Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Perched on the threshold of the New Year, I'm giving you

something silly...

something blue...

something new...

with my very best wishes for you and your loved ones!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

chestnut hair crimson feathers
sweet siblings in the snow
december ends

Merry Christmas, dear ones! May Santa come tonight into your homes with gifts of good health, and peace, and love... I'm sure all of you've been nice enough for that, even the naughty ones. ;-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter, An Instant

like a heavenly paintbrush,
the wind, in our garden,
had fun with
the uncountable
geometries of snow.
Its hurried dance
of snowflakes
surprised us with ice flowers,
and polar bears,
and bushy tails
of white foxes,
and all the firs
got heavy shawls
of candyfloss.
On this day
of solstice,
we sat on the windowsill
among all
the geraniums in bloom.
You held me in your arms,
our hearts two birds
with wings entwined.
How lovely winter
watched from
the safety of
your embrace.
How beautiful
your words of love,
tickling my ear.
How warm your laughter,
on this cold day
of winter solstice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Some Thoughts at the End of This Year

It’s been a weird year. My mind has always been… well, elsewhere.

I’ve been waiting for something that never seemed to materialise, and it’s no wonder it didn’t since it hasn’t even had a name or a face.

At some point, it was summer I was waiting for, but summer never really arrived and then it was already gone, and now a harsh winter is upon us. I’m not mentally prepared for the cold and the snow, and for the end of another year. I simply do not know when this one has gone away. I’ve somehow missed it. This doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Needless to say, I have done nothing for this year’s resolution, which was to start writing a novel. I’ve thought of it, I have most of it in my mind, but I only wrote a few words, and I mean a few. I am embarrassed but more than that, I’m worried.

The only thought that warms me is that, maybe, just maybe, the circumstances might excuse me, although I’m not seeking such an excuse. In fact, I came to loathe this excuse: no time. Always too busy, waking up at 5:30 am to go to a full time (high-tech) job, this insanely early only so that I can leave early to pick up my daughters, one from school, one from preschool, back home then in the avalanche of all the domestic, never-ending jobs (turning a poem in my mind, or a dialogue with my characters) kitchen-related or homework-related, or simply play with these two absolutely wonderful girls, until they go to bed, and then there’s the point of collapse, mind and body, beyond which there’s just another entirely similar day.

I deliberately kept the account of my typical day into one convoluted, grammatically incorrect phrase. It can only try to convey the extent of my daily busyness. On rare occasions, if I’m strong-willed enough, I can resist past this point of collapse and write a little, but that means that I’m much more tired the next day.

I’m thinking there must be some kind of respite available, before the respite of old age. I refuse to think in terms of doing this, that or the other when I retire or when the children are grown up. I cannot think like that because that would be similar to wishing for the time to go away, when in fact what I desire is for it to stand still.

I’m afraid to promise anything, even to myself, or even more so to myself. But I will continue trudging through this forest of perceived adversities, looking for the light of that illusory glade. I have to. I couldn’t be any other way.

As for you, my dear blogging friends, I thank you for your support and understanding. Maybe I haven’t been as present on your blogs or mine as I would’ve liked to be, but you were, are, always on my (writing) mind. I thank you for the treasure of your words, so generously shared over this electronic medium. I apologise for writing about sad things so many times.

A final thought, for now. We each have our own scale on which we measure our lives and our desires. I realise that compared to the much bigger problems that confront the world, my doubts and struggles are so petty, so insignificant. There are real issues out there, and tragedies, grave illnesses, wars, death, famine, all kinds of injustices, and all the people who go through them cannot allow themselves to be blue when they’re just trying to be.

Here’s to better days for everybody!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Is there a map somewhere,
he asked,
a hydrographic wonder
for all those rivers
of tears
that mothers have cried
for their children’s fears,
that wives have shed
for husbands
who never returned
from this war
or another,
that sons have wept
for lost loves,
for fathers,
and mothers?
I would like to know
to what ocean they flow,
what unsated abyss
all these rains
of grief?
This is what he asked.
My heart, I answered,
as I cried.
This is the map,
this is the hydrographic wonder,
my heart,
and his,
this is the abyss.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Of a Bizarre Contraption

That night he took me to his apartment.

