The Awakening (bilingual)

Awakened at last,
As if a potent pitcher splashed sensation,
Showering rays of realisation,
Penetrating the constructed numbness.
Waves of euphoria, waves of ecstasy,
Willingly received, enjoyed
Over and over, again and again.

The return of laughter, the renewal of fun.
Unable to define, to develop, to declare.
Greater need to make stronger, thicker, harder, the shield,
Like a brittle bruised shell.
No pleasure, no pain, no feeling,
Only the gentle beating of
The arrow deep in the heart
Reminds, encourages, hopes.

The only pleasure, the only feeling, the only ecstasy,
Enjoyed in the intimacy of loneliness.
The storm before the calm,
The fragility of the situation.
subtlety, almost like subterfuge
Belief in instincts, trust in intuition
The only lights at the end of the torture tunnel.

Suddenly breathlessly,
Instincts intuition confirmed,
But instincts intuition not followed.
The return of the torture.
The mental whip of should have
Day after day drowning draining,
The adored sensations. Pushing
To win, fighting to stay.

A glimmer returns, a tryst made,
Old fears, old wounds. blocking the way,
The messages, the meanings not fully captured.
The challenge, the dilemma, not fully perceived.
Sightings, hints, signals not followed by choice.
No games, no tricks, too dangerous, too damaging.
Lack of response sowing new seeds of
Pain, doubt, confusion, germinating in simmering silence.

Last lingering liability almost over
The debilitating destructive dreary wait,
For the final closure. Bolting the door to cross another
Future flowing free, happier lighter horizons
Bold belief in intuition feeling faith in instincts

Clearly telling, solidly stating
Patience nor pushing the solution
But the tools of talent the skills of creation
Intelligently fused to forge
The desired destination.

Floral Rays

 

EL DESPERTAR

El despertar por fin
como si fuese un cántaro que roció sensación.
Regando rayos de consciencia,
Penetrando el embotamiento cimentado.
Olas de euforia, olas de extasía
Recibidas, disfrutadas, con buena gana, de mucho gusto,
Vez tras vez tras vez.

El retorno de las risas, la renovación de la diversión,
Sin poder definir, desarrollar, declarar.
Más necesidad para reforzar más grueso más duro la coraza.
Como una concha quebradiza y magullada.
No placer, no dolor, sin sentir.
Solo el latido tierno de
La flecha profunda en el corazón,
Recuerda, anima, aguarda.

El único placer, la única sensación, la única extasía.
Disfrutada en la intimidad de la soledad.
La tormenta antes de la calma,
La fragilidad de la situación.
La sutileza casi como el subterfugio,
La creencia en los instintos, la fe en la intuición,
Las únicas luces al final del túnel de la tortura.

De repente sin aliento,
Instintos intuición confirmandos.
Pero instintos intuición no seguidos,
El retorno de la tortura,
El látigo mental del debería.
Día tras día ahogándose, agotándose.
Las sensaciones adoradas. Empujando
Para ganar, luchando para quedarse.

Un destello dulce, una cita hecha,
Miedos viejos, heridas viejas bloquean el camino.
Los mensajes, los significados, no captados por entero.
El reto el dilema no percatado por completo.
Vistas pistas señales no seguidos por voluntad propia.
No juegos no trucos demasiadod peligrosos demasiada dañina.
Carencia de reacción sembrando nuevas semillas
De dolor, de duda, confusión geminado
en las ascuas del silencio.

La ultima carga demoledora casi acabada
La espera aburrida y destructiva y debilitando
Para el cierre final. Encerrando la puerta para cruzar otra.
El futuro libre fluyente, horizontes más felices más ligeros.
La creencia atrevida in la intuición, sentir la fe en los instintos

Contando con claridad declarando firme.
Paciencia no empujar la solución.
Pero las herramientas de talento los ingenios de la creación.
Una fusión de inteligencia para formar
el destino tan deseado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Travel Poetry | 1 Comment

My Darling Daddy

This months marks the eighth anniversary of my father’s death.  Still much missed, but in remembrance the small  poem I wrote for his funeral. The composition in itself brought me peace. The gift of poetry.

