She Spat

In remembrance of all the victims of the Chennai rains, and especially the 280 souls who lost their lives in it.

It robbed us of our breath, this rain,

Her thrash fierce but poised.

She dragged into wet knots hair,

And etched walnuts into fingers.

She carved into curved toes curious layers,

And filled with sad musk our minds and prayers.

The monster of mould crept and invaded

our underwear creases and linen linings,

Revealing all our rotten secrets,

For nature knows no bias.

In this rain every crevice drowned,

So we lived this rain

That had no time,

pouring beyond our worldly dimensions.

This living being; infinite, brazen,

She sobbed dark tears in to the ground,

And hounded waterfalls in to the earth;

The streets she bloated with ugly swells,

So to its surface rose human shame.

Flooding the world with what it deserved,

She pressed man’s knees to beg forgiveness

For daring to wield her elegant might

With his hand, so meek and feeble.

So for this heinous human insult,

Upon his palm,

She Spat


Uchida Farm

Just as pesticide-infused crops are mere shells, growing obediently and silently in their civilized surroundings, so can humans lose their sense of life when placed in cities, robbed of purpose and sapped of energy. Perhaps this is why there is such a strong correlation between ex-city dwellers and the pursuit of organic living.

photo by Akio Uchida
photo by Akio Uchida

Uchida Farm in Tomi City, Nagano is run by Michiko and Akio, a lively couple in their mid-60s. Their hillside farmhouse and fields lie below a full expanse of sky and clouds, set to a backdrop of the Japanese Alps. I believe that it is these dynamic elements that inspire Akio to dedicate himself to his fields each day, a reminder that the universe is alive and breathing and that the role of humanity is to simply fall into the natural rhythms that we are presented with. Continue reading

Pitara Farm

Creation: to make something from what is already there.


Fields in Hokutoshi, Yamanashi Prefecture (photo credit: Masumi Stadl-Suga)
Fields in Hokutoshi, Yamanashi Prefecture
(photo credit: Masumi Stadl-Suga)

I had the privilege of spending a few weeks in June on Pitara farm, an organic farming community surrounded by ancient mountains and open sky in Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture. Pitara, its name taken from the Maori for “ladybird”, is run by a small team of staff all in their 30s, led by the omnipresent and ever-reliable Tai-chan. Its grounds rarely fall quiet as a constant stream of colourful characters feel free to drop in to its homely space with babies or plums or out-of-date bread, to share tales of Peruvian tribes or impart with passion the local topography. Continue reading