Friday, 31 July 2015

Give your past power over your present, and you give up the future.


He was a Russian
With concussion
Who'd been hit
With an instrument
Of percussion...

You may ask yourself
Why it is relevant:
Why a Russian,
And not a Prussian
Or a citizen of the Levant?

What made the culprit
Hit the man on the pulpit?
Was it that he blessed
From right to left?
Or that funny black hat
With a cleft?

God don't know neither
And from as far as
The ice to the tropics
To the forests of cedar
The question was asked
Again and again:

Why the Russian?
Was it because
The roof of the church
Was polychrome?
And the dome
Like a cross
Between an onion
And a trombone?

Was it religious?
A seditious attack
To vindicate the outrage
Of a Chechen?
Or to proclaim
The continued strife
For the rights of Man?

"Look here do I really
Need a reason?
It was a spur of the moment
Purely emotional decision
The guy wouldn't shut up
About a season for this
A season for that..
And I left home this morning
With out taking my lithium..."

"But just so you don't think
I'm anti-religious, Doctor,
Tomorrow I take my Bongo
And beat up a man
From the Congo
Any idea were I can find one?
It's all in the spirit
Of religious equallity
And good clean fun!"

Wounds don't heal if you keep tearing off the scabs.


Thursday, 30 July 2015


I know I adopted
An abstemious credo
But nature hath
Cursed me
With excessive Libido

I am sick and tired
Of this divide-ride:
I want genitals
And contraceptives
And gender-conflicts
And parades for gay-pride
Antibiotic-resistant STD's
And Beyonce video-tapes.

Talking about TAPES
Even tape worms do it;
I only want to groove it
I only want to evolve
Get involved
Exchange spit and DNA
Join that whole sexual
Reproduction craze.
I wanna be the world´s
First sexually-challenged

Is so hard
To understand
What I crave?

or the agony of finding a soul-mate 
when you don't even have a cell-mate

one soul-cell
ripped apart
each time
the need to confer
with a like mind
the pain-fear
the tearing
the dying hurt
of giving birth
just to be
alone again.

Manuela Cardiga

And expecting nothing
Such a dream I had
Of your mouth

I long for our joining
And rejoice in our
Joyful separateness
I dream and long to live -
I live and long to dream of -

Awakening and falling
Into dreams with you:
Mine. Both mapped
And foreign territories,
Marked yours

I delight in our mirroring dance
I move/ you move,
In perfect concordance
Yet am enthralled
By our opposing selves:
Shadow and light

Wrestling truths
And slippery limbs;
Fierce intellects
And biting
Languorous mouths;

Intricate webs of words
And the electric tangling
Of our tongues
Carving new meanings
Of amorous cruelty
And sharp kindness
Into each other.

Quickly... there are
Empty spaces in me
And burgeoning longings
To disgorge flesh-heat-blood,
And so give birth,
And devour you,
In a single act

Manuela Cardiga
I know I am a-gloatin over something pretty small potatoes but my Blog hit 135.000 viewings today.

Which is cool since I post weird poetry an freaky prose not pics of puppies and kittens in da nude.

I am happy. 135.000 people out there are damaged beyond repair and my evil plan for word-domination advances relentlessly towards its culmination...


Manuela Cardiga

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Of all my short stories, this is my personal favourite!


Sweet my love, I want to tell you a story about a man and a dog.

(I don't know why a man and a dog! Every good writer has a story about a man and a dog, so I'm a-telling you about a man and a dog.)

Anyway, here is how the story goes:
Once upon a time a lone man walked in the endless whispering desert inside his mind. He walked and walked, and the sharp edges of the cracked and calcified sighs and screams littering his life cut into his soles.

(I said SOLES, not souls. It's a frigging metaphor. And NO, he wasn't wearing any shoes... BECAUSE IT WOULD RUIN THE STORY!)

As he walked he left behind him a trail of blood-stains, the exact shade of clotted pain. It hurt too - you better believe it - but he was one  stubborn dude, and so he walked that trail of shattered dreams for days and days. At night he'd stop and build a fire with left-over bits of old loves he found tossed and trampled by the side of the track; and sat as close as he dared and warmed his hands to the flickering embers. Sometimes a flame would fitfully leap out and singe his palms, and he would yelp, but never did he lean back. The burning of a dead passion was infinitely better than the cold encroaching poisonous ice of the desert night.

