Where is your purity?

Your dream is futile if they only involve fame.
Your dream won’t be the same if your ego is driving it to its destination.
Your dream may not even come true if your mind is focused on the prestige of being known.
Your dream will be pointless if you have no deeper inclination, other than recognition.

The girl who swallowed a thesaurus

There was a girl of about 6- who loved words.
She like to read as many as she could where ever she went.
One day, hungrier than ever before for her words and also for something to eat, and unable to find anything other than a large thesaurus, the girl whose name is Sana, decided to eat the thesaurus.

Unknown the Sana, the thesaurus started to wobble inside her tummy, and one by one all the words from the thesaurus started to fall out of the pages and into Sana.

Suddenly Sana was speaking most eloquently for such a young person. In fact, the words that started to present themselves in her sentences were a far cry from any usual 6-year old.

Sana began…

The lady on the train

This morning Yellow sat down at the table and recalled the lady on the train.
She had passed to Yellow a flask of green tea, the leafs of which were floating around in the water that looked stagnant like a pond.
The lady began telling Yellow how she had gone “cold turkey” on coffee years ago and instead drank the pond water to fill her yearning for the rich dark drink she no longer permitted herself to enjoy.

The lady was Scottish with short hair and a long face. She had a son who she sang about and a husband who she told me was waiting for her in Cardiff.

This is where the train was heading: Cardiff.

This was some years ago. Yellow is several years older, but the way she had offered to Yellow the tea and insisted that Yellow drink from the same flask as she has never really left Yellow’s mind.

I am sorry for breaking your heart

Under the Indian Sun my heart raced and my feet ran to the freedom of the East.
Without the cares in the world that bother the citizen of the West. I became humbled and happier for it.
I simplified my view, remembered I was made from skin and bones, and that money is only half chance…

I did yoga by the lake and the lions woke us before the gong that summoned us to a breakfast of banana and chai before our lunchtime Samba feast, and there you were. You stood tall and bent like spaghetti with our spindly legs, and there you decided you would love me and woo me until I submitted to your undeniable charms, until I had no choices left to make because for a while you stole my mind, my senses I was alone, you were my words.

Off we went on a sojourn that would takes us to the tops of the mountains and back to wild ocean. And all the while I tried to get my mind back under my ownership, but you kept it safely in a box with key and it wasn’t to be.

We whiled away our days contented but a fire was brewing.
Until one day I knew it was time to go back to the people who loved me more than anyone else ever would, except maybe you.
And so I flew, home to where I came from with memories almost too rich for words, and sometimes my memories gave me a lump in my throat.

I am sorry I broke your heart, that I ran to the world I knew from the world I loved more.

I am sorry for breaking your heart.

And he asked me: how did man discover coffee?

In Ethiopia a man and a woman walking on the outskirts of a rain forest stumbled on a rock and calamtied to the hot dry ground beneath their feet. Upon the ground he and she spied a beetle bug or a similar shaped entity that aroused their suspicions and they grimaced. Believing it to be alive and expecting it to take flight with its wings or scuttle away on its legs, the man and woman threw it to the fire that they had made earlier in the day, in the hope of catching and roasting prey. Without expectation, from the fire there came the most aromatic incense that overtook their minds and beheld their senses, mesmerized were they by the potency of the burning bean.

Time past by and the embers of the fire sporadically glowed orange and red like a lotus flower bobbing in deep, clear water; until it faded completely. Then the man and the woman gathered more of the beetle shaped beads that grew on trees, to take home to roast so beguiled were they by its smell.

Time went on and the smell had cast its spell. The beans were thrown in to the fire again and the same smell that had captivated the sense of the man and the woman returned once more. This time, these burnt beans were ground down, strained through water and prepared to become the drink we know as coffee and enjoy for pure pleasure.

In time, coffee grew and became better known by the African countries who spilled their ‘beans’ to the Middle East, Far East , Southern Europe and beyond.

The cave

The day we entered the cave in the dead of my fear, I reverted back to an earlier time of the room on the eleventh floor and the fear of the lift that squeaked and so we took the stairs. The cave gaped low in parts and exuded an ice cold hand that brushed our faces and bodies as we quietly crept by, hoping to go unnoticed. We didn’t want to disturb the loneliness of the edge of the mountain that was so high and remote that few would venture here, even fewer would hear you scream. As we tip toed and balanced trying the avoid slipping on the damp ground we made our way to the opening, from where you can appreciate the gorge created by the river below. It occurred to me: this is the first day of the rest of my life. For there were not any screams that day and the weather remained bright, that we could appreciate -in all its palpable splendour and from a great height-: what lay bare naked before us was life without fear.

From such a perspective the views were impressed upon Yellow as unique, and that she would never have beheld it within her gaze and later her memories, had she not swallowed her fear and ventured into the cave in the first place. As she looked below to the river that gushed below, splashing, coursing its way to the sea and making the trees and the fish swim faster. Above the sky was moving with roving clouds, fluffy and at intervals shading the sun and making us cold. The ravine and the raw rock, the trees that lent precariously over the edge, with their branches that sway creating movement.

This was the first day of the rest of her life.

The grey is lifting

Hit by a truck.
She lay on the ground, clinically dead to the world, unable to hear anything.
She awoke but in total deafness, she heard nothing.

In her awakened state she was held down by his grey curtain that hung on her shoulders and made her unable to stand up straight or tall.

But now she feels her curtain lifting, letting a little light back in.
The grey is lifting.

Y Capel (the chapel) 2010 UNEDITED.

