Monday, 28 May 2012

Night thoughts

What torture must it be to drift aimlessly, to feel insecure and untethered, like an autumn leaf cast into the wind?

What torture must it be to have wounds that never heal and wounds that heal only to be replaced with hideous scars?

What torture must it be to feel hunger that can not be sated with food and thirst that can not be quenched with water?

What torture must it be  to drown into a crowd and be suffocated by the crushing pangs of solitude?

What torture must it be to drive to an unknown destination, unable to turn back, and seeing in the rear view mirror all the things you didn't do?

What torture indeed...


Thursday, 24 May 2012

End of day dialogue

Friends, lights, music
In abundance
Free from stress and the burden of responsibility
- really free?
- freedom and solitude are two sides of the same coin
No! I have friends, I socialise
- and when the party's over?
We go our separate ways
- feel free then?
Come and go as I please
- answer the question
- Ah! Solitude and loneliness - different notes struck from the same chord 
- Found yourself yet?
Never lost me in the first place
- answer the question
Once, while gazing out at the receding tide that exposed the emptiness beneath the waves, my own emptiness surfaced from the depths
- answer the question
I found out..I feel somewhat empty - incomplete
- so not completely free
No, incompletely free
-remember that next time you promote your freedom irresponsibly
Yes, I will.
Freedom and solitude - different strings of the same instrument


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

A letter to to Isabel - my dearest friend

The other night while we were out with our other friends, you told me you adore me. We hugged tightly and it felt so comforting and right. I adore you too.

You are my most precious friend.

And you know it. I've made it clear on a number of occasions.

We are friends who enjoy each others company immensely. We talk for hours about anything and everything. We share our thoughts and opinions, happiness and sadness in equal measures. We have so much in common.

I  had never had a "real" female friend before you. Only acquaintances and colleagues. Or lovers.

I was under the wrong impression that if I liked a girl enough to be friends with, I would want to take it further - beyond friendship.

I was wrong.  All those wasted years, I was wrong.

Our friendship is undemanding, selfless and unconditional. It has no ulterior motives or hidden agendas. Our friendship is enlightening and rewarding. It is something I treasure and want to keep for ever.

I love to see your huge smile when we greet. Its like you haven't seen me in ages, when in reality we see and speak to each other most days.

I love the way we constantly hug; the way you snuggle up to me. We're so comfortable with each other that some people wrongly assume we are lovers.

Those people are wrong. We are not lovers, we are friends who love each other. And I am eternally grateful for that.

The chains that bind lovers together are made up of fragile links of terms and conditions. Unlike our friendship, which is bound with love, respect and acceptance.

We will never compromise our friendship by becoming lovers. Real unconditional  friends don't turn into lovers just as lovers don't turn into unconditional friends.

Life is so much more fulfilling and balanced by having a true friend of the opposite sex - it's a shame it took me so long to realise it.

Hugs and kisses

Sincerely yours


Thursday, 17 May 2012

If I were to writer her a letter...

...which I'm not...

...this is probably what it would say:

Hi -----

It's been a while since we last spoke.  You're probably wondering why I'm writing to you after so long - that's understandable -  I'm not so sure of the reason myself.

Well, it may be because lately, Ive been thinking about you more than usual. I'm not sure why. You've even featured in some of my dreams.   It is strange that when you appear in my dreams, we're still a couple.

Strange but not surprising I guess, considering the half life-time we spent together.  You were my most precious and treasured alliance.  My only true alliance.  Ever. 

Others have come and gone, but none have quite matched up to you - not by a long way.

For a start, I trusted you, implicitly - something I haven't been able to do with anyone else since. Also, I was strongly attracted to you; an attraction that never diminished over the years.

Do you remember that weekend when you arrived unexpectedly? Three days of absolute bliss, and only we know why.

Oh, by the way, the other night as I walked to the Old Town, I saw an attractive, tall, blonde woman pushing a pram and I though it was you.  I stood frozen to the spot while my heart raced like a drum roll. Moments later, when I realised it wasn't you, I felt deeply disappointed.

But getting back to the reason why I'm writing; it is because I hear you are coming over soon, and I was wondering if we could meet up for a coffee and a chat. Or even a stroll to Praia Formosa.

