Tune Into Joy – An Ode To Maya Angelou!

I know why the Free Bird sings
With a joyous thrill
Of a True Love unmet
But longed for still
And Alex’s T-Shirt caught his tune
He wishes to meet me, with tea and spoon
‘V’-shaped wings flap out on both sides
An ‘X’ in the middle to show Winchester hides
On this distant hill
By the windowsill
For I am the Free Bird, I joyfully sing
Even in the depths of night, my Pen lingering

To my Eternal Love… ♥ ♥ ♥ 

"... And Alex’s T-Shirt caught his tune He wishes to meet me, with tea and spoon ‘V’-shaped wings flap out on both sides An ‘X’ in the middle to show Winchester hides..."

“… And Alex’s T-Shirt caught his tune
He wishes to meet me, with tea and spoon
‘V’-shaped wings flap out on both sides
An ‘X’ in the middle to show Winchester hides…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester | UK 2015

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In Ancient Waters Of Bath

In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…

Stand once by my bricked banks, to be as the seed surged on by water-willow Light
Swim into my embryonic depths and meet Your awakening, its fresh delight
Rise up with lotus intent and face the Sun, let prayers know why they exist in the pools of Your heart
Time-unbound and maiden of springs, I declare thee as my chest-caressed Art

In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…

"In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You..."

“In ancient waters of Bath did Your tenured eyes make see dew
Whose iris green, quill ink of forests, Sulis Minerva, I am to You…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Bath | Somerset | UK 2015

The End Is Only The Beginning…

‘Surya Namashkar’ is an ancient Indian yogic posture, consisting of the pressing of the palms of both hands together in celebratory salutation to the Sun, the symbol of a new day awakening with promise and renewal. In this final photograph extracted from the chronicles of my adventures in Paris, my baby sister, quite unexpectedly, performed the gesture just before I pressed down the shutter button. I was certainly taken aback at the time but, back in the comforts and contemplative atmosphere of the drawing room in England, it dawned on me that I could decipher a timeless piece of wisdom that had elegantly formulated itself into the composition thanks to my sister’s sudden flight of fancy. Opposing disappearance into the abyss of oblivion, some things in this world of ours triumph over mortality, consistently strive to rebirth themselves under new suns… :))

Eternally Yours,
Mazzy xxx

No hint did she, small sister of mine, give me before my taking the shot
That after shutter button to go down she’d have my brains in a square knot
For little did I know that her devious ingenuity was at premium-grade play
Fusing two ancient cultures together to have me send You on a tea tray:
A glass soul had been raised to the sky, yesteryear’s brick Pyramid sang of eternal afterlife
And Jen’s Surya Namaskar, palm ballet of new morn, tearing darkness with a knife… :))

“… A glass soul had been raised to the sky, yesteryear’s brick Pyramid sang of eternal afterlife
And Jen’s Surya Namaskar, palm ballet of new morn, tearing darkness with a knife…”

Photography & Poetry: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Louvre Pyramid | Louvre Museum | Paris | France 2015

The Gypsy Accordion Player Of The River Seine

Diary 12: The Gypsy Accordion Player Of The Seine River

To my beloved Reader whom I hold unendingly dear,

I do hope that You will find it in Your heart to forgive me for my mysteriously protracted absence from these virtual shores but I have a perfectly legitimate explanation for my disappearing act of late! Do take a seat and indulge in a homely brew of the most refined tea leaves Your locality can offer before I trudge on ahead! Ah, You have agreed to Yourself that You shall pretend as if You have followed through my noble instruction – that shall not do! Go, off You go, and do not return until You are the proud recipient of the steamy artefact to which I emphatically refer to! No, no, remove those saucy and rude thoughts immediately! It is TEA I am insinuating and not that which is flashing garishly in Your imagination! We have children in the audience, so do behave for goodness sake! Giggle, giggle!

My teaching post shall recommence for the autumnal term very soon so I am dedicating all the remaining time that I have left of the summer holidays to travelling around the country and meeting friends and family. I have already collated a bulky set of photographic archives of which some I shall endeavour to share with You in the near future. I am currently in transition from one destination to another and it was just so that I returned home and a spare momentary breather from my adventures flew onto my lap and made possible this delightful window of opportunity for me to share with You one more exquisite tale from my sojourns in Paris!

