oasis of universal light because love is all there is. She gives readers divine self-awareness, inner strength and perseverance and we hold her tangible truths and trust.

She addresses the Parkinson’s disease that took her father’s life and now afflicts her within the context of passionate love and relation in poems like “About Light,” with my favourite lines in the book:

“Bruised and broken we aren't afraid.
We teeter onto one another’s empty stage
arms suspended like angels before the fall.”

Neale is “not afraid to hit the heart, to bypass the brain,” she said when I interviewed her and “go straight for connection.” She acknowledges the finite nature of our human lives with courageous openness to the ways of the infinite. Even death is a peaceful new beginning.

A Blooming incorporates the importance of collaboration and art influencing art, with “A Place to Call Home” inspired by Nettie Wild’s film that was projected beneath the Cambie Street bridge in Vancouver. After a shared dinner with the writer/ director, Neale wrote and dedicated a poem to her. “Paint white-silled windows / on the rooms of the homeless,” Neale writes of the artwork, in empathy with those afflicted with homelessness.

Neale’s poetic mastery is brimming with compassion and genuine love, like a sunrise through fog. Her process involves a quick initial write of images building on images, followed by a solid twenty hours of editing per poem, to “at least transform something for a moment,” she explained. The efficient writing is infused with deliberate pauses marked by white space as part of the rhythm of each poem. The most brilliant aspects of her literary landscape are the accessibility of unique, vivid imagery to capture and affirm the life experience itself, love. Each poem is edited to perfection so that deep healing is received soul to soul. Lines weave together, allowing story to flow easily through well laid out symbolism with a cadence of varied line length and important line breaks suggesting that the collection is intended to be performed aloud. The book as a whole is well balanced. Even the way Neale laid out the manuscript is intuitive and musical. She placed poems on the floor, then selected them one by one from around the room as they flowed intuitively into this collection of unobstructed light.

Neale has been a poet her whole life and taught writing for thirty-five years, encouraging her students to discover their own authentic voices. She won her first CBC contest at age eight, when she described her experience travelling the interior of British Columbia by train. She continues to translate journals into poems. Mentored by Elisabeth Harvor in Toronto, a writer who received the Governor General’s award and has been published in The New Yorker, Neale’s unique gifts came forth. She continued to work with mentors such as Vancouver Poet Laureate Rachel Rose in The Writer’s Studio and Pandora's Collective executive director Bonnie Nish, who invited Neale to her first reading over ten years ago. Neale’s titles have since been shortlisted for the Gregory O’Donoghue Award in Ireland and continue to win significant accolades in her home country of Canada and through North America.

A Blooming depicts the immediacy of a heart unafraid to embrace life, to share its wisdom in uplifting energy. The world needs this, to see what lies beyond pain, to move through it to joy in these autobiographical snapshots, to transform tragedy and allow it to bloom into the light we truly desire. It makes one yearn to leap like an angel off stage toward the unknown. Neale’s insight and understanding convince her audience to embrace existential mystery with the passion that fills every line of her work. I'll think of Jude Neale when my time comes to transition back to earth and let her lead me into the next dimension, the way A Blooming has taught me to celebrate and trust life in all its shades. As depression lifts, as Parkinson’s disease is met with dignity, as aging is embraced in the rhythmic movement of life through generations and time, the quiet wisdom of soul resonates. A Blooming encompasses the circle of life, paradoxically celebrating birth in death as we are reborn into earth, culminating with “In the End,” where Neale brings the journey together with one delicious, vivid image, “pink glories / of a wild October rose.”

About the Author: Jude Neale is a Canadian poet, classical vocalist, spoken word performer and mentor. She has been shortlisted, highly commended and a finalist for many international and national competitions. Her book A Quiet Coming of Light, A Poetic Memoir (Leaf Press) was a finalist for the 2015 Pat Lowther Memorial Award. She won publication in Britain for Splendid in its Silence (SPM publications) in 2017. In 2018, she and Bonnie Nish started an online collaboration which led them to write Cantata in Two Voices (Ekstasis Editions) in fifty challenging days. Neale recently collaborated with Thomas RL Beckman, the great viola voice of British Columbia, who composed the music The St. Roch Suite for the Prince George Symphony Orchestra. She is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Federation of BC Writers and the Canadian Authors Association.

