From a November Far Far Away


You weren’t satisfied with just wounding me.
You had to stab me over and over again……..
Through the misty moors and rugged lands
Where I ran to, for my solace.
You followed me to my sacred sands
Defiling even the peace I’d earned.
You mocked me,
Dissatisfied
That I was still unbroken.
Unscarred.

Are you not happy to have robbed a part of me?
My innocence, my sweet belief in love?
You throw your twisted liaison at my face
At the very spot that’d brought serenity to my mind?
How cruel can you be? How much more monstrous,
Beneath those cold blue cynical eyes?
Do only women who are manipulative, spent and broken 
Win your labor, your effort and hand?
But those who hold on to innocence,
Who’re unconquered, unbroken, unspent
You douse them with your poison
After, first, enmeshing them in your net
Your web of verbose vanity
Intoxicating like sweet summer wine
Your Victorian words and phantasies
Set like a bait for unsuspecting hearts
And then you strike, with your lethal weapon
Of anger, sarcasm, wrath,
Cruel dismissiveness mood-dependent
To bury your victims in earth.

And when it did not work on this one
You struck by taking my dreams
My secret places and reveries
And gave them to a murky stream.
I know now what discrimination is –
“Intellectual racism” is the word that best fits
Because I looked exotic, not freckled and pale;
So you presumed I was not worth the depth
But just worth a “fuck” which, thank goodness,
I denied you
Only to face more rage.
But at the end of the day, you know you didn’t win
‘cause I held my modesty within my grasp.
And you, who have given your best to past witches,
Could neither conquer my body nor soul.

Perhaps like Heathcliff you’ll always wander
Like a dead man walking in the mist of your past
But I’ll know in my heart, I loved Heathcliff
But never surrendered to him, ‘xcept opened my heart.
For as much as my fire burnt in his coldness,
I’d rather save my best for genuine warmth.
And the love of my Viking and my dark Angel Minstrel
Took me away from your rancid swamp.

And today I stand midst the spires of this great City
While your mayor makes a fool of himself
Karma for all those years of mocking
That your residents would do to the rest.
’cause that’s who you choose, a Fat Flatulent Fool
After all that great big vaporous talk
But We, we who know the strength of Value,
Live in Reality and meaningful Love.
We value quality
And achievement
Not enshrined mediocrity like your town,
We value strength and genuine hard work
Not a piggish, pretentious clown.

And despite your stealing my confidence
And giving my gifts to shriveled thorns,
I know in the end, you won’t succeed
Nay, you did not succeed at all,
In breaking my spirit, no matter
How hard you tried as a game.
My spirit, for it will still haunt you
In your darkness to which you’re a knave.
Thank you, for letting me realize
How strong I really am,
That despite your repeated stabbings,
You could not kill my calm.

And as I write this,
I softly realized,
Those glens – they are still my own
You can steal my dreams, but not the dreamer
And whence they came from, there is more.
Yes, once I thought ’twas you who’d take me
To a magic theater and lucent lands
But I know I didn’t need you to,
Cause I found my way on my own.

And for he who truly loves me,
With openness, and without games,
To him today belongs my body,
My heart, my love, my name.
You can fester in your own complications
And your lies behind even more backs
But I chose honesty, and sanctity
And I’m free of you at last.

– ©November 2013. Maddy. The Gipsy Geek

(Notes for clarity: The person in this poem is a very narcissistic and snooty Torontonian, who used to make fun of all other cities (like most Toronto residents,) and took some sadistic pleasure in putting others down and was incredibly cruel to me, practicing what I now term as “intellectual racism” – i.e. having a completely false belief that women who look exotic are good only for sex (and I mean casual erotic sex, without even putting the effort to wine and dine), but not for intellectual discussion and friendship, while those with Anglo-Saxon heritage must naturally be all literate and intellectual (even though this too is more than often not true depending on one’s education and upbringing.)

It was the first time in my life that I realized, to my shock, that I had been judged by my looks alone, and that all my education, accomplishments and intellect had meant nothing. Because I did not give in to his demands (of cheap sex) and refused to believe that someone could be so callous and shallow since he was good with words and writing, thinking he may just be misunderstood, I was subjected to even more rage and wrath.

