how to survive

cook a pot of soup
lentils bay leaf cinnamon
call your enemy as guest
serve double portions

sit down next to
the man with the gun
talk of his grandfather
start painting his portrait
likeness to the ancient mariner

when appropriate
watch the planes nose diving
talk of tactics
become a tree                    juli Jana







shoes for a diva

the heel leans sideways
a tower of pisa

ankle straps give a forward thrust
destination the ball of the foot

toes are left evenly spread
by cutting a windowed toe exit

a twisted red bow
pinned sideways off the arch’s apex
portends to frustrate those with a foot fetish
desiring to undo the strap
stroke the evenly lined up toes
the high instep

all is left unsaid
yet all will be said in the first step        juli Jana



marble piano on display

carved to perfection

no strings attached
no resounding woodwork

a lack of vibration

white notes interspersed with white
the black discarded

no half tones



center stage                                juli Jana




research – heart of london

salisbury court fleet street,
samuel pepys calls on a surgeon to remove a gall stone, first a pipe is used up the penis to locate it, then
it isremoved it with a pair of pliers – it gets used as a paperweight   1658

hole-in-the-wall tavern chandos street,
claude du vall beloved highwayman of the ladies
having come from venice to charm with manners
is captured & hung – not even king charles II can save him    1670

jerusalem passage,
coal merchant thomas britton stores coal a-plenty in his cellar, choral concerts held upstairs, he has table for composing, coffee costs a penny a cup

covent garden, boasts taverns theatres and coffee shops 22 gambling dens 56 brothels, fair rosamund sugarcunt creates her own perfume,
sells it to intoxicated love sick suitors

bunhill gardens,
dame mary page shows no fears at operations, is tapped 60 times yielding 240 gallons of water, she never complains & attains middle age

green canister in half moon street,
first sex shop sells flagellation machines & woman comforters in leather, also preservatives known as cundums
to stop the stream of bastard progeny especially for the royals

gentleman’s club white’s in piccadilly,
duke of queensbury courts ladies & wagers a wacky bet “short of time” that within an hour a 4 wheeled carriage can cover 19 miles,
he wins by using a whalebone & silk harness to lighten the load    1747

greek street 47,
casanova arrives from venice setting up lodgings in london,
advertises for young ladies claiming the art of seduction to be a profession,
he belittles a troublemaker by parading a parrot shouting charpillon is a whore    1763 if thy heart a male look to thy purse, if thou are a female look to thy heart – casanova

burlington arcade piccadilly,
lord cavendish has the arcade erected for his wife to shop in, safety excludes rowdies who throw oysters & enforces a code of conduct – no whistling no singing or opening of umbrellas

upper floor execeter exchange the strand,
edward cross having a menagerie here in the city centre
has an ageing destructive elephant chunee dissected publically, sells tickets for public to watch

athenaeum club pall mall,
honours the duke of wellington who defeated napoleon by erecting a granite block to use in dismounting his horse taking into account his old age

royal acquirium & winter garden opposite westminister abbey,
the entertainer farini uses a 14 year old girl zazel as a human cannonball, shoots her a distance of 30 feet by means of a long tube fitted with springs,
crowds flock to see the spectacle

audley square mayfair
at the height of the cold war the lamppost with a little trapdoor on the side situated outside number 2, is used for message drops
by the russian secret service spies

old kent road bermondsey,
russell gray having been refused permission to build,
installs a 35ton T34 tank on a small plot
the council agreeing that he could have a tank  1995 juli Jana




the strada bianca ribbons its way to the capella de vitaleta where I plan to go for meditation but I wander on passing through ploughed fields and the young vineyards of the valdorcia to the duomo de pienza for I had read in wikipedia built on the edge & slipping and in tripadvisor loved the church bells

walking down the romanesque isle     marbled columns reach to a fluted ceiling

aware of the dual level floor and teetering church   I hold my hands in penance

go for coffee at the café next door the owners’ washing overhead fans me while I view the etruscan landscape     savour the almond biscuits   note the languages of tourists

it is time for the angelus as it is twelve o’clock according to my watch   but there was only the swift wing of a hawk diving from the tower where the bells hang motionless against a botticelli sky

it is when I return to green tuscany hills   sit in a gathering of pines and cypresses at la poggio bacoca that I sense a breath sighing amidst leaves and hear between the calls of thrush and swallow between the humming of bees and insects not the chimes of bells   but my name being called cascading down the valley and up its slopes

I answer here am I   not knowing what else to say

juli Jana








shedding the sun

rousseau dreamt of africa
jungles with exotic animals lurking
naïve energy sprouting singly
as in lilies in clustered trees
pink bodies like grasses knitted
between green foliage & blue sky

as I shed my african sun walking london’s streets
chimney pots jostle for space echoing
people with stiff necks eyes averted
mocking me as I revert back to rousseau
forests in patterned leaves shooting upwards
deserts pale against the sky’s piercing colours
lines stretching unending abstracts
the equalizing of human and animals in landscape
a world without
feeling within                                 juli Jana


I come from

I come from a place
where the sun sparkles
amongst heaven’s things
aloe buchu kwarrie
leaves branches a patterning
in mixed textures
raised foregrounds
hard against ashes of sky

like a cheetah spotting veld
like a predator surveying
I move with the /Xam
across plains
cutting boundaries
straddling rivers

I shade the day
silhouette the night
between boabab trees
that support the milky way

dissipate dawn
rain down in thunder
as lightning I flare
as breeze I touch

I shall remain in my place
running the horizon
naming the day
circling the sun

then I will sit like a bush
& be a man that pauses
in the running like a dassie
basking in africa’s sun
juli Jana