….was born, and lived a while in London; but soon took off, thumbing his way to many lands; and now that planes are cheap, he always bags a window seat, hoping for cloudless skies to show the ground below, where still, his itchy feet have dreams to spread their toes..
In 1967, he took off to round the World, but got waylaid, in Punjab, sitting backwards on a horse-cart, faced by setting sun which spread across the skies, between the trees; accompanied by clopping hooves and birds with wild cries.
He found that India had grabbed his hand and when he dared to think to leave, she wouldn’t let him go.
He tried twice more to round the globe, but every time she mugged him on the road, and stole his watch, and spun him round, and dragged him to a holy place, deep in the South, where, by some grace, he found the place to plant some trees and build the house where he would stay, for many years. And even now it still remains his winter refuge, from the cold and damp of Northern climes.
But other seasons brought a heat that roasted him too much, and at those times, he fled to the Himalayas’ lofty feet. Then on he went to places, cool and distant, like Alaska, which amazed him for two summers. And then, he opted to try his luck in Europe again.
He set off exploring the back roads of France in a motor-home, which carried him one day to an odd-shaped house, with stunning views, on terraces beneath the kind of tower, where Rapunzel dwells, on the edge of a rough-hewn granite village, deep in the forested, Corrèze hills.
And there he now resides most of the year, enjoying his time with new-found friends, helping to inspire and organise the writers’ group, where many of these poems first saw life.
Between these times, in other lands, he worked in schools, in Britain and in Denmark, trying to teach the words and
tools that make it possible to speak the feelings and the thoughts which make each being unique.
Of course he learnt as much from those he taught as they found out from him. And still their unchanged souls will bring him smiles on frequent visits to his memories and dreams.
But other moments may deliver nightmares where he panics in his mind, pursued by time, unable to recall his teaching plans and gather up his stuff, ‘til suddenly he wakes up, half-way to a class, completely in the buff.
He’s much relieved that he escaped in time; as governments turned classrooms into prisons, where each move must be pre-planned and given marks, for fear that raging fires might spring from any stray creative sparks.
It’s now a long time since he left, with few regrets and now he lives a different life in each one of his homes.
In France he’s glad to shower with hot water, park himself in comfy chairs and eat and drink too much.
But India remains the place which feeds his soul, and heals his body from the excess of the West, with simpler food, and ancient cures, which send him back more youthful than he came.
And while he’s there you’ll find him still, inside or near, the round and simple house, he built, beside the holy mountain, in that climate where his windows never close and sleeping can take place, near to the breathing trees and stars, which peer through the mosquito net to light his face.