“I shall not hate” Izzeldin-Abuelaish.

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“This amazing book tells the life story of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian who has lived through half a century of horror and destruction in Gaza. Abuelaish, like so many Palestinians, has endured loss, privation and suffering on a scale that is unimaginable. His response is not hatred and violence, which would be all too understandable. Instead he has produced a great work of insight and compassion that tries to point the way towards peace and reconciliation.

He grew up in the shadow of al-Nakba (“the Catastrophe”), the division of Palestine after the creation of the Israeli state in 1948. He came from an established land-owning family based in the south of the country. Overnight they were dispossessed, and his childhood was spent in the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza.

His family, which had been prosperous, were now in deep poverty. There were 11 of them and he records how they “lived in one room which measured about 10 feet by 10 feet. There was no electricity, no running water; there were no toilets in the house.”

When he was 10, they found a new house to live in. Five years later it was bulldozed by one of Ariel Sharon’s tanks. His brother Noor fell into Israeli hands, went to prison, and later vanished. The book suggests his mother, a stoical woman to whom he acknowledges a huge debt, never fully recovered.

Education, and some inspirational teachers, were his redemption. Eventually he won a scholarship to study medicine in Cairo, and then gynaecology at the University of London.”

Read more by clicking the link.A  truly astonishing goodness.Photo0316.jpgWho is the Light of the world now?

Sorry,I am unable to answer the phone.

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    My voice is on strike.
    My husband has to keep his eye on the clock today.
    My sister’s glued to the television.
    While my brothers have been at loggerheads for a very long time.

    My daughter has to keep a weather eye on her fiancee,
    And my granddaughter has been entranced by “The Magic Flute.”
    The cat is having kittens.
    The dog is chasing his tail.
    I’ve got my finger on the button
    And my hand in the till.

    My feet have gone to sleep.
    My head is coming unscrewed,
    And my mind is on higher things.
    Where my brain is is under investigation
    And I hope to be reunited with it soon
    But they can’t be absolutely certain it will reconnect.

    My spirits have been in the doldrums
    But I have some whiskey in the cupboard.
    My career spanned the heights and the depths,
    Though not of love
    as God would recognize it,
    In a very real sense.
    You must rest assured I care about you
    Though I do not feel able to converse, owing to invasion by viruses.
    Now there’s just a few minutes before I go for broke again
    Please leave a message after the pips squeek

Stan and Mary……..the Anniversary

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    Stan was wearing his best suit,topped by a denim apron, and wad polishing the big windows with a microfibre cloth ,as
    he waited breathlessly for his stunning wife.Mary entered the room wearing a long purple and mauve dress which clung somewhat tightly to the curvaceous contours of her beautifully rounded body.
    On her feet she had some smart pewter ballet slippers and in her elegant hand she carried a huge pewter clutch bag which contained some of her many medications.She addressed Stan,
    “I think I can leave my handbag behind if I put my mouth spray into my bra.”
    “That somehow detracts from the romance of the evening.” Stan pronounced openly.
    “Well,you know,I never had a cleavage until lately and I fell I ought to make the most of it.”
    “Surely I should be the one make the most of it,” he riposted jocosely.
    “Of course you may,my angel,but not in the restaurant,”she answered back sweetly
    “I’ll put your spray in my pocket then,shall I?”Suddenly the doorbell rang.”Who’s this?”It was Annie,their next door neighbour.
    She was wearing a coral velvet track suit with matching Reeboks and sun hat.
    “Hi,I just came in with a little prezzie,”She declaimed.In
    her hand was a huge box of chocolates.
    “Gosh,Mary you look lovely in that beautiful long dress but you’re not
    going on your bike,are you?”
    “No,we are having a cab,but it’s not come as yet.”
    “Well,never mind.I’ll ring 999 and get them to send an emergency ambulance for you!”
    Fortunately,as luck would have it the minicab appeared and it was only as they were entering the restaurant that Stan realised he was still wearing his old denim apron.
    “Shall I take it off?” he pondered.
    On the pro side I will look smarter on the con side I might spill some soup down my front.I wish I’d done more logic at college.
    So he kept it on.Mary didn’t seem to notice.She just took him for granted.If he stood on his head and sang”Jerusalem” she probably wouldn’t pay any attention.
    Then he noticed that Mary was wearing an apron too.It was the same colour as her dress.What a brilliant idea,he thought.
    “There may be money in this.” He could start a small business,
    “Aprons R You” selling lovely aprons in all colours of the rainbow.
    Suddenly he heard noises;he awoke and heard Mary shouting
    “How can you go to sleep when you are out with me?”
    “Would you prefer me to recite the Periodic Table?” he snapped gently.
    “I’d prefer a poem,” she cried…All right,Petal,I’ll think of one soon.In the meantime would you like a fool?”
    “No.I’ve got you,” she responded handsomely.
    “I mean for a pudding?”
    “Oh,yes please.A Rubik fool would be lovely.It will pass the time.You know I get so bored.”
    “Well,I do my best but it’s hard keeping up with you.would you like to read a few truth tables whilst I finish?
    my meat.”
    He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a small leather bound book.
    “Truth tables and levitation for geniuses,” by Bertha Russell.
    “Oh,Stan,this looks interesting.I’ve always wanted to fly like an angel or an owl.”
    “It’s never too late to say never.” he responded.
    “Whatever do you mean?”
    “I don’t know.Just because a sentence is grammatically correct doesn’t imply that it means something.”
    “Yes,quite right.And conversely a sentence can mean something even when it’s not grammatically correct.”