So what have I to gift You this time? Let us deal with the matter with a rhetorical questioning from my side! What glorious catastrophe can we expect when that most anticipated and rarest of encounters should happen on the road, when those searching eyes meet for the first time another fellow wanderer of the earth? Ah, You are lost for a satisfactory answer as I was! I can only barely submit mine in words but I do pray that You shall consider such a moment as an instance of utter Victory, not dissimilar to when a relentless miner stumbles on the brightest gem after a hundred years of chiselling away at rocks, as when new fires – golden and wheaten – rise on the fingertips of unadorned trees in the autumn, as when two souls fearlessly contradict the order of nature by existing apart in space and time and yet are to be found experiencing life with seamless synchronicity.  Are You and I of the same substance? Perhaps… :))

Please permit me to paint the smile in my heart onto Your own as I present to You one of my favourite photographs from Paris, the moment my gypsy soul embraced glances with another gypsy, an accordion player who I found sat on the cobbled bridges of the River Seine.

I beg of You to look after Yourself, to make happiness grow wherever You stand, and to spend at least three hours a day without the smartphone by Your side – replace with a good book or a contemplative stroll in the arms of Nature or even a hearty gathering with loved ones if possible! I promise You it will inspire You to see the world as it was ought to be seen… :))

I vow that I shall return soon to You, my esteemed admirer!

In defiant disregard of Space and Time, Your Eternal Amaranthine Gypsy
Mazzy xxx

The Accordian Player Of The River Seine

“… the moment my gypsy soul embraced glances with another gypsy, an accordion player who I found sat on the cobbled bridges of the River Seine…”

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | River Seine | Paris | France 2015

Mon Etalon Péruvienne, Anternor! (My Peruvian Stallion, Anternor!)

Diary 7: Mon Etalon Péruvienne, Anternor! (My Peruvian Stallion, Anternor!)

Aah…your accent is… so…so… clear and…erm… beautiful. I understand every word you saying. I can listen and listen you know…”, the broken English was shyly spoken with a detectable hint of breathless eagerness, our delightfully congenial and warm spirited hotel receptionist, the wonderful Mr Anternor from Peru, plunged instantly under my spell!

Always acting with routine formality when he served the other customers, in my presence he adorably thrust his chest out and beamed smiles so wide that I would urge climate scientists to consider his ebullient nature as one of the fundamental causes of the growing meltdown of icebergs at the two poles of the planet!

So tell me, where are you from? You speak is so so so…..mmmmm. Not like Americans, I can never understand what they say!” Anternor’s shoulders were in the throes of a subtle sway, this chap was decisively smitten by my voice and my eloquence of speech and I rewarded him with a teasing pause in which time the black of his pupils grew larger.

I am very touched by your compliments, thank you so very much! I am from England, a small town with a formidable regal history, it is called Winchester”, I simply loved how time and time again I was given the opportunity to widen the audience of acquaintances who come to know about my tiny city in which I grew up in.

Aah, never been there. I been to Oxford and London. London, very expensive! Next time, I go to your town to see you, ok?”  Mr Anternor’s enthusiasm was truly inspiring, what a darling of a man! He did not come across as the creepy sort that most of You might have jumped to the conclusion to at this point. Far from it, Mr Anternor’s character shone with the honeyed nostalgia of the friendliness of strangers one tends to find in the countryside. For me, he was a fellow kindred spirit, complimenting my own connecting nature and, evidencing confirmation once again that even in the greatest of cities, irrespective  of their impersonal and alienating maps, You are bound to make at least one good mate! I found mine in Mr Anternor, my Peruvian stallion!

Of course, of course, it will be an amazing pleasure to welcome you to Winchester! Do come and see me, I shall be waiting!” And to these words Mr Anternor lifted off the ground a few inches, he had received the best commission of the day!

Thank you, thank you. You know, your voice…. I….I think very nice…” He was definitely Peruvian, for he felt no shame at all in being a man and at the same time expressing what he felt at heart without offending the lady. He mastered it with style, class, and sincerity.