Today I see this person in his full light and have understood just what a genuine jerk he was and how incredibly damaged he was, and no longer have sympathies for these sort of men or the dysfunctional, issue-filled women they choose to romance who eventually leave them even more troubled.

I, of course, live in New York “this great City” with a wonderful, brilliant, kind and multi-talented man who loves and values me a lot, but at the time I had met this Toronto snoot, I resided in Montreal. 

The “mayor” mentioned here is a reference to Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

The landscape is a reference to the rugged one of coastal UK, where many of my stories that I had naively narrated to him featured, and a naivete that came to bite me on my fanny as every  act of kindness and civility was misinterpreted by this deeply damaged man and met with baffling unicivility. Even when I was duped into accepting an apology in person, the “apology” was given in the form of insulting rage. Well, now I am done. Free. And thanks to the idiotic antics of Toronto’s first citizen Rob Ford, I can have the last laugh – since it’s karma after all those years when Torontonians behaved as though they were the center of the Universe. You are not. You are just a big “wannabe” city with a small-town mentality hiding behind banal, boring, trying-too-hard facades. And, most importantly, Toronto is NOT New York. And never will be. Period.)

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Ten days & Tendresse

September-in-New-York

The last ten days of September.
Fall slipp’d  in e’er so fast
Stealthily, like a sneaky lover
Peering
Standing behind my back
Gazing upon the words I write
Before pouncing
As a surprise….
An act eliciting more laughter from my lover
Than from me – and I blink, bewildered.
For I was still unprepared
For this intrusion,
Intoxicated as I was
By Summer’s carefree nights
And sweaty warmth
Subtle at first, sizzling thereafter,
Then a sweet surrender to an endless siesta
And a naïve scent of a promise of “forever”
Stuck in some state of balmy stasis.

But I welcome the crisp refreshing coolness
Of Autumn’s wisps and whimsies
Winds caressing the skin on my face
My naked arms soakin’ in
The last remainders of steady sunbeams
That still linger within my hands
Before Winter blasts her Artic chill
’pon these northern lands.

And when the white sheath covers
and blizzards descend
on darkened
December morns,
I shall remember
with a twinge. Yes, I’ll recall that time
whence leafy streaks of red commenc’d,
those sun-drenched afternoons
those days of sudden
tenderness:
ten days
of September.

 – © September 20, 2013. Maddy. (The Gipsy Geek)

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Bonjour from Paris

montmartre steps

Paris. France. April 9, 2013. I have been travelling through various cities in Europe since mid-March, both for work and rest. This post is written from my current city – Paris;  sitting right next to the steps of Square Caulaincourt, Rue Lamarck, Montmartre. 

While in later posts, I shall post pictures from the travels, today marks the first death anniversary of my father, who passed away due to a sudden swift heart attack last year.  Youthful, hyper-active and conspicuously full of life – he remained that way right up till the very end – bursting with frank, undiplomatic outspoken chutzpah, never afraid to call a spade a spade, and  so vibrant that friends, neighbours and his loved ones still miss his vivacity and near-comical foot-in-mouth well-intended but bluntly-phrased verbal gaffes even today.

This morning I had a long talk with my mother – my parents had eloped and got married in their 20s and remained married till his death.  My mother had a Ph.D in Philosophy with a minor in Mathematics, and my father a Ph.D. in Geology with a minor in Physics. Definitely not the most diplomatic nor quiet person around, he complemented my mother’s calm, logical Spock-like reserve.  

I have to hand it to my parents though – that in all the years I know them – I never saw them have fights – no screaming drama, no loud vulgar expletives; no vindictive arguing, no throwing things – none of that; none at all. The occasional short argument for sure, which was usually over things related to infrastructure – such as a broken plumbing fixture, a fridge door accidentally left open too long – and that sort of thing – but never, never the bitter, screaming, shouting matches that I have sadly heard some of my friends say they witnessed among their own parents.

My father certainly loved my mother a lot – although he was self-centred and not a great planner. My mother loved him in her own deep and quiet ways. They had very different personalities, he a scientist/musician who went to work in management later, with a past in athletics and the arts and a straightforward candor; she a composed, complex woman who loved books and solitude, and had studied philosophy & mathematics only because due to the sexist Victorian attitude of her own father she’d been deeply disappointed for life that she was not allowed to enter Medical school despite acing in her school board exams…..

