Sunday, 21 January 2018


                          Wilful Muse

Wilful, stubborn muse, why don't you
Grace me with your presence,
Offer me solace, place your inspiring
Hands  over my head like a 
Halo of art, like an artist's shield?

Day and night I pray you will
Take pity on me. I place offers
At your temple; I'm ready 
To do anything you ask me.
The vilest act cannot be vile
Enough if you, muse, demand it
As a sign of your allegiance.

I'm ready and willing to
Sacrifice myself for you, 
To throw this undeserving
Body at the pyre of your
Redeeming fires, to be consumed
By the flames of artistic inspiration.

Don't think, muse, I haven't seen you
In my long, sleepless nights of
Artistic despair peeking at me
With scorn in the darkest corner
Of the room, and vanishing into the
Night through a slit in the window. 

Don't think I don't know you
Paid regular visits to the
Dissolute, impoverished artist
Who lived in that filthy attic and,
After a brief life, died of consumption. 

You, muse, are like a cat who
Comes and goes as you please,
Bestows your affection at
Random and seems to take
Pleasure in breaking the hearts
Of those who love you dearly. 

For all this, wilful muse,
I respect and worship you.
Forever out of my reach,
Forever haughty and scornful,
There is nothing I can give
That will please you and
Make you sprinkle upon me
A tiny portion of your golden dust.

Your realm will be always
Barred from my presence
With iron bars, lock and key.
You never go to those who
Want you the most, but you
Suddenly drop like a whirlwind
Upon the ones who don't quite know
What to do with your fire and, in the end,
Are scorched by it, unwilling sacrifices
In the shrine of artistic genius.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017


                 like cut out puppets
                 the clouds in the sky
                      I peek at heaven


                       a flash of brown
                 vanishes amidst the green 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Hallow's Eve

             Hallow's Eve at the Manor House

On a moonless night of Hallow's Eve,
The ghosts at the ancient manor house
Decked themselves in layers of luminous ectoplasm.
Attired in their ghostly armour,
They made for the boundary
Between their supernatural domain and
Our physical world, squeezing
Through the narrow portal of
Compressed space and time.

Some intended to haunt the
Chambers in which they were killed,
Howling and blowing bone-chilling drafts
In the ears of the terrified occupants.
Others extended elastic tendrils
Into the minds of their victims
And provoked ghastly nightmares.
A few decided to go even further,
They were the revengeful lot.
With their horrific appearance,
They expected to cause mayhem and
Perhaps some fatalities among the living.

While the cursed night lasted,
The ghosts in the ancient manor house
Went on haunting the living
Without pity, because
No pity was given
To them in their fatal hour.
They didn't relish their deeds,
But they were compelled to
Wreak misery upon the living.

Otherworldly forces drew them
To the haunted manor house
Every moonlit Hallow's Eve.
Like shadow puppets on silvery
Strings, they obeyed, again and again,
Reliving the agonizing moments they yearned to forget.
But to no avail: theirs was a sorry destiny.
The destiny to be condemned to the past
And forced to remain there for eons
And eons more without the bliss of oblivion.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Sacrificial Mask

                         Sacrificial Mask

The blade of the knife reflected
The rays of that scalding,
Merciless sun. At the bottom of
The temple people danced
To appease a hungry god
That must be fed bloody,
Tepid hearts still pulsating
With the dregs of a dwindling life.
The victim, drunk with potions
And the fumes of burned herbs,
Cast his eyes over his last sight,
The perfectly-carved slates and
The mocking grin in the terrible,
Horrible beauty of the mask.

Now the object that once caused
So much anguish and so much pain
Acquired an honour seat behind
Glass and temperature control. 
It is the gem of the Aztec exhibit,
A unique artwork, a masterpiece. 

When you look at it, grinning
Fiercely behind the glass,
You are, for some seconds,
Enveloped in the mist of
Burning herbs and in the 
Music of those ominous drums
That beat in an ever-demanding crescendo.

Frenzied people will swirl under the temple
In a maddening dance; and you, still in a trance,
For only a few seconds, will be able to fully
Understand the terrible, the horrible beauty of the mask. 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

War Fairy

                             The War Fairy

She will never be seen hovering
Over the garden and sprinkling
Fairy dust over flowers and trees.
This is a fairy who thrives in
The bloodshed, smoke and 
Slaughter of the battlefield. 

She is not a cruel being,
Despite all that has been said
Against her and her ways.
She is just the naughtiest 
Fairy among the fairy folk.
Her dress is made of tiny
Colourful squares, each of them
A flag from a different country.
The war fairy is fond of
Nationalism, and any talk
Of sovereignty makes her giggle.
She knows what follows after,
She knows she will have her fun.

As much as she likes conflict
And tension among nations,
Her favourite type of warfare is
By far the feared civil war.
Nothing delights her more
Than setting brother against 
Brother, father against son.
From the masts of warships
She watches destruction and
Mayhem, her hands supporting
Her alabaster face shaped like
A cupid's heart, because,
Contrary to the popular belief,
The war fairy is a lovely girl.

