Thursday, 31 December 2015


3 dozen Quail eggs
2 cups of lentils (tinned)
a handful spring onions
1 tablespoon cummin seeds
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp curry
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp chillie
1 tsp coriander powder
3 large tomatoes
2 tablespoons oil

Boil the eggs three minutes and carefully shell them - reserve.

In a saucepan heat the oil and toss in the chopped garlic, the spring onions and the chopped tomatoes. Add the spices, and once the tomato is soft, pureé. Add water and stir, bringing the misture to a simmer, then add the lentils. You may want to thicken the sauce a little, so you can add three soup-spoons of cream. Add the eggs and simmer at low heat. Serve with coconut rice, and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

This is lovely with lots of garlic naam to scoop up the curry sauce!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

GLUTEN FREE Creamy Corn and Coconut Pudding

Ivan's GLUTEN FREE Creamy Corn and Coconut Pudding

1 tin sweet corn
1 1/2 cups milk
300 g dessicated coconut
1 tin condensed milk
3 eggs
3 heaped soupspoons cornflour
grated rind of one small lemon

Boil up the corn and half the coconut in the milk, then liquify it, add eggs, condensed milk and cornflour.

Pour into a deep buttered oven-dish and sprinkle remaining coconut over the top.
Bake at 180ºC until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Should be golden and puffy and yummy!


Monday, 28 December 2015

Starting over with a clean slate...


Let’s talk about doors.

People keep talking about closing doors, opening doors; but no one talks about the going through doors. The Romans considered crossing door-ways to be magical processes, hence the crossing with your right foot, carrying brides, sprinkling salt and things, bedecking door-jambs with herbs, etc. They even had a God for it. Guy called Janus.

The poor thing was bloody busy, let me tell you, and if being invoked every time someone traipsed in and out of a room wasn’t enough, they unloaded the New Year on the poor sucker.

Not that he got much from all this labour. Oh no! Guys like Jupiter, with his thunderbolts, or that money-bags bitch Fortuna, or Mars with his prancing soldier-boys got all the attention and the big temples. Not to mention Venus! Sex always sells, and believe me, Venus was a big seller. She had loads of temples and eager followers frolicking about.

So what about Janus, I ask you? Janus got a month. That’s right. Janus got January. NOT parades, silken girls jiggling in the nude, or nubile Virgins sworn to him; no returning conquerors burning incense on his altar in thanks for victories, no hordes of thankful accountants…

Janus got January and a few statues of a weirdo with two faces: one facing forward, one backward. Can you believe it? They had that poor Janus constantly looking down on his own bum.

Is this gratitude? This was the Divinity that was invoked hundreds of times a day by each Roman. How many times do you cross doors? Move from room to another? From one phase of your life to the next? They went around muttering the poor sod’s name in vain ALL DAY!

Ah, but once a year, Janus came into his own…
That one day and night, the great Doorway leading from one Solar Year to the next was crossed. Then Janus ruled absolutely. Even the other Gods bowed down to him. On that day, humble Janus was the inheritor of the mighty Titan Chronos. He held the vicious sickle of Time in his hands and  all must bow to him. Still, Janus was a humble God (spending eternity gazing down on your own rear-end teaches you humility, not to mention compassion) and wielded his absolute power with a gentle hand.

On Janus-day, New-Years Day they all got a golden chance for new beginnings and so can we. We can look back with kindness on our own short-comings (as poor Janus on his own derriere…) and forward; ever forward into a new and dazzling horizon: a clean slate. Janus takes that Sickle and cuts us some major slack.

“Go forth and start anew. Take from the past only that which makes you strong: only love, joy, good memories. Leave all else behind. See? Here I cut the ugly clinging tentacles of past mistakes and pain from your ankles and set you free! Dance in that New Year!”

Being pagan had its up side and Janus was a good guy. I’d take his advice if I were you I do. I also intend to render up a series of libations to poor neglected Janus, in Champagne, of course.
For religious purposes only, I’m a VERY religious woman.

All Hail Janus!

May this New Year bring many fruitful crossings, may Janus bless your steps on your new beginnings and teach you to cast a kinder eye on past mistakes.
Happy New Year!

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

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He sees her, through the stone-lace trellis, bathing her arms in the fountain and the water runs down, wetting her tunic; the thin muslin clings to her breasts.

He calls to his eunuch: “Bring me the woman with the white arms,” and the eunuch says... “But Master that one is not for you..."

Can a Sultan's lust be refused? Can his desire be denied? What can be the cost of purity and pride for an enslaved Harem bride?

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Sunday, 20 December 2015


One Friday last Christmas something happened.

I was coming home after a cold hard day – I take a train, usually with a friend, and we gossip the whole way, it makes the journey shorter. We trooped out of the gates chattering away, in the middle of the crowd of people in a rush to get home, and I noticed a girl.

She was in a dead space next to the ticket office, a stretch of grey concrete wall, pressed up into the corner.
She was very young, about sixteen or seventeen; medium brown hair, glasses, non-descriptive clothing.
She was also crying.
She was huddled agaist that wall sobbing.

I nearly walked past.
I’m not proud of that.
I nearly walked past her; and up that ramp leading out of the station, and into the street, smelling of roast chestnuts and caramel walnuts and lit up with thousands of Christmas decorations.
Hundreds walked past, and I nearly did too.
It would have been so easy, just let that human river sweep me past…

And then I imagined it was my daughter, my girl, alone in distress in a crowd.
We walked up to her, my friend and I, and I asked her if she needed help.
She kept shaking her head: no, no, no…
“Are you ill, should we call the Police?”
“Do you need to call anyone, here is a phone, use it, call home…”
The more we tried to help, the harder she cried.
My friend asked her if she had been robbed, or if anyone had frightened her.

Did I tell you she was very young?
She was: also not one of those hip teens.
She was well and neatly dressed, but not a fashion victim.
She was fresh faced and sweet looking, her hair tied up in a pony-tail, carrying a school bag.

Finally she said:
“I don’t have enough money.”
“For the train?” I asked, “how much are you short?”
“60 cents.”

You cannot imagine her agonized shame.
60 cents.
That was all.
I gave it to her.
She was shaking and crying and she swept past me and ran to the Ticket Machine.
She ran up the ramp to the platform, and she was gone.

In these times we are living in, how many people are there in distress, too ashamed to ask for help?
How many times do we walk on by?
How hard can it be to stop?
Yes, there are many taking advantage, sponging off the soft-hearted; but so many more are genuinely in need, and sometimes that need is ridiculously small…

The usual excuse is: “I’m not rich, what I can do won’t make a difference…”
Neither am I.
Quite the opposite, in fact.
But I can tell you something, my 60 cents made a difference.
A young girl got home safely.

If we could ALL reach out, just once, with as little or as much as we can spare, we can make a difference.
If all you can spare is a hug and a smile: go on, give them.
We CAN matter, we can change things.

Life does NOT turn on a dime - it turns on love.
We have that power, so please don’t walk on by, not today.

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Those of you with kids, or looking for a really cool XMAS gift for a child, look for 
a sweet and lovely story about an Easter Bunny on a mission to discover the true meaning of Christmas!

