darker | side | thursday | 2

I gaze across at the trees.

Brittle branches blurred by the breeze, leaves coalescing into a swirling, suppurating soup in front of my aching eyes. You couldn’t make it up. Could you? Or maybe you could. Me, I don’t know. Don’t really know much right now.

I feel pressure in my eyes, darkness enveloping me. That old cliche. Gets them every single time. When I try to describe it to them. The feeling. Hell, I can barely describe it to myself. So how to them?

My fingers feel numb. My ever present and faithful companion (not the bumblebee this time), the pain in my back, ebbs. Hey, that’s good, don’t knock it. There has to be some positive side to all this. No? No, probably not. But I digress. I flow.

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darker | side | thursday | 1

My finger is red raw, bleeding. Distracting, debilitating.

The index finger, on my left hand.

The nail is torn, blood oozing from the tip and running in a slow, painful rivulet. A stinging, insolent, rude and raw pain. I want to peel the torn nail off slowly, feel the parting of flesh, the slicing agony. Need that. Want it.

My fist clenches. Fingers dig into the splintered wooden table top, slivers of fresh twisted wood piercing flesh, sliding under my nails.

I shift uneasily. That empty, roiling feeling inside me making me anxious, again. I can not sit still. Can not focus.

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out in the midday sun | 5

This is the latest in what was intended to be a weekly collection of essays themed as ‘out in the midday sun‘, which instead, has become a place for me (in or out of the sun, midday or otherwise) to write at random, and increasingly infrequent, intervals, on whichever subject seems worthy of note at the time.

I have not posted as much here, or  perhaps more perplexing, not shot or published as many photographs as usual, for the better part of the last year. The principal reason (excuse) for that has been (hold the front page) the intervention of the real world. I have travelled (too) much on business, between Europe and Western Africa, although I have found time to write up some of my adventures on nigeriastreets. I’ve recently switched working countries from Nigeria to Ghana. I’m not done with Nigeria yet, and the seductive siren song of other adventures already calls. More (perhaps) about that in due course.

I’ve also been busy learning new stuff. 

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darker | side | thursday

Some of you may remember a thing called dark | side | thursday?

Or perhaps, may care not to remember?

That dark tale marked my first foray into writing an episodic story. Some may perhaps wish it were my last. Despite myself, I completed that task, and, over 52 weeks, published 500 words each week, every Thursday.

It was not easy, and many times I considered throwing in the towel. Perhaps some of you may wish I had. Probably fewer still remember. Or care. I have this half formed plan to collate that story and publish it as a complete work.

Watch this space. Or not.

Well, I promised myself (and others who will remain nameless) that I would try my hand at writing again.

So, here we are.

Starting next Thursday at 24:00 UTC (if I can figure out how to schedule the post properly), I will publish the first chapter of my latest folly (yes, it is already written and ready to roll).

The song remains the same. It is a dark story. It will be 500 words each week. Ah, yes, my word count will be based on Scrivener, the wonderful app that I will use to draft and collate my story. At times the word count here in the WordPress editor throws a petulant hissy fit and disagrees with Scrivener. But hell, I don’t care. And worse, I might even write more or less each week. We will see what we see, no? As if anyone cares.

So, if any of you do care to join me as, once again, I explore my dark(er) side, see you at 24:00 next Thursday.

 

 

stranger

. . .sometimes one feels freer speaking to a stranger than to people one knows. Why is that?
‘Probably because a stranger sees us the way we are, not as he wishes to think we are’
― Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind

stranger, in a strange land

plucked from the earth

roots ripped

torn

stranger, in a strange land

plucked

ripped

torn

stranger, in a strange land

you, smell

so

sweet


stranger

corner

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime
― Ernest Hemingway

it could

(perhaps)

be said, that

liberal (thinking) is in, a

corner

right now

the question

is

what will

become

of us

of them

of you

of me


For WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Corner

*Image made with Fujifilm X100F and 23mm  fixed lens (35mm full frame equivalent) at ISO1250 (don’t even go there), 1/800s and f/5.6 outside the Cortes, Madrid*

luna

We’re both looking at the same moon, in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line. All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

Like Apollo. An experimental shot at the moon.

Hand held. In broad daylight.

Inspired by this

not to mention the dreams of a small boy who (still, much later) dreams of reaching the stars.

*Made with Nikon D700 and 80-200mm f/2.8 lens at ISO200, f/2.8 at 1/2000s, cropped in Lightroom CC and reduced to mono*

connections

Those who were living now are dead
Those who were breathing are from the living earth fled.
If you want to see how the poor die, come see Grenfell Tower.

From the impassioned poem on the fire at Grenfell, by Nigerian writer, Ben Okri, whose poem, published in the Financial Times on 23 June, 2017 is a searing statement from which it is impossible to hide, impossible to avert one’s gaze, impossible to forget.

I wrote earlier this week about my arrival in London, on the red-eye from Lagos, and my efforts to both stay awake and entertained before being allowed to pass through the portal of my hotel.

I decided, after grabbing some breakfast, and scribbling a short poem, (which I published on Facebook), to walk along the South Bank to the Tate Modern. During my walk I found some inspiration by shooting the various vans being prepared for the hordes of tourists soon to fill the streets which at that time were still and relatively quiet.

What I hadn’t counted on was the degree of connectivity I felt with the things I saw and experienced that morning.

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In Wetin You Go Do?

In Wetin You Go Do?
– Title of an installation at the Tate Modern, created by Nigerian born Otobong Nkanga

The title of Nkanga’s piece, when translated from Nigerian Pidgin, an English-based Creole language widely spoken across Nigeria, is ‘What are you going to do?’. ‘In Wetin You Go Do’ integrates voice and sculpture to reflect on contemporary anxieties.

The theme of anxiety stitched a ragged thread through the time I spent lingering in the Tate Modern after my early morning arrival in London. Or perhaps, when visiting a gallery such as this, the feelings we have, that we bring in through the door, colour the way we see the exhibits, determine the way we select what to linger with and what to pass on by?

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