Thursday, December 29, 2005

To Be Resolute

Do we still continue to make New Year resolutions?

Are they about habits such as eating, drinking, smoking? Or are they deeper ones, concerning the inner self...or traits of personality?

The turning of the year is still a symbolic time for measures the passing of time; where I was to where I might be. It's also a time to be grateful - 'I'm still alive and healthy and thankful to life for it'

This New Year I shall be in Lisbon, Portugal. I leave to catch my airport bus at midnight tonight...I shall be away for a short while - hoping to return with new photos and experiences.

What will I be saying at midnight on New Year?

I no longer promise resolutions to myself. I aim to be resolute all the time.


Friday, December 23, 2005

Festive physical over-indulgence

So easy to let it all block the antennae, to interfere with the transmission... what am I talking about?

The festive physical over-indulgence; where the body gets a battering, and the fine-tuning loses its sharpness:

Everything exists in harmony: it may not seem like it from the horror we see in global events; yet the world, and the cosmos, lives through an inherent harmony. All things interact and all things are part of the web. This is easy to forget... the wine flows, food flows, talk and laughter flows...we almost forget that every action, every thought, becomes woven into the world around us...

This may originally have been a Christian holiday...yet there is no religion left in Xmas: it is a time for family, for being together... something I must remember as the wine flows, food flows, talk and laughter flows...

...and I need to remember to be alone in the crowd sometimes: to take time out for reflection...since the work of the cosmos continues, why shouldn't our inner work?

Blessings to All

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I have not learnt humility. I am not sure if I ever will. I so often slip into the words of others. To be good at being human is so very hard, yet an almighty experience.

Before I spend a few days with family at this time, I wish to lean - yet again - upon the words of Rumi:


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, still,
treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

New posts

Two new posts of poetry have been posted on my audio site Shems Abode.

Words, words everywhere...and not a drop to think...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Rare Islamic texts online

It has now been announced that Princeton University is to put its rare islamic texts collection online:

"In a marriage of new technology and old documents, a vast treasure trove of information about life in the early Islamic world is about to go online, enabling Muslims, scholars and the merely curious to peer into a window on the faith's rich history.

Numbering more than 10,000 texts, Princeton University's collection of handwritten Islamic documents, books and letters is the largest in North America. They date from the eighth and ninth centuries - soon after the faith was founded - to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1900s; most have gone unseen outside New Jersey for nearly a century."

Read more here

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Words that remain

Enduring as words moments are: I could not refrain from entering into the Blue Raincoat story... here is my version of it:

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

For the whirlers

It has been declared, by UNESCO, that the Mevlevi Sema Ceremony is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritages of Humanity: see here.

Good news for the whirlers...

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Is Science Making Sex Obsolete?

In the Nov. 1, 2004, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team led by Ralph Brinster at the University of Pennsylvania managed to grow mouse "spermatagonial stem cells" in a dish. Also known as SSCs, they are the type of stem cells that eventually become sperm.

Read the 'Science Makes Sex Obsolete' article:

personally, I prefer the human touch to spermatagonial cells in a dish... there's more emphasis on the build-up...the talk, the red wine, the cheeky glance, and the caress - beat that, cells in a dish!

Shield thyself

Now that there is more awareness about increases in electromagnetic radiation, more products are springing up that protect us. In a recent Wired article titled 'A Tinfoil Hat on Every Head' it writes:

"In September, two California men won a patent on a device that could be incorporated in a baseball cap to block radiation from a wireless antenna. Last year, a Taipei inventor patented an electromagnetic-waveproof bra cup."

Me..I'm thinking about inventing one for the testicles...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Whacking the Penguin

Couldn't resist this one...especially now that its getting close to Xmas frivolity - its very addictive..and hard to stop whacking!!

So relieve pre-xmas stress and work dullness..and whack the penguin here

And so far my record is 323.5!!

Virtual hugs?

Sending energy over time & space is one thing...but vibrating chickens??

"Singapore scientists have devised a vibration jacket for chickens controlled with a computer that gives the animal the feeling of being touched by its owner.