Friday, 11 December 2015


We pray to all you Gods
That love not pain;
Bird-Gods, and Storm-Gods,
Gods of Rice and Grain,
Gods that harvest tears,
And the fluttering hearts
Of small things:

Lift high the torches
In this, the Longest Night.
Lift high our hopes,
Let the Great Sun rejoin
That epic journ
Trundle and spark and roll
Across the star-drunk sky.

We pray to you, Gods
Let not our light go out.
Great Sol that loves us,
Bringer of our life,
Great Warrior,
Defeat the deadly Night;
We pray great Sol,
Be born again, be new,
Let there be Light.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 26 November 2015

waiting for 
the next blow
i duck  low; 
but not too low,
because I know
as low as I bow
the hammer
will fall
and i will


grateful ungrateful
is what i must be
i have everything
but nothing
has all of me

Manuela Cardiga



1 cup Sesame Paste
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup Sesame seeds
Grated rind of one orange

For the topping:
Sesame seeds


Preheat oven to 180º degrees and line a large baking tin with baking paper.

Combine the Sesame Paste, white sugar, sesame seeds, orange rind and the egg.
Mix until smooth. then just drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the top of each biscuit with honey and sprinkle with sesame seeds
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes.
Do not overbake,
These biscuits are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.
They will solidify as they cool.


1 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy!)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg


Preheat oven to 180º degrees and  line a  large baking tin with baking paper.

Combine the peanut butter, white sugar and egg. 
Mix until smooth. then just drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. 

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes. 
Do not overbake!
Yes, I know they will look as if they are underdone, but that is how they should be.

These cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.
They will solidify as they cool. 
If they get the chance...

These cookies and a big glass of milk are just what Santa ordered,


Wednesday, 25 November 2015



110 g of butter at room temperature
60 g of sugar
180 g flour
1 egg white

Butter to grease  the tray and the paper
Baking paper
Sugar to "toss" the biscuits

Preheat the oven to 180º C.
Grease the tray with the butter and line it with a sheet of baking paper,  also greased.
Mix the 110g of butter, the sugar the flour and the egg white together, all by hand, until it is homogeneous.
Divide the dough into walnut size portions and roll them into balls in your ands. Flatten them and lay them out on the tray.

Bake them in the oven for 12 minutes..
Take the biscuits out of the oven, and while still warm, toss them in granulated white sugar.

PS: As an alternative, add a drop of almond essence, and a generous handful of ground almonds to the dough.


Monday, 23 November 2015



For the Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk

For the Cinnamon Sauce 
1/2 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to about 180 º C/ 350ªF. 

Grease and lightly flour a 25 cm  cake tin (with the hole in the middle!). 

Sift together the flour, the baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and the salt.

In a large bowl beat 2/3 cup of butter, 1 1/3 cups white sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for at least 1 minute after each egg. 
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. 
Pour mix into prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into  the cake comes out clean. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes. 

While it cools, make the Cinnamon Sauce:
In a saucepan, place 1/2 cup white sugar, 6 tablespoons, the butter, water, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Heat and stir until butter melts, the sugar dissolves and startes to thicken. 
You might also like to add a dash of Port or Brandy to the sauce...

Turn the cake out of the tin while it is still warm and poke holes around the top of the cake with a fork. 
Pour the warm cinnamon sauce into the holes and onto the top and sides of the cake.

Serve warm, with coffee or tea!

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Showing kindness to those we care for is a selfish act,
it is no more than kindness to our better selves.


Friday, 20 November 2015

What rough beast, its hour come at last, slouches towards Washington to be sworn?

(With abject apologies to WiIlliam Butler Yeats)

Tell me, kind kindred,
If you can, or if you will
What rough Beast
Did we invite
To our Feast?

What shadow flight of delight,
What ritual of doubt
Did we drown
Before Heaven's Throne?

What fell apart?
Was it our hope,
Or just the courage
Of our sickly heart?

Did we dry our
Tears with a sweet,
Sweet needle
Or a vial of pills?

Tell me, kind kindred,
What have we loosed
Upon the world?

What lazy dreamer
Invented these
Vapid toys
For men of war
Or murdering boys:
Exploding drones
Nanotech soldiers
And vampire-clones?

Even now
A gauntlet hand
Reaches to summon
The sibilant
Scimitar of feathers.
Descending to spy
Screams in fright
And takes wild flight
Into the lowering sky..
So the Old Gods
And the New
Eschew our table:
Odin is gone,
Ceres unable,
And even that God
That taught Cain
To hate Abel
Turns away
In disdain.

Tell me, kind kindred,
I beg you explain
What rough Beast
Did we invite
To slouch
On our couch
Guzzling our pain,
Devouring our heart?

Oh light us a candle
Or maybe a star
Cause this year
We are further,
Much further
Than far.

That Rough Beast
Is closer, it's drawing near
Its ultimate intent
As yet unclear;

So do we fall into
Darkest night,
Or will you light us
A candle tonight?

Manuela Cardiga
The difference between justice and revenge is so defined: justice is dispensed in a civilised manner; vengeance brings you down to the same level of barbarism.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Theocracies breed atrocities like rats breed fleas.

Anywhere the Rule of Clergy is set over the Law of Man, the authorities believe they have a Mandate from Heaven that frees them from guilt; and an automatic clause of forgiveness from all and any sin.

This is true of all religions, with the possible exception of Buddhism. This maybe because Buddhism sees salvation, or enlightenment as something to be achieved by the individual through meditation and meritorious deeds, not attributed in trade for worship by a Divine Agency.

Maria Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 15 November 2015


Everyone is commenting on Paris' dark night, offering comfort and I have no words.

Everyone of us who has lived through violence knows the numbing sense of unreality and violation; the destruction of confidence in ourselves, and in the safety we took for granted as our right.

There are no words, and no comfort to offer.
This is why there are moments of silence, to echo that frightening void that opens inside us at the loss of light.

A few years ago, the Basque Nation sent ETTA a clear message. They marched in the streets in their hundreds of thousands in absolute silence carrying placards that read "BASTA JA!"

We need to see the Islamic communities of Europe on the streets, marching in silence with the words they cannot speak held high: ENOUGH!

We need that so we can continue to believe that those other words the French gifted the world - liberté, égalité, fraternité - really do apply to every man, woman and child, of all nations, races and creeds.
We beg you, cry out ENOUGH! or we shall.

How sad.
It seems I did have words after all.
But none of them of comfort.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 12 November 2015


I think the mythical oracles - and others depicted as afflicted with foresight - were blind not by accident or disease, but by their own hand in a desperate attempt to extinguish their visions.

From Conversations with Ivan Shapiro


IVAN: There is only one "us", one self

ME: That is not true at all. There are myriads spinning and blossoming, and the shine and the sparkles of others in the dark is what gives us hope

IVAN: So it appears, But its all the same "self"

ME: That would be sad, because then all the precious gift of love would be only selfish self-love after all.

IVAN: You right

ME: We are many. We long to be one only. That is what divides and unites. It is the tragedy and the comedy of life

IVAN: The whole thing is, we wanted to taste steak.

ME: Exactly! With pepper sauce.

