Jazz Cats! Music to Explore and Enjoy!

Throughout the last year, since I started this blog, I’ve been delving into the weighty topics of racism, profits before people, the colonization of indigenous peoples, destruction of the environment, and the like. But sometimes I need to refresh and recharge. Music is a key part of getting through being isolated, as the coronavirus rages…

Learning to See

I am learning to see the intricate movement and colours of plants. I sometimes wish I had learned photography, but sometimes the impressionistic approach I take, must do instead. I think of their root communities and networks, their beauty and seductiveness, the scent and shape of petals and leaves. Pandemic life must be one that…

The Sun

All colours come from the sun. And it does not haveAny particular colour, for it contains them all.And the whole Earth is like a poemWhile the sun above represents the artist. Whoever wants to paint the variegated worldLet him never look straight up at the sunOr he will lose the memory of things he has…

Solstice 2020!

Well, we made it to summer and the longest day of the year in this part of the world. The covid19 pandemic has slowed the travel of planes, and the city skies are becoming a delight. If you squint and stare into the sky, you can see way more stars than I ever have since…

Untitled Evening

I have no fancy camera. I am a home bound storm admirer and fearer. Many years ago when I was living in Peru, I noticed the city of Lima rarely had thunderstorms. Instead, a stinging cold drizzle seemed to be the winter’s precipitation. It left a fine mist on everything and was not enjoyed by…

Intermission!

Taking a break from the mental ethos of quarantine and isolation. Escaping into colour, which can feel like another dimension, away from the uncertainties of these days. Boredom, hunger, homelessness, and fear have gone viral, depending on one’s social location. And in the midst of so much callous disregard for the plight of the world’s…

Death on the Tracks

This week the world saw a phenomenal rise in COVID19 infections and many countries are debating whether to end the lockdown or endure mass starvation/homeslessness. Couched within this dilemma, is really a variant of the age old question beloved by teachers of political science, “Reform or Revolution?” We already have calls to sacrifice “the weak”…

Cuelga Tu, Primero

Entre el autoaislamiento, el distanciamiento social y la migración, la difícil situación del inmigrante o migrante es muy precaria. El contacto y la comunicación con los seres queridos son más valorados que antes del nuevo coronavirus, porque el impacto en muchas de las comunidades a las que pertenecemos (afrodescendientes, del sur y del este de…

Fibromyalgia Awareness during COVID19

I am sharing this piece in honour of May, Fibromyalgia month. May 12th is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. This is a victory for those of us who have been diagnosed with this illness, which has gone through many medical iterations before finally and most recently being considered an illness of the central nervous system. Which makes…

Flower Moon

We’ re already in the month of May! Hard to believe we have spent nearly 2 months in lockdown, the expectations of self-isolation and submission to newly visible norms of social hygiene and engineering. I have read a lot, like many of you, perhaps way too much– about the ramifications, implications, permutations, of COVID19. Under…

Quartraits

More drawings of my time in self -isolation. After nearly 2 months, it’s been a time of many moods, thoughts, hopes and fears. Some pictures show the despair and anxiety of loneliness– as the essence of our default humanity is to run towards each other. Those who manage COVID 19 have demanded we give that…

Dirge for Amerikkka (Panic Attack Remix)

black child goes out into the day mother’s afraid for him today he brings the only skin he’s got while a white cop fires the final shot to take it all away i can’t breathe brown woman goes to work white boss tries to force her with just one phone call to someone who he’s…

The Dollar Store Poem

1. AnthroApocology Safari suit clad fascist with microscope and coolies enters the Temple of Doom At his shoulder, Harrison, in those  Fordlike soundbytes Urging urging him on Amen Father Son and Holy Cow 2.  General Motors stares back at me From every shop-window his silver dollar and medals swinging to a marching oompah pah oompah…

The Soloist

I’ve been having a hard time with this solo-self-isolation. All members of my family are thousands of miles away, experiencing their own lockdowns. Music, books, cleaning, and cooking are losing their charms after the 2 weeks I’ve been doing this! And I fear there will be weeks more.  As a person with disabilities that make…

The Weight/ Solo Quarantine

Waiting for the one who never comes or might come forever. The ground shattered beneath our feet, the sky splintered above us. Mitigating their barbarism or choosing our love? That is the weight of this wait . All the roads are empty, and do not only lead to Rome. Grief and fear sweep through China,…

COVID19 Kills Postmodernism!