The next morning the pallid sun would rise - it's fervid sickly heat belying its leprous light - and on he would trudge. After a few days he realised he was being followed. Far behind him, almost lost in the vague shapes of the distant dunes, a shadow stuttered. Close one day, another day further, but always there.

(I don't know what it was, but since it's a story about a man and a dog, it stands to reason it's a bloody dog!)

One night he dozed off by the fire. Something he had never done before, as he feared some old obsession would overrun his senses as he slept. But somehow, that night he slept. And as he slept the ragged hesitant shadow crept closer and closer, and when he awoke he found an odd creature slept curled up to him.

(Yes, it WAS a dog)

It WAS a dog, but a scruffier creature could not be imagined: ragged coat, mismatched ears and snarly limp-tongued smile. All in all, not an animal to bring to mind any kind of warm cuddly tales about men and dogs.
It was - however - a dog, and so subject to the dastardly fate laid on every dog since the beginning of creation: the poor thing knew how to love, and so that is what it did. It loved. and since no better object presented itself in that arid land, he bravely proceeded to love the man. Now the man was most indignant. He tried to chase the dog away. He threw sharp-edged stones of polished scorn, shouted his harshest words, but the stupid animal would not be dissuaded from his dogged pursuit.

(Ye, I get the irony in using the word "dogged" to describe a dog's mindless devotion to an unworthy object of love, I'm writing this, aren't I?)

The truth be told, on the cold nights the man found the dog's presence quite useful. The gelid desert stars would throw down sharp arrows of ice, but the dog would stand above the sleeping man and snarl, and the frigid shards would break on his scruffy coat, and the man would sleep unharmed by the fierce stinging pain of old regrets.

During the day, the man forged ahead, and the dog would trail behind, trotting and pausing to sniff here and there; all the while lapping up the trail of blood the man was leaving behind. This the man found singularly repulsive; as was the dog's attempts at licking at his feet, or at his face, on which the tears ran a constant stream of burning salt. It seemed to the man the animal was feeding on his pain: his blood, his tears; and in the silent fearsome nights when the dog lay close, it seemed to devour even his fears.

This went on for quite a while. Days and days, endless chains of nights. The man walking his cursed path, the dog trailing behind. Oh but one day, the man found lying on the ground something strange: the monstrous bones of a snark.

(What do you mean: what is a snark? Ask Lewis Carroll, I don't know what a snark is.)

The dead thing stretched out on the ivory sand, its rib cage arched up against the sky; its cavernous eyes and empty grin seeming to mock the man. It was just too much, and the man sat on the ground and decided to die then and there. There was no reason to continue life under these pitiless empty skies. At first the dog nudged at him, and licked at his face, his feet, and uttered plaintive whimpers; but the man would just lie there. The dog barked, he nipped at the man's heels, he even snarled. 

The man pushed him away. "Begone! Fuck off! Go off and bug someone else. Leave me alone."
"I can't!" The dog cried, "I just can't!"
"Why the fuck not?"
"Why because...because I'm a dog! I love you - that stuff about Old Yellar and Jock of the bloody bush-veld is bred into us- and I am obliged to lie at your feet and die if you die; and let me tell you, I don't want to die!"
"Go away, I tell you, I don't want you."
"Well!" cried the dog in a huff, "If you didn't want me, why did you spend your entire life chasing after love?"

But the man, of course, up and died without replying; and the Love-dog howled a bit, and chased a few fleas across its shoulder before trotting off to look for another man to follow home. This time, maybe, one who would welcome the touch of its healing tongue, and savour the comfort of its warmth on a cold night.

(Yep. that's how it ends. Why didn't the DOG die? Well... I don't know. I suppose it's because its a Love-dog, see? And love doesn't die. Not naturally, you know. You have to kill it.)

Manuela Cardiga

Monday, 27 July 2015

Oh Filhos do Mar, amigos Portugueses, emprestai-me as vossas orelhas...

Perante a eleição que se avizinha bateu-me uma inspiração!!!

Vou dedicar-me a uma crônica fascinante traçando os paralelos entre o nossa modestíssima Nação e a transformação que se operou na vida social e politica Portuguesa após a queda da Maléfica Ditadura Salazarista; e uma muito semelhante mudança que se abateu sobre ao Império do Mal - a União Soviética - que em queda livre se transformou na Nova Russia.