IVAN: Yep! Even better.

ME: God wanted to be not-alone, you see.

IVAN: That's true, and so he made us lonely.

From Conversations with Ivan Shapiro

Monday, 9 November 2015

Today we start again, 
Free of past and stain:
Nothing, and no pain, 
Is foreordained.

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

And the difference between a "refugee" and an "illegal immigrant is...THE ENVELOPE PLEASE!

Everyday Southern European countries turns away boat-loads of starving, terrified people from war-torn North Africa, calling them "illegal immigrants". I'd like to know what is the difference between these people and the Syrians refugees?

Just asking.


Monday, 2 November 2015


There is a man sleeping in a bus stop near my daughter's school, 200 meters from my home.

You must understand that we live in a priviledged residential area, in what is considered the very best munincipality in the country, with the highest level of education, the best infrastructures and the highest income bracket.

I am not wealthy, alas, very far from it, and sometimes (often) struggle to make ends meet, I don't own a home here, I rent-share one. I know how close I walk to the edge. I and a lot of other people just like me and I am ashamed to say I flinched. I wanted to look away. His poverty embarrassed me. It seemed out of place there. Surely there is somewhere more appropriate to be homeless? I though that. I did. I thought this ugly thing,

But I made myself lift my head, smile and greet the man who had laid out his blanket on the bus-stop bench, just as I would anyone else from the neighbourhood who might be sitting waiting for the bus.

I told myself that it could be me, with the neatly packed bags and the blanket. All it takes to be destitute and alone is a slip on the banana-peel of Fate.



Ok, this a day for revelations as to the less agreeable side of my nature.
Europe is taking in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

That is so COOL, right?
We are opening our arms to people fleeing from turmoil and pain and the horror of a civil war!
What could be more humane?
Now bitchy shitty me has a question.

Excuse me?
Isn't Syria in Asia?
Why aren't the frantic and desperate Syrians seeking refuge in the neighbouring countries that actually share the same (similar) culture, religion and language?

Why are they crossing a continent to come lay their weary heads on the comforting breast of Mother Europe?

Aren't we the despised and depraved infidels?
I don't get it!

Why not go to Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, Egypt?
Hey! Go north and you can even cross Afghanistan?
Get to China? Or Russia?
Why drag themselves this far?

Another question is, shouldn't Europe be saving up their resourses to help their OWN needy? Or are we pretending we dont have any?

Just asking why our citizens are sleeping in the streets and Syrians get brand new apartments and jobs.

You want to help the Syrians?
Fine, but do the same for our own ciitizens.
Charity begins at home, and if we cannot look after our own we should certainly not be playing Lady Bountiful.

Sorry guys, but this is how I feel.



Just in case anyone wants to know? I was a political refugee. South Africa took me and my family in, and we respected the laws, religion and customs of our benefactors. South Africa became our country.

Refugees do not vandalise, demand or despise.
We truly were grateful for the opportunity to start new lives.

I prophesy that in six months time you will see these new refugees on TV bemoaning the lack of "conditions" they have been given...

That the housing is bad, their culture is not respected, they want this or that condition of their religion observed in public schools even though it may infringe on our code of human rights...
Just saying.

BTW I wanna get a Suite at the Ritz like Rushdie and a coterie of those muscular yummy MI5 agents to protect me...


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Modest pain
Brings no gain,
Only a sense of
Being the fool
Yet again.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015


When some poor guy
Takes that bullet,
Falls twitching
And shaking
Spidering fingers,
Foam oozing
From the side
Of his mouth,

That is when
The General
With them pants
With the stripes
Should be there,
Medal in hand
With that
Smarmy smile.

Wonder if
He'd get
That same
Sticky metallic
Taste of fear
As the whistling
Angel-winged bullets
Magically appear
And disappear.

Wonder if
They taught him
At that Academy
That your bowels
Loosen, that death
Scares you shit-less,
That death ain't clean
(not here anyhow)

Wonder if
He even knows
Which end
Of the rifle
The killing bullet goes.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The poor and destitute desire the death of their near-and-dear as passionately and as frequently as the rich.

From: "Murder Ballad"
Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 26 October 2015

Every so often a blind squirrel gets a nut.

Ivan Shapiro
Isn't it funny? Everyone argues over what constitutes land-ownership, but never again since "The Merchant of Venice" has anyone argued over the ownership of blood; and whether it should lawfully be spilt over money, pounds of flesh OR land-ownership issues...



ME: Have you noticed that the Bleeding-Heart Liberals never bleed at all???

IVAN: Nope, they get the Great Unwashed to do their bleeding for them.

From Conversations with Ivan Shapiro

Eyes may be blind, but hearts ain't deaf...

ME: We preaching to da fishes, people only understand and hear what they want.

IVAN: Yu right but every so often a heart is listening, and hears itself.

From: Conversations with Ivan Shapiro

Sunday, 25 October 2015

What we do to survive is one thing; what we need to thrive as whole creative beings capable of joy is another.


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Choose carefully what you see; what you let into your mind and into your life, will become your reality.


Friday, 23 October 2015


An 18th century recipe: Mrs. Fowle's Mock Turtle Soup

Take a large calf's head and scald off the hair.
Discard the hair and boil up the head in salted water until the horn is tender, then cut the meat into slices about the size of your finger.

Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop't very small.

Take a ¼ of a pint of oysters chop't very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the calf's brains chop't.

Stand all these together in the hot broth for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the yolks of hard eggs.

Serve hot.

Note: might be nice garnished with fresh parsley, or coriander and served with garlic croutons or coarse-crusted home-made bread.



Or how to serve up endangered species, namely: TRUE BELIEVERS

Tortoises climb flat surfaces, have you noticed?
They don't know it's flat.

To them all is pain and strain. Ascending to an endless horizon, tortoises heave each step against crushing gravity without the glamorous graceful prance of hoof or paw. All they have is the stubborn unfaltering pace of those dark and dusty heavy claws digging in the dirt.

Tortoises tell themselves a myth: they believe they have the power to disappear, but all they do is close their eyes like children telling themselves and the world they have become invisible- but they are trapped.Tortoises are held flat against the unforgiving earth by the brutal foot of their own truth.

Tortoises have no other defence, they are themselves: unvarnished, unlovely carapaces of unsavoury truths shielding the tender meat of absolute belief beneath.

Tortoises know the world is slow, but never as slow as when - yielding to deceit- they simmer in the agonising bubbling soup of salt regret.

Ironically, in their death-throes Tortoises know a momentary glow, just seconds before they hear the joyous yell: DINNER IS SERVED!

From: Conversations with Ivan Shapiro

Tuesday, 20 October 2015


ME: I was thinking of moving to Canada

IVAN: Yu crazy! Bloody cold here...

ME: Nope, I like the politicians!

IVAN: Yu do? Which one

ME: Your PM!

IVAN: We have a new PM today...

ME: That's him! The YUMMY one


ME: Hope he does the State of the Nation speech  top-less...

IVAN: Yu crazy it's freezing today.

ME: The approval of the whole female electorate will warm things up

IVAN: Yu funny.