“I have to show you something. I have to prepare you, in case…”

“Some reliable help you have…” I mumbled, half proud of getting his confidence, only hoping that the fresh crisp air would bring some clarity to my mind.

He told me to wait in the corridor and sneaked inside his apartment, with contortionist ability. He didn’t shut the door in my face, but it was obvious he didn’t want me to see the interior. However, through the slight opening of the door, I was able to catch a glimpse of a bare wall and floor, of a simple wooden table on which a pile of dirty dishes shared the space with a bizarre contraption. I could’ve pushed the door open. Instead I watched him as he put that weird thing onto a small trolley and rolled it to the entrance hall. I had to admire the swiftness with which he passed through the door and then closed it, without me seeing more than what I’d caught before. I let out a chuckle.

“Hiding something in there?”

It looked like a typewriter – I suspected he’d used parts of one to build it – badly combined with what could’ve been some cathode-ray tubes and other stuff taken from an old TV. And it had straps which made it look like a useless rucksack.

“What’s this?” I asked.

“A device I built… It misses one piece that a friend of mine is helping me find. Then, it will become a… mathematical harpoon.”


“We deal with equations, T. This is the domain of the highest of mathematics. We can’t use a gun or a club.”

“Coles wasn’t kidnapped by an equation!”

“Yeah, but I might be able to get him back with one.”

excerpt from "Shadow on Your Shoulder", a short story

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Poetry of Titles

I’ve tried this before, here and here. This is what the titles sang to me this time.

The beach fears
unnamed maps
of the ancient sea kings.
Wide sargasso sea -
beyond infinity,
the face of the waters.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


“Wait,” Jude said mysteriously.

Puzzled, I pressed my nose to the porthole. Without apparent reason, the water was clearer now, and brighter, as if sunshine penetrated the upper layers. There were immense algae around us – brown sargassum - their wide serpentine bodies undulating with the current. The corner of my eye caught a glimpse of a darker shadow. A fish, I thought, but had no time to ascertain this before it disappeared.

And then I saw them, a group of them, six or seven, passing right in front of the porthole, their coiled shells huge, striped in vivid ochres. A live diorama, I thought flabbergasted, for a second having the weird feeling I was at the museum. They swam backwards, their spotted mantles wavering with the small jets that propelled them. I saw their eyes, eyes of squids, inquisitive, and half-scaredly clutched the medallion at my neck. No Nautilus lived in sweet waters, and not in our lake; none was two feet big.

Short of breath, I turned to Uncle Jude, only to see him stare at me with an exuberant gaze, which seemed to be bursting with the question “So, what do you say?” or something like that. But my mind couldn’t form coherent words, not yet, only the buzz of excitement in a hollow of disbelief.

I pressed my nose to the glass again, but they were gone already, their tentacles disappearing swiftly at the edge of my field of vision.

excerpt from "Time of a Dive", a short story

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Frozen Flower Study

OK, so
this is how (I think) it was.
A wind came first,
out of nowhere, really,
or out of
the cave of
a hint of autumn-
or maybe just
not recognised-
a subtle chill,
a whiff of ices,
a rain,
an unexpected frost
one morning.
The rain stayed,
in guise of eyeglasses
lending grey lenses
to my weary eyes.
Missing words,
abandoned dreams,
forgotten smiles
were not sought,
offered no shelter.
Before I knew it,
my soul had shed
its fragile leaves.
Love, sadness, pity, joy,
even anger,
even desire,
lay withered at my feet.
Hope lasted longest,
such a tiny leaf,
still green
as I stomped
on it
on my way through
the daily routine.
Was it a sign that
the sky dropped then
fluffy tears?
I don’t know.
Do I care?
The snow that covers now
my feelings
holds no promise
of renewal.
No spring music can (will) thaw
my numb heart.
I am winter.