Lemn Sissay

An author of five collections of poetry. He is the first poet to write for the Olympics 2012, and is an associate artist at the Southbank Centre. He tweets @lemnsissay

The chubby drone

A favourite lyric of mine is by octogenarian soul man  BB King in a ditty called Better Not Look Down.  He describes a beautiful woman walking by “If the arrows from cupid’s bow, that had  passed through her heart, had been sticking out of her body  she would have looked like a porcupine.”  It may not be Gulzar but I love it. Most straight thinking people wouldn’t trust a low flying chubby child firing random shots down to earth with a bow and arrow but there’s nothing like tradition to fly in the face of logic. Cupid (for it is he) is ...

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Islamabad scareport

For the purpose of this tale, I’ll describe the reception area at Islamabad airport as an horizontal U in a space the size of two large kitchens. Stood at the beginning of the left hand column of the U is a security guard for the first security check. Walk through this and along to the curve at the bottom of the U. That’s where (on its outer perimeter) there’s a long table. Behind it are five customs officers in front of it are four queues waiting to have their bags searched.  Walk past this and you’ll swerve up the right hand part of the U parallel to the left – ...

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