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2022 - 2023

The slow ebb (2022)

There used to be a noisy timepiece in my childhood home,

which would fill the air with the unmistakable reminder

What you are feeling is temporary.

The never-ending march, I learned

was one of wisdom and deep reassurance.

So long as I survive, this young boy will follow

the conventionally unmelodious piper.

Keeping my side of the bargain, 

I shake The Piper’s hand and thank him

for the adult that I have been allowed to become.

And almost two decades on now, I still hear each second

though its message remarkably different

I, too, am very temporary.

Taken during a morning stroll around Kew Gardens in 2022

Happy sunflowers that we grew on our terrace, 2022

A photo taken at an Aurora concert, 2022

Cookie admiring the sunset after being outside, 2023

Another journal entry (2023)

It’s a normal day today.

In many ways incredibly insignificant.

Maybe the clouds drag across the sky

a little faster than they normally do,

leaving fading imprints of what they were

ten minutes, or perhaps ten hours ago?

A never-ending centrifugal daydream.

And what remains of you is forced

into repeated reels of silent stories in my mind,

each implausible or plausible as the last.

They swirl with attempts at recall,

of the tones that carry your laughter,

or when you call out my name,

in excitement, or even in upset.

So I cease tending to our garden,

in the knowledge that your return will not come.

My unwilling desire to create a dense flora

of expansive nothingness,

A barren space, immortalised for you, 

my final act of dedication.

Conversely, whatever monument I occupy 

in your courtyard of mistakes, 

I hope, is small, modest, overgrown with weeds,

with my name barely visible.

In a dream, I didn’t need to wish I could paint (2023)

The illogical architecture of this realm,

home to the most curious amalgamations. 

It paradoxically unites clashing realities,

crudely held together

by the one common denominator that is, well, me. 

A space where the subconscious reigns

over my very own appointments,

as they elect to sleep on the job.

Impossibilities so unashamedly expressed,

I pause for some time to recall…

A former love, sitting by me on a bus to nowhere in particular. 

I am showing them a painting that I am truly proud of.

They like it too. 

It’s far better than anything I can do.

The beach in Benalmádena that I almost drowned in, 2022

Molino de Inca Botanical Garden, 2022

An aerial view from the Sky Gardens in 2023

I cannot remember when or why I took this video

Measurements (2023)

Never ending swathes of the same

introductions, variations of 

tactful, and unsubtle, attempts to elicit my ethnicity.

Smiles betraying nothing other than

a supposedly innocuous invitation to explore,

Beyond the selection demonstrating a handful of façades-

curated, greatest hits, best moments, etcetera.

There is - of course - always something more.

Like vast intimate fibres, and fabric

cut to form a conscious living being

that is very much multidimensional, perceiving

And yet also uniquely weathered.

You once told me that you were a good judge of character

I wonder if you ever foresaw this part.

My unravelling, seeking comfort 

in the emotional generosity of strangers.

A recipe for Breakfast Surprise (2023)

I forget the components,

of a somewhat well-thought out plan to cheer you up.

You enjoy the day’s first meal, of course

so I named this aptly.

I recall your never ending fatigue,

perhaps from all of this, exhausting confinement.

An ornate cage, where two songbirds furiously sing,

the same old songs to death.

I reminisce on my naïve assertion:

“No, it must be nutritional!”

So I set forth on a state-approved outdoor adventure,

to bring back possibly the most processed delights.

I hope that you are happier these days.

My old bedroom, during lockdown in 2021

Dusty sunset at Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in 2023

The interior of a little house I stayed at in Norrviken, 2022

A book about a cat (2023)

I saved the book you gave me,

carefully annotated with your thoughts

highlighting your favourite parts.

Communication, solely reserved for the reader,

permeates the growing distance between you and I

whether spatial or the kind unseen,

pulling us into equilibriums

returning to our natural states.

So I keep this small relic of closeness, for myself.

Maybe on a miserable day when everything is shut out.

Except for your voice,

Bottled in this book.