ME: Listen this is one of the best looking guys I seen: dead alive or in politics

IVAN: Ya think...

ME: Definetly

IVAN: He looks like a dork.

ME: Nope he doesn't...........He is prime-A beefsteak with teriyaki sause and sesame seed garnish.

IVAN: No wonder he won, the women voted for him!

ME: Yep, and besides these politicians are ALL dorks. Women know it...

IVAN: Thats not the way to vote

ME: But why do we have to have UGLY dorks?

IVAN: Yu got a point.

ME: Exactly! Betcha all the assemblies of parliament will be in full attendance.

IVAN: Yu right.

ME: If I was Canadian I'd vote we have casual Fridays and the PM comes in a swim-suit!

IVAN: Yu on a roll.

ME: He's perfect to play Lance in GP...

IVAN: That he is.

ME: I bet he shaves his chest too.

IVAN: He's married.

ME: So what? We dont wanna lay him, just LOOK at him. Most men in this world are BUTT ugly. The species has been breeding for female beauty and male ambition so we women dont get a lot to look at. Jowls and ambition seem to go together. Besides, you can't do a lot of harm in Canadian politics, can you?

IVAN: Not realy, except make us bankrupt. Which he is gonna do!

ME: Nonsense!

IVAN: True, he's an idiot

ME: At least he can go down to the harbour and earn back that money with his tushie. You know they are ALL idiots.

IVAN: No he is a REAL idiot.

ME: You just resent him cause he is a yummy idiot.

IVAN: No, I dont like fools.

ME: I suppose it's easy to forgive jowly, warty paunchy idiots. AND sweety, he ain't a fool.

IVAN: Yep he is.

ME: Anyone who can master-mind that image is a marketing genius.

IVAN: He got lucky.

ME: Listen, the Americans had Ronnie, and HE was an ABSOLUTE idiot, and he wasn't even goodlooking!

IVAN: Yes but he was a smart idiot.

ME: I was talking about Ronald Reagan, who are you on about? Ronald Sassoon???

IVAN: Nope Reagan.

ME: SHIT! I wouldnt pay two cents to watch Reagan strip to the sound of Smooth Operator, let alone lead a nation.

IVAN: Yu too fussy.

ME: Hell, no. I been patiently watching men stripping for love, if I am going to pay taxes, I wanna prime bod to oogle at.

IVAN: Yu got a point

ME: Ye, and he will get the gay vote too.

IVAN: I'm sure yu right, they all liberals.

ME: Yep. Hey, have you noticed Conservatives breed ugly? Might be the water.

FROM: Conversations with Ivan Shapiro​

Saturday, 17 October 2015

A lot of true things seem to be  funny, or is it that funny things are alway true?
We are ALL on the verge of death , every second of our lives. So make up you mind as to whether you spend your time being afraid, or being alive.


Charity demands gratitude, and so benefits only the giver.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Cool as a Cucumber Soup

3 large cucumbers, peeled (reserve paper thin slices to garnish)
Generous hand-full leafy fresh coriander (reserve a sprig for garnish)
1 cup ice water
1 clove garlic
black pepper
salt to taste

a glass of champagne

Garlic croutons

To Make!
Place the diced cucumber and the coriander in a blender with the garlic salt and pepper and the water and blend.

Place in the fridge to chill.

Before serving stir in the Champagne and garnish with the reserved cucumber slices and the chopped coriander. Serve croutons on the side.

This is a starter soup, so small servings!
Should serve 4


Saturday, 10 October 2015

A GREAT 5 Star Review for Desire's Detective!

Great entertainment!

By Lynelle on October 10, 2015
Format: Paperback

This is a tongue in the cheek comical but yet sensual novel that gives you all the elements of a wonderful plot with very interesting characters. Two women are working as detectives within the King's Palace trying to unravel the mystery of the murdered jesters. Both women have their own lives to live while trying to catch the guilty person. Romance and love opens hearts and new possibilities and you could not help but really feel for the Queen and her predicament, the conclusion...well read the book! :)
Filled with so many interesting scenes you are whisked away to a time where no rules were applicable within the King's palace and desires were the ultimate control of all involved. But yet in the typical writing style of the author this is not an explicit book, it is sensual filling the mind with passionate scenarios as the story unfurls to an interesting conclusion.

A well written and enjoyable book that will make for some good entertainment.

The works of God are best done by small hands and quiet words.

The Father I had shaped the woman I am.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

We dwell on our pains too much. We forget that pains remembered wound the heart again again; but love heals.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

If you have a story to share at the world's end, and one kiss, then it is a life well lived.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


On the windward side
Of a mountain high
A warrior screams:
"Here is my power,
To cast down tyranny;
In my heart is my spear,
For Gods made me free
Though Men enslaved me!"

And all the listening hosts
Wipe a glistening tear,
Thronged multitudes
Call out in grief;
They praise him
And agree.

Oh low, far below
On the shadowed lee
A woman stoops
To veil her woe
And whispers soft
And wee:

"Cover your face,
My sister, for beauty
Brings pain and disgrace;
Though Gods
Made me
Fair and free,
Slaves of slaves
Enslave me."

"Sharp spears wound
The weeping womb,
Flesh is harvested from me.
Only the Gods of Death
Or the death of Gods
Can set me free."

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


I cast you out:
I deny you a place
At my hearth
On my berth
At my table

I cast you out
Into darkness,
I cast you out
Into the void
I cast you out
Into the great silence.

I cast you out
and rejoice:

I call to witness
the dancing breezes
the leaping rivers
the startled damsels
the bold cadavers
of past sacrifices

I call to witness
the departure
of you from my life
I call myself
I call my heart
I call my dancing
prancing feet:

I call Life to my life,
Death and disdain
And despair,
Be gone, be no more
I will be your revenant
No more.
I am myself

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 28 September 2015

YOOHOOOO!!!! DESIRE'S DETECTIVE keeps on rising in the charts!!!

The deliciously irreverent and historically innacurate DESIRE'S DETECTIVE is moving on UP on the AMAZON ranking!!!

The hot and sassy adventures of our Courtesan turned Detective are gathering FANS!
Take a peep at an excerpt and find out why!


Noelle was perplexed by her husband's sexual behavior: he obviously desired her, and enjoyed cataclysmic orgasms as long as their lovemaking did not involve actual penetration. His eagerness only faltered at the fateful moment she attempted to draw him into her body.

She reflected back to his past and how difficult it must be for him to finally be with a woman. How could she entice him to intercourse? She decided to visit her closest friend and confidante, Jeanne de Pompadour. It was time to open up with someone else and get another woman's perspective on the matter. She knew with certainty that Jeanne would be discreet, God knows she had enough indiscretions of her own.

Jeanne poured from a delicately-patterned pot of tea. She had a feeling they would both need the refreshment. Noelle blurted out her problem, revealing all of it. Jeanne never batted an eyelid. Calmly she set down her precious bone-china tea-cup.

“If I were you...Well, as a boy he suffered much, and was aroused to pleasure in a brutal setting... You’ve tried everything I’d have suggested except one: beat him.”

“BEAT HIM? My dearest, gentle Humphrey?”

“Yes. Tie him up, beat him, slap him, spank him.”