My Darling Daddy

Who are you who has left me so blue,
Who always taught me to say what was true.
My darling, darling daddy.

Tidy and neat, dignified and discrete
In life as in death
I know you don’t want me to weep
But to keep to your vision and values true.
I will always love and miss you
Brian, my darling darling daddy.

Vintage cart rip for 80th birthday.

Vintage cart rip for 80th birthday.

Quién eres tu que me haya dejado me tan triste ,
Que siempre me enseñó a decir lo que era cierto.
Mi papá tan querido

Ordenado y limpio, digno y discreto,
En la vida como en la muerte.
Sé que no deseas que llore
Pero mantener tu visión y valores verdaderos.
Yo te querré y te echaré de menos siempre.
Brian mi querido, querisimo papa.

 

 

Posted in Leith, memories, Poetry | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

City of Stone (Bilingual)

Bitter winds batter brittle barren basalt,

Clearing clinging clouds, blanket mists,

Hungry haars embracing, shrouding

Homes hearts hopes and minds

A city set in stone, styled in stone.

 

Outlying peppered between the braes

A cacophony of tons

Beacons like bike wheel laid

Protecting warning citadel on rock

City of bridges city of hills

 

Beauty and elegance flirt and tease

Through every close, at every corner

With every turn, rain washed,

Rain soaked, dimmed by drizzle

A city of heights, a city of stairs

 

A backdrop of lingering liquid layers of dusk and dawn

History hewed in crags and lands,

All their own tales to tell

A quirky emotional bagatelle

A city of light, a city of dark

 

Two towns, two faces, split sights

Hybrid and hypocritical

Oblique cliques not challenged

Not connected, never convinced

A city old, a city new.

 

Crafted culture chilling charms

Weaving wandering wishing

Gardens, greens, links, and lawns

Solid symbols courts and courtyards

A city of stories a city of wit

 

Rigid raw rhythms wreck and rant

Creating claustrophobia and cramp

Daring dreamers stalk and mock

Pushing wearing wearisome,

A city of festivals, city of flight.

 

Banks and books, biscuits and beer

A contrasting cocktail of commerce and cheer

Character forming, character facing

Cold creative clear and clannish

A city of words a city of wisdom

 

At the writers museum Makars Court Edinburgh Old Town

At the writers museum Makars Court Edinburgh Old Town

Los vientos amargos golpean el basalto estéril frágil,

Limpiando las nubes pegadas, nieblas de manta,

Brumas hambrientas abrazando, envolviendo

Hogares, corazones, esperanzas y mentes

Una ciudad en piedra, hecho de piedra.

 

Salpicado en las afuera, entre las peñas

Una cacofonía de tons

Balizas puestas como rueda de bicicleta

Protegiendo advirtiendo la ciudadela sobre la roca

Ciudad de los puentes ciudad de las colinas

 

La belleza y la elegancia coquetean y joroban

A cada paso, en cada esquina

Con cada vuelta, la lluvia lavada,

Lluvia empapada, atenuada por llovizna

Una ciudad de alturas, una ciudad de escaleras

 

Historia cortada en peñascos y tierras,

Un telón de capas líquidas lentas de madrugadas y vísperas

Todos tienen sus propios cuentos para contar

Un bagatela emocional curiosa

Una ciudad de luz, una ciudad de oscuridad

 

Dos ciudades, dos caras, vistas divididas

Híbrido e hipócrita

Peñas oblicuas no cuestionadas

No conectados, nunca convencidos

Una ciudad vieja, una ciudad nueva.

 

Una cultura forzada encantos escalofriantes

Tejiendo vagando deseando

Jardines, verdes, herbajes y céspedes

Tribunales y patios de símbolos sólidos

Una ciudad de cuentos, una ciudad de ingenio

 

Ritmos crudos rígidos ruina y agobian

Creando claustrofobia y apretones

Los soñadores atrevidos acechan y burlan

Empujando cansando machacando,

Una ciudad de festivales, ciudad de huida.

