Wednesday, 1 December 2010

never enough

I hope you know how much i love you

Everyday and every night

you live in my thoughts

And each day that passes

We write a chapter in each others hearts

And when I read the pages

in your eyes I hope to see

a section titled Our life:

Stories of you and me.

Winter draws its curtains

Leaving us a chance to steal into the night

Together we will explore the starry sky

And race into the future

without a concern in sight

Friday, 29 October 2010

My portfolio (juifei) for last month's Work Place assingment was referred to again by the Guardian newspaper.

"There were many fine photographs posted. Some of the stand-outs were contributed by 7tenths, Jufei and Maxine Moss."

Thursday, 28 October 2010

twenty first century life

Life moves at break neck speeds

We are left dizzy and whirling

As we grapple to stay on our feet

Whizzing past baby…boy…man.

In the grave

Before I even had time to stand.

To stop, to ponder to stare.

My life is not a stage

And I do not have any more time to spare.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Bedtime stories part 3

The Sheffield street lights streaked into the windscreen. Soft yellow lights revealing glimpses of factories that once bellowed smoke and fire. The steel industry has long gone but the scars still remain.

Gillian continued to look out the passenger window, “you know she could stay in the spare room. It must be lonely for her living in that large family home.”

“I don’t think that’ll be wise. She’d take charge and our lives as we know it will cease to exist.” Why can’t the Northern General be in the middle of the city?

“Don’t be silly. Your mum’s wellbeing is important to me and I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of a woman in her state living on her own.”

Too tired to disagree, Raheem listened. Gillian’s desire to have his mum stay with them made sense. It’s what family do for each other. His teeth began to grate.

Shortly after arriving home, he received a text form Barry: You missed the game of a lifetime – Liverpool on penalties. Upset, Raheem wandered if anything good would come from the change? The next day, he made space in the pantry for the spices, got rid of the beers in the fridge, bought a 5kg bag of rice and stocked up on ghee. He felt this gesture would make his mum feel at ease even though he had long grown out of his Hindu culture.

Summer faded away but the heated relationship he shared with his Mum did not. He felt suffocated and isolated from his world. His Mum always had something to say. He couldn’t watch a film without hearing about chest pains every ten minutes. He couldn’t watch a football match without being reminded how his talents were wasted. You could be saving lives instead of selling medical equipment!

“Yes Mrs Khan, I’ll make sure Raheem doesn’t drink tonight and we’ll be home by midnight.”

He couldn’t even have Barry over without feeling like he was a teenager again. Raheem’s sanctum was lost.

His mum started sharing with Gillian the secrets for a good curry. “Don’t overpower the dish with too many spices, it’s all about balance between the spice and the oil.”

Gillian, in return, introduced the joys to Rambling and the Peaks, “just remember, good boots mean a good walk.”

They laughed over childhood stories of Raheem, like the time he refused to wear his Dhoti to school for Cultural Awareness day. She also reminded Gillian of the days he swapped his samosas and onion bhaji’s for a can of coke and a ham sandwich.

“He did that for a whole month you know – and I thought he liked my samosas and bhajis. Everything Raheem did, he did with the passion to blend in and hide away aspects of his roots. I just didn’t want him to forget where his mother came from.”

Friday, 23 July 2010


She makes me a better person,

By lifting me when I slip,

She makes me a better person,

By reminding me to do the dishes.

She makes me a better person,

Because she loves me; warts and all.

She makes me a better person,

Because her love is worth changing for.

Friday, 16 July 2010

bedtime stories part 2

“Raheem I’m so glad you made it. Mum collapsed whilst trying to get into the attic. I don’t even want to think about what might have been if her neighbour wasn’t over for tea.”

He was torn between looking at Gill or his mobile, “is it serious?”

“Sweety, everything is going to be fine.” She held him. “The doctor told me it’s only a broken ankle. I know your mum can be exhausting at times, but her fears are becoming real. It must be difficult to be living on your own at that age. She’s been asking for you.”

“Thanks Gill. Yeah, I’ll go and see how she’s holding up.” Raheem hurriedly walked towards his mum’s room, as he turned the corner he looked at the phone – no text.

He sat by his mum.

“I just wanted to see you one more time, Raheem. I might die tonight.”

She began to cough and sputter and with it, all her concerns of chest pains, back pains, headaches and diminishing strength came pouring out. His mum began to weep.

“Mum – you’re not going to die! You fell and broke an ankle, nothing more.”

Raheem began to wriggle in his chair, who won?

“Raheem, you should have been a doctor. I remember how much you loved watching General Hospital with me. I never thought you’d be selling medical equipment.”