When the war is over,
She hovers above the
Wreckage of the battlefield
And her almond-shaped eyes
Supervise the pillage, looting
And fires in the ravished city. 
She dances in the air,
Claps her hands and
Inhales the fumes of war
Until the moment of surrender.
The fields belong to her and
She alone reigns over the carnage.
Is she cruel, is she mad, this
Heartless, out-of-character fairy?
No--she is only the naughtiest
Fairy among the fairy folk. 

Friday, 21 April 2017


                           the badge of spring
                              in a chunk of dawn
                                   cherry blossoms

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


                      Desert Soul

Few creatures live in the desert;
Only the sturdiest can thrive
Under the pitiless sun of
Fiery, rabid rays and
The freezing nights with
Only a cold, heartless moon
To soothe your weary soul.

Cacti abound almost everywhere.
They represent  well the peculiar
Spirit of the desert: rough
Exterior, unfriendly to the
Touch and mean-looking
Throughout because in
The desert you cannot 
Show any weakness if
You intend to last the day.

But every five years  a miracle occurs
In the desert, and suddenly
Thorns and brambles give way
To bright, fragrant, fancy
Flowers of all the hues of 
The rainbow, myriads of them.
In the same unexpected way
That they come, they go,
Leaving behind no trace of
Their fleeting presence, nothing
More than pretty mirages in
The desolate, dreary landscape.

From time to time it rains
In the desert, but only when
The weather conditions are
Favourable for the magic to happen.
The rain is generous and tempestuous.
Suddenly brooks gurgle between lanes
Of cacti and dried bushes. The desert
Doesn't do things by halves, it is
Either deluge or drought in its domains.
On those rare occasions flowers, plants,
Bushes and fresh grass sprout everywhere.
In the blink of an eye there is no longer a
Desert, but a garden of Eden lost among damp dunes. 

The rain stops abruptly, and
Withdraws beyond the clouds
That vanish and melt into the
Azure sky and fiery sun rays.
Everything fades, droops and
Goes back to the bowels of
The earth, lying there, dormant,
Until the next rainy season.

When night falls and chilly
Winds embrace the dunes,
The djinns leave their 
Dwellings above the clouds
And ride on the back of
Sandstorms, on the lookout
For any sort of entertainment
Or opportunity for mischief
The desert can offer them.
Every desert is a place of spells, 
And the presence of djinns 
Only adds an aura of mystery
To its vast, unfathomable expanses. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

The White Snake

                         Love and the Snake

When the young doctor
Arrived in that faraway
Chinese town squeezed
Between mountain and river,
The white snake spirit from
The depths of the waters
Felt that her heart had missed a beat.

Every day he passed over
The bridge, and every day
The white snake's eyes
Followed him from the
River--and she sighed.
If love knows no boundaries,
Why shouldn't a snake spirit
Fall in love with a mortal?

The next day the young doctor
Stumbled upon a lovely lady of porcelain skin
And raven tresses on the other side of the river.
She took cover under the yellow canopy
Of a gingko tree, trying to hide from the
Torrential summer rain in vain.
He offered a spot under his umbrella
And her otherworldly beauty struck him.

They got married; they were happy,
But their life was very  modest.
One day a strange disease
Broke out in the town, and the
Young doctor was the only one
Capable of curing the sick.

He was suddenly rich and respected;
He had everything he could want,
And his wife loved him to despair.
But happiness is fleeting, a frail
Vessel adrift in a tormented sea.
One day a Buddhist monk discovered
The true identity of the doctor's wife and
Revealed it to her astonished husband.

She was evil; she was not a woman;
She was a slithery, despicable, horrendous
And shameful white snake spirit.
She had sent deadly miasmas to
The town so her husband could
Profit from the sickness of the innocent.

With an aching heart,
The doctor agreed that
His wife should be destroyed.
At the hour of the rooster the monk
Forced the spirit to revert to its true form,
And flee back to the depths of the river.

Later on, every time the doctor crossed the bridge
He was weighed down with a heavy heart,
Remembering his wife and her unbound love.
He often cried when he reached the other margin,
But he was conformed--their love couldn't be.

Every day the white snake spirit watched
Her husband cross the bridge from the
Depths of the river, and she also cried
With a heavy heart that carried all the
Sorrows of an impossible love.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

North Wind

                                        When the North Wind Blows

When autumn approaches, 
Tinging leaves and the sky with
Yellow, reddish and brown hues,
The North Wind blows fiercely. 
Every day the trees are forced
To shed their leaves--the wind is 
Adamant they all end up with
Bare limbs to face the winter. 

At the top of an ancient oak
The North Wind has made
Its cradle, and from this
Advantage point it supervises
The painstaking removal of leaves.

First they turn yellow  at the edges,
Then the yellow blushes into red.
Finally they fade into a lacklustre brown;
And fall to the ground by the dozen. 
Before they reach the earth the North Wind
Takes them for a ride on its flighty back;
 And they go round and round, almost kissing
The ground, in small whirlwinds of brown leaves
 That chase each other against their will. 

When there isn't a single leaf left
On the branches of the trees,
And all the brownish remains
Lay in crunchy heaps by the
Trunks of their desolate trees,
The North Wind is satisfied.
Its work is done, winter can
Take over now and spread
His glistening mantle on top
Of the shivering landscape.
After so much strenuous work,
The North Wind will go back
To its cradle on top of the ancient oak
And slumber until the next autumn
Comes and its services are needed again.