    “Isn’t thinking exciting!”
    “Yes,indeed.I was thinking how exciting it will be to go to bed with you.”
    “Wow,good grammar and full of meaning.I am yours.I am like a ripe plum ready to drop off the tree.I am a cat ready to mate.I am a song waiting to be sung.”
    “Gosh,are metaphors your bete noir?”
    “Je ne parle pas Francais.”
    “Aimez vous ein Nederlander?”
    “Sprechen sie Deutsche?”
    Ist sein mutter immer krank?”

Writing like an Asian




Feature: Five Qs with Ploi Pirapokin

Ploi Pirapokin was born in Thailand and raised in Hong Kong. Her work is forthcoming and featured in Apogee Journal, Tor.com, the Bellingham Review, Fiction International, the Griffith Review and more. She has received fellowships from the Radgale Foundation, the Anderson Center, the Brush Creek Foundation, Willapa Bay AIR, Kundiman and others. She holds an MFA in Fiction from San Francisco State University and has taught there in the creative writing department and at the Emerging Writers Institute at Brown University.

(Q1) In your nonfiction piece, “An Equation To Tell Your Mother Your Boyfriend Is Black,” the list begins and ends somewhat elliptically. Did the equation for telling result in the correct solution? What was the mother’s response? Or will this response come in a different story?
Initially, this excerpt began as a way for me to respond to my mother and to seek answers to her racism. I blamed the media for portraying stereotypes on black men as influencing her way of thinking and criticized her experiences for raising me the way she did, only to discover that I hadn’t excavated all that I could about the subject. I return to the page to figure out why her opinion matters so much to me, and it’s painful to admit that I’ve always felt like I’ve had to earn my mother’s love. Yet this playful method has led me to explore the constraints that have been placed on me as an Asian woman from Asia in America as well as a daughter who is choosing to immigrate to a country where the culture is completely different to the one she was raised in.


Read more by clicking the link above or this one below

The powerful plants can do just what they want.

The tulips pushed the primroses away
They snatched the pot from these innocuous plants
Nature’s  never kind in such display
The powerful plants can do just what they want.

However, I admire their flowers of red
The shape is elegant, the colour clear.
And had they been in a much bigger bed
Both flowers would give us pleasure without fear.

Magnolias pink my eyes still do adore
Two of them I see from off the bus.
A visual parable, a story for
The short sweet life of all, including us.

We deceive ourselves in order to survive.
But shallowness makes trivia of our lives