The next step would be to use the same concept to transmit hugs over the Internet, researchers at Nanyang Technological University said."

Well...for now, I think I prefer other methods...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A glass of wine

I am a glass of wine with dark sediment.
I pour it all in the river.

Love says to me, "Good, but you don't see
your own beauty. I am the wind

that mixes in your fire, who stirs
and brightens, then makes you gutter out"


Joan of Arc

Leonard Cohen's Joan of Arc continues to exist in many forms:

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Friday, November 25, 2005


A Sage was asked:

"Why do you not get to the heart of the matter, and give us arguments and proofs with which we can test our progress?"

He said:

"Sugar, flour, fat and heat are all very well separately. Combined, with time, they make delicious halwa."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

More and more

Yet again I am reminded of the power of words...


when i am on this pedestal
you did not raise me there
your laws do not compel me
to kneel grotesque and bare
i myself am the pedestal
for this hump at which you stare

you who wish to conquer pain
you must learn what makes me kind
the crumbs of love that you offer me
are the crumbs i've left behind


and don't love me quite so fiercely
when you know you are not sure
it is your world beloved
it is your flesh that i wear


you tell me that silence
is nearer to peace than poems
but if for my gift
i brought you silence
(for i know silence)
you would say
this is not silence
this is another poem
and you would hand it back to me


lost in the fields of your hair i was never lost
enough to lose a way i had to take


i had it for a moment
i knew why i must thank you
i saw men who loved their worldliness
even though they had looked through
big electric telescopes
they still thought their worldliness was serious
i'll study you later
so many people want to cry quietly beside you

yes i long for you
not just as a leaf for weather
or vase for hands
but with a narrow human longing
that makes a man refuse
any fields but his own
i wait for you at an
unexpected place in your journey
like the rusted key
or the feather you do not pick up
until the way back
after it is clear
the remote and painful destination
changed nothing in your life


i didn't kill myself
when things went wrong
i didn't turn
to drugs or teaching
i tried to sleep
but when i couldn't sleep
i learned to write
i learned to write
what might be read
on nights like this
by one like me


she said, your eyes are dead
what happened to you, lover
and since she spoke the truth to me
i tried to answer truly
whatever happened to my eyes
happened to your beauty


you thought
i was a man of roads
and you loved me for being such a man
i was not such a man


you will never feel me leading you
forever i escape your homage
i have no ideas to shackle you
i have nothing in mind for you
i have no prayers to put you in
i live for you
without the memory of what you deserve
or what you do not deserve

i watch myself from where you are:
do not be mistaken:
the spider web you see me through
is the view i've always taken


come with me
i want to talk
i've taken a drug that makes me want to talk


because you will not overthrow your life. you cannot breathe. because of the panic of homelessness. you cannot breathe.
you cannot breathe because your sorrow will not return to its birthplace.


Selected words of Leonard Cohen

Monday, November 21, 2005

Selling lies

A very interesting article about the creation of propaganda for the Iraq War is in Rolling Stone magazine - called: 'The Man Who Sold the War' - fascinating account of how the PR machine works...over years...

After all, lies are big business... and Truth a rare commodity

My excuse

I'm often asked what exercise I do... I used to try wit and say 'drinking': now I don't have the motivation to humour people's curiosity. But I like this answer:

"I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don't intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises."

Neil Armstrong (the man who walked on the moon... of course)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Coherent plan

As noted astrophysicist/astronomer Fred Hoyle once said:

"There is a coherent plan in the universe, though I don't know what it's a plan for"

I also remember him saying - and I paraphrase - that the liklihood of the complexity of our life, of our DNA, to have evolved through natural, accidental, evolution was the same, statistically, of a hurricane blowing through a scrapyard and producing a Boeing 747. that case - just what is the plan? At least I feel it's coherent.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shems Abode

A New Site! Initially I began to post my podcasts - audio posts - on this site. Yet it required linking to a 3rd site to download a Quicktime recording. So, I have decided to create a new podcast site where all my audio posts, from now on, will be posted.

