Showing posts from April, 2021

The Poet and the Mountain

  Few people come this way. The path is steep and winding. It is a rare day when the wind does not blow or the mountain summits are cloud clear. This is a place for the goats and ravens, not us human kind. Yet I am here. And today the sky is as blue as an eye. The way down is more perilous than the way up. Bilberry bushes cover the rocks, hiding small crevasses. One slip is all it would take. I have already passed the high lake. I do not hurry. The silence is stony deep. She is dressed in a rose-print blouse and a pale blue skirt. As soon as we are within speaking distance I say hello. It is customary to greet everyone on these mountains. ‘ Such a rare and beautiful afternoon.’ ‘ Yes,’ she says. Not a flicker of a smile passes her lips. ‘ What brings you here?’ She focuses her gaze on the grey mountain peak behind me and runs her fingers through her cropped blonde hair. ‘I do not know this place.’ ‘ Perhaps not. This is a place of wild goats and poets.’ She meet

The Footprints

      As always, it’s between the haves and the have-nots.   The haves are happily expanding, covering more and more places on earth. Always boasting and inflating what they have. Much more than they need and much more than they can feed. They create endlessly, consume endlessly, wonder about each other incessantly, and fret about small things constantly. Their day begins with smiles and good mornings, and ends with drool-worthy meals. They wear stunning clothes, and they take exotic vacations.   They leave their footprints in the bytes of cloud. In needless exabytes.   A day will come when only a handful will not have any digital footprints. Mostly by choice. by Dr Meghashri Dalvi     

Ovid For Covid Number 5

First one, then another, until a small pile has been made in the middle of the garden. He thinks of his mother as a fallen leaf. And all the others in the home, they are fallen leaves too. The dry husks ignite quickly and the smoke lifts with ease, up and over the trees. The fire is soon finished and all that is left is a dark, smouldering circle on the ground. The conflagration has brought his hurt some comfort but he can’t think how or why.   With painful inquisitiveness, he collects a bundle of twigs and lights them too. As the flames crackle and sputter, he is startled by the imagined presence of a spirit, freeing itself from the confines of earthly bondage, the imprisonment by matter. But what spirit? His sparked curiosity leads him to the shed. He drags the potting bench out, douses it with petroleum and sets it alight. Again, as the many fiery tongues angrily attack the chilled air, he feels the now unimagined spirit rising higher, not beside him, but from within. By t


I knew he was unwell.  It began when he never wanted to go very far on our walks together. In fact he got to sitting on the park bench with our next door neighbour and I would run round the cricket pitch with her Jan.  We were told to always keep to the perimeter and not to soil the grass or wellieWally the grounds man would chase us off.  ‘ Her next door’ was a pleasant over-weight chatty widow who I know he liked and do you know what, I quite liked Jan.  “ I want you to stay next door with Jan for a few days next week while I go into hospital”. I must have looked at him in alarm because he quickly added “you like Jan, don’t you Sidney?” He obviously didn’t seem to understand my alarm, it would be the first time we would be apart. Ever.  Hospital was that smart building we walk past on the way to the park, it had electric sliding doors that Jan told me could suddenly close and cut off the head of someone as small as me.  We said our farewells at the fearsome sliding do

The Legend of Loof Lirpa

  In 1793 the health ministry of Norway was tasked with measuring the feet of all the citizens. The runaway winner of the contest was a little-known man called Loof Lirpa. His picture, alongside a picture of his feet with a normal-sized pair of feet for comparison, appeared in the newspapers of the day, there were two. The King awarded Loof a thousand Kroner which could be expected to keep him in comfort for the rest of his days. In those days there were no shoe sizes so Loof had to have his shoes specially made. Fortunately his father came from a long line of cobblers. Loof decided to set out exploring. The first country he discovered was Denmark. Norwegians had heard of Denmark but hitherto they had thought of it as a mythic land inhabited by giants. Danes are similar in size to Norwegians and in fact Loof, with his prodigious feet, was regarded as a giant by them. He was introduced to the King who told him of another land which the Danes greatly feared. In modern times it