Saturday, May 08, 2010


I've only heard Paco de Lucia perform as part of a group before but this one, with his brother Pepe, is amazing. Everybody should have a brother called Pepe.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

The Speak Mum Speaks

the speak Mum speaks
when she’s on the phone
I asked her one time
where it comes from
she says it’s the speak
of her friends from home

the speak Mum speaks
like floating and laughing
and the words are bubbling
whispering hurrying
she says it’s the speak
of where she comes from

the speak Mum speaks
like singing and dancing
like friends holding hands
going out to playtime
like a playground
with everyone jumping

I sit small and say nothing
I listen and listen
to the speak Mum speaks
flashing and shining
like jewel diamonds
and I want some

- Helen Dunmore

My Neighbours

My neighbours are beautiful people. She is a sprightly old lady who always greets us with a warm smile. He is a gentleman, immaculately dressed in a button down shirt and trousers with creases so sharp you could cut your hand on them. They live on the ground floor. Every evening he walks out of his door and climbs one floor upstairs and then down again. He does this eight times.

They have a red car that is gleaming and kept in a state of perpetual polish. Sometimes I see them drive away and then come back, carrying a basket of folded laundry or a small grocery bag. I don't know if they have any children. I'm sure they do but I don't remember ever seeing anyone. Whenever I pass their apartment, I hear silence. No sound of either quarrel or laughter, no grandchildren tumbling out of the door. The inside of their house looks like a photograph from a catalogue, everything artfully preserved in its place. I was there yesterday to make a phone call and I saw a patchwork quilt on the dinner table. She was working on it, moving a needle in and out of the cloth, like minutes ticking away on a clock, like sand easing through an hourglass.

We don't know each other's names. They call me "doctor" and I call them "sir" and "ma'am". After so many years of moving around and making friends only to watch them fade away, I'm not so careful about collecting names. It is the essence of beauty that is attractive and I try and retain that. My neighbours are beautiful people.

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