This site - Shems Abode - can play audio posts directly without the listener needing to have any particular software installed. Easy!

I shall first repost the old files, plus all the ones I have 'in storage' before adding any new material.

Now, there is a new Abode.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A place to be

Today was beautiful - a clear blue sky, and a shining sun amidst a chilly yet fresh temperature. So I went for a walk... through my usual paths: down small lanes, over fields, through farms, past the sheep...with the hills and brown fells in the near distance.

And this always gets me thinking similar I to spend more time with Nature, or do I need to exist in the city environment? My research takes me into the technological realms: a wireless future, a socio-technological merger, physical mapping, smart computerised environments, digital-social networks..etc...

and then I have my love to get away from it all. I would indeed love to live in the countryside for my future years; yet why do I spend so much time considering the transformation from nature to nano-nature?

In the past 15 years I have lived in 11 different houses/flats. I have always rented, then moved on: at first I just carried all my possessions in 2 bags: now I need a small van to move. But thats all, just a one-day rental van.

It is truly difficult to see me settled. Life is like a rented time/space for me: I am moving through; doing what I came here to do - what I agreed to do.

Nature is truly beautiful; it's wondrous. Yet there are greater matters to attend to in the grand scheme of things. The cosmos is waiting. And there's a plan unfolding.

So perhaps it doesnt matter where I am: as long as I'm in the place I need to be for that time.

Friday, November 11, 2005

We self learn

Most of our experience comes from self-learning... perhaps less from the walls of classrooms: so to combine them both, the prestigous MIT has established the OpenCourseWare Site:

a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners around the world. OCW supports MIT's mission to advance knowledge and education, and serve the world in the 21st century. It is true to MIT's values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.


* Is a publication of MIT course materials
* Does not require any registration
* Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
* Does not provide access to MIT faculty

In short, they publish the course materials for around 80 courses, for others to use in teaching at other institutions and, importantly, for people to work from in the comfort of their own homes.

A step forward in the Web of Knowledge...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Expressing secrets

How much do we long for a way to release a hidden secret? For someone to listen...?

There is a blog called PostSecret that continues to amaze me. Some of the confessions are funny, some sad, others very painful.

Its set-up is simple yet powerful. What happens is this:

'You are invited to anonymously contribute your secrets to PostSecret. Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything - as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before.

Create your 4-by-6-inch postcards out of any mailable material. If you want to share two or more secrets, use multiple postcards. Put your complete secret and image on one side of the postcard.'

The rest is unspoken. Visit PostSecret and see for yourself.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Now that the Ramadam has finished...words from Turkish poets to pass on to friends...

From Nazim Hikmet: extracts -

'All around us are the glittering sidewalks
of a marvellous night

and the steps of brave new human beings
singing brave new songs.’

'The best sea has yet to be crossed.
The best child has yet to be born.
Our best days have yet to be lived;
and the best word I want to say to you
is the word I have not yet said.'

'How good it is to be blind,
how good to love darkness.
No light like a flashing sword
nor the weight of colours
nor swarming shapes...
How good it is to love the darkness.'

From Orhan Veli:

'I woke up one morning;
the sun came up in me;
I turned into birds and leaves;
they glittered in the spring breeze;
I turned into birds and leaves;
my arms and legs were rioting;
I turned into birds and leaves,
And leaves.'

Monday, October 31, 2005

...that which cannot be said...

'Love lit a fire in my chest, and anything
that wasn't love left: intellectual
subtlety, philosophy
books, school.

All I want now
to do or hear
is poetry.'

'Love is that that never sleeps,
nor even rests, nor stays
for long with those that do.

Love is language
that cannot be said,
or heard.'


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Cheese amidst chaos

He nestled at the back of the cinema, amidst the hoards of children...and sat through a cartoon about penguins at Christmas, to await the main feature - 'Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit' - in the mid-afternoon matinee.

Funny moments that the children didn't understand made Him quietly laugh...

ahh, the pleasures of spending the days with open afternoon like gaping time-holes that require filling...

...and the thought of cheese pervaded the atmosphere: do you have any cheese in your fridge?