I seriously did want to give him a huge bear hug and to tell him that he ought to sit down and rest with a cup of tea! I had tired him far too much! But it was what he said next that brought to crystal light the true reason that lay behind this comical exchange of dialogue.

“Your voice beautiful…. calm…. clear… peaceful…. I think you must be…. er……. er doctor, right…?”

I knew in my heart, before the conversation had taken root, that he had already painted my soul in the picture of a healer.

Well, I am a kind of doctor….

I swear Anternor’s eyes had walked out of their alcoves. Cautiously they floated closer to my face, they wished to capture the entirety of what I had reserved to reveal to him, so as to complete my preceding truncated sentence.

I am a Teacher…

Anternor’s face lit up like the moon…   :))

My Peruvian Stallion, Anternor

“… Far from it, Mr Anternor’s character shone with the honeyed nostalgia of the friendliness of strangers one tends to find in the countryside. For me, he was a fellow kindred spirit…”

EPILOGUE: This transcript is NOT a work of fiction. If You are plagued by disbelief then may I suggest You get in touch with my brother and sister, Ab and Jen Jens. They were stood in the lobby the whole time, impatiently! Giggle, giggle!

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Our Hotel | Paris | France 2015

Les Anges De Notre-Dame (The Angels Of Notre Dame)

To my most beloved and dearest ardent Reader,

Oh my word, so long have my fingers held the pen and notebook that the keyboard has taken the strange tinge of the unfamiliar and exotic and should it be so that You discover a typo error here or there please do not viciously reprimand me on the grounds of petty laziness, the truth is lengthy absences from the virtual world does a rather exact job at causing me to forget my way around it! Giggle, giggle!

Ah, I have arrived back to my gloriously green-hilled England but it will take a little longer for my heart to follow suit. No man to this day has mustered enough leviathan quantities of bravado to yet pen the poetry of Love directly to me but I am proud to announce that a CITY has done just that! One of the greatest metropolises of the world towered with instantly recognisable and iconic landmarks, a tumultuous cultural and social history saturated in rich tales of political revolutions, artistic and philosophical vanguards, and quite rightly known to the entire world as the ‘City of Love and Light’, Paris won my heart straightaway! Splayed across the River Seine, Paris’ topographical patchwork quilt of communities spiral round as like the rings of a conch shell, each ‘arrondissement’ boasting its own intimate maze of cobbled streets and bustling cafes and accented with an unique atmosphere, ranging from the hip and stylish cosmopolitan airs of Champs-Élysées to the more sedate and quirky corners of the artistic pulse of Montmartre. Indeed for the inquisitive-eyed explorer that I am, Paris immediately seduced my affections, I would shrivel into dark oblivion if I did not immerse completely into its library of assorted curiosities! And that is precisely what I did!

Accompanied by my two fabulous siblings, my brother and sister were naturally poised towards capturing the traditional monuments on their Smartphone devices and in their sketchbooks. As is my signature preference I secretly vowed to myself that I would paint a more intimate, personal canvas of Paris, in words and in pictures. If all heads were fixated in one direction I knew mine would be trained elsewhere, for a Storyteller is cognisant of the truth that a story is a creature of infinite breadth and length, it exists wherever the teller chooses to point the eye of their imagination. I wished to continue being that teller, bringing to You the stories that mattered to me and, as I hope and pray, if and when they reach Your heart, You shall come to envision them as a conduit by which I have expressed to You the devoted and private soul that breathes behind the façade of one of the most talked about cities of the world. So, my strict instructions to You at this point which are essential that You comply, are that You must prepare a fresh brew of tea, sit back in Your armchair, forget about the clock, put away the Smartphone, and hold my hand. There is so much to tell You… :))

Yours in Timeless Devotion,
Mazzy xxx

Diary 1: Les Anges De Notre-Dame (The Angels Of Notre Dame)      
I suppose my residency in a town famed for its internationally renowned medieval Cathedral was the impetus responsible for compelling my feet to first travel to the spiritual and geographic heartland of the city, to the island quarter housing the stunning masterpiece of gothic architecture, The Notre Dame. In English the title translates as ‘Our Lady’, this 200 year old cathedral is a loving commemoration of a closely cherished spiritual figure of mine whose piety and kindness has inspired my own Vision as a person and artist, the Virgin Mary. She has always offered me solace in times of darkness, and put succinctly, her integrity to Goodness is what I aspire to in life.

