Showing posts from February, 2013


I recently stayed overnight to babysit my favourite 3 year-old. She is enchanting, communicative and funny. We get on extremely well. Her father is only home at weekends because he is currently working abroad. In the morning I was talking to him at some length when she suddenly got really angry with him. She flipped him several times with her blanket and pulled at his sleeve. He asked her to stop but she wouldn't so he got cross with her. She started to cry and flounced out of the room. Jealous! Then she came back and announced that she was going to do a poo in the loo, which she did and then called out for him to wipe her. Certainly got all of his attention there (issues of power and control). After that she sat on Mummy's lap, snuggled up and asked for a bottle (regressive behaviour, back to being a baby).
Time for me to leave this little triangle. She was pleased to see me go, but handled my departure very efficiently and politely, with much real affection.
And they say Fr…


Arrived at night by taxi to the edge of the Medina. Guided through dark narrow alleys by various men in black leather jackets through narrow alleys teeming with motorbikes, scooters and bicycles. Checked in to our little riad and were then taken to a beautiful tented restaurant to eat delicious couscous.
Woke to sun and blue sky. Picked upthe hire car and drove 200 miles up and over the High Atlas mountains, past cactus and palm trees, olive trees and blossom, cypress and pines over the pass at 2260 metres down to a varied landscape announcing the desert.

Found our beautiful peaceful 18th century kasbah hotel set among the palms and olive trees, sat out on the cushioned terrace facing the sun and the birds sitting on the crenallated flat roof opposite.
Big shiny stars and a new moon at night. What did the early astronomers and travellers make of them?
Delicious dinner by a log fire. Breakfast of pancakes and honey on the terrace.
We drove out to view the scenery, whi…

JOYCE MANSOUR in fear of madness

Weep my soul for the earth is bare
Weep sky without grief
So that my bread can flower again
Weep merciless God
My dog no longer laughs
My sex is drying out
And the golden leaves of madness
Are falling.

JOYCE MANSOUR translated by Carol Martin-Sperry

Pleure mon ame car la terre est nue
Pleure ciel sans malheur
Pour que mon pain refleurisse
Pleure Dieu sans pitie
Mon chien ne rit plus
Mon sexe se desseche
Et les feulles dorees du delire

JOYCE MANSOUR poem about the rain

It's raining in the blue shell that is my city
It's raining and the sea keens
The dead cry ceaselessly, insanely, noses running
The trees sketch their profiles across the travelling sky
Revealing their thick limbs to the angels and the birds
For it's raining and the wind has died.
The crazy raindrops feathered with filth
Chase away the cats in the streets
And the greasy smell of your name spreads across the cement
Of the pavements.

JOYCE MANSOUR translated by Carol Martin-Sperry

Il pleut dans le coquillage bleu qu'est ma ville
Il pleut et le ciel se lamente
Les morts pleurent sans cease, sans raison, sans mouchoirs
Les arbres se profilent contre le ciel voyageur
Exhibant leurs membres drus aux anges et aux oiseaux
Car il pleut et le vent s'est tu.
Les gouttes folles plumees de crasse
Chassent les chats dans les rues
Et l'odeur grasse de ton nom se repand sur le ciment
Des trottoirs.


Every night when I am alone
I tell you of my tenderness
And I strangle a flower.
The fire slowly dies down
Diminished by sadness
And butterflies reside
In the mirror where my shadow sleeps.
Every night when I am alone
I read the future in the eyes of the dying
My breath mingles with the blood of owls
And my heart races at a crescendo
With the insane.

Tous les soirs quand je suis seule
Je te raconte ma tendresse
Et j'etrangle une fleur.
Le feu lentement
Contracte de tristesse
Et dans le moroir ou dort mon ombre
Des papillons demeurent
Tous les soirs quand je suis seule
Je lis l'avenir dans les yeux des moribonds
Je mele mon haleine au sang des hiboux
Et mon coeur court crescendo
Avec les fous.

Joyce Mansour translated by Carol Martin-Sperry


May my breasts provoke you
I want your rage.
I want to see your eyes thicken
Your cheeks whiten as they go hollow.
I want your shudders.
May you burst between my thighs.
May my desires be fulfilled on the fertile soil
Of your shameless body.

Que mes seins te provoquent
Je veux ta rage.
Je veux voir tes yeux epaissir
Tes joues blanchir en se creusant.
Je veux tes frissons.
Que tu eclates entre mes cuisses
Que mes desirs soient exauces sur le sol fertile
De ton corps sans pudeur.

Joyce Mansour translated by Carol Martin-Sperry


If marriage is an institution and " institution" is described as "established law, custom, usage, practice, organisation or other element in the political or social life of a people", surely gay marriage comes under "other element".