I'd love to see you.

I know it may not be possible - desirable - appropriate - or even all three - but I need to ask you, anyway.  You know me, and how I always speak my mind.

Maybe you're still angry at me.  I hope not.

I also realise you've moved on, really moved on, and if, as expected, you don't reply, I will totally understand.



Friday, 11 May 2012

Sunrise in Paradise

6:58 am - Funchal

Adam and Eve - a young couple smooching - stood against a lamp post in my street. Their bodies locked in an embrace so tight I wondered if there could be a micron of space between them.  Their lips sloshed and slided around each others mouths as if eager to consume one another there and then.   As I walked past I couldn't resist a smile.  Eve glanced my way and I wondered if she could detect the subtle hint of envy in my expression.

I continued past my apartment block, down towards the harbour and the Cafe I knew would be open. 

My street ends with a steep drop of 50 metres or so down to the roundabout at the entrance of Funchal's harbour.  Just before the descent, the buildings come to and end, allowing a view of the whole town and bay.  I stopped, open-mouthed and admired the image unfolding before my eyes.

The grey-blue clouds hovering high above the bay allowed multiple shafts of white-gold  dawn light to rain over the city below. The predominant colour was lilac.  A warm, iridescent lilac blended from the fusion of dawn colours and city lights.

The tall mountains surrounding Funchal were painted a deep purple; the sea, a shimmering palet of jade, ochre, silver and grey. 

The street lights poured cone-shaped beacons of golden light onto the streets, evenly spaced and orderly, like candles on a birthday cake.

Attached to the inner wall of the harbour like a giant glowing barnacle, the brightly lit Porto Santo ferry waited for dawn to provide its crew and passengers for the scheduled 8:00 am departure.

The horizon cut a perfect chalk line of distinction between the steel-grey sea and the light blue infinite of space.

The moon, in its last throes of displaying nocturnal brilliance, slipped slowly beyond the horizon, glowing yellow as if to mimic its ascending replacement -the rising sun.

Lost for words, I remember uttering the word "wow" several times, mesmerised by the magical image of a natural and man-made creation in glorious multi-coloured harmony.

I briefly regretted not having my camera, but instantly decided to commit to memory what I was witnessing and recreate it later with words rather than pixels.

Minutes later I turned and entered the Cafe, a small cosy shelter perched high above the harbour entrance.  I was surprised to see it buzzing with people. Some were continuing their previous nights celebrations with beer and sandwiches, others announcing their new day with coffee and toast. This Cafe is a place where the night-shift revellers cross paths with the day-shift workers of Funchal.

In my twilight state, I opted for a Chinesa coffee and an Espada fish sandwich.

As I savoured my delicious fayre, I smiled - this time with no hint of envy...

... just pure and simple gratitude.


Saturday, 5 May 2012


I am often asked why I prefer the company of young people to those of my age, and have decided now is the time to explain.

But first, let me speak of time.

Time is my only true enemy - a formidable foe who will eventually account for my demise.

Time can be a rose beautifying a garden or the lines in my face stealing my youth.  But in the end, time is a bomb, ticking slowly towards my final act.

As we age we collect countless memories, but unlike the stamp collector who selects his stamps, time forcibly etches happy and sad memories into our minds. Sorrowful memories remain sad even with the passing of time and happy ones can never be recreated. Remembering happy memories brings its own sadness, longing and sense of loss. How strange that time should turn both sad and happy memories into a source of pain.

So why do I seek love and friendship among the young or, more precisely, the young at heart?

It is because the young possess boundless enthusiasm for life and copious amounts of energy. Time has yet to dampen their spirits and douse their flames with cynicism and mid-life crisis.

An excerpt from a song I wrote:

"...Once I was young
in love and immortal
Now, not so young
but still in love 
with the young
who are young and immortal..."

When the time comes and I cease to seek youthfulness, I will sail into the vast sea that surrounds me, on a final one-way journey to Nature's recycling plant and Creator of all life - the Ocean.

Until such time, I shall continue to sail the seas, harvest its bounty and enjoy its refreshing and cleansing touch upon my lined skin.

And, importantly, I shall continue to seek youth - the only antidote against the ravages of time.