About the Reviewer: Cynthia Sharp is the Greater Vancouver Regional Rep for the Federation of BC Writers and a full member of The League of Canadian Poets. She is the author of Rainforest in Russet (Silver Bow Publishing) and the editor of Poetic Portions (Sweetgrass in the Wind), an anthology honouring Earth Day. She’s been featured at The Vancouver International Writer's Festival, Word Vancouver, Spoken Ink, Pandora's Collective, Poetry New West, The SFU Reading Series, The Vancouver Public Library, YVR Authors, Words on Fire in Port Alberni, The Writers Read Series at York University, Poesic Fest in Denver and other literary events through North America and her work has been published and broadcast internationally in journals such as CV2, Lantern Magazine, untethered, and Toasted Cheese and nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Anthology. When not writing, she loves walking in nature.

First published in Canadian Poetry Review online magazine

Friday, 19 April 2019

Reflections on Eternity, A Review of Ashok Bhargava's Riding Alone

Title: Riding Alone
Author: Ashok Bhargava
Publisher: Global Fraternity of Poets
ISBN: 978-9383755547
Pgs: 94
Price: $18.00
Ashok Bhargava is a poet who strives to live peacefully in all his interactions, with self, with others, with the divine and with his struggle through cancer. Riding Alone chronicles that journey. Even his introduction offers an example of peace, to serve as the flawed and beautiful beings we are, “These poems express my place in the universe and my belief in myself, though I am deeply flawed…Not everyone understood my situation. That was okay. This battle I didn’t choose.” 
His opening question sets the tone and theme of the humanitarian search for enlightenment and meaning. “So how does the brain that lives in total darkness build for us a world of light?” he asks. In the midst of eternity, Bhargava calls us to live in the present, a chosen fullness, a rich tapestry that invites love through generations and gentle time travel rooted in today. “The nature of time is not loneliness but companionship,” he asserts in “Infinite Time, Boundless Love.” (p. 20) Riding Alone confirms that truth. It offers not only verse, love and being, but fractured time returned to wholeness. Through the collection, the poet explores what it means to see, grasping the inner workings of light. His kindness reassures us that we were always good enough, all the parts of ourselves through all the layers of time. In “Unsteady” he affirms, “I still have blue sky days/ I still have black sky nights…I am still as I am/ a beautiful light.” (p. 4) Riding Alone is about finding new narrative on the solitary journey through fragile pieces of heart we don’t know how to hold. In “Dolce Vita” he writes:
“Sometimes we aren’t
given a choice.
A profound sadness
in the full moon’s blue glow
Brings joy
I never thought possible.” (p. 18)
In the jolting juxtaposition of opening one’s soul toward acceptance and presence in the now even in the midst of loss, Bhargava is not afraid to be honest about the painful reality of an uncertain future as a result of his cancer diagnosis, yet in facing the deep universal fear that every being endures alone, he delivers an appreciation of the grace of now and the circle of life that transcends mortality. He takes the reader beyond acceptance to a state of worship, whatever one believes. In acknowledging the deep suffering of not knowing how long one may have, he moves the reader with him into profound gratitude. The stanzas are laid out as a clear, straightforward journey of darkest night into new reverence. This book doesn’t lie. It doesn’t pretend to have all answers or knowledge or to have been without grief. It simply stretches beyond those emotions to bend them toward fresh light, toward an acceptance of not knowing, toward fullness and wonder.
He offers day after day of rebirth, exploring the maturity of sunlit recovery in stanzas like this one from “Stones” that find meaning and abundance in what is:
“love isn’t wanting another to want me
it’s living contentedly with
who I am
what I have.” (p. 14)
His poetry is personal, public and profound all at once, as he offers kernels of individuality. This is especially evidenced in the way he lets us in to the beauty of his marriage in “Uncertain Waters:”
“The smells of
roses and daisies
Rainwater pools in the garden…
pine tree needles shimmer
become kaleidoscope
You held my hand
softly making me see
my whole lifetime floating by.
You craved to go with me
where things
light up on their own.” (p. 13)