Great stain glass rose windows, impressive flying buttresses and grimacing gargoyles that ward off the evil eye are all magnificent features of the Notre Dame and more so the breath-taking views from its tall towers from which You can enjoy hypnotic panoramic views of the city. As I stood outside its colossal archways, bending my little neck to catch sight of the top where tiny moving figures scurried and crawled, tourists on the hunt to capture the best aerial photographs, the giant bells began to ring and a deep sonorous sound filled the air with its peal of sacred reverberations. Wistfully I pondered to myself, could that be the disfigured and recluse bell ringer at work, Quasimodo, the tragic hero of Victor Hugo’s eponymous, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, ringing the bells from the high dim-lit towers, yearning that the tones of his message will reach the ears of his true Love, Esmeralda, the charismatic enchantress and travelling gypsy? I, for one, heard him true and clear.

But it was not to be that I were to take the well-travelled path and engross myself with the task of covering a comprehensive photo shoot of the Notre Dame like everyone else did. My third eye was tugged in a slightly different direction, an offbeat pursuit to compliment the strings of my heartbeat! Did You send word to me about the magic of flight, have You composed a poem of things that fly, is Your Facebook cover photo a frozen essence of something that flies? I reckon it was You who did it! Whilst my siblings sat on the stone walls and took to the pleasure of sketching away the intricate seams of the building, I was blissfully led astray by Your calling, to find a cure for Your sore eyes.

Camera in hand, notebook wedged between my blazer and blouse, I walked to the east side of the cathedral where soon enough a huge swarm of pigeons, a feathery sea of greys, greens and one white, gathered around my legs. An homely smile carved into my face, I felt so at peace with my flighty friends, it was as if each one was reminding me of who I was, a fleeting mirror of my true face. I do not know how long I stood there, time did not only become irrelevant, it had devolved back into the egg of Creation, no more to play truant with our fragilities. And then as if this was not Magic enough, strangers fondly and cautiously stepped into my circus of angels and each time they were pecked at or that they discovered that they had surprisingly inherited a new feathery hat on their heads I clicked away!

I am proud to present to You a menagerie of photographs brimming with Love, each a glowing and ageless decisive moment in which my sacred heart grew wings to touch the lives of strangers. Click on each image for a sparky caption underneath that is guaranteed to make You swoon! I am absolutely certain that YOU will find in each frame a mirror that tightly connects, links, conjoins You and I. Though Your admittance of that fact may not be so easily forthcoming, I know You are overwhelmed in a deluge of warm relief to know that time and space only enslave those whose who kneel before it. You and I, even without the service of technology, can always be relied upon to show the world that Destiny labouringly ensures that we consistently demonstrate an entrancing act of mirroring no matter how many cities come between us… :))

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 1

“Donning a blazing red Formula One jacket, this little adorable chappy probably spends his nights dreaming about how he will jump into the fastest car ever made and overtake all the high-flyers on the race track someday, however, my gentle feathery tickles stopped him in his tracks!”

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 2

“On the contrary to what might be expected of an ambitious motoring enthusiast, my little chappy turned towards me and I do not know about You but it would seem he smiles with humble gratitude. I cannot rip myself away from this frame because I am perpetually wondering whether he knows how beautifully he shines when he abandons the speed, adopting a stilled existence in its place thanks to the perched companionship on his right arm.”

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 3

“What more profound feat of my seamstress expertise than to plant an animated totem of flight on this cute girl’s pink top? My instincts tell me that she shall go far!”

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 4

“If Jesus was gruesomely crucified on the cross for the sins of Man then I, the Storyteller, pen its curative aftermath. In the stunning hues of the amaranthine flower, this fair maiden calmly extends her body out in the formation of the crucifix, and I could not resist but strip away the bloody wreath of thorns and bludgeoning nails, magically making residence in their place the flighty fragrances of my Love. “

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 5

“Ah, shimmering in my beloved Krishna blue, the spontaneous giggles and happy surprise bursting out in the face of this cheeky madam was a huge joy to behold. She was utterly having the time of her life and I laughed so much that I nearly stepped on a few of my flighty friends! So sorry! Surely a prophecy that connects You and I, if You look at the two Love birds on her hand, the negative space between them creates a Krishna blue heart too! Ah, shucks, I am blushing and do not know where the ‘stop’ button is!”