The other day, a friend asked me if I had been writing. The truth of the matter is, being solitary sometimes makes me unable to concentrate. I think it’s ironic, that I have not watched Netflix once, since the start of official self isolation for elders and those with pre-existing conditions. Part of this has…

Patiently Brown 2: A Journal of the Plague Year

For those of us with disabilities and compromised immunity, the coronavirus contagion is loaded with particular fear. Like the elderly, our bodies are already dealing with underlying issues, some of which are already being treated for, and some for which there is no reliable big pharma treatment but sometimes symptomatic help. Over the last six…

Xanaxocene

A poem about the coronavirus and our changing world

Stardust

in a distant eon, you and i were stars. tumble and spark, ether and eterntity, dust and light, while the world was being born. we were young. fierce and shining like a child’s eyes. in a distant eon, you and i were stars. rock and fire distance and delight. while the world flourished we joined…

They Don’t Come Easily!

i don’t find these days that poems come easily.  they’re no longer at my beck and call. these days, if i want one, it’s as though, like my arthritic hands, battling the last squeeze of toothpaste, my mind squeezes out a little word or two, some syntax. the world is full of silences those beats…

Trigger Warning/Not One Less

After the world celebrated and commemorated International Women’s Day on March 8th with so many marches, rallies, gatherings for women’s rights, and so forth, the fact of the matter is that women are being continually violated and killed with impunity. Earlier last summer on the blog in a piece called The Weight of All Our…

March Mermaids

A visual series celebrating International Women’s Day!

World Social Justice Day

The United Nations has declared February 20th as World Social Justice day. In this era, social justice is like a carrot dangling before humanity while the vast majority of us are being beaten with sticks. So, social justice is an aspirational desire, a desire to remediate the wrongs of past times and current ways of…

Hey, Bobby Marley!

If Bob Marley were alive today, it is likely that he would be assassinated again, by the U.S. government and its agents. His 75th birthday would be tomorrow, February 6th, although he perished at the age of 36, a man in the prime of his music, lyrics, and creativity.  It is fitting he was born…

My Dida’s House

Reading the stories of so many Indian women, I am reminded of this, my only heirloom. I want to tell too, of my hidden memories. My Dida’s house, the noise, the open sewers, the eternal mangy cat with her multi-hued descendants. The ceaseless summer war between cat and human, mosquito and human. The long afternoons…

The Heart of Winter

We’re in the heart of winter, with dark days, blizzardy conditions occasionally, and slushy, slippery streets. It’s hard to muster up excitement to go for a walk and there’s very little to do if you don’t have loads of money.  It’s even hard to think about my blog or plan what to write about next,…

I am the truth… as well as you…

This article is a brief and introductory summary of recent political developments in BJP India and some examples of resistance to the Hindu fascist agenda.

A Murder of Crows

On my recent visit to Kolkata, India, I was struck by many things, but one that stands out for me in the wave of pollution that blankets the city, is the harsh cawing of the crows, who proclaim their resilience much like people.  Their ubiquitous presence was a big part of my urban childhood summers…

A Rapist in Your Way

Today’s piece pays homage– and it must– to the brave women of Chile and around the world who are standing up for their right to be free from sexual and gender-based violence. Currently, Mexico leads the world in murder of women and other forms of sexual violence. The United Nations, whose research wing may be…

Return to My Native Land (with apologies to Aime Cesaire)

I have been travelling and experiencing the world through the eyes of my childhood and the “now”. The city I return to is not the city of my childhood and teens, nor the city of my twenties and thirties, where the excitement of women’s liberation, the furious exchange of ideas, politics, and philosophies at the…

Chile: Forbidden to Forget…

I was first introduced to the world of Chileans in exile, in the late 1970s, as adults and children fleeing political repression, torture, kidnapping, political rape and murder, arrived in Canada. In fact, Chile had not been know for mass migration until the political banishment of left and progressive sectors under the Generals. Chile’s self-image, shaped…

A fall gallery

A series of drawings celebrating autumn in all her glory!