Triviality amidst a planet falling apart at the seams...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Moving Through

Been away for a few days: seeing old friends - and new - amidst the metropolis of London. Attempting not to loose time; travelling with my digitised notes and lectures on Mp3 so as to keep busy with knowledge nourishment... keeping ties, making ties, hoping not to sever others; making contact, keeping distances - a whole plethora of interconnections.

Weaving the Web: we are the living Internet. A mesh, both animate and inanimate, of networks, connections, threads, pulses, radiations, and responses. What we do comes rebounded back; each action echoed through myriad of reverberations.

We watch our steps, allowing each to become our healing game.

Just like this song: The Healing Game by Van Morrison

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Man

Listen to the Man: some things just get better.

Press Because Of by Leonard Cohen

Enjoy - see video below.

For A.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

In contradiction

I've been enjoying quiet days - going out little. Reading much, pushing myself against tiredness or unfilled moments. Stretching forward like a rubber band. Soon these days will turn into work as soon as the classes start next week. Then I'll be in those classrooms, transferring what I know of the subject to others. Energy will be needed then.

What do people require the most? Is it learning? Knowledge? Fulfilment?

Well, it comes to my mind that although these are needed, the first requirement to be satisfied is 'attention'. People feed on attention, and only after this has been fed, or quenched, can there be a space for learning.

In terms of my students, I feed their attention so that satisfaction can be applied to the work at hand.

For myself, I'm attempting to quench it, so that other spaces become available within. Solitude often helps here, I find.

Again, that contradiction: half of me wants to network, to form connections. The other half wishes for solitude. They mingle like siblings, and quarrel as only siblings know how.

Much like a world in contradiction, we mirror its many sides.

Spoof truth?

A video worth spoofy its truthy!

Bush Speaks

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Here are some numbers which may help to put the World’s situation into perspective.

"An amazing 25% of people in the World under the age of 25, live in India. In fact, 50% of India’s total population is under 25 and 80% is under 45.

If we set the World’s population at 100, there are nearly 60 Asians, 21 Europeans and only 4 Americans. Out of the 100, 70 are not white, 70 are non Christian and 80 live in sub-human conditions. Only 25 have food, clothing and a roof over their head, 1 has a computer, 1 has a university education and 70 can’t read and whilst we can invest in a wide range of markets, 92 can’t. The bottom line is that if you have money in the bank or in your wallet you are among the 8% of richest people on the planet and, based on the bigger picture, that’s something we should all be thankful for."

This came via a financial report that I came across whilst being somewhere I shouldn't.

Lord - why can't cats cure our economics?

Friday, October 14, 2005


'You've so distracted me,
your absence fans my love.
Don't ask how.

Then you come near.
"Do not...," I say, and
"Do not...," you answer.

Don't ask why
this delights me."

Rumi - Birdsong

You know who I am

"I cannot follow you, my love,
you cannot follow me.
I am the distance you put between
all of the moments that we will be.
You know who I am,
you've stared at the sun,
well I am the one who loves
changing from nothing to one.

Sometimes I need you naked,
sometimes I need you wild,
I need you to carry my children in
and I need you to kill a child.

You know who I am..."

The words of LC

I came so far for beauty

"I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned.

I thought I'd be rewarded
For such a lonely choice
And surely she would answer
To such a very hopeless voice.

I practiced all my sainthood
I gave to one and all
But the rumours of my virtue
They moved her not at all.

I changed my style to silver
I changed my clothes to black
And where I would surrender
Now I would attack.

I stormed the old casino
For the money and the flesh
And I myself decided
What was rotten and what was fresh.

And men to do my bidding
And broken bones to teach
The value of my pardon
The shadow of my reach.

But no, I could not touch her
With such a heavy hand
Her star beyond my order
Her nakedness unmanned.

I came so far for beauty
I left so much behind
My patience and my family
My masterpiece unsigned."

Leonard Cohen speaks: how many things can be left behind in the search...? an unsigned masterpiece?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Are our loveable Smurfs in smurfing trouble?