Noelle was horrified, and she was to be even more shocked.

“You could try blindfolding him too, or try sticking a cucumber up his bottom...or a zucchini, or a carrot. There’s a lot of good in root vegetables, Monsieur de Pompadour swears by it.”


Sunday, 27 September 2015



#1956 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

#31277 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical


And here is a TASTE from Chapter 4!

Desireé bounced out of her bed, and onto her knees. Closing her eyes, she gave herself over to her prayers. She missed the quiet routines of the convent; the safe patterned life. Mostly she missed Matins: the morning prayers that seemed somehow to cleanse her soul and affirm her faith; her strength for facing life’s daily challenges.

She rose to her feet and stripping off her nightgown, proceeded to wash herself vigorously with the cold water in the laver by the bed. She was washing off the last of the soap when a tiny noise behind her made her spin on her heels. She was face-to-face with Jean, the King’s brother!

He stood with one hand on the door, his mouth opened; his eyes riveted to her body, on the small high virginal breasts, the taut pink nipples pearled with water.

With a cry, Desireé grabbed for her gown where she’d left it at the bottom of the bed, and pressed it to her chest.

Something fell from the gown’s silken folds: a box.

A red lacquer box inlaid with mother-of-pearl rolled across the Persian carpet, spilling its contents at the Duc d’Orleans feet.

Jean bent down gathering the box and its contents, using the moment to mask his perturbation at the sight of the girl’s nudity.

Desireé ducked behind a Chinese screen and quickly pulled her gown on over her wet skin.

She heard an exclamation and peeked out to see Jean bent over the desk, examining the box: her curiosity was definitely stronger than her embarrassment. She slowly approached the table and peered around Jean’s bent back to try and catch a glimpse of what he’d found.

He looked up at her, black eyes snapping with excitement.

“Where is Noelle? Quick, call her.”

Desireé crossed the sitting room and knocked on her cousin’s door.

“I don’t think she’ll be up at this hour…” To her surprise Noelle opened the door immediately. She was fully dressed, immaculately made up and coiffed, and with a feverish gleam in her wide eyes.


“Good morning Desireé, Jean…I thought our meeting was set for 10 o’clock…I was about to go to her Majesty’s sitting-room to help serve her morning chocolate.”

“Forget the chocolate.” Jean’s eyes glittered, “Look at this… Declarations on the birth of a Royal child, a Diploma signed by the Court Midwife, who reports that the Royal Tattoo was placed as is usual on a presumptive heir, but the date…This was eight years before Louis’s birth.”

“The child obviously died…” put in Noelle.

“You don’t understand! There was no other male child. Only three girls, one born dead, one dead at four, and one who is supposed to be deformed, she was sent to St Cyr (we have an aunt there too); then two years later Louis was born, and then last, (but not least!) myself.”

The three stared at each other in bewilderment: another Royal Heir, and older than the King. He would take precedence; he could overthrow Louis XV and take the throne…


Manuela Cardiga & Desireé Cronson

Saturday, 26 September 2015


On the 30/07 this here Blog hit 135.000 viewings, and today it hit 143.000!

That is pretty cool for postings of weirdo poetry!

Lips move words bloom.

Friday, 25 September 2015


ME: We are only aware of the difference between the "other" and ourselves because of ego, ego is the "I". It is not a bad thing...It just IS.

IVAN: Exactly.

ME: If there was no ego, there would be only an amorphous mass of indistinguishable and fathomless sensation, no thought, no awareness, nothing would be real. Perception is the hand that shapes the Universe.

IVAN: You right.

ME: God is ego personified, the awareness of self; the awakening is pure ego. Sufi dances are the ecstasy of the ego embracing the Whole in joy, not egocentricity.

IVAN: Yes.

ME: You are just saying that so that I will shut up


From: Conversations with Ivan Shapiro

Friday, 18 September 2015


ok, so thirteen years ago today i was reenacting that freaky scene from "Alien" where the guy starts screaming and bugging out his eyes and foaming at the mouth while some creature squirms and tugs and looks like it is going to explode his body from the inside out and then it didn't but it felt like it and a nurse came up to me and said i am going to poke into your vagina to see if you have dilated and said no you haven't have some fake hormones and then i really screamed cause the bloody stuff makes you climb the walls but no the kid wouldn't come out and a thing i didn't know i had called a bloody cervix wasn't working right so the cleaning lady walks past and says hey are you screaming because your cervix doesn't dilate cause my cat had that problem and she still had 7 kittens without screaming as much and then a woman with a mustache or maybe it was a guy with boobs came by and he said you are too slow and you can't have an anesthetic but if you were faster you couldn't have one either cause the anesthesiologist went home early cause he had a bachelor party and who told you to have a malfunctioning cervix anyway man up and stop screaming already and then a woman came and made me walk to the delivery room and they put in a big suction cup and still the kid wouldn't come out so they used forceps which are just these great big metal thingies and it all hurts like the bejesus while seven or eight different people peered into my vagina and asked each other if they had ever seen such a lousy cervix and i screamed why don't you call in the janitor too and the one guy said madam i am already here and then POP out came this kid 54 cm long and pink and everyone started cooing and saying oh how pretty and they forgot about me and my bleeding cervix and then the nurse said this is the most beautiful moment of your life and you will never forget it.


Tuesday, 15 September 2015

We live because the spin of the dance is too lovely and the next turn may reveal wonders.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Some revelations are bought at a high price; but none higher then the revelations that confirm facts you wanted to see denied.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Conversation with Ivan in which the greats of Russian Literature are being analysed

ME: Tolstoy said - I think - all happy people are similar in their happiness, but every unhappy person has a unique Hell all his own. First line Ana Karenina, or something sort of similar.

IVAN: Ana Karenina...High drama. Classical.

ME: Oh please! Some woman throws herself in front of a train cause some wanker doesn't want her anymore!

IVAN: You are killing the drama! Besides, I though Ana Karenina was Dostoevsky's, wasn't it?

ME: Nope. I am pretty sure it's Tolstoy cause his characters actually HAVE sex, and Dostoevsky's only have anguish and regrets.

From: "Conversations with Ivan Shapiro"
If you want to change the way the world does business, you must make it profitable to do the right thing.

You must convince the mega-companies that by creating local wealth - paying decent wages to their workers - they are raising the next generation of consumers, creating the very first true perpetual motion machine dedicated to making money!


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Lies are complicated: they acquire a life of their own, and eventually take over and consume your every truth. Be who and what you are, you don’t need to reinvent yourself or you past. Your integrity and the excellence of your character are all the truth, and all the proof of worth you need.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

If you constantly hunger for what you do not have you live a life of frustration and regret. It’s OK to want more, of course! Ambition is what fuels us to achieve, but remember to reach for the future but live in the NOW. Too many people forget that trick, that gift, and so never live at all.

Friday, 4 September 2015

"Sure I sell, they want to see my tits bounce, they pay! Besides, men have been buying and selling women always, haven't they? I am just taking the money without giving some middleman a cut."

Thalie stuck out her lip and frowned "I suppose..."