Pachacutec

This is a seven part poem I have been working on since my work, studies, and travels have taken me to South America and Cuba. I have long been fascinated and moved by the strength of peoples who manage to hold on to their cosmologies in the face of terrible odds such as kidnapping, enslavement,…

We Lived Happily during the War

One tries to hang on to hope, in spite of the onslaught. Poetry, art, music, dance, theatre, and even sometimes film, can offer us someting in that direction, give us a glimpse of that blue star. This year has been filled with changes in our political landscapes, fear and trauma among many who have been…

Journey

nothing but the need for friendship reduced, quest now stripped of myth how difficult not to remember the colour of eyes how we ran to and from such passions there was a time i thought i must not know you but outside the rain howled your name could not forget, would not, how could i?…

2 O’Clock

a yellow butterfly flew past brushing bougainvillias with dreams of rain now the grass is solemn does not dance a shadow grows longer upon the limewashed wall somwhere near by, children ae singing to capture even half this beauty in the palm of the heart from A New Remembrance, 1993, Copyright Kaushalya Bannerji

Indigenous Uprising on Columbus Day

I am a strong supporter of the movement throughout the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean to stop celebrating Columbus Day.  Critics of the pro-Colombus status quo signal to the cruelty and harshness of Spanish empire-building and by extension, European and British colonization efforts in the Americas. Genocide of indigenous persons,  the wholesale buying…

A Walk in the Park

We went to the park the other day. Storing up the sunshine of these beautiful days while we can, like squirrels with their nuts. The ups and downs of the meadows and trees, the glint of the sun on the tiny river and all around, little inhabitants of our world, scurrying to save stores for…

Denial is Not a Policy! Climate Strike 2019

Today I marched in the climate strike with millions of people around the world. I marched because I breathe, eat, need water, have increasing love and appreciation for the natural world, and hold the lives of the world’s citizens in the highest regard. I have been appalled and sickened by the astronomical levels of pollution…

Patiently Brown: Misadventures in the medical system # 1

I am always being told what to do. Like many people with poorly understood disabilities and conditions, I have heard every possible advice that people’s grandmothers,  parents, aunts, doctors, naturopaths, second cousins, and their neighbours might possibly have to offer.  Headache. Oh, just do this, and it will go away. My aunt/doctor/grandmother used to have…

Autumn

Today’s piece is sharing some poems which have been part of our English poetry canon for centuries and decades. Some I had to study in school, and thus happily rediscovered in adulthood. My mother suggested me a beautiful poem by John Keats, Ode to Autumn. I share it below. A beautiful cadence of the English…

Snowscape

SNOWSCAPE The landscape is still-born Birth  of winter brings blood to the snow someone is not walking but standing awkward space the corner of December Breaths are frozen leaving the pale orifices of mouths  as though they were not inanimate  Moving  away fleeing the refuge of bodies And someone wanting the comfort  of another thinks…

They Didn’t Know We Were Seeds

Ever since I saw the phrase, “They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds”, I have been so moved.  I am a part of so many communities that have survived burial, in the manner of the phoenix.  We are resilient and resourceful like seeds that are nourished by hope instead of fear,…

The Harvest Moon

Last night, I glimpsed the harvest moon, red and full. This is the time of the year when the days grow shorter, the wheat and vegetables, apples, and stone fruit are harvested. Soon the nights of pumpkins and souls will be upon us. Autumn also brings the delight of jumping on crinkly fallen leaves, and…

The Weight of All Our Rage/Red Dress

I recall this poem I wrote during the Oka Crisis of 1990. Thirty-one years ago. Things have only gotten more dire. Oka Nada It was true what the foremothers told us. Words are unrepentant birds which fly off and leave us silent. (Once more we watch the silenced movie. Clear Quebec Sky, still summer days)….