Será este um estudo de cariz antropológico seríssimo concentrado sobre uma pequena faceta da Sociedade Portuguesa: a Minoria Politica.

Este estudo irá revelar ligações ideológicas inesperadas entre a Nova Russia e o Nosso Portugal, especialmente no que toca ás crenças e éticas governativas.

Estou a pensar em baptisar o estudo com o título...


Acho que nós por cá não subscrevemos à Fatwah???

PS: Desculpem aquilo das orelhas, Shakespeare a mais na minha adolescência perturbada. 


Understanding the root cause of a problem is one thing; acceptance is another.


If you set out to find enlightenment slow down to a walking pace, remind yourself that this is a pilgrimage not a race.


Sunday, 26 July 2015

When in doubt get the truth straight from the horses’ mouth!


amber suns
light winter-dark
northern heart

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 25 July 2015


There seems to be a universal obsession with what we put in our mouths. We spend enormous amounts of time and energy discussing what we eat, what we should eat, where and when we should eat it. We worry about what goes into our mouths, but not what comes out.

I wish people had as huge an obsession for controlling what they "speak" as they have for what they "eat".



Its funny how people spend so much time chewing over sour and bitter memories, stirring up their own anger and resentments, and vomiting out unresolved frustrations; poisoning their present instead of setting the past aside and embracing all the good positive things in their lives.

Let go of the dark, embrace the light.
Concentrate on the negative and your life will be an endless vicious-circle of frustration and rancorous resentment.
Look at all you do have, not what you lack.



Wednesday, 22 July 2015


I was jist thinkin about my "ROMAN PHASE" 
(u know, like Picasso had the cubism and that other shit with the blue that looked puce?)

I am doing a retrospective of my ROMAN PHASE!!!!


And remember, you only read this because you WANT TO!

Monday, 20 July 2015


Love is the spinning
Yearning of the soul
Learning to become
Less and more.

Manuela Cardiga

In that forest
Of weeping willows
I met a thief
Who stole
Of the heart,
Stole belief.

Said I, cupping
In my hands
The brilliant jewels
Of my sight:
"Take these too."

For do they not say
Love is blind?

Manuela Cardiga

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The more you have, the more you need; and the more you earn the more you yearn for needless things.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Into darkness - from "Turquoise Moon"

Alberta is taken away. They place her in the back-seat of  a car, squeezed  between two men smelling of starch and sweat and rancid tobacco. They drive her away from the beach and the sea, down the squared streets, with the nightmarishly pretty houses, to the Swakopmond police station.

She is placed in a holding cell on her own. Early the next day two more men come. Men in suits and ties, they handcuff her and take her away. Again, a car; unmarked this time. She sits alone in the back, clutching me in her hand. The men didn't speak, they just drove. They drove and the golden Namib unreels before her, endless miles of slanting dunes, sudden accusing fingers of stubborn rock stabbing at the sky, then more sand, and blasted fields of shattered rock. She stares until it is dark, too dark to see, and she sleeps.

She awakens to rough hands shaking her. She is in the narrow confines of a fenced in precinct, the lights blind her, she is pushed through doorways, and into a small room with a table and two chairs. They sit her with her back to the door and leave. She sits for hours alone. Although it is summer, the room is heated; as hot as an oven. The door opens behind her, a man walks in. He is not what she was expecting. He is young, slim, with an open boyish face. He carries a folder in his hand. He pulls the chair back and sits opposite her, facing the door.

He smiles at her, he seems kind:  "Alberta Ngige?"


"Alberta, I'm Officer Semper. You seem to have gotten yourself into some trouble here..." he opens his file and peruses it. "A lot of trouble. You got yourself mixed up in politics..."

"Politics? No, no...I'm a dancer. Ballet."

"That's right! You are!" his smile broadens, "So lets see what we can do to get you out of here so you can get right back on your toes...All I need is for you to answer a few questions, Alberta, OK?"

"Yes, yes, of course."

"Please state your name and date of birth?"

"Alberta Victoria Ngige, I was born on the 17th of April 1962"

"Very good..." he pauses and looks down at the file again. "Filiation? Mother and father..."

Alberta smiles with a hint of hauteur: "I know what that means! My mother's name is Queen Mary Ngige."