"Trade is all it is, see? THAT is what lobola is all about. One man trading a woman to another man, making her expensive. But the true-true-true and funny thing is, Thalie, is that women are really, really cheap!"

"They are?"

"Sure! All a man has to do to buy a woman's body, heart and soul is offer her love, even the counterfeit kind."

Sexy Sal to Thalie


Monday, 31 August 2015


The Ratel*
Oh followed
The Honey-bird

Oh Follow Follow
(the fluttering word)

The Ratel
Devouring the world
Ravening hunger
For poison:
Oh words of poison
And all that's

Oh Follow Follow
(the fluttering word)

The Ratel
Raising it's
Iron claws
Oh the thorns
And the stings
And the pain
Of the bees...

Oh Follow Follow
(the fluttering word)

The Ratel
Raising it's
Pleading paws
I think, I drink, I eat
The flesh of doubt
I'll suckle on honey
And tear the stings out.

Oh Follow Follow
(the fluttering word)

The proffered
Of the Honey-bird.

Manuela Cardiga

*African Honey-badger

One step-misstep
And the ice broke
Disaster spoke
And the water
A scream
For help
Or hope.

So the ice broke
Shattered spattered
Burning cold

Would it be safer
Flat-foot on the shore?
Far from the dazzle
Of the rainbow ice?

Of course!
But then
Would you
Have a chance
Of summoning
From the depths
A leviathan fit
To crush-change-rearrange
The world?



I'm going to find you a miracle
I will pray and call on God
And dancing Angels
To unfold erupt transform
Work wonders in your life:
All your dreams,
Your needs,
Your wildest schemes
Made flesh, defined;

But please forgive
If in the selfish hour
Just before sleep
I secretly wish I could be
Your miracle
The way you are mine.

Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Friday, 28 August 2015


She did it
With a wiggle
Of those hips
In that girdle,
A giggle from
Those lush plush
Unaugumented lips,

She tossed those locks
Curled platinum blond
And cut close
With a fringe
And a flirty flip.

She did it,
That casual strip:
Turned on the radio
Dabbed on Chanel
Discussed Relativity
And the death
Of hard-sell,

Hit a home run,
Swore she never
Would tell and
Wisely pretended
Her own kinda

But someone
Spilled the beans
Hair colour will tell...
The news papers screamed:
The world was robbed
of its very best Blond!

But all it
Really was
Was a hit
On an overbright
Brunette Moll
By the Irish Mob.


The storm broke
Last night and
Flung rough winds
Of doubt at the new
Dreams I'd built,
Bolstered by words
I spoke and wrote.

The storm broke
Last night and
I was sleepless,
To the screaming
Of the bitter wind.

The storm broke
Last night and
I, casting out
That doubt,
Denying forecasts
And rumours of pain,
Ran out,
Wide armed,
And dancing
And welcomed
The blessed fall;
The tender grace
Of the cleansing rain.

Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

All Muses love their poets well,
Believing the mirror cannot be flawed,
That can such perfection tell…


My cat-self dances a tangled yarn
Of soft-furred kitty-charm 
Drawn between cat-paws 
Pat-patting velvet-claws

My cat-self scratches needle-sharp 
Kneads and needs with plaintive cries 
Arching against your thighs 
Shapes sinuous and sly

My cat-self bats your tale 
To and fro, tail twitching leaps 
Strolls around it testing questing 
Tilting slanted eyes

My cat-self cat-cradles 
In your arms yawns pink-tongued 
And lies supine silken soft 
Swooning purring sighs

My cat-self lies- she craves 
The barbed thrust savage 
Tongue-rasp kiss-sharp bite 
Screams delight, shudders cries
And sighing dies.

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 24 August 2015


Wordsworth killed our mojo
when he started
that there friggin thing
with the daffodowndilly
(silly fucking Willie)

We poets we was
proper terrors, we was!
we was word-warriors!

What with the drinkin
and the whorin
we had priests
abhorin us and
political fellas
burning us and
our bundles and
we burned good
what with all
that cheap liquor...

But it was understood:
we had us a place
in every inn,
and some of them
houses as specialises
in outs and then ins,
or both - for them
as likes particular sins.

I blames Wordsworth
and Milton and Keats.
now Byron, he was OK,
he was as crooked and
drunken a word-whore
as could be named.

He may have been lame
but he understood
the whole aim of them
poetic activity
was to get laid,
and man did he!
he got it in spades!

I blames Wordsworth
i do, and i won't repine
the man was a pimple
oozing sentimental shite
waxin lyrical about them
saintly country dead
or some such trite.

I coulda told him
Mistress Stave
as ordered that
rhyme for that grave
was fiddling old Fred
long afore her late
lamented husband
was dead...

Waits a bit that weren't
Wordsworth but that
snotty, acned Chatterton
as killed hisself and started
the fashion for dramatic
teenage anguish in poems
as shoulda been blessings
on we mature god-fearin folks...

it weren't Tom Chatterton
it were that pussy Thomas Gray!
i always suspected
that bastard was gay
what with admirin
sturdy shepherds
and hiddin and pokin
at sheep in sheds
insteada bouncin
succulent maids
on feather beds...

Well, don't matter no-how
cause they is all dead,
just as you and me
and Fred here, dead
and buried in the loam.

So pour us another one
Rabbie, and give us
a proper bit of a poem...


Went to dinner
Party of three
“Darling! How are you?”
Bored as can be.
And there was this man
At the table next to me
Late sixties tucked
And trimmed
All the fat sucked off
And slimmed,
Smiling and smarming
For all he was worth
To this  lovely girl
So young and so sweet
Fresh, untouched;
Like a golden peach-
But wise enough to life
To shyly reach
To touch his cheek
And look vaguely silly
But bright enough
To teach…

What a wise little Peach!
Succulent and sweet
Playing the game
Like a pro,
And from pitying her,
I pitied him.

Here he was, fading
And wading in a dream
That she loved him-
That it wasn’t all a scheme
Built on a little blue pill
And a flash of the green…

I wonder though
When he ate his Peach,
When she arched
Beneath him
In her perfect play
And screamed-panted
His name;

When that golden flesh
Devoured him;
Did he for a minute
Catch a glimpse
Of a bony grin
On a writhing body
Without a skin?



Yeh Baby
pimp my hump
thump my lump
hump my chump
thum thum pump
the grump

Yeh Baby
that's the ticket
shave my thicket
giggle-tickle it,
lick it, flick it
whip it

Yeh Baby
stoke my stove
stroke my rose
applaud my pose
cream my nose
scream for Jove

Yeh Baby
we sure can rock it
stick that prick
in my love-pocket...
but can we do it
in relative silence?

cause I'm running
out of hip-hop
rhymes to describe
the desired crimes...


Friday, 21 August 2015


Oh meet me
In Buenos Aires
This very night,
I shall be your odalisque,
And you shall be my life.

I will hang
The silken moon to light
Our slow love
Across linen sheets
While clinging to the trellis
Of our bedroom window
Enraptured bougainvillea
Watch, and explode
Scarlet ecstasy
At every move.

I shall gathered
Their blossoms,
Make jewels
Of stolen pleasure,
Twist them in my hair,
Lay them on my skin,
Scarlet and fuchsia
Exclamations; gaping
Dry-lipped mouths
Drawing you down
To moist kisses.