“Mum, it was you who imagined me as a doctor and you wouldn’t let me watch anything else!”

“Instead of saving the community, you join them in drunken behaviour and football. And what about the family?”

“Mum, we’ve talked about this.”

Why hadn’t Barry texted him about the game? Did Crespo poach a last minute goal in the 90th minute? Zero communication from his childhood friend fed his anxieties – surely no news meant bad news?

The conversation ended with the nurse stepping into the room, visiting hours were coming to an end and he would have to leave. My God, that only took like – forever! He kissed his mother goodbye and promised to visit tomorrow though she knew it was nothing more than common courtesy.

“Mmm … well … do you know if there’s a TV around? I need to check something.”


Raheem rephrased the question.

“What about internet?”

Thursday, 8 July 2010

all shapes and sizes

I needed to get out and clear my head. Despite all the luxuries of modern life; I feel trapped and overwhelmed. Then comes Mother Nature to help me see the difference between reality and fiction.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

A little something to remember...

Sometimes it takes sensibility to turn the mundane into magic. We can't always leave things to chance...

Is there really no choice in love? by Anne Atkins (BBC4 thought of the day) sums up my thoughts very nicely.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

bedtime stories part 1

Placing the book on his bedside table, she watched her son sleep, his face cushioned on one side as he turned. She pressed her lips gently on his cheek and with it she passed on all her dreams to her son. Don’t forget to dream, Raheem.


Raheem looked like a forlorn lover pulling petals off a flower. His excitement dashed by AC Milan’s three goal lead in the first half of the 2005 European Champions Cup. As the second half wore on, his dream of watching Liverpool win the Cup quickly slipped away. Raheem’s heart searched for God.

Then, the unexpected happened. It was as if a higher being heard Raheem’s call and answered it. Stunned into deathly silence, the patrons of the Hare and Hound felt the immensity of the moment. Gerrard’s header in the 54th minute gave birth to a sense of belief, could Liverpool rise from a 3-0 deficit? Raheem’s pocket began to vibrate. He pressed cancel.

Smicar’s 25 meter shot on goal in the 56th minute was the kiss of life the fans had been praying for. Cheers, sweat and spit filled the air. Raheem’s pocket vibrated again. He pressed cancel.

Again, within minutes Liverpool were driving forward. Vibrating pocket. Cancel. Gerrard in the box. Vibration. Foul! A penalty awarded to Liverpool, surely they can equalize? Alonso stared into goal, the pocket continued to vibrate. Cancelling would only lead to more vibrations.

"Barry, I gotta take this call. It’s Gillian."

"You serious? Right now? Here? Mate, you better take the call outside otherwise hang up and take it later ’cause you won’t hear over the crowd in the next few seconds."

Bumping and squeezing through the spaces like a contortionist, Raheem finally made his way through the wall of mesmerized fans to the exit.

"Sweety, your mum’s hurt herself."

"Hurt herself? Gill, Mum’s a hypochondriac. In her mind, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Can we discuss it later?"

"No Raheem, we can’t! I’ve just received a call from the hospital. She’s coll..."

The roar yanked Raheem’s face back to the screen, he had missed the resurrection!

"What was that you said?"

"I said your mum collapsed this evening! I’m on my way to the Northern General and I think you should be there too."

As the weight of the news sank from his mind down to his toes, he realized he had reached a junction point in his life, be a vilified son and witness Liverpool’s fight to win its fifth European Cup or be saintly and visit his mum who might not be that sick at all.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

tiny package

She is a tiny package
Sweet, tender and cuddly
which you can hold
and snuggle
and kiss
and cradle
and watch as it grows
like a flower which blossoms
unfolding in front of my very eyes
all things great are shadowed
by this tiny package of life.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

She is my daily bread

I no longer know solitude’s hunger,

Nor sadness’ drunken days,

My stains of scorn and bitterness,

Washed away by her gentle embrace,

My closet of skeletons

brought out to hang and dry.

They are now dust and ash

and forgiven

Spring has finally arrived.

Winter’s landscape,

swept away by the tide

Of unconditional love,

My love, My love, My love,

my love has finally arrived.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

after 11pm on a friday night.

It saddens me to see children drink their youth away.

Last night, in the surbaban courtyard outside my window – one teenage boy, two girls with big hoop earrings and the third in pyjamas stood in centre stage cussing, fighting whilst making an amateur film and laughing.

I did the neighbourly thing and watched from the safety of my first story abode. The poor boy was irate. Most likely felt hard done by because one of the girls with the hoop earrings as his unfaithful partner. I’d feel hard done by too if my girlfriend looked like either of them. He was gesticulating and laying claims that she had committed all sorts of sexual deviancy.