Smurfette is left for dead. Baby Smurf is left crying and orphaned as the Smurf's village is carpet bombed by warplanes - a horrific scene and imagery not normally associated with the lovable blue-skinned cartoon characters.

Can this really be true - are they attacking my friends the Smurfs?? I declare war on all anti-Smurfettes! Long live the loveable Blue-Ones..

Actually, these are the scenes being shown as part of a new UNICEF ad-campaign on Belgian television. An anti-war message..... phew!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The song that I came to sing

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.

I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set; only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The blossom has not opened; only the wind is sighing by.

I have not seen his face, nor have I listened to his voice; only I have heard his gentle footsteps from the road before my house.

The livelong day has passed in spreading his seat on the floor; but the lamp has not been lit and I cannot ask him into my house.

I live in the hope of meeting with him; but this meeting is not yet.

Rabindranath Tagore - 'Gitanjali' (13)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Nutty Research

Time to mention the Ig-Nobels: the alternative to the Nobel awards for... mmm..alternative research:

- 77-year old Japanese inventor NakaMats dutifully photographs all of his dinners, lunches and breakfasts. NakaMats has been taking the pictures for 35 years. They have helped the inventor come up with new theories about longevity.

The photos have also earned NakaMats the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize in nutrition.

- The Ig Nobel Prize in medicine went to Gregg Miller, inventor of Neuticles, artificial testicle replacements for neutered dogs and other animals, which come in different sizes and levels of firmness. In his videotaped acceptance speech, Miller noted the time it took to develop his invention. "It took two years to get the balls rolling," he said.

But the one which I like the most:

- The Ig Nobel Prize in fluid dynamics: Two European researchers calculated the pressure that builds up inside a penguin about to poo, and reported their findings in a paper entitled "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation" (.pdf). (A 'must-read' - especially for the penguin diagram!)

The two co-authors could not get visas to attend the ceremony, and delivered a videotaped acceptance speech. The researchers said they hoped the rejection of their visa applications "had nothing to do with the explosive nature of our work."

So - good to know we are safe with such scientific research looking after our world...


"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Time trickles

Time trickles and time dilates; it can expand like a cumulus, a stratocumulus of clouds. It can evaporate or fuse.

And we each have our own time, as if we determined the number of breaths we would breathe in our lifetime, and each day we are using them up. The question remains: how to use our breaths wisely. Should we dispel them like fools? Waste them over niggling emotions that we shoulder like the Old Man of the Sea?

How do we carry our-selves? Time knows its course. Should we wander aimlessly whilst Time watches and ticks to itself?

‘If we don’t change our direction, we are likely to wind up where we are headed’
Old Chinese proverb

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Love or Death?

‘We must love one another or die’

WH Auden (September 1st, 1939)

The first day of Ramadam for 2005 was October 4th: oruc tutiyormuyum?

No, I am not fasting. However, as a small contribution I give up all alcohol for the month. My evenings exist in a whirl of chinese tea aroma, curling through the pages of my books against the solitary eyes.

In ourselves do we learn the treasures of our own places. In life do we die many times.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

To arrive where we started

Arriving back in the UK to the cold wind, I noticed the lack of vibrancy in the people around me. Shouldered to the colder climate their faces showed both complaint yet defiance. What we need is energy.

Creativity feeds off from energy. Warmth can provide this, as the sun beats us with its rays. Here in the UK we are stoic: hardened to always complain; hardened to always defy.

We should think as a species rather than as races. Sometimes we all seem to need a kick up the butt.

Sometimes I linger too long in places; other times not long enough. There are changes coming. Soon, perhaps, we will no longer recognise where we came from, if we move fast enough.

Like an infant growing into a child...we stagger, we cause chaos, we laugh... we wonder at it all: so many spaces to move into.

As TS Eliot so succintly put it:

'We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.'


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sun beats

The sun beats down on Barcelona: last night I sat at a beach-cafe and played backgammon with a friend as the sea lashed upon the shore. I saw an exhibition of lost ruins; sat in the Citadel park by the grand fountain; quietly rested in the house of shadows (conservatory); then wandered endlessly through the many streets.

