Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nature of Friendship

I dropped a friend off at the train station this morning. It was my pleasure to do so, and I felt glad to help him. He was leaving for a short trip over New Years, but seemed ambivalent to go.

In this wide world, with people being widely dispersed from family, our friends become a new surrogate family. Holidays with them become a shared time that reminds me of the many times I have worked on Christmas or Thanksgiving... One may not be at the workplace with family, but there is a feeling of shared camaraderie and closeness. Perhaps this is something that comes from being overseas too.

Anyway, I am glad to be useful.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Poem for Today


Play me like your red tinged scarf,

Twirling in the sticks of your fingers,


But I am not,

And you hurt me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Remembering Last Year...

I have been thinking a lot about this same day last year...I do remember some events of the day. I remember the damp coolness of the morning and the whiteness of sky and earth...
I think I may even have pondered where I would be a year hence...and here I am...

I remember riding in a helicopter and looking out at the desert, with the wind blowing hard; and I remember spending time in a small wood-paneled library reading. Waiting.

As time moves we seem to only mark it by its passage. We are always behind any instant that has occurred.
The flow of time does seem like a bright glistening stream; we may dip our hand in to stem its flow, but the water passes us by, only chilling our hands.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poem for Today


Loving someone-
It makes me want to achieve goodness,
It drives me to be like a child,
Eager to share everything I have,
But then becoming afraid for doing so.

I want to be so perfect for her,
But even that won't make her stay.

November 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

6 British Films I like

In no order...just came to mind as I was watching number 1.

1. The 39 Steps

2. The Killing Fields

3. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

4. This Sporting Life

5. The Remains of the Day

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Real Food...

I had an orange to eat today, but not the cosmetically perfect oranges that we get in the larger grocery stores...These were thick skinned, with a coarse pebble rind. They were partially tinged with a vivid green like spilled absinthe.

Thin and woody stems were attached to the oranges, and the fruit reminded me in some way of naughty children...full of promise, but unkempt and a little rascally.

The fruit was delicious and tasted alive. Perhaps it is just that the fruit seemed - visually - on the fringes of respectability, and that made me enjoy it more.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Finding a cure...

Trying to find a cure for not missing someone...

I walk in the cool grey with the drizzle coming down... Definitely could be colder though, because I am not even shivering. The world is damp green, and mud brown. The sky seems bored and is the color of an over-washed white t-shirt.
In the sun, it would all seem verdant.

The leaves are mashed into the ground and are forming sort of a murky yellow carpet of slush. There is some faint color though. Some sort of strange red berries are all over the ground. They are small, but are a glistening hard scarlet against the mud.

What does missing someone feel like? It seems like a loss; a sense of grief... But if you feel the other person may be thinking of you also, then there is a sweetness there too...A lingering pleasant taste, like the kind you get from the cheap spice cake that they sell here.
It almost feels like there is something to come home too...A warmth - a joy underneath the fabric of sadness that makes it bearable...

Too many words here, and I feel that no description is good enough for any human emotion.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Poem for Today...


In wanting you this way,
In having acquisition,
Possessing and keeping,
Even with squashing you tight in my hand,
I still don't know what I need.

Maybe, it's the moist beat of your heart,
Your own desire,
That makes me gasp silently.

In wanting to understand it all,
I try not to think too much,
Or to hold you too close.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I have been living mainly in one room (not one bedroom, just one room), shared bathroom accomodations for about 21 months now. I am pretty content... I have had some breaks in between too, perhaps that is why I am pretty much ok with it.

However, one problem with living this way is keeping track of documents and paperwork..."Where did I put that gasoline ration coupon ?" etc. This means that I am often digging through assorted items of junk to look for something. My place is too small to have an effective filing system, or cabinets etc. Sometimes, I do get frustrated with sorting through all the trash of my transient life...e.g. receipts, notes, folders, plastic bags filled with paperwork.

I am leery to throw away stuff I might need, and only recently started drinking out of regular glasses...Have been, and still often
do, use small jelly jars for beverages (perfect size and shape for one's hand.)

Sometimes I feel like I am living in squalor, and get fed up...I leave my uniform on the floor...I'll have to wear it in a few hours anyway, and grow insipid and callous.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Meaning of Belonging...

I mailed my passport application off today and I considered, not for the first time, what is the meaning of belonging to a particular country or region, and how is that defined in a time of constant movement.

We are still encumbered with ideas that race is tied to a particular place, but this is deceptive. In the same way perhaps that we may assume a certain religious conviction to be associated with a place. These concepts maybe ingrained, but I find that they are no longer valid, (if they ever were).

Without my passport perhaps I feel a little stateless. Yet is it just an engraved document that defines our loyalties? Isn't there something more that claims us? What claims can nations make upon our citizenship? Should we forced to choose one nation over another? How about one region within a country? Of course, a person may also have a close bond to one place via birth, another via marriage and another by preference, all at different times of life.

With people meeting and traveling and living across boundaries, what does it mean to be from " x-land" or "y- stan."

Monday, September 14, 2009

August Turns to September

A friend of mine told me recently that the transition from August to September seems too abrupt/too drastic to just be the turn of another day. Perhaps, it is as if we suddenly realize we will lose the balmy lazy days of summer which will soon be replaced by the first brisk days of autumn. It seems as if this is a change year that should be marked by a new season or holiday. I agree.

The change does seem abrupt, and I feel I am almost caught out a little by the change of months... I guess September is a month to return to school, to end summer holidays etc.

