Sunday, 30 December 2012

Eric Ravilious

I quite recently stumbled across the work of Eric Ravilious, (thanks to Robert Macfarlane's, The Old Ways). Ravilious's paintings, especially his South Downs landscapes are incredibly beautiful and his life story is even more so. I've taken the following excerpts from The Old Ways. I can't recommend this book enough, (especially to those of you interested in path-following) it's full of inspiration!

Ravilious was a watercolourist, engraver and muralist, one of the best known English artists of the 1930's, a follower of old paths and tracks, a votary of whiteness and remoteness, and a visionary of the everyday. Strangers called him Eric. Friends called him Ravilious. Close friends called him 'The Boy': a Peter-Panish nickname - a charm against ageing, a chrism against death. He was handsome: an angular face, large dark eyes a sloped nose, dark hair, long fingers always holding brush, pen or cigarette. He liked tennis, billiards, propellers, winter, the shadowlessness  of sea light, northerliness, ceramic, boxwood, crystal and ice. Fastidious but also impetuous, he had a habit of putting his head out of train windows and losing his hat to the wind. 

For most of Ravilious's life, the Downs satisfied his landscape needs. Especially in winter, when beech hangers stood out like ink strokes in a watercolour, they embodied his aesthetic ideal: crisp lines, the fall of pale light on pale land. The Downs, with their soft and equalizing sunlight, their pathways and their loneliness  primed Ravilious's imagination. They informed his whole outlook and way of painting. Through them, he grew to cherish certain landscape characteristics: crisp flowing lines, an aura of detachment from the lived world.  Ravilious always seemed to be slightly somewhere else, as if he lived a private life which did not completely coincide with material existence....' 

Saturday, 29 December 2012

The Lake

I took this one of the lake at Mercers Country Park today in Surrey. I'm looking forward to going back another time when it's actually open. I sort of had to break in...

Friday, 28 December 2012

Impaled at the Sales

I've been working on another fairly demented monologue. I hope you enjoy this one- told by a young, highly delirious and misunderstood woman named Margo... 

Impaled at the Sales: It Cut Right Through

So look, let me tell how it happened. You're not going to believe it! It was insane. How I came, to find myself in this completely bizarre situation. It was bizarre, even for me. I can see, you're growing impatient, so I'll just get on with it. I'll get on with the story. I should warn you though, it gets a bit gory- in parts. Anyway I found myself at Westfield in Stratford on Boxing day. I don't really know why I was there, of course I never know why I'm anywhere. But I was there, that much is for sure, though I wasn't really there. I don't know. Let me explain, see I suffer from this condition, well that's was my doctor calls it, he calls it a condition. I'd describe it more as a default way of living- a state of unbeing. It's a mission, explaining it. It's 'real' name is depersonalisation. This condition, it's called depersonalisation. That's a chunky word right there, seven syllables, can you believe that? De-per-son-al-i-sa-tion. I'm a de-person and (alisation), that's a negative right? That's what they put in front of bad words like de-sturbed and de-luded and de-pressed. Hmm, I wonder does that mean I'm less than a person? Forget that, let me break it down for you, in other words depersonalisation- it means- being whacked, smacked, out of it, out of your head, kind of already dead, spaced... whatever you want to call it. It comes and goes. You're not going to get it. You're not going to understand. I don't even know why I'm bothering. Oh God, I did it again, didn't I? I went on off on one, a tangent. I'm a rampant blithering fool. Right, let me just get on with it, let me get on with my story. 

So there I was, caught in the crowds at Westfield on Boxing Day. It was noisy, totally and completely manic. I didn't panic. I never do. Nah, I just felt like Zach Braff at the beginning of Garden State, remember when he was sitting on the plane and the music played, that strange Hindi song, faraway and trippy, he just stared on, eyes half open, as everyone around him- the people, they all yelled and screamed and gasped, he showed no emotion, he was spaced out, somewhere else, but then he awoke. In the film, he woke up. But I didn't. In Stratfield, I mean Westford, I mean Westfield, see I just stayed that way- spaced out, displaced, where was I again? Ah yeah, the story. 