Bhargava turns inevitable reality into deep layers of grace and teaches us to do the same, inviting us to care for our traumas in a similar gentleness, like the blessing of blue sky soaking in the glory of sweet cedar. His courageous insight reassures readers that we are allowed whole deep breaths and all the freedom it unleashes, to be all of who we are.
He explores how to hold the imagery of a lifetime and all the lives connected to him. The influence of Hindi philosophy and lyricism in the poet’s unique voice conveys the universal human experience of grappling alone with the unknown, the journey to courage through whatever will be, however we are reborn. Through his words, “Pomegranate blossoms/ waiting to fall/ into night’s darkness/ till you reappear as/ light of dawn,” (p. 49) we are invited to dream in the beautiful colours he evokes, to remember our place in stillness, to experience an incandescent shift in perspective as we unfold into solitude and allow story to flow.
This is a wise author who knows that it’s in quiet that flowers speak, evident in his veneration of beloved relatives:
“A handful of ash
your last physical
dropped into mother Ganges
becomes a flower
drifts away.” (p. 30)
Riding Alone is the story of how a soul navigates the ultimate communion with life through beliefs faced alone with courage mustered for loved ones and rebirth, whether back into one’s current body or beyond, seeing either result as a dawn to bravely be met. In “Tomorrow,” Bhargava addresses the question all mortals wrestle with, “When the fires of love vanish/ where does forever go?” and answers with a natural ease, “We open our eyes/ it’s tomorrow.” Poems like “Everything” provide an immense calm in the face of an unknown cosmos. As a reader, I trust in his vision of beyond, at peace in the profound acceptance of now, of life, as is, whether or not our consciousness continues beyond what we know. Bhargava’s profound and loving acceptance opens the present to fullness, this second light of gentle spring emerging.
The poetry of Riding Alone is an acceptance of circumstance, self and truth with grace, breaking in to the deepest parts of who we are and letting them be touched by light, hearing them, being honest with them that we don’t know how long we have, allowing them to speak their fear until it turns into the early candescence of dawn, then embracing that we don’t know what the dawn will be, only that light can still reach us, that our darkest hours still return to grace, a grace within and beyond that reaches all the parts of our being. “Who will lament and temper the arrival of dawn?” he asks in “Morning Serenade.” (p. 1) The poet is open to a wide range of outlooks, encouraging readers to live well as who we are in the situations we find ourselves in. Bhargava’s words are a benediction to this mystery that is life, leading the way into meditative nirvana.
About the Author: Ashok Bhargava is a poet, community activist, public speaker and keen photographer. He is the founder and president of Writers International Network Canada (WIN Canada) which recognizes and supports writers and artists of diverse backgrounds. He finds living between cultures and languages intriguing and stimulating and composes in both Hindi and English. He is the author of Mirror of Dreams, A Kernel of Truth, Half Open Door, Skipping Stones, Lost in the Morning Calm and Riding Alone. His poetry has been published in many literary journals and anthologies and featured in Canada on CBC Radio, Chanel M TV, Word on the Street, Poetic Justice and Pandora’s Collective, as well as at festivals through the world.
About the Reviewer: Cynthia Sharp is the author of Rainforest in Russet (Silver Bow Publishing, 2018) and The Light Bearers in the Sand Dollar Graviton (Sweetgrass in the Wind, 2018) as well as the editor of Poetic Portions, a Canadian anthology honouring Earth Day (Sweetgrass in the Wind, 2015). She is a full member of the League of Canadian Poets and on the executive of the Federation of BC Writers as the Greater Vancouver Regional Rep. Her poetry can be found in numerous literary journals such as CV2, untethered, Ascent Aspirations Magazine’s Friday’s Poems, Lantern Magazine and Poetry Quarterly, among others and broadcast internationally.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Art of Peace

It was an immense pleasure to converse with inspirational poet Ashok K. Bhargava, the president of the Writers International Network (WIN), on behalf of the Federation of BC Writers about the upcoming annual UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) event that WIN hosts annually in Vancouver, which will take place at Moberly Arts Centre on March 21, 2019 at 6 PM.