But somehow they made it work – first out of love and the rush of romance in their early years, next for their two children and raising a family; and finally out of the bond and habit that form in couples who have spent several decades together, and no longer can think of other options, but have become more like best friends. She still remains one of the calmest women I have known – stoic, pragmatic and perhaps too emotionally reserved and withholding, an incisive nag at times but very rare and far out in between. Drama and hysteria are as alien to her nature as the color blue to the planet Mars.  Sometimes I wish she would not be so detached and reserved, with a nigh-smugness at her own ability to be so.

My father – on the other hand – was warm, animated, gregarious, accident-prone, dramatic – a bit of a braggart – but a heart that was almost naive in a somewhat childish way of guileless goodness, and a simple, uncomplicated way of thinking. With a Frank Costanza-ish style of overtly hyperbolic gestures, there was never a dull moment around him. My mother’s smugness at her own calmness was matched only by my father’s joy for his own flair of unintended comedy and drama.

I realize now that I was raised by a math-whiz mother who was like a female Mr. Spock – a Ms. Spock, and a father who was a lot like Captain Haddock (from Tintin) minus the swearing and drinking mixed with a generous dose of Seinfeld’s Frank Costanza (minus the “bro” or the “stopping short” antics). He was a teetotaler, as alcoholic drinks gave him non-stop hiccups – much like me – except I can manage a good glass of wine, and an occasional cocktail, but anything else, including aerated drinks sets off those damned and comical hiccups.

My father playing his Stradivarius. My first memories of him, perhaps even from the womb, are of him playing his violin. The Dad with the Strad. When I visited my parents in 2009 I made them tell me their entire story of love, courtship, elopement, marriage, trials, tribulations, togetherness. And it was beautiful how happy and excited they got as they narrated their tale full of plot twists and turns. He had wooed my mother by fiddling music for her when he first met her some fifty years ago. It was love at first sight, he said.

My father playing his Stradivarius. My first memories of him, perhaps even from the womb, are of him playing his violin. The Dad with the Strad. When I visited my parents in 2009 I made them tell me their entire story of love, courtship, elopement, marriage, trials, tribulations, togetherness. And it was beautiful how happy and excited they got as they narrated their tale full of plot twists and turns. He had wooed my mother by fiddling music for her when he first met her some fifty years ago. It was love at first sight, he said.

On the night of his death, I was attending a concert by Anoushka Shankar in New York City – whose father’s music had been introduced to me at a young age by my own father.

On the first anniversary of his death – I am enclosing this mesmerizing concert – the one she played at Lyon, France. It was her exploration of the Indian gypsy roots of Spanish Flamenco music. Unquestioningly one of the most elegant, exotic and beautiful series of compositions I have ever listened to.

Lyon – a city not far from the one from where I am writing this…..

Strangely, just as my dad passed away a couple of days around Ravi Shankar’s birthday, the latter passed away that same year in December a couple of days before what would have been my father’s birthday. I had met both of them a few years back in Montreal, and coincidentally share the same birthday as Anoushka – June 9th. 

To a rainy evening in Paris, the timeless winding streets of Montmartre,  to flickering lights against a wet dark Spring sky, to love and loss, to friends and family, to life and travel; to new beginnings and forever-goodbyes……..

To closure and to letting go.

To memories – which can never be forgotten. And to the seeds from whence we come from – before we disperse like nomads into the sands of time or scatter like dandelion clocks unto the winds of change……….

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Related post:

“In memory of my Dad’s birthday”

And still my sitar gently weeps.”

and “The Four Mothers”

Le Marche Futile de Marley

“Le Marche Futile” was immortalized in Monty Python’s sketch “Ministry of Silly Walks” which I had featured in a post from a while back. The past month has been difficult, for various reasons – so naming it “March Futile” would be more appropriate. The bumps have pertained to several facets –  but truly, undisputedly  the saddest fact has been that of accepting the painful challenge that this little 13-year old dog, who has given immeasurable oodles of unconditional love and devotion, has faced – and accepting the reality of the inevitability of all life. Here’s to her spirit, to her chutzpah, her playfulness and those big brown puppy eyes – endless pools of her pure, unadulterated, unconditional love.

