Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some Siwa Poetry

I have quite a few Siwa-inspired poems. I think I will have to include a new page on the blog for such at a later date. Once I am back from Siwa ( with more poems inshallah & a new video too). These two pieces of work stretch back to 2008.

Sticks of Pomegranate.

If I could take these sticks
from the raised hands of donkey driving boys
hold them high above the clattering carts
I could meld
into the evening shade
sipping tea from tiny cups.

I wouldn’t have to stir
if I could slip these
pomegranate sticks
this slipping ball of flame,

scoop -
its dissolving mass from the fractured sky,
the call to Ishaa would never come
nor- the Matrou bus outside El Sulieman draw.

Waiting for the ATM machine to be fixed.
August 2008. Siwa Oasis.

In this sleepy out of season oasis,
there is no need for hard currency,
few tourists pass this way,
and nobody in their right mind would
haggle a crossing to Bahariyya Oasis.

Beleaguered donkeys collapse in the shade
and locals, slumped undercover
over tiny cups of Liptons,
barter -
shares of the date harvest;
and schemes to get an off the road 4WD back on the desert track
for the encroaching season -

when currency will babble like the springs of Cleopatra and Fatnas;
fuzzy, grubby, curled old notes
pulled from the pouches of wannabe explorers
and folded
into gracious pockets of pristine white gallibayas.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Another period of waiting envelops my everyday. I have been to Siwa and back during August, but have, as yet, held back from posting too much about my future, very exciting, plans regarding the setting up of a Ceramic-orientated Residency. At the time of travelling, I was writing more about the security situation in Egypt, in the form of my ( very rough) novel? manuscript, while, all too frequently ignoring adding information here.  I did have a draft entry blog entitled   " A guide to the airports of Egypt" because I was sleeping in several around the time of the mid-august massacre as I had opted to travel internally on domestic flights as a safety precaution - but, I'm afraid to say, it's contents got merged with other work and never saw the light of day!

I am now planning a return visit to Siwa. With my seventeen year old daughter, the only one of my four girls who has never been outside of Europe. During this trip I hope to firm up legal contracts etc ( through Arabic - that will be fun!) -  in order to progress to the next stage. InshAllah we will be located in a fabulous position across the old winding passages of Shali, the ancient fortress town.

Here's a taster of the local neighbourhood to whet your clay-dust thirst...For the time being I aim to refrain from any actual posting of the location location location, until things are firmed up a little more. In the meantime I intend to post historical info about Siwa for general edification and to help pass the time until the various slow-moving aspects of my life culminate in an almighty walloping leap of faith forth.

View from Shali
Karsheef and Sahara
Karsheef and palm roof
Passageway. Shali.
View from Shali
Lissie 2011 Within These Walls of Karsheef trip.
Lissie 2011 Within These Walls of Karsheef trip.
Donkey Within These Walls of Karsheef.