Life

The Lost Months

Six months since I was last at my desk in a quiet house. Six months since the pandemic drove the world to close borders and ground planes and shut people in their homes. Six months during which close to a million people globally have died from coronavirus. And now, in England, a tightening of lockdown… Read More The Lost Months

Creativity

Isolation and Writing

I’m sitting here in our library, with the clothes dryer whirring next to me. This room is no longer the domain of the kids’ toys and our books. It’s a temporary kitchen now, too, during lockdown, while our building work has been paused. We could have moved the books upstairs but this room would have… Read More Isolation and Writing

Poetry

Death Spiral

Look out, another election looms to anoint a leader supreme Deals made in boozy backrooms Slippery beasts swimming upstream Raised with silver spoons Flaws as wide as a trench Every whim pandered to by fools Headed for the front bench Destroyers of democracy in cocaine-crusted mansions Steeped in oodles of hypocrisy Pushing murky transactions A… Read More Death Spiral

Personal

On Being Human

The baby didn’t sleep last night. His need for me is wearing. I stand in the hallway, exhausted, listening to him whimper in his cot after I place him there. I cup my hands in prayer. The shape they make is at first alien, a relic from childhood rituals when our family attended the mosque… Read More On Being Human

Creativity

The Power of Naming

Language is powerful. We have seen recently on the world stage how the choice in language can sway large groups of people to either reject or identify strongly with orators. I feel the power of language when my fingers slide across the keyboard, or when I nail a phrase that perfectly captures my thoughts. And… Read More The Power of Naming

Skills

Is Swearing Uncouth?

If you promise not to tell a soul and agree to share a red-faced moment of your own in the comments, I’ll let you in on one of my childhood humiliations. I must have been about fourteen, and had been asked to recite a prayer at mosque. That day, all the ceremonies were being performed… Read More Is Swearing Uncouth?

Poetry

Through My Eyes

I lie in the concrete box of my bedroom inside the mausoleum of my childhood house with no means of escape My body is as heavy as a corpse my gaze is mostly fixed, still I hear the mocking flick of leaves on the asphalt outside You come to visit with frozen smiles I must… Read More Through My Eyes

Personal

On Fear and Love

I’ve not posted here for a while. I had lost my way. Sometimes the only thing to do is to retreat into your shell, hide away, let the storms of fear and despair pass. Maybe I’m still lost, but it helps to turn up to a blank page, to coax the swirl of words inside… Read More On Fear and Love