Y Capel (the chapel)

Very raw and very familiar was the funeral that took place to a back drop of ancient sea weathered mountains in Wales. I could see that the connections of the people ran deep and gushed like the rivers of Gwynedd, profound and rich, as rich and as solid as the colour green that surrounded them, in all her varieties. Otherwise, you could say, it was a village that was beset with eyes that are now alive, and watched the day’s proceedings with a moping gape. Eyes filled with preoccupation, full of recognition; as old and as tall as the trees, unhurt, undamaged protective and old. The congregation was more than proverbial.

The people carried their smiles as their faces dimpled and were coloured the shade of chalky rose; their eyes filled and emptied with their tears. My thoughts are distracted to think of love, life and the pain we will all know. The clock ticked by and there was black, in the larger sense of the word, everywhere. Later, lilies and roses and even a posy, would decorate the mood that had begun to hang like your heavy curtain, threatening the sunlight that dared to enter the sky.

The chapel was little, squat and the colour of tea and biscuits. It was rain washed and rugged like the mountains that revealed its grey rocky interior. It sat on a jagged winding road surrounded by green grass that curved and looked like swaying French beans. The grass was dotted with daisies, dandelions, buttercups and tall grass, the feathers on long stalks. Mum saw a feather fall from the chapel roof. She recalls the same such happening on similar sober occasions. And nobody felt dandy like the dandelions today, because we only half recognised the familiar flower through hazy moments of stillness.

And the grass swayed because the wind continued its gentle unobtrusive gust. The day was in weather the same as any other June day; warm and sky blue: it was beautiful. All around were triangular mountains, edgy and raw, and they looked perfectly composed. The clouds were stretched and murky though still white, as they danced sullenly around Snowdon ’s peak, like muddled thoughts wandering, perhaps aimlessly for a while.

The minister in his robes looked like there were fish and chips in his belly, he was loud and his voice echoed, smiled like a happy cast of jelly. Apple red were his cheeks and he stomped his feet heavily, like a candy stick at Christmas, red and white striped. He has the perfect demeanour.

Little, squat and bare was the chapels insides; until we filled it brimming to the roof with our voices, and the space expanded with our song. The chapel was filled, just like an overindulgent stomach that is filled with cake at a tea party; feeling sick, adjusting its clothes to accommodate an uncomfortable pain, and still, the pain lingered.

Calon Lan, we sang and now the song sings synonymous with you. In rows of wooden seats little trickles of tears tricked their way down the sore cheeks of the collective. These were collected in tissues dabbed and dotted from our faces stored in pots, that would sit neatly on our inside shelf. The words of the song floated high, like reeling away from a cotton reel, unwinding; to find their way to the ceiling and yonder still, like a kite. Out of the chapel and into the sky, high with the buzzards, the red kites, the herons. The words were seen hopping to the clouds; because in this song of timeless rest, was your childhood long gone and favourite colour kept. I am sure; all this wonder emerges before you.

You are in the cloud, teardrops shaped by the rain, in the weather and bright as the sun, in the mountains…in past river veins.

Dad stared forward, into his space, his safer place, almost not there, but to return when it was time to leave the squat, tea coloured chapel. We drove the winding road to the field…The stone walls, the clean air…the sea in sight; the mountains you knew that held you tight. We dropped gently, red and yellow roses. The soil made it real, made it less dreamlike. Made it suddenly unfair.

da bo anti Eileen, da bo.

I wrote this in 2010 after the funeral of my Aunty. I found it recently. It is uploaded unedited.

What is a broken dream?
A lead balloon?
An Angel has flown by.

I met a man in the subway I knew him once, his hair hung over his face, his hood protected him from the world but I saw him. I stopped him and talked to him and he complained at me about life and the expectations the world places on our shoulders. I squint. I don’t agree. We are propped up with ideas, conventions, human construction. I don’t agree. ‘Real’ world. No, stop and think, you possess a mind, it is powerful.

He told me he wants to run. Run away on a treadmill fast but never getting anywhere. I think to myself he should brush his hair. Maybe then his woes would go. But no. he told me about his Catholic mother, her intolerance, her rejection. Then he was alone. A boy, young without guidance he wandered into adulthood without grievance. This is many years ago now. Don’t look back in anger you needn’t say. He doesn’t. He is calm, a good guy. A good Catholic guy. But he doesn’t believe in God. Is that OK? Probably. Anything goes these days.

He left the subway at about 4 o’clock, chasing an errand, an errant vocation. The phone chimes and I see I am invited back to join to modern world. I glaze over. I shudder. I think about his complaints and I think about how ungrateful we are.And I think about the world we live. There is no wonder we feel like we live in a state of broken dreams. We are in a pressure cooker. A rat race. The personification of capitalism. The veins of which we can see: blue and bright and running through the streets, running our world.

I watched him across the way, he was heading in a directionless direction down a street and didn’t look back. I filled him with a moment of hope.But surely it is not enough. Surely we will only be content when we stop letting something so fierce as society control our lives. Something that will always have such a hold on us anyway, but not this: not our happiness too. It is such tyranny. Such an intricate web that it is not simple and not straightforward. We cannot untangle.

But as his silhouette became more and more distant and the cars carried on, the drivers and passengers oblivious of our exchange I think to myself YES we live in world that has us like puppets on a string. And Yes: there are powers at work that control us and we are pitiless in the face of this.

But I am still happy to be alive even if we are unhappy with the powers that override us. We don’t live in the darling buds of may.
As irreverent as our society is, we can at least acknowledge that we are alive.