All entries for November 2005

November 29, 2005

An evening of Turkish Sufi Music

I recently went along to an evening of Turkish Sufi music is Warwick Arts Centre. It was average on the whole, mainly geared to introducing the concepts of Sufism through a few speechs and some music, but the speeches themselves were less concerned with Sufism than with the similarities and difference between Christianity and Islam. It seemed that they were using the basic principles of Rumi's message of love and unity to pose a case for uniting Islam and Christianity, to dissovle the religious and political tension between the two groups in todays society.

I was, however, particularly taken by the whirling dervish performance and a speech delivered on the reed flute, or ney, and was inspired to write this poem. Its a rough draft of a ghazal and I'd love some comments before I re-work it…

Thank God for the Ney

Christianity and Islam; two religions preaching peace and love
meet with clashing horns and battle long into an ethereal night.

The reed flute, Ney, threads its way through the darkness and tugs
at the heart, leading it past crosses and pillars to a deeper well of longing.

Jalal-ul-din Rumi reeled a bucket in from the hidden depths and drank
to Shams: In appearance I look like a man, but I am full of nothing but Him!

Women tread the path as well. Gillian of Norwich, far removed from
the mystics' tavern, closed her eyes and saw humanity in a hazelnut:

a hand reached out and in its palm the simple nut was self-contained and safe;
for her, the world was uniformly brown and governed by the same protective skin.

The dervish stands, arms crossed upon his chest, and listens to the drumbeat
that dictates each breath. He bows his head, lifts one foot, and initiates the spin.

Leathered feet pound the chalked floor in time and, with a rare masculine grace,
they raise their arms, one palm facing the heavens, the other turned toward the ground.

A solo Oud player plucks at our veins with his pick and we collectively vibrate,
unified in each clear note, separated in every echo, and left to yearn in the brief silence

before applause (do not applaud us, this is our inner circle
revealed. Do not applause until we leave the stage as bare as it began).

November 25, 2005

Timeless wankers

Exerpt from a recent conversation:

Siera: Fifty years ago it was Hitler, now it's the Terrorists; these things work in cycles.

Foxtrot: Yeah, and before that it was Genghis Khan … wanker.

November 20, 2005

Origins of THE GAME

Those of you who have been unfortunate enough to have been introduced to THE GAME, may be interested to learn of it's origins:

'They are playing a game. They are playing at not
playing a game. If I show them I see they are, I
shall break the rules and they will punish me.
I must play their game, of not seeing I see the game.'

Taken from 'Knots' by R.D.Liang

Long time no blog…

Well…its been a while. Various reasons for this 1) No internet at home, 2) Lysistrata, 3) Lack of decent material…

But here I am, back in the blogging world! I feel the need to update this page with everything that I have been doing and thinking over the past two months but to be frank I wouldn't know where to begin. So, I'll keep it simple.

Here's a poem about nature:

Sketches from the natural world

The canopy rolls, mirroring the clouds
riding wind currents,
plaiting their way between the tropics.

The moist Arden ground
is patterned with leaves that


build seasonal mosaics, a shifting
kaleidoscope, as






forest floor.

Dead leaves fallen; damp rot on pruned branches
breeding luminous fungi; autumn
is the season of beautiful decay.

An anorexic tree;
uniform rows of shrivelled leaves curled in on themselves
like paralyzed hands,
rippling veins vacuum-packed beneath their dried skin.
They droop,
like sleepy bats clutching an unlikely perch
beneath the sun.

A weed in half-light
Framed by white-washed bricks
becomes the messy hand-print
of a pre-school child.

Satin river, silent as space,
slips over submerged sand dunes
and distorts them beneath
waters inconsistent camber

pierced by the whine of a dog.

NB: 'layer/upon/layer' and 'dappled/sunlight/sways/across/the/forest floor' are supposed to be staggered across the page but this editor won't let me do it!

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