 

Bancos y libros, galletas y cerveza

Un cóctel contrastante de comercio y alegría

Formación de personajes, cara a cara

Fríos creativos claros y suyos

Una ciudad de palabras, una ciudad de sabiduría

Note 1 – Makar = Scottish word for writers, a Maker of verses

Note 2 – Land = word used to describe medieval High Rise in Old town of Edinburgh. Some retain that name to this day.

 

Posted in Edinburgh, memories, Poetry, Travel, Travel Poetry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I Want to See Your Voice / Quiero Ver tu Voz.

I would like to

See your voice,

Hear your eyes,

Feel your smile,

Drink your words,

Paint your spirit.

Caress myself with your soul,

Walk inside your mind,

And above all I’d love to

Dance to the rhythm of the your laughter.

From the inside

From the inside

Quiero

Ver tu voz,

Oír tus ojos,

Sentir su sonrisa,

Beber tus palabras,

Pintar tu espíritu.

Acariciarme con tu alma,

Pasear dentro de tu mente,

Y sobre todo quiero

Bailar al ritmo de tu risa.

 

This was originally composed in Spanish

 

 

Posted in Madrid, memories, Self Image, Spiritual | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Instinct of Intuition (bilingual)

This poem is the longest work I’ve ever  had in draft. I began it in 2002/03 when I was coming to terms with trusting my intuition. I am sure like many others, we would be rich if we had followed that inner voice and not been left saying “if only” I had trusted my gut feeling, as I have done on too many occasions throughout my life. I still don’t go with my gut instincts as much as I should, but I do so more than I used to. Nevertheless, this poem wouldn’t come together for me. I would get it out, play about with it but nothing felt right. Looking for more poems to publish this summer I came across it again and this time it fell into place, many lines were edited, then the structure showed itself. A sign perhaps that I am even more in tune with that wonderful gift we all have, call it what you like – our intuition, sixth sense, the gut instinct, trust it.  This poem is dedicated to my intuition.

The Instinct of intuition

Deep, deep down, almost drowned,

Draining, doubting, maiming,

By denying and analysing.

Yet always faithful, always around

Secure fighting to resist and endure

Rejection forcing pain, pushing, lying.

Yet never betraying, never blaming.

A warrior waging a wearisome war.

The strength of Intuition

 

Warnings here, warnings there,

Clouded twisted sunk by mental muck.

Pushing, punishing, judging,

Potholes penetrating.

Arid no longer free to care.

Sparks of light, gasping glimmering

Instinct strong, instinct secure

Against dreary drudgery and lure.

The dignity of intuition

 

The gut confronting the confusions of the head.

Comments of others criticising,

Crowding in, squeezing out

The real me and my trusted friend.

Left lacklustre and listless

Slowly painfully, intuition explodes.

Peace filled light spitting out the barren night

Courage produced to dare,

The power of Intuition.

 

Empowered with vision and insight

Brimming with energy, loaded with might.

No more walking the tightrope

Between bitter night and blistering sight.

Soul is stirred, spirit is awakened,

Mists of memory swirl and shift.

Overlapping light and time

To senses soothed, shimmering with

The clarity of intuition.

 

High prices paid in health and hope

Though intuition has remained

Steadfast and sound.

Listen, feel, follow, see

To value life suffer the pain,

A final destination to begin again.

A mind’s mosaic of sunlight

The magic mandala of creative mystery.

Accepting the beauty of intuition

floral mosaic

floral mosaic

 

De profundidad, en el fondo, casi ahogado,

Machacado, mutilado con las dudas

Al negar y analizar.

Sin embargo, siempre fiel, siempre cerca.

La lucha segura para resistir y perdurar.

Rechazo forzando el dolor, empuja la mentira.

A pesar de todo, nunca traiciona, tampoco culpa.