I think I was in Top Shop when it happened, or H&M. Honestly I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. So there I was swaying from side to side in a sea of people; faceless, nameless people and then someone must have pushed me. I'm not talking a gentle push, I'm talking one great big violent mammoth push. Actually it must have been a whole crowd of people. Anyway I felt something go through me. I didn't feel it, because somehow I stopped feeling a long time ago, remember that depersonalisation stuff I was telling you about? I didn't feel it, but I sensed it. Something was wrong, and then I looked down. I looked down in horror (I think it was horror) at the metal hook protruding from my stomach, there was blood, it seeped all around- spreading and staining. I touched it, I touched the parts around the silver, red covered my hands. It was sticky- not nice. To be honest I couldn't remember much pain. Though I imagined it, I imagined it and then it became real. Well not really real, but dream-like real. The closest to real I get. That was the closest to pain I got. It came in waves, the pain, it was a searing pain. It leaped within and I just weeped in sheer terror, I think it was terror, it might just have been what I thought was terror but was really actually something completely different, maybe like relief or ecstasy or maybe it was nothingness, who knows. 

Anyway I remember thinking, and laughing in my head- gosh, what a sad and funny thing, to be here impaled at the sale! By a cold metallic rail, with a hook at its end (no less) and all around the people were still swaying, still moving and grabbing and pushing and pushing and pushing and saying, stuff. Was I the only casualty in that madness, that sadness, I thought? I'm still not sure. But oh it was so sad, the state of the world reflected in that small microcosm. That store. And see the metal slid right through my body, really the body was not mine. But it was still mine. Like, mine. And because of their greed I was just bleeding, bleed, bleed, bleed. Gosh, was it really that necessary, for those people, those nameless, faceless people, to be so unkind for an item of clothing, some fabric weaved together by a poor soul on a different continent, some different world, India or one of them other poor countries like Japan... I mean could that be real. I wonder what real is. Those people, were they being for real? Were they really so fervent and desperate and longing for material. And they call me mad. Gosh, how sad! How. Sad. (I know about sadness.) Sadness, I think, is also another word for depersonalisation. (A less-used one though).

So back to the story, there I was bleeding, in fact by this time a small pool of blood had gathered around my ankles but no one noticed me. Why would they? I don't know what happened then, I screamed, a loud screamed. I screamed out- 'consumers of the world, you have consumed me!' But grab and go! They did not slow, let me tell you that, they sure as heck did not slow. They took NO notice, the bleeding idiots, them crazed fools! Society has rules, you know. And leaving me hanging (literally) is a violation of one of those rules. The men and women (yes both) were all around, and there I was bound to that railing. I was stuck. I was bleeding. The bright lights were feeding into my delirium (another word, for what I've got, I'm sorry I forgot to tell you that one as well) Oh and the noise too, did I mention the noise? It was loud, so loud, that my screams couldn't be heard or fathomed. Dude, I was doomed. Completely! Anyway all this fuss, for some clothes, some cheap clothes and they are so cheap, in a dirty way too, I don't mean to judge I just mean to say, there was a time we didn't care about this stuff. A time before my time perhaps, my nan said. She said it wasn't like this back then, back in them old days. Good days they were, she said. I mean didn't they realise, all those one hundred thousand people in that silly store, that they all looked EXACTLY the same. How lame, is that??

So the pool of blood continued to build by my feet, it rose by a number of inches every few minutes. I was mildly aware, (and I didn't really care) that I was dying. I was dying in a store at the Boxing day sale in Westford, Stratfields. How weird, right? Anyway I sort of felt like a martyr, I thought well hey, at least my dying might change something, when someone does finally notice there's a piece of metal sticking out of my middle and a pool of blood at my feet. So I thought, till then I'll just keep still  Anyway in the end I realised it was just another one of my weird visions. Did I mention, I have visions sometimes? Anyway it was just another episode (a head trip). They come and go. Sort of like my condition. I wasn't martyred. I didn't die, not there, not in Forever 21, it was Forever 21 by the way. I found out afterwards. Ha, that would have been a tragic way to die (even though I'm sort of already dead). Errr, why am I telling you this?

