Friday, 13 June 2014

This Blog Is Moving House

After more than a decade I'm in the process of moving the blog, things will continue as they have here Please follow.

The Black Coffee Blog will remain live as an archive, but will not be updated after midsummer's day. Lots of positive changes underway here as I approach my 50th birthday in July.

I appreciate you and your support for my work

Peace and Life


Thursday, 12 June 2014

A wonderful day here...

...beginning to outline the workings of a year long partnership with Horton Park Primary School in Bradford where we will be combining my authentic living work and creative reading/writing 'secret weapons,' to work with both staff and pupils engendering greater connection to language, communication, and literacy. A lot of this comes from my ongoing work as Royal Literary Fellow, and my own inner work this past period.

The idea is that the Education Boards get their mind blown with our literacy skills on the one hand, and that we shine with the joy of the real on the other.

What are these secret weapons you might ask, no problem: Working from our true centres and facing the fear of learning and being ourselves. No workshop exercises just for the sake of them to create 'outcomes,' and lots of allowing courageous vulnerable hearts to shine through the best literature we can read and make. Working for real in a win win situation for all i.e. This writer, the school and all participants... can we get a YES!!!

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Saturday, 7 June 2014

The End Of Mango Season - A poetic meditation following the rape & murder of two girls in Uttar Pradesh, India

A poetic meditation following the rape & murder of two girls in Uttar Pradesh, India.

Though nothing written or said can be sufficient in any way, we have to try anyway. That is all is poem/video is, an attempt to say something impossible.

Written more for Indian Audiences, I thought I'd share it with you here as it may also touch you.

with love


If This Video Is Meaningful To You Please Share On Your Blog, Facebook & Twitter etc... and please give it a thumbs up on Youtube & subscribe to the channel there. xx

The End Of Mango Season
Written & Spoken by John Siddique
Directed by John Siddique & Abha Sharma

Monday, 2 June 2014

How To Be Bn Artist Outside Of The City - Art in the Hills

The Manchester Salon: Art in the Hills discussion with James Heartfield, Pauline Hadaway, Ann Jackson and yours truly is now online to watch... I reveal some of the darker truths about Hebden Bridge, discuss the perils of literary prizes, and why I no longer think London has much validity as a place for artists and writers.
'I regard the city as a semi-extinct form. London is basically a nineteenth-century city. And the habits of mind appropriate to the nineteenth century, which survive into the novels set in London of the twentieth century, aren't really appropriate to understanding what is really going on in life today. I think the suburbs are more interesting than people will let on. In the suburbs you find uncentred lives... So that people have more freedom to explore their own imaginations, their own obsessions.'  - JG Ballard

Friday, 30 May 2014

Abha Presents The Kurukshetra Festival

Abha takes you on a tour of the highlights of the Kurukshetra Festival. Abha tours the incredible sights sounds and artistry of the people of India, and meets some of the fascinating artists and crafts people around the festival.

Note: the video is in Hindi, but if you love the colours and dynamics of India, just settle back and let yourself enjoy drink it in.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Simple Economics

'Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage,
you can't practice any other virtue consistently.'
- Maya Angelou

It seems that these are strange times, but in fact it has always been this way.

Those of us rooted in fear and egoistic over identification, those lacking in the courage to heal our own self-created wounds, forget the truth and history of our colonial past. It has always been that the weak and fearful either try to live though ideologies, or by acquisition of things, power, and wealth. We look for someone/anyone to be an easy target, so we don't have to look at our own eyes in the mirror. Of course this never works.

The only way forward with any real purchase, is for each of us to learn about our own fear and reactivity with a courageous vulnerable heart. We can choose too walk well though that fire, and not persecute other human beings who have the same right as us to live on this planet. Just look at a picture of the Earth from space, in reality our planet has no borders at all, they are all in our minds. Maya Angelou said 'Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.' May true courage and vulnerability be our watchwords.

With love


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Maya Angelou has left us...

Maya Angelou has left us...

'I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise...
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.'