There is no first strike in karate.

If you are waiting to react second

It is weakness, not strength

And strength is not power, nor aggression.


Rather it is all your being, soul

Prepared, let loose in extremis

Technique melded to training

Enabling you to strike


Or down.





Like Heinkel bombers colliding

Like powerlooms near yer heid

The twa beasts ignore me-

Dandering across the meadow in a heat haze.


This English meadow

Where grass and reed singe their essence

Into you and your walk.


Morning training is yet to start

On a day when the Algarve and Tuscan heat

Has come to Kent.


July 2014

Heid-head; twa-two



Photo is of Soweto, Jo’burg.

Paola *Brazier

This African night in Northern Cape

Has me think of Brando in ‘Apocalypse Now’;

Surreal shadows and eclectic emotions jig

On sand, our skin and the faces-smiling.


In a shipping container the mobile shop is busy

While in the shanty shop business is hectic

Electric pink jackets on a lady turns my head;

We walk Oma and I

On toward home.


Shanty café for a toastie!; Soweto


We are walking across the township;

Lava bright threads of light sideways:

The paola is next to the welding

It’s at the back stoop of the Mandela hooses*.


Walking and walking in the chill of July

I wonder what happened to much of this in us

How our communities were bound and existed;

Interdependence, dependence, Independence

They do reels and dialectics in heid* and heart.


The red earth is dusty

Soon we will be in the kitchen

Out this light into another

We will drink tea and talk

As the chill air settles.

4 (2)


Thanks to Bruce Damer (interesting guy!) and Phil Bletherwick for SA photos above the latter.

For ST, ‘Mammy’ and rest of GT team in NC, SA.

Let Out

th (3)

The pair of them have never known any different. Her House cats. Marie has two, one a tabby the other a mixed breed her aunt had given her.

Maybe Jessica would turn up, Marie thought. She had been looking for an hour. But inside she was breaking. The tense headache that had been her torture in the Revenue office was hounding her thoughts. The thin face of Rena (divorced mother and, allegedly an ex-model) career ladder crawler ribboned into her head among the panic she was feeling.

Ah. She had opened the flat door to get the shopping in then gone around the flat block to put the paper in that bin.

She raced down from the second floor flat and nearly slipped on the one broken concrete slab before finding nothing.

The smirr of rain coated her face and joined with the tears running down her cheeks. The spotlight of a car pulling into the house opposite curtained her bare feet, short green summer dress and the box of cat munchies.

A scrape on the ground nearly made her scream as the image of a giant rodent’s incisors loomed into mind.

A finger-like electric touch on her leg. Looking down she saw Jessica. Wet, looking up at her she nudged the label-less box of munchies.


Later, she opened a new box of treats and broke a rule about milk for the pair of them. Two years ago since she had left that job. One year on that holiday where she flew round the world.

And that guy in Cayman was still emailing her every week. Soon Jessica purred next to her on the couch.