Walk the Dog

Monday, 24 December 2012

The Jumping Bum

This monologue was inspired by the jumping man of Wimbledon. I really enjoyed writing this- hope you enjoy reading it! 
The Jumping Bum

People of this City, do you know me? Of course you do. People of the City, of course you do! I'm that abnormal jumping bum and every night I travel to a different street in this city and I do what I love to do. I do the only thing I know how to do. I jump. You see me jump. You laugh at me. You point too. You watch on. I jump. I jump because I am the jumping bum and because I love jumping. I love drinking whiskey too and eating spoonfuls of sugar, but I like jumping best. That boy needs therapy! Sir, I jump through time and reality and I often jump into different spheres of existing. I jump on your bed- every night when you're not there. I break into your house and I jump on your bed. Sometimes I take my shoes off, sometimes I don't. I won't apologise. 

People of this City, it's all in the jump. Its about how high you can go, how low you can drop- its about the satisfaction of the execution of that one perfect jump. It's the taste of that jump, it tastes so sweet. Oh if only you knew! It's about getting high- naturally, mentally, physically, astronomically and geologically and it's the opinion of the entire staff that Dexter is criminally insane. As I jump, sometimes I looks at your faces, ah the shock, as I quietly speed forwards, your heart jumps, your body follows and then I jump. It's knowing when to jump and what to jump over, you have to pick the right moment. Do you know people,  my raggedy and tangled ginger hair jumps with me, every strand of it, and this old bomber jacket, green and crusty jumps too, it sticks to my body, the muscles tighten and I jump. You're a nut! You're crazy in the coconut! It's that sublime satisfaction I receive; lucid and transitory, of being out the system- your system. Your system of not jumping- of taking strides, walking, maybe running. You're system doesn't allow for you to hop or leap or fart or jump. I do all of these. I take great pleasure from doing all of these. I am a jumper. I jump higher every time. I pounce like a tiger on all those unsuspecting benches and you gazelles look on, innocent human deer, doe-eyed afraid, afraid of jumping and afraid of someone who jumps. People, you are afraid of me! Admit it, you are afraid I will jump on you, or over you. My jumping scares you, it shakes you to the core, some of you at least, maybe a few. How can you be so easily rattled by me. It's just jumping. I'm only jumping. I'm the jumping bum, you see I jump- it's who I am. It's me. I jump I jump. That boy needs therapy, psychosomatic. That boy needs therapy, purely psychosomatic. That boy needs therapy. 

And as I do, jump that is, thousands of images cross this mind, as I leap, the skyscrapers leap too, they uproot, themselves, and the trees and we jump in a line. The pebble falls in and makes a splash, that clever pebble, it jumps into the water and the waters jump up too, millions of drops, they jump, I jump and the sea waves too- one great raging jump, I jump in rage and I when I jump, I see the children on the trampolines in far off countries jump, every coloured child jumps and I jump and I jump and as I jump I feel connected to all those other jumpers, to the droplets of water and the skyscraper in my mind, the rubble flies, it doesn't jump. It thumps you on the head. It knocks you to the ground. You're stumped non-jumper. And do you know, children, I sometimes think of Carlton and Will in Fresh Prince jumping on it. Jump on it. I jump, they jump too, and so do the kangaroos. And I like leaping and dropping and the jockeys on their horses they jump. He was white as a sheet. And he also made false teeth. I jump off ladders at nightfall and cars too- the alarm goes off, noise waves start jumping onwards and onwards and I run. I run and jump. The light jumps too sometimes, them neon lights and the street lights too, they refract, they jump. You people laugh at my jumping but sometimes you're scared too. Did I say that already? Did I say that you're scared I'll jump you. Jump. Life is about jumping. It's about making that jump. Stop being a lump, stop being a silly lump and jump, higher and higher. It feels good. Trust me. I would not lie to you people. I want you to jump once so you will understand what it means. That boy needs therapy, psychosomatic. What it means to jump. I want you to feel that rush you get as you zip down that street through the crowds and you make a jump, any jump and you think about the next one. 