Marley. Shih-tzu

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Marley - shih-tzu

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” – Anatole France (member of the French Academy, Nobel Prize laureate for Literature in 1921, 1884 – 1924)

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And it goes without saying, and I will never tire of saying this, please, please don’t wear fur, educate others to not wear fur, recognize the barbarity of the fur industry, its glamorization by pathological heartless narcissists, and know that animals – including dogs and cats – are brutally skinned alive (after their bones are broken while they’re still alive). There is an Olivia Munn anti-fur video doing the rounds this month (too brutal to post, but google it if you’re curious) which shines light again on the revoltingly horrific brutality of the fur industry, including its treatment to dogs and cats. Gushing over photos of one’s pets, while wearing, coveting, buying fur is nothing more than sheer hypocrisy. People who feel no empathy after knowing the torture that these animals go through, are neurologically speaking – sociopaths – for their remorse/empathy-connection is missing in the brain. Unless you’re an Eskimo or an Inuit living off the land, there is NO excuse to wear fur in this day and age when there are SO many, many cruelty-free products. Don’t even go for ‘faux-fur’ as it has been found that many brand-name and non-brand-name ‘faux fur’ is in fact dog fur. Can you imagine skinning Marley alive so you could show off to your friends how “trendy” you are? Fur is not sexy, it’s psychopathy.

“We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.”  ~William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of human crudity and barbarity.  Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”  ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”  ~ Ellen DeGeneres

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Here’s to Marley, who’s lived a happy, loved life, and is on her marche futile. Here’s also to Footoo, Pookey, Nepu, Biloo, Moitié and Mojo – those who brought love and laughter, some who are no longer on this earth, and a couple who are. And to all the pets I’ve loved now and before, who travelled in and out of my door…..(click here– this version of the song always cracks me up)

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Marley when she was 5 years old

Marley when she was 5 years old. All photos of Marley by David.

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There is always Hope…..

New York, December 25, 2012. I had first placed this little French film in my post Red December – Post 3, Love and the Red Balloon. But in light of this strange Christmas season, where the end of the year saw the unimaginably tragic deaths of several young innocents in the Connecticut school shootings, and the nation stands poised for a fiscal cliff, and despite the festivities of the holidays, a strange uncertainty and poignancy and sadness hangs like a shroud upon our future, I thought I would place this…..It captures the purity, the beauty, the joys and cruelty of childhood all at once. When I was a little girl, this was the first film I saw (on TV) which made a lasting impression and still does. Albert Lamorisse’s 34 minute gem….

“The Red Balloon” – In memory of the young innocents here and elsewhere…..In memory of love, and childhood’s simple pleasures and indescribable pains, and in hope towards healing, and finding it in our hearts to be uplifted again, when the time comes on its own…….

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For the innocents in childhood’s kingdom. Banksy’s graffiti – “There is always hope.”

banksy-there-is-always-hope

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Pascal and the Red Balloon

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And, I hope, there is kindness for the innocents in the animal kingdom too

all-I-want-for-Christmas-is-my-life

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Musings on an August morning…


“Transformation” (acrylic on cardboard. click to enlarge)

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august      morning

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Last night, I saw your smile.
That incipient curve
Crooked at first
Before it  burst
Full force
like a radiant ray of sunshine
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And you spoke of random acts
Of travel
life, love, learning
Of wandering
And wondering….
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Over a glass of velvet wine
While Jarrett jammed Jazz
In Pandora’s box
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Do you know what you mean to me?
The joy you bring through Our 
Aberrant moments together?
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Carousing through this city
Those carefree conversations?
And tumbling-spontaneous-endless-unexpected sensations?
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And I am once again that girl
Who whirl’d on a quiet cloudy beach one afternoon
without a care in the worl’
Drunk in the joy
Of unchained abandon
Letting the waves of the surf-speckled ocean
Kiss her skin on the salted sand….
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And I feel those kisses again
In the touch of your hand….
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That hand that makes your music
That breathes life into this thirsty August air
With notes that pull my heartstrings
And ripple through your careless hair
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And the innocence of a connection
That has no name, no heed.
Yet binded by our laughter
And similarities that exceed
Beyond our wildest expectations
A surprise each time we meet
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Ah! The beauty of the written word,
Of letters, and of longing
You’re far again, yet in my thoughts
Every single morning………
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