Memoirs & Poetry


“What was once a city”


  • 1st prize in Fish Publishing’s short memoir competition
  • winner of the Yeovil Literary Competition

“What was once a city’  is  about something that happened in my first months of working for Save the Children, when – by accident, and totally unprepared – I landed up in the midst of a civil war.

The Fish competition receives over 5,000 entries, world-wide. The top 10 stories, short memoirs, poems & flash fiction (very short stories) are published in the annual Fish Anthology – so it’s full of interesting pieces. It can be ordered on Amazon, paperback or e-book.

“Tales I tell my grandchildren”

IMG_2740 published in a  Knock Twice: 25 modern folktales for troubling times. You can also read it on my blog (Nov 2017).

Knock Twice [edited by Andrew Simms, director of the New Weather Institute] has contributions from campaigners for social justice, environmentalists and others who agree with Philip Pullman, that ‘Stories are one of the most ancient and most effective ways of making sense of the world.’

 “Take care of the past, lest the future forget”
31jra2cYlyL._AC_US218_Three of my poems  are  included in this collection – published in India but with contributors from 36 countries: ‘Women Poets: Within and Beyond Shores, Vol III’, published by Authors Press, Delhi; available on Amazon.
As it’s an international collection I wrote one specifically for the anthology, about a cross-cultural thought. There’s a word in Urdu and Hindi – ‘kal’ – that means either tomorrow or yesterday. You can always tell from the tense which is intended. I’ve always been intrigued by what that double-meaning suggests – and particularly in times like these. Here’s the poem:
(by the way, ‘kal’ is pronounced like a short version of the English ‘curl’, without ‘r’).

English won’t let you. Fixed tenses resist.
But in Urdu or Hindi, how neat to have ‘kal’,
a time-word just one day away from today.
Think what it offers – as around us swirl
circles of yesterdays and tomorrows,
things that have happened, things that might yet,
constantly recreating each other.
Take care of the past, lest the future forget.
Take care of the past, lest the future forget
things that have happened, things that might yet –