We will sit in squares
Paved with cobbles,
Dappled with butter light
And fleeing grey wings,
Sip coffee bitter-dark
And green-scented tea.

Listen! from passing
Doorways escape
The tremulous rapture
Of piano keys
And the sharp-knifed
Desiring moans
Of accordions,
And rough-voiced women
Sobbing pleasure.

We will walk
The night-narrow streets
And look for oddities:
Bizarre and beautiful
Human conundrums,
Scattered stories in a smile,
A glance, a small romance.
We will drink the hot night
Then home we dance,
Barefoot under the iron lamps
Splashing in the puddles of light.

The waning moon
Is so less bright and
So this night
I have lain upon the bed
Raptures of satin lilies,
Cool and also I:
I lie, one smooth
Open aching whiteness,:
Do you not see the lilies
All around me?
Throats of white pierced
By cocks of gold.
Will you be less bold?
Grasp and bruise me,
Between us bleed
The crushed tight furled
Lilies, white satin burns
And no rose can match
The tangled tango of our loins.

So come,
Oh come to me,
Come to Buenos Aires
This very night,
I shall be your odalisque,
And you shall be my life.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 20 August 2015


Hellish Helga
Fled the war
And decide
To become
A whore,
To flaunt
Her talent
Playing it
In Trafalgar,
Under the jaundiced
One-eyed glare
Of Admiral
Lord Nelson.

She became a fixture
And a favourite
With them critters,
When the troops
Hit Tipperary,
And was said
To be better
Than old Mary
Nibbling oysters
From the prairie.

She was the one Kraut
Who gave a discount
For the disabled,
And charged by the gross,
An attitude applauded
By the Home Office
And the Regiments both.

So swig down that
Guinness, boys,
And finesse them wurst,
Cause Helga is here
To fight for the Cause.


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

After a year and a half, THE SULTAN'S TALE is still ranked in the top 400 choices for the "whips and chains blow my brains" crowd on AMAZON!

After a year and a half, THE SULTAN'S TALE is still ranked
#367 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Erotica > BDSM

This means it is in the top 400 choices for the "whips and chains blow my brains" crowd on AMAZON!
Thank you, boys and girls, for all the support!

Keep reading!

Some scars are visible, some invisible, but they do not define who we are or where we are going; only where we have been, and our strength to endure.


Monday, 17 August 2015


(The ultimate questions we ask of Life answered by the Lady, personified.)

I ran into Life
At some social fling
And asked of her a thing
Or two that have been
Bewildering me
And probably irritate
The scuzz out of you too.

I asked with my best smile,
Do I always end up
In the slow moving lane,
But am the first in line
When you dole out pain?

Do I fight so constantly
To retain in my hands
Every scrap of meaning,
Only to watch it all drain
Away, another love in vain?

Though I apply every iota
Of ability and mental agility
To earn me a living
I am barely making it
to "bare-ass poverty"

Are honesty, integrity and kindness
Not on the list
Of things to acquire
"a must have for success"
Draw up by you Highness?

(oh WHY)
When I try the Forward Fandango
Do I end up doing the Crab Tango
Two steps sideways,
One hundred more backwards?

I especially want to know , Madam:
Since I went from a lady-like drawl
To a deranged screech,
You sit cool as a cucumber
And your lips don't twitch?

I beg for an answer
I plead and beseech
And still you refuse
To answer or teach
The secret to you.
Anything besides
Old Murphy's Law
Would do...

Please? Would you?

Well, get outta my sight
Afore I rip off your tits;

Manuela Cardiga

Sunday, 16 August 2015

When you start to accelerate towards your ultimate goal you will notice that the upward climb is not so different from a down-ward run on a very steep hill. Once you allow your legs autonomy, the momentum is uncontrollable, and the only way to stop is to crash.


I love my love
My love loves me
Betty Botter
Better best

I love my love
My love beats me
Betty Botter
Batter beast

I love my love
My love must die
Betty Botter
Bitter bite

I love my love
I killed him goodbye
Buried him deep
Told a sly lie

A Policeman came
To arrest me
Says I'm a killer
Can't be free

Sir - I cry-
I loved my love
My love beat me
Betty Botter
Batter beast

I called my Mother
She said to me
That does not matter
It's a private thing

I dialed the number
An officer came
He wrote it down
He took my name

He issued a writ
Gave a stern warning
It did not help,
Sir, not one bit,

One day I knew
You would not care
Unless he slew
So what to do?

I loved my love
I killed him dead
Stuck my knife
Into his head

I loved my love
I love my life
But I won't be
His battered wife.

So take me away
For Judgement Day
What ever the cost
I'll gladly pay.

I loved my love
My love loved me
Now I'm in jail
At last I'm free.


They feared lions and tigers and bears, but the big bad wolf lived downstairs

Listen beloved, for all true stories so begin...

Once upon a time, a child lived in a tower by the sea. Nearby loomed a savage forest where in roamed lions and tigers and bears, but in the tower there was no fear, and no pain. She did not live alone, her mother and father lived in the uppermost reaches of this shinning tower, and in the lower floors, overlooking the garden, lived her grandpa and her grandma. Her mother had a new baby, and her father worked day and night on the ships carrying exotica across the great oceans, so the child wandered freely from room to room and took down magic from the shelves and learned a secret.

You must not think she was lonely, her grandfather loved her very much. He was a great story-teller, and would weave wonderful magical tales out of thin air for her delight. Her grandma, she sensed with the instinct of a pariah pup at the sight of street urchins, did not like her. Her hand was sharp, her words stinging stones, and so she avoided her. But life was magical. Each day she’d run down the winding stairs of the tower and down to the garden. She’d talk to the bees and listen to her grand-pa´s stories. He’d sit her on his lap and tell her how pretty she was, and how much she was loved.

One day when she was five, a strange and terrible thing happened. Underneath her grand-pa’s face a monster appeared and tore open slavering jaws. Through a beloved face another face rose and smoking poison poured out. And the Monster said: little girl let me touch you. But the child knew a great secret. And she said “NO” and the power of words revealed itself to her, and the Monster could not touch her. The Monster screamed its poison and rage but the magic words protected her, and he could he not touch her.

That night she did not sleep, but the next day, when she came down to the garden, all was as before. And she thought: “I have banished the Monster with the magic, or it was never there.” For a long time it was so, and then one day that strangeness said again: “little girl let me touch you” And again she said “NO”, and it could not reach past her power. From then on, she never knew who’d be waiting in the garden. Her grand-pa weaving stories or Monster with slavering jaws. pouring out its poison words.

Soon she never left the tower at all, unless they forced her to. She ransacked the books that had given her her first magic word for a spell to banish the monster forever, all in vain. Years went by, and she grew always sheltered by her words, and the anger of the Monster grew too.

One day when she was ten she said to the Monster: “Begone, or I shall tell the world you have made my grand-father the den you hide in”; but the Monster laughed and said: “no one will ever believe you, for they do not wish to”; and she knew that was a great truth.