I grab a red-bull or a can of coke or something on the way, nick it, it's in the pocket, that baggy pocket, if I drop it, I'll open the can and that liquid will jump, a frenzy of fizz will run down. Jumping, you see, it's all about building yourself up and letting yourself go. It's a metaphor for life you know. You know it is- my life, your life, the afterlife, the life of a star, the life of a tree. People, don't you know that trees jump, their wooden arms and legs in the wind, but its not the kind of jump you would understand. I jump because I'm happy. I jump because I'm free. I jump because I can. I jump when I need a wee. I have legs. I have strong legs that are good for jumping. They're made for jumping. Life is a series of jumps, fast and unpredictable. It's about breaking away from your oppressive rules, you know what I'm saying. A jump of joy, the decent of loneliness. I go, I go, I go- over bins, over benches, over ladders and over fences- over any obstacle big enough, small enough. Oh it's about the raggedness of the jump- that crazed jerky madness- freeze frame, I stop, I look, I go, I go, I go- like that one superhero. Did I mention it's about being high, mentally and physically high. I sigh, I die, I jump. I jump. I jump. I jump. That boy needs therapy, psychosomatic! I like the darkness, the traffic, the lights, I like the herds of white horses, galloping forwards, with me, thud, thud, thud. Oh it's the release, the freedom. It's passing over another hurdle. I've passed over so many. The challenge, the jump. I am a jumping bum- an Olympiad of sorts. Where are my medals? I bet you stole them!

My thoughts are jumping now, the moon I wonder is it drawing me in. I'm lunar, the tides are jumping, drawing closer, drawing further away. Oh and there goes another shooting stars, it jumps across the sky, a bounding leap and I jump with it and I am a shooting star and I will make it. I jump from the lifeboat to safety, away from death. I jump. There are no boundaries. Sir, care to tell me what better thing there is to do in life than jump? I've jumped all over. Can you think of anything else that talks, other than a person? Hello hello hello hello Ha ha ha ha ha !!!! I jump in my dreams when I sleep. The world jumps with me, one gigantic synchronised jump, seven billion people and we jump and we jump and we all dart and we all search and we all jump. You didn't understand a single word of that, did you?

I sing because I'm free.....

Monday, 17 December 2012

London Wetland Centre

I went along to the London Wetland Centre today with a mate. It was a beautiful day, a bit strange being back though... I didn't realise how much I missed it- the walk through the woodlands, bird-watching in the observatory, hanging out in hides, the people! Ah I guess everything happens for a reason...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Just Another Day in London

A friend, Kim Y and I spent the day together before she headed back to Berlin. We wandered all around London, went to a few exhibitions and watched the sunset over the docklands from a cable car. It was a really beautiful day... Kim Yaged is an award winning writer and photographer and all round cool person! Def worth checking out her work:

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Oxford: City of Dreaming Spires

I went to Oxford with some mates on Saturday. A really beautifully place- we visited the colleges, churches, markets, the museum and even managed to go for a bit of a walk by the canal (by which time it was dark!) It was quite different to Cambridge, but equally stunning I think...

Monday, 3 December 2012

This (Super) Natural City

I went along to visit a few nature reserves today with a mate from the London Wildlife Trust. We went to Addington Hills, Brockley Nature Reserve, Nunhead Cemetery and some chalk grassland sites further South. It was amazing to see such a variation of reserves in one day.

I've been visiting a lot of London sites lately, last week I took a trip to the London Wetlands Centre, East Reservoir and Camley Street Natural Park. It's easy to forget just how many green spaces there are in London! Def worth venturing out to discover some of them. Think this might be my favourite photo of the day...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Death: A Self-Portrait

A friend took me along to see this exhibition at the Welcome Collection today. Quite strange actually, I've been thinking a lot about death lately (as you do!) and to see this exhibition really brought home some of the ideas that have crossed my mind, from the transience of life and the certainty of death and to social attitudes towards mortality. I found Room 3 on 'Violent Death' to be particularly disconcerting. I studied Goya's work quite closely whilst undertaking the course Art, War and Terror at Goldsmiths and found his work to be horrifying but enthralling at the same time. Anyway I'd really recommend a visit. The exhibition is on till the end of February. I've included some info from the website and a trailer of the exhibition below.