Knowing a place through endless rambles, going nowhere. Just ever so breezy, breezy and deep.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

With the desires of.....being in Barcelona?

I fly today to spend a week in Barcelona, visiting friends. First time in a new city for me...more tastes to savour.

As a parting post I'm leaving another audio poem: this one is called 'With the desires of one' and is the opening poem in my latest collection, which was completed this week.

Bon Voyage

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Everybody’s place

After the 7/7 events in London I wrote a did many others.

This poem - called 'Everybody's Place' - can be downloaded as audio here.

Again - 'Quicktime' is needed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A woven tapestry

As the world surprises me more, I also learn to become less surprised. This passage of time flows like a falsehood, as orchestrated events pass for meaning.

I came across an amusing story today: in 1980 Saddam Hussein was presented with the Keys to the City of Detroit, as an honourary blessing.

The tapestry that is woven around us is as a game. We play it at our peril.

Let us not become embroiled in deceit. Be true to thyself, and none shall say otherwise.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two Births

I went to London to see Friends both alive and dead. I ate dinner and had lovely moments with various friends; then sat at the feet of the fresh grave of another Friend. To tell the truth, there was no difference. Life & Death can be equally present if we shift ourselves away from the five-senses. It is a continuation...

Birth is like death to the baby that is pushed from comfort into the squeeze of the narrow birth-canal; as death can be as another birth out from the womb of the physical body again.

We should attempt to live in all moments. There is nothing to lose but your-self.

We are here for something much greater than the both of us.

Snippets of a reply

The Question of what keeps people together is myriad...

...marriage for many is a committment on many levels: family, economic, social...etc....Love + respect are ideals that some don't have the luxury for. There's love there - but its of a different kind. It's a kind of be together so long they wouldn't know how to live apart...

...You spend so much time with a person that you get used to them - you become in-tune with their presence, and you entangle yourself with their presence, and this entanglement becomes an organism...sometimes it swallows and engulfs as well as feeds...

...To love and respect is higher functioning which is the rightful way for all humans, sadly so few of us either aspire or attain. Yet it is truly within our domain.

...still learning

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Moments of intuition

"During [these] periods of relaxation after concentrated intellectual activity, the intuitive mind seems to take over and can produce the sudden clarifying insights which give so much joy and delight."
Fritjof Capra

This is the balance, the immersion, the moments of clarification after the mind has been puzzling for so long on an issue. For this reason the evenings are always for my-self; for reading, reflection, private time. Mornings and afternoons are for work. Is this a luxury? Does this mean I'm not being worked hard enough?

I don't care. I didn't come here to write some words and look clever. That's the duty of real scholars. I'm just part-time, and passing through.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Like charlatans

"In complete control, pretending control,
with dignified authority, we are charlatans.
Or maybe just a goat's-hair brush in a painter's hand.
We have no idea what we are."


We are all, in our way, charlatans - maintaining the pretence. Yet we have to be: charlatanism is a facet of life, what keeps us veiled yet laughing - the phenomenal as the bridge to the real. We are the fakery, the false gold that exists to show there is real gold. Whoever is afraid to let go, will cling to the sinking ship even when it rests on the ocean floor...when the waves are calling.

If you have the burning determination, jump into the ocean. If you prefer safety, stay on the shore.

Yet don't deny we are charlatans...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No greater thing in life

Today I received the news on the death of a great man - Sayed Omar Ali-Shah. Thank you for the journey so far - you deserve the rest: may your spirit be blessed.

'There is no greater thing in life
than that secret sense of harmony
that unites us briefly
with the great mystery of others
and allows us to travel alongside them
for part of the way.'

Alvaro Mutis

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Looking for the Bees

Being fond of all things 'bees', as well as consuming copious amounts of honey, taking propolis, and researching the behaviour of bees - I came across this lovely book titled The Beekeeper by Maxence Fermine. It was an easy yet sublime read - using the metaphor of looking for bees as symbolising the inner search for fulfilment.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Cosmic Law

Here is my latest podcast/audio of one of my recent poems: it is called Cosmic Law.

