Extracts from the Author’s Work

From My Latest Novel

The Owl in the Fig Tree

The olive trees were waking, their leaves stained with the first touch of sunlight. We drove through tiny villages, cocks crowing, dogs barking, the air gradually becoming alive with birdsong. Old men sat at round tables outside cafés, their eyes still heavy from sleep, drinking coffee out of small white cups. Women in black aprons and headscarves stood on their balconies, shaking mats and hanging cheese in thick white muslin cloths. Piles of wood were stacked neatly outside their stone houses, and the smell of orange and lemon was thick in the languid air.

We turned off the main road and headed towards the distant snow-covered peaks, past crumbling stone houses, anarchist music blaring through the radio. An old graveyard curved round the craggy rocks, vultures hovering above the headstones, tarnished where they’d been exposed to the chill air. A church bell rang.

The repetitive, hollow sound reverberated across the mountain. Mourners stood by the gaping hole, dressed all in black. The priest’s white and gold robe swayed in the wind as he waved incense over the grave, the sound of the liturgy rising above the white stone crosses.




You accompany me
across these twilight hours
when everything has become quiet
and the fingers of darkness
trace themselves around
the olive trees and shadows.

The way you walked
ahead of me so proudly
yet still waiting for me
or how you took my hand
and led me half – blind
through the darkness.

I cry for you
at random moments
the sudden scent of wild thyme,
how you lay in my arms
like a child and showed me
your sorrow.

Churchbells ring,
prayers for the dead
they wear black
the gaping hole
in the windswept churchyard
on the cliff by the sea.

‘Imaste eina,’ you said ‘we are one.’
as we watched two owls
on the branches of the fig tree
then you took me
to the ancient grotto
where your grandmother carried
water up the mountain on her shoulders.

You watched me as
I cupped clear iced water,
poured it on my face,
over my breasts.

The Sea

Rain falling endlessly
onto deserted , narrow cobbled streets;
I lie in your arms.

The sound of birdsong,
the sea.

You walk out of the door,
leaving me alone
in this tiny, whitewashed stone house

looking out of the window
through grey cloud
onto the sea.

The sea,
the relentless sea.

Mother India

I gave you my heart
And you trashed it
As I watched amber light
Stain the olive trees gold
You killed small birds
And threw them in the sink
For me to pluck.

You wouldn’t take me
To your grandma’s funeral
I went along later
In a black jacket
I borrowed from a neighbour.

Your cousin’s fiancé
Smiled smugly
As she’s been there all day.

Easter, we sat in silence
Whilst families gathered at long tables
You wouldn’t take me to yours.

Sometimes you’d mock me
In front of the workers
As I climbed white stone steps
With iced water
In the heat.

In mother India
I cry tears
That rock my body
Falling endlessly on hotel sheets
Whilst bats flap outside
And families
Sleep on the streets

I managed to walk away from you
But – I forgot
To take my heart


Today, I was woken
by the sound of
outside my window.

Penelope stood in my doorway
in her best black robes
offering me holy bread
in silver foil.

The village is silent.
I want to rest in it’s shadows,
drink sweet pure water
from the Taygetos mountains.

Feel the fragrant
breeze on my face,
Let this febrile energy
inside of me settle at last.


Winter comes unexpectedly,
a chill mistral hissing over mountains.
No slowly changing colours
or gently falling leaves.

Insipid sun,
lowers it’s lashes,
slips through cloud – streaked sky
into milky ocean.

Villagers prepare their nets
to pick olives sagging on trees
piles of wood stacked
outside closed doors.

Rain drums down on the bamboo roof,
the stove is lit, you are curled up beside me.

A single star rises
above a crescent moon.