Les Anges De Notre-Dame 6

“You are no stranger to significance of this decisive moment. The Winged Goddess of Victory, Nike, glows with lunar splendour on the face of the brown paper bag – and I KNOW You are in sheer awe of how my words penned to You in the past have come spectacularly alive now, in the present… :)) “

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Notre Dame Cathedral | Paris | France 2015

TOMBOY ALERT! 92212 British Railways Standard Class 9F

BEWARE, this article may sound incredibly boring to those whose minds are disinclined to gear their attention towards reading accounts of exuberant praises of one of the finest examples of British industrial age engineering! For nerds and tomboys, You are in for a veritable treat! Giggle, giggle!

Designed for British Railways by Mr Riddles in the 1950s, this powerful locomotive was initially intended to travel at fast speeds – 35mph (!) – operating freight trains and after a few modifications were applied by Mr Riddles, a more efficient relationship between fuel consumption and load distribution was achieved. This steamer has the mighty lady power to carry 900 tons at any one time, although just before the Fat Controller stomps aboard she is known to let out a boom of smoke to remind him that he ought to go on a calorie-controlled diet! Hehehehe!!!!

Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, I am enormously excited to present to You the sublime supernova of steel, the ineffably cool, the ethereally seductive, the transcendent cloud-puffer, the First Lady of the Tracks, The 92212 Class 9F!

EPILOGUE:  I would only ever marry a man who was brave enough to engage with me in a discussion on the subject of steam locomotives! Choo-choo, could it be You…? :))

LINK: I shall leave it in Your good telepathic intelligence to decipher which trains would LINK You to my Home… :))

92212 - British Railways Standard Class 9F

“… This steamer has the mighty lady power to carry 900 tons at any one time, although just before the Fat Controller stomps aboard she is known to let out a boom of smoke to remind him that he ought to go on a calorie-controlled diet…”

 

Photography & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Summer Reunions | Alresford – Alton | UK 2015

Mulled Wine: The 123-Word Short Story Series

Presenting a bite-size morsel of storytelling magic that shall refrain from tipping over 123 words…

Mulled wine is a seasonal concoction popular in England and brewed of red wine or fruit juice which is mulled with festive spices such as cloves, grated nutmeg, cinnamon and orange peel. On this particular day I purchased a little cup of the fruity variety whilst admiring the decorative opulence of the stall. Dwarfishly fat wooden barrels and huge brass cauldrons partnered with shiny long-necked ladles had me thoroughly entranced on the spot!

Mulled Wine

“Dwarfishly fat wooden barrels and huge brass cauldrons partnered with shiny long-necked ladles had me thoroughly entranced on the spot…”

 

It was a little after the queue had died down that I noticed something most curious. The lady vendor had frozen completely, enwrapped in some unreachable private thought – indeed, she was mulling over something and I can tell you for certain that it was not the contents in the pot…

Mulling Vendor

“The lady vendor had frozen completely, enwrapped in some unreachable private thought – indeed, she was mulling over something and I can tell you for certain that it was not the contents in the pot…”

 

Note. In English the infinitive verb of ‘to mull’ means to be in a state of deep thinking.

 

Photograph & Words: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Winchester Christmas Markets | UK 2014

The Healing Of The Tin Man

Little by little, part by part
Life returned to his metallic heart
His eyes, lips and hands were to follow
Things began filling what had been hollow
And today when I met him on the street
His soul was a note less grey and downbeat
Something had certainly changed this sunny afternoon
I saw so in the sunrise of his pink crescent moon…

 

The Healing Of The Tin Man

“And today when I met him on the street,
His soul was a note less grey and downbeat…”

 

Photograph & Poem: © Masufa Khatun | Mazzy Khatun Photo Stories | Southampton | UK 2014