Un guerrero luchando una guerra fatigosa

La fuerza de la intuición.

 

Advertencias aquí, advertencias allí.

Nublados torcidos, hundidos por lodo mental,

Concita, castiga, y juzga,

Baches penetrantes.

Árido, no es libre para preocupar.

Las chispas de la luz, vislumbran tremolando tenuemente.

Fuerte instinto, intuición seguro

Contra la monotonía triste y señuelo.

La dignidad de la intuición

 

La tripa enfrenta las confusiones de la cabeza.

Las voces de los de mas agotan con la critica

El hacinamiento y el exprimiendo

Del verdadero yo y mi amigo de confianza

Dejado mediocre iy apático.

Lentamente, dolorosamente, explota la intuición

Paz lleno de luz escupe la noche estéril

El valor producido se atreve

El poder de la intuición.

 

Fortalecido con la visión y la perspicacia.

Rebosante de energía, cargada con poder.

No más caminos por la cuerda floja.

Entre la noche amarga y la vista feroz

El alma está agitada, el espíritu está despertado.

Las nieblas de la memoria bailan como molinos

La superposición de la luz y el tiempo

A sentidos calmados, brillando con

La claridad de la intuición.

 

Los precios altos pagados en la salud y la esperanza.

Aunque la intuición se ha quedado

Con firmeza y solidez.

Escucha, siente, segué, ve

Para valorar la vida sufre el dolor,

Un destino final para comenzar de nuevo,

EL mosaico de la mente llena de la luz del sol.

El mándala magia del misterio creativo

La aceptación de la belleza de la intuición

Posted in Poetry, Self image, Spiritual, Travel Poetry | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Morocco 6: Mastering the Marrakesh Medina, maybe.

Plans

I awoke on my final day to bright, blue, and beautiful sky. My hammam (steam bath) was booked for 5pm. My plan – to visit the medina, locate the spa and return to relax in the Majorelle gardens. I should have known better, plans did not go to plan in Morocco.

Tackling the Medina Alone

After breakfast I took a taxi to the café de France, I could remember where I had left the souks after the cooking class on Saturday and was sure I’d be there in a couple of turns. For the first time unaccompanied, I entered the medina. I began by looking for the bunting that I had seen on Saturday when Karima the cooking teacher had taken us to the spa to book. The banners were nowhere to be seen; my first signpost had vanished. I realised later it had been extra publicity due to the weekend of the marathon.

I got hideously lost, had wares touted in my face at every stall and as I passed the same stalls for the third time, the stall owners were beginning to recognise me. Feet aching, I managed to make my way back to the main square and ordered a coffee, single espresso of course, at the café de France and checked out my map, cursing the lack of mobile coverage.

The Thread

The medina is a labyrinth and I needed to locate my mental thread on something. The tallest buildings were the minarets on the mosques; each one was a different colour, one was white, another green and one pink. The minaret nearest the entrance I needed was the green one. Revived and refreshed I trailed round again. I discovered the Marrakesh cultural heritage museum and went in gladly paying the small fee.

One of the pots on the roof of the cultural heritage museum

One of the pots on the roof of the cultural heritage museum

Located in a riad, these are oases of calm from the hustle and bustle of the souks. I spent a gentle hour wandering around, ordered a mint tea on the roof top restaurant and relaxed. The young woman on reception had studied in York in the UK and gave me directions.

Getting Help

I set out again, once more I went passed the same stalls, I purchased my last gifts and by the time I passed the Tuareg stall holder, swathed in Sahara blue, for the fourth time; he stopped me. I explained, he spoke to the carpet stall holders in front, they got out their mobile, located the spa on Google and let me speak to the bloke on reception. I wasn’t far.

