What’s in your bag?


“Anything that doesn’t fit in a box you can do without as long as you have your memory.”


“The box is illusionary, a limiting concept.

Possessions are temporary, just rented in time.

The mind is capacious, where everything is stored.

You only have to really look to find.”



I can take a trinket or a stone.

But a door?

Leaving the family home of my parents. They arrived while children were growing. They were there when children were being born. Behind the airing cupboard door were all the marks made above each child’s head. Soon the line for me was overtaken, dwarfed by strapping girls and lads alike.

You can take the door.


What does it mean to start anew?


“What defines us is how we stand after the stumble…The boy who has fallen stands up…..what now?”


[In response to Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Jerusalem”]


“There’s a place in the brain where hate won’t grow.” I won’t let it in, if we hide we’ve given in. We’ve let it take root. Followed the herd, accepted the norm. It’s an act of will we need. Not an act of force. No eye for an eye or tooth for a tooth. A little of head and a thought for our youth.”
“I am native now

this is my home

this is my life

will my neighbours embrace me

or reject me outright

like it or not

I am native now.”
“If they could stand back from the war and tilt left or right then maybe they could see what the rest of us see.”


“The clothes aren’t hers, she outgrew her own and they were pass on to her little sister. The bike isn’t hers, it was in the outhouse when they moved to the farm. The old man who died used it to go to church. The environment isn’t hers, she swapped the Punjab for his corner of Cambridgeshire. The solitude isn’t hers, she was always seen with her sisters and friends. She’s making do, and doing well.

It’s hard to believe but she’s happy. She’s adapting, and yes she’s even thriving.

The hand me downs sari and transport enhance her new life.

Her half smile is slowly developing into the full beam of her past. “



How are we similar and different?


“We fight to know the difference

but maybe just maybe

the difference is none

or should I say as One”


What does it mean to belong?


“In my village you’re only a local if seven of your eight great-grandparents are buried in the village graveyard.”



“Modern city street holds

boy held in the shadows

looking out on a lonely street

on the familiar surroundings

looking back on the new

wanting to belong”


“A young guy not sure if he is waiting on someone to come back.”