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Rites of Return – an African cemetery in New York City (USA)

May 11, 2013

Just off Broadway I’m in a side street by City Hall, the ubiquitous New York crowds somehow missing, the hum of traffic vague and distant. A lonesome monument sits silent and tucked in the shadow of City Planning offices and a 30-storey Federal skyscraper; that building’s construction leading to the 1991 discovery of the largest […]

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Birds of Paradise – chickens rule OK (Melbourne, Australia)

December 4, 2012

They sit in the kitchen – Mr and Mrs L – overlooking a backyard of woodpiles, wheelbarrows and tussocks of native grass. It’s early summer. The pungent scent of rambling Chinese jasmine wafts across the yard and mingles with the smell of last night’s rain. The weekend menagerie headcount is underway over fruit toast and […]

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Home Sweet Home – not the Nullarbor (Nuytsland, Western Australia)

January 27, 2013

Arriving yesterday, we’ve turned off the Eyre Highway towards the Great Australian Bight – careering down a steep escarpment across dunes and a rocky 4WD track – to 50km southeast of Cocklebiddy; the old Eyre telegraph station. In the morning we meet Shirley while sitting on the veranda drinking coffee. Shirley has a weathered face […]

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Postcard from Lagos – a white Christmas in black Africa (Nigeria)

December 25, 2013

I’ve been stuck in Johannesburg traffic for an hour now; finally pulling off the treadmill of Rivonia Rd, and into the Nigerian Consulate compound – open Tuesday and Thursday mornings only – to be greeted by a mountain of a security man casually swinging a semi-automatic and demanding I stop. “You cannot be bringing your […]

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People and Places – a poem (Jhomolhari, Bhutan)

April 2, 2013

the place I see is special; a block of stone or wending path built by many hands or feet.   and in my dream, I dream of this: a vibration, scent or residue, from pasts that are long lost.   till when I wake the dream takes shape, wrought of violence, longing or regret: the […]

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Of Music, Madness and Fame – one week in Prague (Czech Republic)

April 8, 2013

On my last night here, I’m dining with Bohdan at the Jindrisska belltower; a rustic restaurant occupying the top three floors. Panoramic views span the famous `one hundred spires’. Just above us hangs the c1518 St Mary’s Bell, our tiny table and chairs tucked between great Gothic beams. A flickering candle catches empty pilsner bottles and […]

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Touching the Sky – Spanish castle magic (Granada)

May 1, 2013

I meet Candelaria at a café on the slopes of the Albaicin – the old Moorish quarter – and sip peppermint tea from petite porcelain cups. She orders almond cookies and apologises for her Spanish. The courtyard is open, with large paved flagstones, the tables squarish, small and scattered. Surrounding high walls on three sides […]

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Losing Faith – at the the Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

March 8, 2013

The plaintive cry of a lone peacock fractures the silence. Croaking egrets chorus from clumps of reeds at the foot of these stone walls and ramparts. There are snorts and bellows from buffalo. Two calves splash about, the mother’s wet horns and back steaming above broken reflections that come and go between drifts of morning […]