It is cold and wet today. Wishing I had a bit of someones company.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Funny sometimes how we can be so up and down in the same day. Yesterday I felt a little tired, and somehow a bit down. However, I knew that it would be a short term thing and I would be feeling better soon. Anyway, after a simple meal all was well. Which also reminded me of a precept I arrived at a few years ago...Problems are not going to improve on an empty stomach, so one may as well have something to eat and try to figure out things.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Poem for Today

In Good Times

In the top,
In the very highest,

Roller-coaster high,
Of this love,

When I feel like,

I am in the tallest tree a schoolboy ever climbed,

Surrounded by brushing leaves,

Like morning-time kisses all around me,
That is when I become terrified.

Getting tragically afraid that I will lose you,
Another thing gone.
I am terrified that I will have no love again,
No reason to go anywhere,

Forcing myself to be good to others all the time.

Because I know joy and peace - I fear it,
And also you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


This is all so very obvious but was on my mind this week...

We tend to associate "home" as a geographic concept, but of course it is more of an essence...more of a feeling of security, contentment and ease. Perhaps it is tied in to work, or being with someone. For some it may be the thrill of constantly being on the road.
If home is a sense of place and belonging, it
could be gained anywhere.

In the constant upheaval of time and place, the most resilient people are those who may be able to make their home where they find it. They can dovetail their sense of home with whatever physical place they happen to be at. Definitely a useful skill, right up there with being able to sleep as soon as one closes ones eyes, no matter the place or time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Poem for Today


Packing quietly in early morning grey,
Stuffing things deep down...
Reaching to the bottom of my
cheap and soft sided bag.

I watch you doze,
The silence of your old pain,
It is only a quick flicker in your lashes now,
You sigh and dream on.
I smile at the small noises you make when you sleep.

Your chest rises and drops,
I want to stop everything,
Climb back into bed to shelter with you

I am going soon,
And I hate for you to see me leave,
Even though it's you that drops me at the airport.

Not seeing me put away things,
It only makes it seem easier,
I still miss you,
So maybe one day I won't leave.

August 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Poem for Today


In loving,
In the promising that comes with it,
I can offer you all:
The end of my working life;
All the moments I spend browsing thoughts of you;
The little flashing numbers in bankers' accounts;
The leaving of home;
Traveling far away from parents;
One's country forgotten.

But, in the giving of this,
That's only the price of entry...
The cover charge of love,
Each taste then costs extra,
Lushly and exorbitantly priced.

Turning out the pockets of my life,
Giving up every dream and possession.
I feel like I am piling them on some altar,
Pouring them onto a silver collection plate.

The things I give up for you,
They lay around stupidly,
Like useless furniture after a flood,
And the sky still cloudy...

In the giving of these things,
I know I must ask nothing of you.
But love did not make me perfect,
Only more selfish,
So I hunger for my reward.

July 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Poem for Today


I miss the smell of your sighs,
So hot in my neck,
I don't know if it is air or liquid.

Your breath pours over my face.

If I could end it for me now - I would,
Dissolved in this paradise,
Traversing with you between earth and deep sky.

I lose myself in you...
But you are the one who is breathing hard.

June 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


A friend of mine recently encouraged me to write, so I dug up some notes from my Iraq tour. I found notes I made in a large USO after I touched down in the States. So, here they are my thoughts (Amazing how difficult it is to read ones hand writing after 5 months...

To appreciate the depth and breadth of our nation, the USO at one of the larger USO hub airports would give a good impression of the people in military service. Of course in any large airport you will see a broad arrayof people. There are young business travelers, Blackberry in one hand and laptop bag in the other; slim women that steal my heart with a sharp glance; young families with scattered children who seem lost and stressed; lovers looking tense, or happy or sad; youths coveting urban style with insanely baggy trousers and long white trousers.

When I travel it seems that I see the "separateness" of us all...The way we distinguish ourselves by dress, accoutrements and manor.

The USO at the larger hub airports is a place for service members to take a pause and seek some food or a place to sit down and hang out. The room is crowded and I manage to squeeze into a place on a couch. I see soldiers (no other military branches today) sprawled on the chairs in all manner of repose. Some are eating, some dozing, contorted into tight corners. The impression get is of a bunch of floppy limbed teddy bears who have been put into a box and then shaken up and tossed on the floor. Legs are where arms should be, and heads are on the floor with feet on armrests. Every race seems represented here and male and female. Everyone is young, and I feel like the oldest person here. Many seem to be just out of basic training, with no unit or rank insignia. What a jumble of people and baggage!

The difference between my compatriots in the USO and the civilians that are outside is that 1) we are all dressed the same 2) something else, some shared knowledge...perhaps nothing more than the concept of waiting, or one of a shared discomfort

There are many reasons for entering many reasons as there are people in the Army...For me, like may others I lseek to find a feeling of belonging.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Wild Sky

The sky is wild this evening. Running like gray racehorses tearing across the sky. The clouds are billowing on top, but cut like a straight line on the bottom. The shades of grey are sullen and bold, and the speed that they move with makes me feel their power.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Poem for Today...

Thinking of The Trip

Just to roll without that fear of loss,
To run without the catch of her breathing,
And to forget the feel of her hold.

To have no going to…,
Only the drying damp on my face,
With the wind at my back,
And my favorite shirt on.

Being so cold,
That my heart runs ahead of me on the road

April 2008


When I was younger I often drove long distances to meet a friend or lover. There was always a scrambled departure from home, packing a few belongings, the drive all night, the joy at watching the sun rise behind a bug strew windshield, the warm coffee at a fast food place - the early morning staff as tired as I was...
The excitement and anxiety of travel were sometimes balanced by the thought that the actual meeting might not be as good as the anticipation of it...

I have been driving a good deal recently across Europe...Great roads! 130 km speed limits, pretty decent drivers who understand the right lane is for passing...
In fact in the 3000km or so I have driven recently I have only heard a car horn used twice...and it was by me!