Our major winter exhibition showcases some 300 works from a unique collection devoted to the iconography of death and our complex and contradictory attitudes towards it. Assembled by Richard Harris, a former antique print dealer based in Chicago, the collection is spectacularly diverse, including art works, historical artefacts, scientific specimens and ephemera from across the world. Rare prints by Rembrandt, Dürer and Goya will be displayed alongside anatomical drawings, war art and antique metamorphic postcards; human remains will be juxtaposed with Renaissance vanitas paintings and twentieth century installations celebrating Mexico’s Day of the Dead. From a group of ancient Incan skulls, to a spectacular chandelier made of 3000 plaster-cast bones by British artist Jodie Carey, this singular collection, by turns disturbing, macabre and moving, opens a window upon our enduring desire to make peace with death. 

Friday, 30 November 2012

Sy's Poems

Hi guys, I realise that my photo-blog had become more of a scrap-blog lately and so have decided to create a new space to post my poems... I've been writing quite a lot lately, on buses, at the Museum, wherever and thought it would we good to have somewhere to save and share these.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

For another world...

Floating Words #5

My kingdom is not of this world. I'm not here to rule-over people. My mothers traumatized by my accent, but when I go back to South Africa it's only a matter of time before I get it back my bru! Hey stranger, I’m going to be in December for a play of mine. Any chance you’ll be around?  It would be great to see you. And an Israelite went to collect firewood on Sabbath. I knew you had something, that's why I put you forward.

I got discharged. I got to go Catford. I've come from Springfield. Have you heard the story about the mathematics bridge! So you would be working evenings mainly, 6 or 8pm till 12. It's a great place to work and you get loads of benefits! What will you have? We travelled around the East Coast and the West Coast, my dad's a historian, he's interested in battlefields, and most of them took place in National Parks. The re-enactments were strange. Speed! I'm going back tonight, I'll ring for you before I leave. They're so dedicated, these wildlife photographers! We actually live in London, we're just up here for the day. They both became prophets at the age of fourteen. 

'trees are poems...'

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.” 
― Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Another Springfield Fugitive

Another Springfield Fugitive

I was sitting in Pret,
one wet and windy day,
in Fulham Broadway.
I was drinking tea
when he came towards me
I'm free, I heard him bellow
this crazed anonymous fellow-
I was discharged
from Springfield
no longer will I wield
to the guardsmen,
in that battlefield
I thought- how strange
was he really rendered free,
or was he just another 
Springfield escapee?
and how strange to cross paths
with another bummer,
another outlaw, another outpatient-
another runner.

Springfield, I asked him,
in Tooting?
I was routing
for him
for some reason
I was routing
for this coffee shop bogeyman
I was sectioned, came his reply.
But why?
My time came,
I was set free-
Three chances,
I need to get back
to Catford...
I took some coins
from my pocket
and handed them to him
and he left-
bereft, and grateful

But by giving him 70p
would I help him to see
the light?
Or would he just scare
the living day-lights
out of ordinary people,
people like you and I
and everyone we know?

mad one.
Run away from here,
but don't scare

Hmm but maybe,
I should have asked him-
What's in Catford son-
That made you want to run
away? -don't lie.
And why
am I
tasked with you're escape?
Break free-
return, by turning
back now.
But how?

I remembered when
he had killed a man,
another Springfield escapee
who had been 'set free'-
By a herd of deer
in Richmond Park.
I wondered then,
who lent him the money
to get there-
life is funny
but in a sad way.
we learn
from our mistakes.
-these silent aches,
may they not break

Once a friend
on the mend
went into Springfield
she escaped too
they brought her back,
 in a police car
-scars were visible
she wanted to take her bones for a run
She did what she thought had to be done!
Without a penny to her name- she escaped,
and traipsed around Tooting Town.

What a strange world!

I know another who went in,
and did not come out the same
she did not remain herself,
she became someone else
a shell of her former self,
She became,
someone I didn't know
or recognise. 

So many have walked
through the gates of Springfield-
names I cannot name
for they must remain
But I swear,
they were there-
they were all there
and they all come out altered
-and they faltered perhaps
those women and men
in lab-coats
I mean, 
who knows what they did to them, 
help, brand or render them

Out-patients of this world, 
outlast them-
you can love. 

