Tuesday, 1 March 2016

So many gentle thoughts



I have so many gentle thoughts

I want to give you,

But somehow before they can form,

before I can catch your blue gaze

and pass them softly to you,

Life comes crashing in around us.

And there you stand, stranded on your island,

I on mine,

while the morning chaos swirls around the rocks of our feet.

An angry, cold threatening swell

of washing not done

school books lost

letters not written

not enough cash to go round.

And so we part for the day,

having spoken

but a fraction

of the ocean

of quiet, loving thoughts

I want to give you.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Lets hear it for the hard-working animals

Raja the Runaway Camel is soon to be published. It's a story I wrote exactly eight years ago and was inspired by a camel I saw in Jaipur.

Standing by the edge of the dusty street, has cart still attached but his reins hanging loose about his neck, he was shifting from foot to foot. The tree he stood by offered precious little shade from the unrelenting sun and there was no sign of any water or food for him.

From his expression, I could tell that he was musing. He was deep in conversation with himself over whether he should make a run for it. Freedom beckoned.

There are animals like Raja in service the world over. They are the unheralded backbone of rural economies across the globe. From the bullock carts of India to the pack mules of Peru, animals carry out their daily drudge with uncomplaining stoicism.

Sometimes ill treated, often badly nourished and dehydrated, many of these animals suffer in silence for many years.

There are many charities who do sterling work in the field of education and support for people whose animals represent their livelihood. Two in particular get my vote, the Donkey Sanctuary and SPANA whose trained vets and animal specialists offer free training and health care for working donkeys, horses and mules in many parts of the world.

I have no idea whether the camel I met in Rajastan ever did take his chance and leg it. I would love to think that he did and that even now he is enjoying a well earned rest and freedom.