Semper smiles back his eyes wide and blue, sparkling with laughter. "That's right, of couse you do! You are an educated girl! Queen Mary...I like that! But it says here..." Semper pauses. "Father unknown...There's a picture of her her, you mother. She's really black, isn't she?"

Alberta takes a deep breath and tilts up her chin. "Please, what do you want from me?"

"I want to help you Alberta, Okay? I want to make this all go away. You look tired...and thirsty." he gets up and goes to the door, speaks to someone outside, comes back and sits down opposite Alberta again.. "It was a long ride, wasn't it?

Alberta nods gratefully "Yes it was! I'd love some water, please."

A man in a sand-coloured uniform comes in with a large jug of water and a glass and places it on the table betweeen them.

"Here," Semper pours her a large glass of water and hands it to her, "Drink up. I don't want you dehidrated."  Again that boyish smile, "We've got to look out for human rights!"

Alberta drains the glass thirstily, and Semper pours her more water. "There you go...Nice and spent a lot of time in that car. Such a long ride! So now...You were living in an interesting house, Alberta, tell me about it."

Alberta frowns "There's not much to tell, really. I shared a room with a friend, we are all into the arts. I'm a dancer, Martha is a painter, and the boys who own the house..."

Semper cosults his file, taps it with a finger,"Samuel Davo, and Frederick Tambinda. Tell me about THEM."

Alberta smiles: "Oh! Samuel is a poet! Frederick plays music..."

"So you got a regular artist's commune going there, Alberta...Sounds like fun. Which one were you fucking? Samuel or Frederick? Or was it both of them?"

Alberta recoils from him, pushes back her chair. "Officer Semper, I want this interview to end, please. I want to speak to your supervisor, and I want to go to a toilet."

"What did you say?"

" I said-"

Semper slams his fist onto the desk and leans forward threateningly. All the laughter and the blue seems to have washed out of his eyes. They are gun-metal grey, almost silver, like something dead. "You fucking uppity coloured bitch! You WANT? You think you have wants here? You've got nothing..."

" I have the right to lodge a complaint..."

"You were living with terrorists, Alberta, we found guns and explosives under the house. You got no rights. You are going to tell me what they had planned, you are going to give the contacts of the rest of the cell, you are going to sing your little heart out, you stupid bitch!"

"NO! There were no guns! Nothing like that!"

"You think I'm stupid, Alberta? You sit there with your fancy private school education and you think you are as good as white? Or better? Better than ME? You think I'm stupid?"

"Officer Semper..."

"SIR! You black bitch, you call me SIR. " he springs up and paces around the table to stand deliberately behind Alberta. "Tell me about Tambinda: who did he talk to, where did he go, what was he planning?"

Alberta cries out at his proximity, at the heat of his breath, the smell of him. "I don't know! Ask him!"

"He's gone Alberta, they are all gone. So all I have is you...And I am going to squeeze you, and you will tell me everything. Everything!"

"But I don't know anything, please. You are making a mistake!"

"If you know nothing why did you run?" he leans forward, his head next to hers, cheek pressed to hers, "Why. Did. You. Run."

"Someone...told me..."

Semper whispers in her ear, his breath stirs a strand of her damp hair. "Who? Who told you?"

Alberta is silent, trembling. She turns her cheek away.

"Little bird, someone told you to run and you run even though you "know nothing"?"

Her voice is as soft as a whsper "Yes."

Semper screams in her ear "YES SIR!"

Alberta finds herself sobbing "Yes, Sir, Officer Semper..."

Semper twines his fingers in her long hair and pulls her head back. Her long graceful dancer's neck is taut. "Are you mocking me, Alberta?"


Semper whispers, intimate as a lover "No, Sir..."

"No, Sir...Please..."

"Please what?"

"Please may I go to the toilette? Sir."

"Well, you see Alberta, this is a facility for Whites. We don't have toilettes for you. So I tell you what: you tell me what I want to know? And you go over to the next wing and we let you go to "the loo"." He grins as he mocks her refined accent.

"But I don't know anything, don't you see..."

"You are lying, you little black bastard bitch..." He twists her hair around his fist, "Now tell me about Samuel Davo, and Frederick Tambinda." Alberta cries out in fear and pain, tears start running down her face while the urine gushes out and trickles down her legs.