These Plans

These Plans

She crams
her notebook
full of plans
for the future
but the future
is forever
out of her hands
because whatever lands
her way
finds a way
of slipping away.
See plans
they mutate
and forever
they frustrate!
But this time,
I can't afford
to be wrong.
are made to be broken
but they awaken
within one
ideas that spiral
into the abyss
and whisk
one away
to an unreachable place.
And still, everyday
in extraodinary ways
she finds a way
of living,
for special people
and they 
make life

Friday, 23 November 2012


A friend and I got the train up to Cambridge today. It was great! We went punting, explored the colleges, hung about the town centre and checked out the Museum of Zoology and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Cambridge is such a magical place- the architecture, the history, the stories of people who have come and gone, from Allama Iqbal to William Wordsworth...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

To Die Alone

This poem was inspired by an article I read about the mugging and subsequent death of Paula Castle, may she rest in peace.

To Die Alone

Oh selfish world, so cruel and unkind
I'll be happy to finally be leaving you behind
and maybe I'll find peace where I'm going
for there's none here;
on this cold earth, there's only fear,
for what the days and nights may bring.
I won't cling
to life any more...

He died- my son, my husband too
They left me here alone, it's true.
And alone I have been
and alone I have felt
and alone I have dealt
with the blows life have brung 
and quiet and stoic, I've hung
out my clothes to dry,
along with so many hopes
that had gone awry...

Long ago I stopped speaking to people,
for they don't understand or care
empathy has always been rare.
I never let it show
the slow
agony of a solitary life
I never watched him grow
He never watched me age
I felt so much rage
build inside over the years
how many silent tears
have fallen down these 
weathered cheeks

For it's these tears that have made me
partially blind,
and when they pushed me,
to the ground
I couldn't breathe, 
I couldn't see,
I couldn't find

I was so scared
I heard a young boy,
his voice cold
he told
me to give him my bag
But I didn't have time,
a trick of the mind
I thought
but suddenly, 
with one swift push
I fell and
my head hit the concrete
it was a lowly defeat.

...and as I lay alone, I hissed
Am I going to die like this?
Is this really how it's going to end?
I needed to lend
myself the strength
But I didn't have any left.
The ground was so cold
and I was so old
right there, I watched my life unfold
before me...

And as I lay
shook and afraid
the brightness of the sun,
half blinded this blind soul
Life had taken it's toll.

I leave behind this world. 
I don't know it any more
these streets, these crimes,
what are they all for?

Long ago I tore myself away
from the cruelness of life
I kept myself to myself
but strife
found it's way back to me
and in this cold alley
I lay dying
and silently crying to myself
is this the end?

Monday, 19 November 2012

He Guards the Ocean

Floating Words #4

Floating Words #4

Check it out, the forest has become our cloakroom, our bags and coats are hanging all over the place! Which agency are you with? I'll pass on your message. I'm trying to buy a house, the council is demolishing ours because they're building a train line. I'll be glad when it's over! I've been trying to sort out some jam sessions, I want to get back into my writing. He travelled across the lands, giving up everything he had in his quest for truth. I went to the Gaza protest with your sister. And he said, I was busy in the toils of slavery- here he was, the student of a dying breed of holy bishops, the son of a village leader, now betrayed and sold off as a slave. I've been waiting my whole life for this! Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for him, how lonely he must have felt, Salman Al Farsi, to be lost in translation, to be homesick, to endure the struggles he had to endure for his search for the truth, and look at us. Just look at us now! And the prophet SAW said to him 'free yourself'.

This fire is hypnotizing, I thought I was the only one, but everyone's just staring at it. I have all this pent up rage, and so when I come out here I just let it all out. I went to Butterfly World in St Albans, but it was too nice, it was too proper. Damien Hurst is a bit of an idiot. Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Baked Beans? Get well soon dear. Was it the church? I think the last time I saw you was this time last year. How did your travels go? You've been all over the place lately! It's the best thing I ever did. The tow path is flooded, you might get stuck up ahead. We could go to Dover or Cambridge? It's a beautiful day for a walk. But what were you doing in Sutton? 