Cynthia: Peace is at the heart of any multicultural WIN event and the upcoming UNESCO gathering is clear evidence of that unique flavour, weaving communities together into harmony and common purpose. What does peace mean to you?

Ashok: What you see depends upon what you’re looking for.

Wherever it is we are going and however we choose to get there, we are in this together. Therefore, to me, peace is ACCEPTANCE of our differences. We live in a multicultural, multilingual and multi-religious society – togetherness is peace, living in harmony in our diversity is peace. Harmony within and with our friends is peace.

Cynthia: You’re someone who embodies peace in all the ways you live and work as a writer, performer, emcee, mentor and organizer behind the scenes. How do you achieve that way of being in daily interactions? It seems like it’s coming from deep within and I wonder how you bring forth and embody peace in all that you do?

Ashok: There is no single way to embody peace because it is a multi-layered entity. We have to be creative in empowering people and poetry is the best way to achieve peace.

I see myself as a rational person, yet also a dreamer and an optimist who admires friendship, acceptance and adaptability. My philosophy of life is to live in peace, harmony and love, to inspire and be inspired and to cultivate positive values such as helping, caring and sharing. My childhood journey of self-discovery may have influenced who I am today – always a champion of the underdog, a defender of those less privileged and a fierce and resounding voice in support of equality and human rights.

Cynthia: The WIN website explains that:

WIN will strive to unite the hearts and souls of writers, to bring creativity, knowledge and joy to them.

“An artist’s gift to the world is a poem, story, painting, sculpture or dance.” WIN will seek, nourish and recognize all sorts of artists so that together they can make this world a better place to live.

Writing is an art that is deeply rooted in self-reflection. Self-reflection is the human capacity to exercise introspection and the willingness to learn more about our fundamental nature, purpose and essence. In other words, self-reflection is who we see when we look in the mirror. Self reflection is also about taking the time to figure out who we are, both as individuals and as leaders.

WIN was created to fulfil the need of an environment where the work of an artist is appreciated and recognized no matter what background, what language or what cultural heritage that artist belongs to.

Cynthia: Writers International Network has done an exemplary job of finding and showcasing the gold within each person who attends and presents at monthly gatherings. It’s an enriching experience for all involved. I’m wondering how you came up with the mandate for WIN?

Ashok: The most powerful thing that you can do to change the world is to change your own beliefs about the nature of life, people, and reality to something more positive … and begin to act accordingly.

To paraphrase from Senator Robert F. Kennedy, there are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why … I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?

Cynthia: What philosophy or philosophies guide WIN?

Ashok: We are guided by Vasudeva Katumbham’s view, WE ARE ONE FAMILY. One Humanity. No color, no barriers.

Cynthia: You recognize the contributions of writers internationally and cross pollinate communities that may not have otherwise taken notice of each other. What have been some of the highlights of WIN award ceremonies and celebrations?

Ashok: WIN was founded in 2011 as a non-profit organization in British Columbia to promote creativity, peace, harmony, human rights and awareness of the environment. Since its inception, WIN has recognized many Canadian and international writers and community leaders at its annual literary festivals. It has also participated in literary symposiums at the University of Sabanchi, Turkey and the University of Bari, Italy.

Additionally, it has collaborated with writers and activists in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines, to sustain and promote a dying language through recognition and protection of old growth trees.

WIN has also successfully collaborated with Ghana to promote literary arts in that country.

WIN is planning to bring our international community of writers and artists to New Delhi to focus on “Unity in Diversity” in 2017 – a global movement for literary and cultural exchange. WIN knows that unity in the arts and writing needs no justification beyond the sheer splendour of its own existence and that without aesthetic pleasures, life would not be worth living. WIN believes that poetry is universal. There is no human society, however isolated, that has not developed poetry as a form of cultural practice.

Cynthia: With the big UNESCO celebration coming up on March 21, I’m wondering what is at the heart of the event for you? How did you go about bringing so many communities and poetic styles together across languages and borders?