Again, you will need Quicktime to listen to it.

Dying of thirst

Love perfected and whole, you arrive.
Words throng my soul, but none come out.

A traveler meets his joy
and his despair at once.

Dying of thirst, I stand here
with springwater flowing around my feet.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Beautiful Chants

I have often listened to musical interpretations of Gurdjieff's compositions. My main source has been Keith Jarret's 'Sacred Hymns of G.I. Gurdjieff' which is wonderful piano work. A second, though less preferable source, is 'Gurdjieff & de Hartmann - Piano Works'.

However, I recently came across and purchased 'Gurdjieff; Tsabropoulos - Chants, Hymns and Dances' which combines compositions from both Gurdjieff and Tsabropoulos (a Greek composer), with piano and cello - and this is the most beautiful version I have found so far. Enchanting, relaxing, etheral. Warmly recommended - and another great product from the ECM label.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Great influence

There is only one book that I have read more than twice. I have just finished a third reading of 'Teachers of Gurdjieff' by Rafael Lefort. I first came across an original 1966 HB copy of this book in my local library when I was in my early 20s. It was the first book that I read twice, whilst still in my early 20s.

I recently found a 1st edition 1966 HB copy exactly as I had first read it those many years before. It was a pivotal book for me, and did indeed change the direction of where I was heading.

'Why take this road to London when it leads to Llandudno?' ( I paraphrase!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Segments from Travelling

A few years ago I made a trip to Jordan; then I travelled over the King Hussein Bridge into the Palestinian area of the West Bank and on into Jerusalem. I made a few notes on my journey - here are a few edited audio clips from this travelogue: named 'Segments from Travelling'.

Requires Quicktime player

Sunday, August 28, 2005


The words of Rumi, like islands in an ocean of forever waves, always reach to me. Here are some:

'Gamble everything for love,
if you're a true human being.

If not, leave
this gathering.

Half-heartedness doesn't reach
into majesty. You set out
to find God, but then you keep

stopping for long periods
at meanspirited roadhouses.'


I have just finished reading another novel: an unusual one by Doris Lessing called 'Memoirs of a Survivor'. It tells of the fragmentation of society, as it collapses and over-run with chaos....leading finally worlds perhaps?

It makes me wonder whether it is too strong an analogy of where our own future is heading. Several friends have all mentioned to me that they sense the world is becoming more unstable, with more frequent outrageous acts; with people feeling more anxious, stressed...and generally uncomfortable vibrations.

Is the world's insanity increasing? Are these signs of great change to come?

In this case I would highly recommend Lessing's 5-book series 'Canopus in Argos' starting with 'Shikasta' - although not a light read.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Nameless

Here is another podcast of one of my audio poems - from a previous collection of poems called 'The Distance Between Us and Completion'.

This one is called The Nameless

Requires 'Quicktime' player

Some reads

The other day I received a book that I had ordered from some friends' recommendations: Mr Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran.

A lovely read...can be read in one sitting. A subtle, gentle book. I'm also reading Birdsong by Rumi, and have just recently finished both Engines of Creation, and The Station of No Station.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I am that

A recent poem has I mixed with music and send it out as a podcast, as Mp3... called 'I am that'

Requires Quicktime player

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A place to begin

I wanted this space to be a place for my musings, ramblings, daily events - nothing heavy or overly deep. I have other sites for that. Sometimes we hear that people's everyday lives are so fascinating...better than fiction - other times we read of dullness. This is a fine line I suppose, to exist daily between being unique - being dull. As Rumi once said: "Either seem as you are or be as you seem".

To be ourselves amidst fluctuations - to bind that which we either are or show ourselves to be. Why exist as a contradiction to oneself? Perhaps we are all being a traitor to ourselves in some way...until we learn how to merge all sides.

I met a friend from Bangalore, India these past 2 days - he was 37 looking 47. He plans to retire in 3 years when he is 40. Good luck to you my friend. I am hoping to begin when I am 40. How differently we climb our mountains...