The name's Ernest. Sure take some photos. If only I was better dressed right now! It was nice to meet you. Do you have your library card? Let's go to Erith and check out the old pirate ships. I'm going in less than a month can you believe? What are your plans now? I'll be back around June. I'm going to miss you. Well I'm working for Muslim Aid now, in PR. They call me the darkie, even though I'm half-white. You know I feel more like myself when I'm around coloured people. I mean they'll never accept me, even my own family is racist towards me. Oh dear, she said, are you putting on that burka now that we're going out? I might come visit you at Natural History Museum. Let's go for a walk along the Saxon Shore Way, by the Isle of Sheppey. I got an OS map! You were in Kingston and you didn't tell me? We have to search for guidance and that means moving away from the things that keep us from being good people. I mean how many times do we know the truth yet fail to accept it?

To be a Bird

To be a Bird

Days like this
I wish
I was a bird
and unheard
I could fly
across the sky
I wish
I could tear
myself away
from here
not out of fear
but out of sheer
and hope
for something good
for something better.
If only I could
fly away
if only light
would shine my way
but alas I remain
a stowaway
For its understood
that people can't be birds
and birds can't be people
but oh how I'd love to
soar like an eagle 
scream like a parakeet 
and do you know
how fast cygnets grow
flamingos mostly stand tall
and cranes rarely fall
to the ground
iridescent wildfowl
feathers so fine and
owls stay awake
for the sake
of being
so free.
Oh to be
-to be a bird
and to see
the world from above
to live life like a dove.
On days like this
I wish
I was a bird

Sunday, 18 November 2012

You've Got Mail

You've Got Mail

So I was watching You've Got Mail
and thinking about what a fail
that had been in the past
Back then I thought it might last, 
but hey, that's all in the past.

Still, it was nice for while,
to share stories and to beguile
each other with ideas and dreams
ah nothing in life is ever as it seems.

But no matter, for I'm fickle you see
today I like you,
but that's hardly a guarantee
tomorrow I''ll forget
and like a fading silhouette
you'll disappear
and I'll still be here...

I'm fickle you see,
this keeps me free.
This keeps me, me.

Though from time to time
I must admit I find
myself wondering where you are
near or far
and what you're doing
and what you're thinking too.
Yeah, I do 
sometimes I think about you.

But I'm fickle, don't forget
I regret to say 
that I fall in love with 
someone new every day
That isn't love, you're right. 
Nah, that's just some kind of plight. 

I'm fickle, you say
but hey, 
one day...
who knows I might find
one of a kind... 
someone perfectly aligned
to me.

I'm fickle, I regret- 
perhaps it's just cos I haven't met
the right person yet...

Human Kindness

Human Kindness

I was feeling so alone
on the night bus home
and I was feeling so unwell 
so I pressed the bell 
and got off... 

God guide me, I prayed 
I could feel myself fade 

But then a stranger spoke to me
her words full of warmth and glory
I healed 
as she sealed 
within me, a sense of comfort. 

God, those words helped me through
-so pure, so true. 

Thank you Lord for human kindness
Thank you Lord for giving me guidance.

Christmas at Oxford Circus

Christmas as Oxford Circus

It is a strange and beautiful thing
to people watch at Oxford Circus
and it is indeed a circus
graced with colourful neon lights
that sparkle so bright
and filled with wildly interesting characters
lion-tamers and tight-rope walkers
beggars and thieves and jugglers and clowns
and fashionista's wearing golden crowns
together evoking from the crowd
frowns and smiles and laughter so loud
on the roads, the traffic builds too
as those red buses travel through
the city at night, 
this circus is forever swarming with life.
and fighting they're way through the streets
the people, searching for material treats
human needs-
they can be so trivial
it's not long before she retreats...

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Goodbye Friend

Goodbye Friend

Goodbye friend
this is it, this is the end
of us- 
no fuss, 
for there's no where left 
for it to go-
 you know, 
it's time,
to part ways
you're always, 
so far away- 
I'll stay away 
from you friend
this it is 
this is the end. 
don't send 
me your words
fly away
and I don't want to stray
and don't smile
you know, 
for me, you are a trial. 
And speak to me not-
I never forgot, 
don't think I ever did
get rid
of the ideas you
you planted in my head
Well read. 
It was nice to share
our ideas, our fears
and our spheres
of existing. 
friend, this is it 
this is the end.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The Rush Hour Dreamer

                     The Rush Hour Dreamer

The morning sun rises,
over the city of London
one cold November's day,
and you're torn,
from the solitude of sleep
as you switch off your alarm
stay calm
and get ready,
for the day.

