Archives for December 2015

A Poem for all seasons

When  Language is Affordance Enough   It began with a hand clenched experimentally to ear not so much a fist as a makeshift mouthpiece designed to broadcast  miracles speaking in tongues:   ‘habari,kangarooshni ,slapit nego,nego,unulti possum! craaghi ipsit cunnilingo ? es krampit   todo   kwa heri ‘   a polyglot  mother tongue Nordic vowels, Slavic consonants Swahili syntax,Latin verse and just a touch of Lewis Carroll to stitch into proper nonsense   all in the hope  some passers by might stop and listen, become alarmed, and call an ambulance, take me to a  ’place of safety’ where the only voices heard are  in my head.   But all they see is a middle aged gent clutching his smart phone doing   foreign dumb talk to someone just like them in Karachi , Prague or Timbuktu   Once upon a time before we crossed the emoticon I lived in another   country where language [Read More…]

Atishoo, atishoo, we all fall down : Some seasonal reflections on body politics

The well known nursery rhyme flashed into  my mind as I pitched forward onto the wet pavement, instinctively putting my right hand out to break my  fall. No it was’nt a serious as the  Black Death, but neither was the searing pain in my right shoulder a benign memento of a children’s counting out game,  to take the two dominant interpretations of  Ring a Ring of Roses nursery  rhyme. I could do the  sneezing  part all right as I had a ferocious cold but later in the A & E , where they diagnosed a fractured humerus, that seemed the least of my concerns. I do not regard myself as accident prone but over the past few years for various reasons I have become something of a connoisseur of A & E departments. St Thomas’s was definitely a cut above the rest. Of course it had its  cast of stock [Read More…]