She was trying to calm him down but repeating her mantra of “I didn’t do it” the second Hoop-Earring girl was documenting this dramatic saga for her awaiting audience on Facebook. The Third, pyjama girl, was given a free Jerry Springer show. I originally intended to go to bed but was hooked on this live East Ender scene.

Sadly, this would become a Shakespearean Tragedy as opposed to a Comedy.

A drunken woman staggered into the scene from stage left. I believe she had the intention to calm these children down. The boy turned and told her to “F off”. One can presume that with such an open dialogue, it must have been his mum. She slapped him. He pushed her. She staggered off stage left. Then staggered across the courtyard only to exit stage right.

To the right side of my house rests a retirement home. I wanted to see more so moved into the spare room to gain a better view. The mother was banging on the window of the retirement home screaming. Her screams were drowned by the screaming of the drunken youths, though out off sight because I changed rooms.

I wanted to call the police but didn’t know how to report the issue. Domestic disturbance? Public disturbance? Contravening noise levels after midnight? I don’t know. Life must have been hard for all of them if the bottle is the only path to happiness.

Sadly, I had to make a call to the ambulance. Within those short moments, the boy turned his fit of rage towards the girl in the pyjamas. He felt angry that pyjama girl for laughing at his broken heart. He chased her. She ran across the road and didn’t look right. A night bus hit her and the courtyard fell silent for a brief moment. Then the screams and the blame and the tears and the people came out of their apartments. The mother on stage right kept hitting the window of the closed retirement home.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

she calls

She calls me in the middle of the night

it’s over - she sighs

and the echoing ring tone travels down the line

I lower the head set and stare into the night

Even the stars struggle to shine

Overshadowed by the street light

Yellow and warm,

A false star.

My skin is dry and cracking,

Though not from the bitter cold that knocks outside

But instead

I am suffocating in my own man made environment

I have set the gauge to 28 degrees

It’s a cold night and I don’t want to feel alone.

Artificial warmth,

Artificial light -

Artificial love.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The White Garden

I stare through my bedroom window,

I see a white garden.

The leaves, the grass, the fence – all white.

My left index finger is wet. How did that happen? I look closely at the window and soft beads of water draw my attention to the corner.

Condensation. I learnt this word in science. The cause of the condensation is extreme moisture in the air. When warm air meets a cooler surfaces its transforms into a state of liquid. Not hot enough for air, but not cold enough for ice.

I’ve never seen a white garden before. In Melbourne, you see green gardens, brown gardens, damp muddy gardens even the odd charcoal black gardens that appear after the fires. But never white.

I want to open the window and touch the snow that rests on the window pane but I am not allowed. The cost of keeping warm has been repeatedly mentioned at the dinner table

“Can you believe how much gas and electricity costs nowadays! You can’t turn on the heater and leave the door open. You’re literally burning away money”.

My older brother blames it on greenhouse gases.

“the fact that we’re using fossil fuels to keep warm is the reason why there is freakish weather in the first place”.

My father gives my older brother a strange look. You know the one that says don’t get too smart for your own good look. My teacher uses it all the time when I take too long to answer her question

“Can anyone explain how evaporation works?”

I give her the text book answer that I memorized and there it is. My father’s look on my teacher’s faces.

I look at the white garden. I wonder how cold it is outside. I wonder if the homeless people have made ice shelters. I saw it on tv once. If you get caught in a snow storm in the Swiss Alps, you are meant to dig into the snow and hide inside.

Mum says the church looks after the homeless. Yet I have never seen any beds or wardrobes for the homeless in church. And all the church goers just ignore them every time they ask for help outside the church steps. Why don’t the church goers give them food and water?

We were told school would be closed and the news told all the adults to not drive unless essential. The news reported “expected chaos due to heavy snowfall” and “disruption”. My dad shouts at the news.

"Can you believe this country! a bit of snow and everything completely shuts down."

Its amazing, its only water, the same water on my window and yet it can make an entire city stop. It’s funny to think how something so delicate can change so much.

I like the white garden. I like having the family home. I like the day off school.


Monday, 11 January 2010

the treadmill

I want to get off the treadmill,

because my rubber soles don't bounce

But I can’t -

I’m to scared to jump, stop or even walk.

And the world underneath my automated feet keeps turning,

mile after virtual mile,

We’re all on the treadmill.

Racing towards a finish line

which really has no end.

You push, I push,

We scramble forwards for a prize,

That’s why we’re running,

On separate machines

Separate screens

Similar dreams.

I want to get off the treadmill

I want to be free to go where I like

But I can’t.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

snow fall

My sister's last day in the UK...

Thankful that England has worn her best dress for the occasion.