I took a deep breath and made the turn again and I realised my mistake. There are main streets and the lanes off them are cul-de-sacs but connect to the main street by name. I had been in the right street but had turned down the first alley not the second. At the corner of the correct alley, there was an underwear shop, convenient if you fancied a hamman and hadn’t brought a change of underwear with you. I made my way to the spa, now sure of my bearings and added a pedicure to my treatment package. It was now 2 o’clock, I had arrived before 11, the Majorelle was now out of the question so I made my way back, keeping the minaret in sight. I decided to return to the heritage museum and have lunch. Passing the same traders again, I sensed their admiration as I walked confidently and I located the museum.

Meatballs in the Museum

The tension had gone and I ordered cucumber and mint juice to accompany one of my favourite dishes kofta, spicy meatballs. Bathed in chilli tomato sauce and set with egg, they were juicy, moreish, and comforting.

Kofta, meatballs

Kofta, meatballs

Clay oven, roof cultural heritage museum.

Clay oven, roof cultural heritage museum.

 

I met a couple of fellow Scots, and we found we were on the same flight back the following day. We met again at the luggage carousel, none of looking forward to the dark bitter February night that waited outside after the wonderful sunshine.

The final treat

However, I had my final Moroccan experience to do. Relaxed and confident I made my way to the spa once more. Crossing the threshold was entering another world, the décor inspired by ancient Egypt. I was lead up stairs to the steam room. An hour later, scrubbed and sluiced I was lead to the massage room.

Flowers in the spa waiting room

Flowers in the spa waiting room

The central area in the spa.

The central area in the spa.

With muscles warmed and relaxed, it was the most beneficial massage I have ever had. Finally the pedicure, done in the traditional manner, the young podiatrist managed to tackle my toes in a way no one has in a long time. The pumice stone was the size of a brick, not an electrical buffer or cutter in sight all was undertaken with professional precision, manually. The best pedicure I have ever had in my life.   My only regret is not having booked a hamman for my first day, as I would gladly have gone for two.

My flight was mid afternoon so I was able to pack in the morning and arrived at the airport with both suitcase and on flight luggage full. My in-flight bag had gone empty inside my case on my outward journey. I love shopping in markets too much, not to travel with empty outward luggage.

Marvellous Morocco; I hope and look forward to returning.

Posted in Morocco, Travel | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Morocco 5; The Atlas Mountains, and more serendipity.

These days with online map resources, which can be updated in seconds, the wonderful tome known as the Atlas is becoming a vintage item. My first Atlas was a gift from my mother and I used to love going through the pages, a veritable armchair explorer, with imagination on overdrive. The name the Atlas Mountains have always held a special appeal to me, so it was with delight when I received Nick Thomson’s email of Destinations travel that a 4 x 4 trip to the Atlas was available. I had no hesitation in booking and I proudly boasted on Facebook I was doing a trip to the Atlas in a ladylike manner. Things didn’t quite turn out to plan, but that is the essence of travel, seizing the serendipity when it arrives.

On return from Essaouria, I had made an arrangement with Mbarek my guide to do a trip on my last Monday, to visit the triple waterfall. On Sunday morning, I had been up bright an early, ready for my 4×4 trip, however, I  was waiting in reception with a slight sense of foreboding, all other trips had left messages at reception, there had been none reception itself hadn’t been able to get through, my temperamental phone coverage meant I had been unable to make contact to confirm.

As the clock ticked, to my surprise Mbarek came through the door of the hotel. I didn’t recognise him in jeans and jacket. He had come to give me the info about our tour the following day. He too tried to call as did the hotel staff once more, and so I used the emergency international number as my mobile had a tiny signal. Their version was they had left a message for me at reception to say that I was to be moved to Monday, as I was the only one booked for that day. It was the day of the Marrakesh marathon.

I was crestfallen as I explained the situation to Mbarek. Would it be possible to switch days I asked. “Wait”, he said and he took out his mobile, and about 10 minutes later, a bloke arrived in a Peugeot, we made three stops in different parts of the city, where Mbarek came out clutching papers from each one. Finally, we whizzed off again to a long boulevard where a black Renault was sitting.

