In an endeavour to explain his policy of war against Iraq to the American people as well as to an increasingly sceptical world, president Bush and his team do not shy away from referring to the 1980 attack on Iran, which led to 8 years of war between the two neighbouring countries. This, although Mr. Bush has chosen to link the two countries – as well as North Korea – together in an “axis of ….” , and without any mention of the fact that the United States supported and also armed Iraq throughout that war. (more…)

With great difficulty, advancing by millimetres each year, I carve a
road out of the rock

With great difficulty, advancing by millimetres each year, I carve a
road out of the rock.  For millennia my teeth have wasted and my nails
broken to get there, to the other side, to the light and open air. And
now that my hands bleed and my teeth tremble, unsure ,
in a cavity cracked by thirst and dust, I pause and contemplate my work: I have
spent the second part of my life breaking the stones, drilling the walls,
smashing the doors and removing the obstacles, I placed between the light and
myself in the first part of my life.”

 

(Octavio Paz – selected poems Penguin books ,
1979)

  (more…)

“The businessman who assumes that life is everything, and the mystic who
asserts that it is nothing, fail, on this side and on

“The
businessman who assumes that life is everything, and the mystic who asserts
that it is nothing, fail, on this side and on that, to hit the truth. ‘yes , I
see, dear; it is about halfway between……..No; truth, being alive, was not
halfway between anything. It was only to be found by continuous excursions
into their realm, and though proportion is the final secret, to espouse it at
the outset is to ensure sterility.”

(From
Howards End; A novel by E. M. Forster) (more…)

Handcuffs

Handcuffs

 

Handcuffs

Have steel fangs

Whose bite is more painful

Than a whole battilion

Of fleas

 

Though the itch in my heart

Grows deeper and deeper

I cannot scratch.

 

How can I?

My wrists are manacled.

My mind

Is caged

My soul is shackled.

 

I can only grimace at the etheral cloud,

‘Have hope, brother,

despair is for the defeated.’

 

(Oswald Mtshali
– from South African Freedom Poems; Heinemann, 1980)

  (more…)

“Intelligence, Give me”

Intelligence,
Give me

 

Intelligence, give me

the exact name of things!

…I want, my word to be

the thing itself

created by my soul a second time.

So that those who do not know them

Can go to the things through me,

all those who have forgotten them

can go to the things through me,

all those who love them

can go to things through me…

Intelligence, give me

The exact name, and your name

And theirs and mine, for things!

 

(Juan Ramon Jimenez – selected poems Beacon Press, 1997)

  (more…)

TO :

In March 2002,
a number of writers as also specialists on Dialogue gathered on the island of Kish – Iran – for the first Global Seminar on Fiction
and Dialogue Among Cultures, hosted by the Iranian
Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations.

 

In preparation for the
seminar, and also during those few days, when we were already “preparing”
ourselves for news of an attack on Iraq and therefore the
“next war”, some of us came to reflect on the elements that must proceed any fruitful and goal-oriented dialogue, first and
foremost knowledge and thought.

 

One could say that what we
missed at Kish, for in fact there was little true dialogue and indication of “fore-thought” among the participants, brought
about a multitude of feelings and thoughts in each one of those whose papers
are represented here, so that in the end, the road not taken, took us further
onto new directions!

 

May some of the thoughts
reflected here, be of interest to some of you, and give rise to new “conscious
dialogues” – both within and without!

  (more…)