Ashok: World Poetry Day was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999. The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world, and as the UNESCO session declaring the day explains, to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements.”

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings.

Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures. In celebrating World Poetry Day, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. Even today, many people in India regularly recite poems of Kabir, Nanak, Meera Bai, Bulleh Shah and Tulsi Das.

For Writers International Network (WIN), celebrating Poetry Day is to reaffirm our faith in the oneness of humankind. WIN believes that our differences are superficial. Although we have different languages, cultures and colors, these differences add to the beauty of the human mosaic. Poetry makes us realize that a common thread of sublime creativity binds us together.

Cynthia: One of the things I’ve really noticed about you as an organizer is that you work from a sense of service rather than a sense of ego. What goes on behind the scenes to provide WIN gatherings, honorariums for writers and award ceremonies?

Ashok: WIN is a non-profit organization based in BC to inspire, encourage and promote creative writing in a multicultural and multilingual environment. WIN celebrates the literary arts with song, dance, readings and the rewarding of prizes.

Among previous recipients of WIN awards are Bonnie Nish, Candice James, Dennis E. Bolen and Ujjal Dosanjh.

Cynthia: WIN events often have shared food from a multitude of cultures and cultural blends and an overall sense of respectfulness between poets, writers, photographers and artists of many ethnicities and styles. What helps to create that atmosphere?

Ashok: It is my desire to bring out the best in creativity, cuisines, emotions and ideas that guides me to create an all-inclusive environment. I like to fashion our gatherings after how our neighbourhoods sound, taste and look.

Cynthia: In a practical sense, what guidelines would you suggest for creating an energy of peaceful interactions? What strategies have helped WIN hold true to its vision of respectfulness?

Ashok: Acceptance of our differences. Take a little extra time to discover those who are different, show respect and follow your heart.

Cynthia: What advice do you have for writers and organizers in other parts of the province wanting to follow in WIN’s footsteps?

Ashok: First, please feel free to join us. Everyone is welcome at WIN events.

In terms of setting up similar communities, I would start with conversations and chart new strategies. We live in very dynamic times. Rather than looking for templates, I would encourage people to collectively create new approaches, being true to their inner wisdom and hearts.

Cynthia: You’re a strong poet yourself. Where can our readers and members find your books and poetry?

Ashok: I have books on Amazon and in libraries. You may also email me at

Cynthia: Could you share some of your poems with our audience?



you and me
on a long and winding road
in a hilly city.
Quietly, uttering no words
naïve and carefree
hand in hand we walk
counting power poles.
When tired to move
even a single step
you would say
just one more pole.
all alone
I have returned to our past
the road.
The poles look at me
as if asking about
your whereabouts.
Exhausted from walking
I exert to the next pole
you were a fast walker.
you are waiting
for me
at the next pole.

Water we Are

Rushing rivers of dreams
desires and hopes from
depths of the heart
wish to meet ocean
merge, submerge and
vanish as one tide
on a silent night
water we are.
Spilled secrets and
footprints on the shores
rise as vapours
fall as raindrops
turn into runaway streams
rush to the ocean
holding back misty tears
water we are.
Dewdrops on grass and
bubbles on a surface
water we are.


Every flower withers
every leaf falls
without regret
or grief. 
Wind just blows
water just flows
there is no
Holding every hope firmly
leafing through every possibility
I know
nothing stays as it is.
Then why worry?

Dolce Vita

Sometimes we just aren’t
given a choice.
There is profound sadness
in full moon’s blue cast.
It brings me joy
I never thought possible.
I seek from that joy
a direction to follow.


“Some words are never meant to be spoken.”

I wake up in my body and
it wasn’t that body anymore.
There are days I give up on my body.
I think the life I want was the life
I have had. 
I want to be the water clinging to your roots.
With both hands in the soil
I feel modesty of a new beginning
splendour of a tiny sprout
kneeling to the glory of God.
I hold it and wander
into the surge of forever
the unbroken time of infinity.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Crescent Moon

My poem Crescent Moon translated into Arabic by the gifted poetess Jouna Jou on a painting created for it by my publisher and dear friend Candice James. Collaboration is always where it's at!