Switching to the Renault, we set off out of Marrakesh and made our way up into the Atlas Mountains. It was a bit hair raising ;over taking on double and hair pin bends  He had suggested a different trip as time had left it too short to get to the triple waterfall. I couldn’t care, there are a lot of valleys in the Atlas. I was out of Marrakesh for the marathon, and he admitted so was he. A couple of photo stops en route and again more hawkers, I now have a bracelet made of camel bones, however when he saw I was getting fed up, he ushered a quick volley and they backed off.

We arrived in the village of Imlil, in view of Toukhal sitting at over 4.000ms, the highest peak in North Africa and of any Arabic speaking country. There was an unsuccessful and very unladylike attempt for me to try a donkey trip. I had to stand on a bridge to mount, I got my foot into the left stirrup but as I tried to get my right leg over the saddle I turned and saw the drop to the river, which was nearly dry, I froze, vertigo kicked in big time. We slowly made our way round the village, on foot up the tracks at the back of the houses. Seeing the expression on the face on a fellow traveller as she came down a steep incline, leaning over the donkey’s head, clutching the reigns with white knuckles I was glad I had chosen to trust my own feet.

With appetites stimulated by the mountain air, we went for lunch on a rooftop restaurant, looking down the valley we had driven up. Ordering the speciality of the house Mountain tagine; made with beef, potatoes, courgettes and carrots. The potatoes had absorbed the flavours and everything melted in your mouth.

Mountain tagine, vegetables laid on top of beef.

Mountain tagine, vegetables laid on top of beef.

We made our way back to the car. On the return journey we took a road through a sandalwood forest, the scent lingering in the early evening air. We stopped at the camel station where I saw two newborn baby camels, mamas not too impressed when I took photos of their calves.

Week old camel calf

Week old camel calf

Camels freed from tethers

Camels freed from tethers

I also saw the camels that had been taking out the tourists being released from their tethers and as the last foot was freed, each one in turn took off to eat; sensing them getting their freedom was lovely. Two nursing mothers waited for their calves to come and feed. I was then introduced to the nomads’ cats; I was treated with feline disdain.

The Nomads cat

The Nomads cat

Our final stop was up to the reservoir that serves Marrakesh were we watched the sunset settle over the dam. All now powered by solar energy.

Sunset over the dam

Sunset over the dam

The following morning I arose to Atlas mountain trip number two. I was collected at the appointed time. Five 4x4s were going out, there were 25 of us. About 20 minutes after pick up we all got out of the jeeps to meet the guide Ahmed who was out of the hi-de-hi tour guide school, as he got us to repeat and chant phrases in Arabic in unison. He also fancied himself as a stand up comedian, which did become wearing.

I saw more of the mountains as we crossed through three different valleys; the scenery was magnificent, stark though the deep reds of the soil with the dark green of the trees, accenting each other’s depth of colour. We stopped at a pottery and visited a Berber village for a mint tea demonstration. Lunch was back in the village of Imlil the very same as the day before, We were dropped two minutes from the restaurant a different one; the two visits couldn’t have been more different, though am glad I did both trips as they offered contrasting and complimentary insights.  I loved the serendipity that Moroccan magic was serving me.

We had Moroccan salad, which I had learned how to make, vegetable omelette also cooked in a Tagine, the eggs laid on top of the vegetables with  the heat letting it set quickly; it was delicious, chicken couscous and fruit for dessert. A final stop at an Argan oil coop but I was well stocked up, arrival back in Marrakesh was before five so I was left to myself for the evening.

I made a trip to the train station near my hotel to visit the hole in the wall for some cash. The station building was magnificent, constructed in light marble, trains departing to Casablanca and Fez, reminding in a delightful way where I was. However, the two dominant eateries were a KFC and McDonalds. That was disappointing after all the satisfying flavoursome food experiences I had had, I didn’t fancy a Mcfalafel or a Mcfondue. Sitting outside in a terrace for artisan ice cream in January was perfect.

Posted in Cats, Food, Morocco, Travel | 2 Comments