Was it for this?

Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides;
And, broken ghosts with glow-worms in their heads,
The things of light
File through the flesh where no flesh decks the bones.

The Camargue, summer

A candle in the thighs
Warms youth and seed and burns the seeds of age;
Where no seed stirs,
The fruit of man unwrinkles in the stars,
Bright as a fig;
Where no wax is, the candle shows its hairs.

Mumbai, early spring

Dawn breaks behind the eyes;
From poles of skull and toe the windy blood
Slides like a sea;
Nor fenced, nor staked, the gushers of the sky
Spout to the rod
Divining in a smile the oil of tears.

Mumbai, early spring

Night in the sockets rounds,
Like some pitch moon, the limit of the globes;
Day lights the bone;
Where no cold is, the skinning gales unpin
The winter’s robes;
The film of spring is hanging from the lids.

Zurich, high summer

Light breaks on secret lots,
On tips of thought where thoughts smell in the rain;
When logics dies,
The secret of the soil grows through the eye,
And blood jumps in the sun;
Above the waste allotments the dawn halts.

Paris, late summer

Light? What is gentle and beautiful about light? Light is a harsh thing, the kind of thing that sent Dylan Thomas off on long rants. When you have to deal with harsh tropical light all the time, you envy photographers in parts of the world where the sun slants down and filters through a thick layer of air to drip its soft light on things. They can keep their fatuous sunbeams. We know what sunlight is: a killer.

Kloster Eberbach, high summer

Midwinter’s light in Thailand (the featured photo) is so harsh that it has to be filtered through leaves to yield a photo with shadows. Compare that to the similar photo from the Camargue in the south of France. The contrast is less harsh as you go away from the equator. The mangoes and jasmine buds photographed yesterday in my balcony have to compensate for harsher light than the gentle summer light of Europe.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.


  1. Such lovely poetry. ❤

    Light is the most wonderful thing. Living here for most of my life (Colorado) where there is no humidity, and spending lots of non-Colorado time in deserts, I was pretty much blind to the effects of humidity and dust, in other words "atmosphere." I didn't see it, I didn't paint it. It was not in my world at all. A painter friend said, "you need atmosphere." I thought, "Huh?" Then I got to know Turner.

    I will never really see "atmosphere" though there is plenty of the kind of angled light you get in the non-tropic zones. Summer here is just a white relentless mess until a thunderstorm changes everything and brings…atmosphere. Light in Southern California, especially in winter, was the most beautiful pink soft thing. I missed it so much when I moved here, just a photo reflecting that light could make me misty, and it was something I never consciously noticed the whole 30 years I lived there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “I feel that there is much to be said for the Celtic belief that the souls of those whom we have lost are held captive in some inferior being, in an animal, in a plant, in some inanimate object, and so effectively lost to us until the day (which to many never comes) when we happen to pass by the tree or to obtain possession of the object which forms their prison. Then they start and tremble, they call us by our name …” (Marcel Proust)

      Today seems to be my day of quotes

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, Dylan Thomas, one of my favourites! Coming from Wales he would certainly know all about changing light! You make a really interesting point about the challenges of photographing in the tropics. As someone who lives in temperate England I’m inclined to welcome the chance to take photos in a tropical location when I travel, because there is more certainty about the weather. But you’re right that the light can be harsh and needs managing at times. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love these natural light captures in different seasons and around the world. I love the colors and shadows of the first image. And, the last one, beautiful and perfect.
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful poem and thoughts with us, IJ.

    Liked by 1 person

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