"Did you just piss yourself? Little Miss Almost White Uppity Coloured? Did you piss yourself?"

He presses his cheek against hers, runs his finger down her cheek, catches the tears on his finger tips, sucks them dry.

"You crying Alberta? Don't cry...You're much too pretty too cry. When I saw you come in, I thought to myself "why there is a piece I'd like to fuck if it wasn't against the law", but looking at you now...I'm a bit disgusted. Look at yourself Alberta. You stink...Think that white boy would want you now?"

Alberta whispers his name, to herself, to me, no one else - so low even Semper doesnt hear her. "Michael..."
She escapes into the sound of his name, the vision of his face on that windswept beach even as Semper's hands drive into her shoulders, as the second man walks in and back-slaps her off the chair.

She falls on the floor, they fall on her and I tumble from her hand.

She isn't there, she is rising on her toes, dancing the “Rose” on the wet sand, with a flashing rainbow in her hand.

Later, much later they throw what is left of Alberta Ngige into a cell.
She curls up on the mat on the stone floor, the sweet place between her thighs that had been Michael's welcome-home is now a wound, oozing pain and blood and the salt-sour stench of another crime.

From "Turquoise Moon"

Manuela Cardiga

Notes for the Rose and the Nightingale dance scene from "Turquoise Moon"

the voices begins
then the crescendo
and her, standing for one moment
clinging to the fence
and then she launches herself
into the air
she dances
like something with wings
like nothing can stop her
but the death of love
or despair;

and the prison guards
on the walkways above
stop to watch:
they can't breathe
her motion thieves
the very oxygen
from their lungs
and at the end,
when the nightingale dies,
they cry.

then slowly the women scatter,
quietly, each to their own affair
and she lies there
a tremulous heap of imagined feathers 
and the woman Jan-Jan 
prods at her supine body
with a hard and dusty toe:

"you lied to me
you lied to me.
i didnt laugh,
i cried."


Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Living in love is like looking at a landscape through binoculars: you may occasionally need to adjust the focus, but the view doesn’t change.

There is extraordinary beauty in the mundane and all you have to do to enjoy and appreciate it is to open your eyes.

The essence of a successful life is not in the achievement of wealth or status, but in the fight for what you believe in.


Saturday, 11 July 2015


“It’s not that I don’t love you enough,”
He proclaimed as he lay on my bed:
“Rather I may love you
Too deeply for comfort, and
In quite an obsessive way...”

“Oh,” says I, and level on him
My admittedly amused eye
“How do you love me?
Shall we count the ways?”

“You love me that I comfort you,
You love me that I lift you
From your soul-deep mire,
You love that I awaken your desire
And bring you back
To a long forgotten fire,
You love the dizzy drunken pain
Of believing you love again,
You love mostly believing
That I love you just the same!

But oh my dear, that hesitation,
Wavering twix will and will not?
Tells me one thing I knew,
And you thought I had forgot.
You love me but a little
And yourself quite a lot…”

Oh but that, I must confess,
That is as far as I got…
He left, alas, and forgot his socks.

And the moral of the story is
(And don’t you ever, ever forget),
That her heart may be engaged
But a woman’s brain is not dead.

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

My little folk-story drawing on my Jewish heritage 



#556 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Jewish

#615 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Jewish

Saturday, 4 July 2015

On Will Shakespeare’s 400th Death Anniversary...


Upon my soul
I do declare,
There is no more
To desire in this life;

No fire of ambition
Can compare
To the ecstasy
Of gazing into your eyes
And seeing the spirit-flame
Of mirrored passion there.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Dark is light and light is dark depending on your sight, 
which is why dervishes spin like planets, 
to grasp the essence of the universe: 5 dimensions and not 3.

They do it because the revelation is ecstasy.

Conversations with Ivan

You are not in control of the world, you are not in control of your body's cells, you are not even in control of your own emotional life unless you are a hermit and live withdrawn from people and love.

You are only in control of how you react to that very lack of control.

If you admit this to yourself, you may find a large measure of your anger and anxiety draining away.

Manuela Cardiga

Day and Night
Dark and Light
Bewilder sight

Am I the angel
Or the devil in a spin
Prancing on the head
Of a pin?

Manuela Cardiga

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Embrace self-knowledge and the change it brings.
Pain is transient, growth is not.

Manuela Cardiga