Paris: a poem

The river has burst its banks and armed police parade its flanks. It seems nature and man have turned against this once great city. But in the shadow of the cloud a woman and a man walk arm-in-arm and smile. And out of the cold city dusk I feel the touch of their warmth in... Continue Reading →

Fragment

The aircraft lands at Algiers. Or does it? Perhaps it lands in Paris. Or Oran. I try and remember whether the plane rattles - The Air Algerie craft rattles down to earth, staff smiling, whereas Air France glides out of gritty Manchester and into stylish Paris with a haughtiness needlessly in excess of substance -... Continue Reading →

Flying Cat

I pass a small group, a family perhaps. The boy is clutching a scruffed kitten and laughing. We catch each others’ eyes. He throws it at his brother. The kitten lands, paws outstretched, on the boy’s chest. Everyone laughs. ‘Do you want it? ... 1,000 dinars’ 'It’s a cat from the street! It’s free, I... Continue Reading →

An awkward cigarette

'Tu fume?’ asks the waiter who served me breakfast. ‘Des fois’, I say. I don’t, really. Well, I do about once a month, as a social thing. Sometimes, especially abroad, smoking is a good way to build social connections. And with social connections comes knowledge. The waiter invites me outside. We stand facing the undulating... Continue Reading →

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