NEW DATES for the Zende Creative Retreat, Summer 2014!

Salaams all, greetings of peace,

We’ve been a little quiet of late, but it’s for good reason: the Zende Creative Retreat, which had to be cancelled earlier this year due to logistical problems, is finally back on for this August!

The programme is much the same, although we will be having slam poet Baraka Blue with us for the poetry workshops, as well as Makkan poetess Nimah Nawwab and me ole’ self, and the addition of an optional photography tour through Cordoba and Granada prior to the retreat with Neil Turner. The location for the retreat has also moved to the stunning Alquería de Morayma, a rustic ‘finca’ near Cádiar deep in the Alpujarra mountains, which will be our base for the Arabic calligraphy classes, poetry workshops, and traditional singing (nasheed) workshops. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place to reflect, spend time in nature, and rediscover the creative core that so often our hectic urban lives distract us from.

The new prices include pick-ups from either Malaga or Madrid and reflect the two different options: option A includes the photography tour as well as the retreat, while option B is simply the creative retreat. We’ve also added an all-out spectacular in Granada on the last day, including history talks and a concert from Ali Keeler’s heart-stirring Firdaus Ensemble of classical Arabic and Andalusi music, and a night in a hotel. The trip ends with a tour of the Alhambra together with the retreat facilitators, an absolute must for photography and poetry enthusiasts, and transfers back to Madrid and Malaga.

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OPTION A – Photography tour + Creative Retreat

24th August 2014, Pick-up in either Malaga or Madrid, transport to Cordoba to join photography group. 1 day in Cordoba, then transfer to Granada for 1 day. Transfer to the Alquería de Morayma in the Alpujarra mountains on the 26th of August for the Zende Creative Reatreat. Transport to Granada on the 30th of August for concert, one night in Granada. 31st of August, tour of Alhambra, and finally transfer to Madrid or Malaga. Min 10 participants, cost €1500.

OPTION B – Creative Retreat only

26th August 2014, pick-up in Madrid or Malaga and arrive directly at Alquería de Morayma in the Alpujarras. Four days of retreat, then transfer to Granada for concert on 30th of August, one night in Granada. 31st of August, tour of Alhambra and finally transfers back to Madrid or Malaga. Madrid pick-up: min. 5 participants, cost €725. Malaga pick-up, min. 5 participants, cost €670.

We look forward to seeing you in beautiful Andalusia!

 

On One Line

Books have become my butterflies
alive for just one day or less
before the surf of routine comes
crashing down overhead
raising my feet
from ocean bed
helterskeltering along
the pages soaked
and distant.

These beings are reincarnated
every time I snatch
a moment’s
breath
released from their oceanic
suspension
open, new again
the plots and connections
different this time.

Books have become a bus stop
scratched with teenage loves
willing the passerby to want
to flee their own lives for an hour
a day, a night journey
to foreign towns, a round trip
when the back page flips shut –
but I always miss
the transport.

Books have become my hoopoes
trilling some way off, a
flash of black and white
too fluttersome to stay whenever
I approach.
Gone!
Perhaps I’ll catch a feather.

And on one feather I can fly
hit thermals so high even one line
would make me a kite and glide
over terrains no-one will ever see but I.

On just one letter I could ride to
caverns, canyons, cascades
altitude lakes blue as eyes
dry, red-streaked rocks and corporeal dunes
spruce forests so dense sounds
would fight to reach our ears
clearings where stand in moonlight
roundhouses of polished wood
in which I find circles of lovers
of the Word.

They must exist!
And I am going
by any vehicle
necessary
to find them.