She saw that many people had underneath faces: supple, strange beguiling. She knew that trust was a dream she could no longer believe in. So she took her magic words and her terrible strength and made a great spell so no fear and no fury or monstrous claw could reach her, and so she was safe.

And much later, when she had grown, a boy would come to her and there would be sweetness to him, to his smile and kindness in his eyes. And the boy would say: little girl, let me touch you. And she would say: NO…though she might want him to. The strongest word she knew was NO.

For years and years, this is how she lived and then one day one day she put it away. She folded the Monster into a tray, and put him in a box. "You will hold no more sway over me, nor your shadow ever again stray between me and those I may love one day."

So she found a new word, and then another; she started stringing the words into spells and stories and dancing and chanting them aloud, until no scrap or memory of the Monster could be found in any part of her life. Until the strongest word she knew was NOW.

And the NOW word said:
"NOW I become the child and the woman I should have been,
NOW I refuse your stain and any blame you placed on me.
NOW I start my life again.
NOW I am made NEW."


Curiouser and curiouser...

Yesterday I walked into a Portuguese bookshop and was astonished to see a novel about the relationship between Lewis Carroll published by a very prestigious publishing house. The back blurb proclaimed (as far as memory serves) "the tender friendship between two people of disparate age groups, evidenced by the provocative allure so tenderly captured by the famous author".

This was the picture used on the cover, a photograph taken of Alice by Carroll.

A year or so ago I wrote and posted this poem that no-one liked because it was "disturbing". I would like to invite you all to revisit it in light of the text and the picture posted above.


Do you all
Remember Alice?
Big-eyed Alice,
Chaste Alice,
With her blue ribbon
And her pretty dress?

How we were all
So impressed...
That Lewis Carroll
(such a kind man)
Took silly Alice
And made her a star.

Twinkle, twinkle little Alice,
Twinkle from afar!
So Alice twinkled,
But I wonder
Did she cry?

When Uncle Lewis
(such a patient man)
Took her boating
Or walking in the park,
When his hands
Wandered so;
Or even just his eyes,
Did Alice shrink?

Was that
The magic potion
He made her drink?
The poison brew
To make her think
Something was wrong
Something absurd...

That she was a bad girl
Getting upset,
Raising a doubt,
When he was such
A kind, patient
(affectionate) man.

Yes, I think
He poured it out
Into a pretty chalice
And served it to us
With charm:
(such a witty man)
The pain and the fear
And bewilderment
Of silly Liddell Alice
And made himself
A star.

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 15 August 2015

LITTLE RED AND THE BIG BAD WOLF - Poem and Illustration


Oh the Little Red Fox
Sauntered in
To the wolf's den
With a shy grin:
"Dear Wolf,
Sweet Wolf,
Silver dream
Of the fool moon
(I mean full moon),
Oh starlight on snow,
Winter's delight
I do pray,
Don't send me away
Do let me stay..."

And the Big Bad Wolf,
With his great big teeth
And his golden eyes
Proved himself
Less than wise.

He looked her over
And there she sat,
With her wide dark eyes
And her little white face;
The very picture
Of vixen grace.

She flicked her painted lids
And tidily wrapped
Around her stockinged feet
The fiery banner
Of her scarlet tail.
She ran her pink tongue
Out at him
In her most
Engaging silky grin.

Her voice was sweet
And molasses thick:
"Dearest Wolf,
Sweetest Wolf,
It's cold and it's dim;
I've nowhere to go
And nowhere
To dream
Won't you please
Please let me in?"

For one vague moment
The Wolf considered
It might be a scheme,
For he had seen
Her teeth were sharp
And needle thin...

But she was
So soft and tiny
And her nose
So pointy and shiny
And he rather fancied
A bit of her chatter.

Besides, he was so big,
What she might do
To threaten him
Could hardly matter...

So he nodded at her
(the fool!) said he:
"Come on in,
But think not
To confuse me;
I'm the Big Bad Wolf
And you, Little Fox,
May stay
But only as long
As you amuse me."

So Little Red
Stepped lightly in
And said to herself
With a sly foxy-grin
She did nothing to hide:
"Sweet Wolf, dearest;
Most delicious Wolf,
Guard well your heart
For as Momma-fox
Always said
Big Bad Wolves
Are softest
On the inside..."

Manuela Cardiga

Friday, 14 August 2015

Easter's acoming, and this here poem is about that bunny!


"Why that Easter bunny's
got me on the hop!"
cried Alice is distress:
"Alice, he said, please
Can I lift up your dress?
And now he just won't stop!
Why since he started
I just don't sleep,
I may just pot-roast
That little creep!"

"I wouldn't complain"
Said Tink with a sigh
I can't remember
The last time
Pete made me smile..."

"Peter Pan is a wuss"
said Mamma Goose.
"A wuss???
I'd rather say a puss!"
said the Pied Piper
With disdain.

"I rather fancy
his third leg's lame!"
said Cinderela
with a smirk,
"Or so I heard
Wendy complain..."

"Let's leave 'puss'
out of it!" said indignantly
The One in "boots"
"He just has a cock..."

"What?" cried Cock-Robin
"That he does NOT!"
"And whatever he's got
Can't match the fame
Of my bow and arrow!"
Exclaimed the sparrow,
"You just ask Mrs. Robin..."

"Or even" - said Old MacDonald
"Plough a straight farrow..."
"I ain't one to gossip..."
Whispered Chicken Little
"But there's gotta be
A reason he's always
Teasin the man
With the hook?"

"Ye!" cried Big Bad Wolf,
"And flying around
In tights and a mini
What ever the season,
And wiggling his tush?"

"Don't ya go talkin!"
said Little Red to the Wolf
"I seen you wearin-"
"Hush now, little girl!"
Said the Wolf in a panic
"Lets not go speakin'
Out of turn!"

"Oh ye? I seen
The way you yearn
And pant over grammy's
Floral flannel panties!"

And the Queen of Hearts,
Not wanting to take parts,
Swooped in
And had the guards
Put pad-locks
On all their mouths.

Manuela Cardiga

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Sleeping Beauty was fast asleep and in came this poor creep straight from the streets...


She was jist
Lying there,
You know?
In the middle
Of the roses?

I thought
She was one
Of them BDSM
Cause the thorns
Were sticking
Right through
Her skin?

Man, it looked
Like green heroin
The way the sap
Run through
Her veins?


So, there she was,
Buck naked, man!
With the red roses
And the green thorns
Like that chick
In American Beauty?

Fast asleep-
And I figured,
Someone gave her
A Roofie?

So I was jist
One little kiss…
And suddenly
She opens her eyes
And screams?
And you-all
Officers troop in,
And here I am.

Listen, man,
I didn’t rape her,
It was jist a kiss
And ain't no way
I’m marrying
The stupid bitch!


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Remembering pain, dealing with the "always" in again.

for Janet

oh my dear, that astonished pain
(surprising because expected)
will fade;

what replaces it
is the constant
of an emptiness-
a silence louder
than any blessing.

amputees know this;
the tickling humming
drain from the brain
that demands they scratch
at the invisible presence.

or like the wretched
of an inadequate poet
left dangling wordless
at the end of a sentence.

Manuela Cardiga