Chi or qi is a concept derived from Classical Chinese Philosophy. It can be expressed in English as ‘life force’, but also as ‘air’, ‘breath’ and ‘energy flow’. We might compare or contrast chi with Awen, a Celtic word which Bards use to mean inspiration - and which also relates to ‘breath’ and ‘flow’. Sometimes the Hindu notion of kundalini is referred to in relation to Chi. But kundalini does not translate to ‘air’ or ‘breath’ or ‘flow’. Kundalini is a coiled snake.

Me, I have some ideas.
Me, I hope you understand.
Me, I look forward to hearing from you.
Me, I trust you are well.
Me, I want to select carefully.
Me, I have now settled on the theme.
Me, I am attaching a painting.
Me, I work in Property.
Me, I am a very proud and happy Mummy.
Me, I am active and rooted in Community.
Me, I managed to replace my day job of more than 33 years as a legal PA.
Me, I have been running my own business.
Me, I fully sacked my boss.
Me, I came to the UK in 1968.
Me, I was born in Mombasa in …

'Chimera' to be displayed at the Law Society's Art Group exhibition

In July last year I offered an original poem as a raffle prize at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants' Summer Party. I promised that the raffle winner would be able to name a subject of their choosing, and that I'd write a poem on the subject that they could do with as they wished.

At the end of a truly lovely afternoon spent with supporters of JCWI, the artist and law-worker Jagrati Bhatia won my poem-prize in the raffle. In the weeks and months between then and now, Jag and I have been exchanging thoughts over email and webcam about the possibilities of the poem, the theme for which she decided would be 'Identity'. To my great pleasure, Jagrati also told me of her intention to arrange for the finished piece to be displayed alongside her artwork at the Law Society's Art Group exhibition this month.

The exhibition starts tomorrow, Tuesday 14th January, at the Law Society's Reading Room - 113 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1PL - and my poem 'Chimera&…

The Last Christmas

Klaus opened up the big red book for the last time that night. He turned it to the last page, and ticked the last three stops: Zurich, Zwickau, Zwolle. Done, done, done. It was always the same three to finish with, heading back North towards the Arctic.
So many years, so many rituals. The reindeer harnessed... the chimneys caved... the brandies downed, at so many firesides.
But tonight there was a new ritual. One he would perform only once. The Arctic Elves had been instructed, and the deer provided for - everything would go on. The world would not even miss him. His image was everywhere, and anyway, they thought he was a myth.
Nicholas the Wonderworker took his sack down off the sleigh. He set it down flat on the snow, and opened it out in a wide circle. The open bag was a portal to a seemingly bottomless pit, walled with 1700 years’ worth of toys. He took a few steps back, adjusted his belt, ran forwards - and leaped in.
Now he fell down the tunnel of toys. At the very top were electric…

Take-Away Tales II: The Xmas Edition

I am again taking part in Dalston Writers' 'Take-Away Tales', which means copies of my festive flashfic 'The Last Christmas' are available from CLR James Library. I'm number 8 on the menu - pick one up if you're in the area and I'll post the full text here on Christmas Eve.

The Wild Hunt

The engine revved with a satisfying growl. John Bolt felt good. Bonfire Fridays were always good - or at least they were on nights when he already had a crate of beer on the passenger seat and Rob and Chris were bringing more - or at least, if they weren’t, it didn’t matter, since he wouldn’t remember it. They’d go out to the quarry, light some shit on fire, crack the cans open and load up their blood with their contents. Forget who they were. Turn animal. - - - - - - - - - - - - - Forty minutes later, they were well out of town boundaries, the back of the car reassuringly laden with cold booze and the warmth of John’s two male buddies’ bodies. The trees blurred past them. He was pumping the accelerator, seeing how fast he could dare himself to take the -BANG! John screeched the car to a halt. “What the fuck was that?” Rob: “It was a buck” Chris: “No. It was a man” John: “What the fuck, Chris?! Why’d you have to say that?” He looked back at Chris scowling, expecting to see a stupi…

Take-Away Tales

I have a very short story, 'The Wild Hunt', included in Dalston Writing Group's 'Take Away Tales' from Tuesday 19 November at Dalston CLR James Library.
Do pick one up if you can - if you can't, I'll post the story here when the display ends [Edit: this is now up, in the next post on this blog]. If you are reading the print version, it's mildly censored to allow for the sensibilities of Hackney Council, so please feel free to substitute 'fuck' for 'hell' and 'shit' for 'stuff' as you read.

The Naughtiest Thing

"Once upon a time in a place called Wheatley (which means wheat field, and is well named)
there was a field of wheat - I tell a lie, there were many..." 'The Naughtiest Thing', a tale of lies and curses and forbidden forays into wheat-fields, is set to be published as a Glastonbury Broadside Ballad in the first week of March 2020.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay