In the shadow of war, we look to 2023…

Morning fog at Ballinamore
Morning fog at Ballinamore

… looking back on those we lost

Not long ago I heard of the death of the Serbian / American writer Paul Polansky. Author of the groundbreaking book “Black Silence”, I visited him once in Nis but never got to go back.

As with a lot of deaths, over a year passed before I learned of his passing. I have yet to do a blog on him…

Meeting Paul Polansky in Nis
Meeting Paul Polansky in Nis

He was a great advocate for the Romany peoples of Kosovo, who were and are forgotten by the world.

Talking of activists, the founder of 100000 Poets for Change Michael Rothenburg also passed on to his eternal reward.

He put me on to El Habib Leuia in Morocco with whom I had an enjoyable stay and hope to be able to return the hospitality is this house of mine ever gets finished!

But two of the writers we lost since 2020, and I learned of others who had passed a while before of whom I did not know of their passing.

In the shadow of Ukraine

With Crimea, it was a long time brewing, yet if just a short year ago we said we would be host to in excess of 70000 or so Ukrainian refugees from the most horrific war that Europe has seen in 50 years or more, we would have doubted you.

I see Mariupul, I seee Granard. What Ukraine suffered was the immediate and terrible war UK threatned a hundred years back, and as we see it has a terrible cost but is a fight worth gihting.

I hope in the years to come we see better times and the connections built between our lands will last for centuries to come.

Looking back on Lockdown

The COVID lockdowns were an ideal opportunity to network online with fellow writers and engage with online events, and while there was a mass and myriad of same, yet somehow I just wasnt up for it.

Its good to see those dark days passed, and we have to find a better way of dealing with them should they ever return again.

If it was up to the ZeroCovid fanatics, we would still be under lockdown. Thanks to Boris Johnson – who was nearly twenty for out with it – we came out of lockdowns as he faced down the fanatics, and that may be his lasting positive legacy.

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