You leave
and so do they
and slowly the tube
fills with suits
Go on, and shine-  
You have a story to share
but you never dare
to look him in the eye

He does,
He looks
and he yearns
and he learns
from you,
the people
of the city too.
across the platform
you will find him
standing, waiting, 
stories in his mind
you will find
he's always there
amidst the warmth
of the crowd-
the train,
a place to regain

Life is fraught
with injury
he thought
every morning-
and every morning
you're throwing it away
sleepwalking from day to day
playing games,
twiddling thumbs
he hums
to himself.
So am I. 
So let us waste 
the days, together 
these tethers chain us 
of social conformity
different forms 
of being.
Let us break these bounds
that confound

You saw him
twice, thrice
a million times.

What a strange thing,
rush hour on the tube.
With nowhere to go
 he grows!
He grows and ages
with the changing of paces
and the changing of lines-
black and yellow and blue
and so do you. 

He never misses his train
for his train of thought
departs with it.
The rush hour dreamer
alone, is prone
to outbursts, 
yet- in a crowd
remains unknown...

Hutchinson's Bank Work Day

I went along to a London Wildlife Trust workday at Hutchinson's Bank today after quite a long time. It was great to see some familiar faces and to get involved in practical conservation work again (mainly shrub clearance, small tree felling and wood burning.)

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

To Wander Lonely as a Cloud

I decided to go for a long walk today, so I set off under the sun, with no set destination in mind. I ended up getting a bus to Merton Abbey and walked along the River Wandle, past the animal farm and across the tramline to Morden Wetlands, I then followed the path up to Morden Hall Park. 

From Morden I jumped on and off a few random buses, until I finally ended up in Kingston. I started walking again by the River Thames towards Richmond (last time I went the other way towards Hampton Court). It was a beautiful walk! I wandered though Ham Lands Nature Reserve, past Teddington Lock, the towpath was flooded towards Richmond and on the recommendation of a friendly local, I ended up walking towards the town and getting another bus. I had a lovely day, in the company of many birds and insects and trees...and the autumn colours looked striking!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Chahoonga Main Tujhe

Sickly London Sky

Sickly London Sky

thousands of tear-drops
soar from the sickly grey sky
from such a great height
diffusing its malady 
a heavy sadness
and a certain madness
its way into us all
and I can feel it inside-
and there's nowhere to hide-
for this sinking watery sky 
seeps within-
But the clouds will thin
and dissipate- 
(perhaps wash clean)
and irrigate
growth will follow
but till then 
we must wallow
we must wallow
in this sorrow
for today 
the London sky 
is a sickly grey...

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Classic Trailers

Harold and Maude
I first saw this film about six or seven years ago and loved it- the quirky characters, the story, the script and the excellent soundtrack...most of all I loved Harold's dark and morbid sense of humour...

The Devil and Daniel Johnston
This is another brilliant film which tells the incredible story of the artist, Daniel Johnston. Def worth the watch.

The Essence of Tooting #1

I recently started working on a new photography project, The Essence of Tooting, which I thought might be quite interesting! Over the next few months, I'll be taking a lot of pictures in and around Tooting, pictures which seek to capture the true essence of the town. By the end of the project I'll hopefully pick out ten of the best and most revealing images and write a short photo-essay on them and on what they say about Tooting. I'm really excited about this project! I think it will be a great way to re-explore the inner most depths of Tooting and maybe make some new friends too! 

So today I stumbled across this very interesting shop in Tooting Market. It was full of African masks, drums, jewellery, crystal vases, minerals and stones, Egyptian relics and all sorts of interesting books about ancient healing, spirituality and faith. I got talking to the owner, a chap named Ernest for a while. He was a really lovely guy and shared a lot of interesting information with me!
His Shop