Tag Archives Sikhism


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Today there are at least two of the so-called

great religions of the world represented

on the beach. ‘By their raiment shall ye know them!’,

or some such: a troop of evangelical

Christians in genderless red tee-shirts;

two family groups of Hasidic Jews

in head scarves, dresses, kippahs, prayer shawls

as required. An adolescent girl passes

in a shalmar kameez, which makes the tally

three. Poised with a net by the rock pools

is a young man in a yellow turban. Four!

A quartet of elderly women

in saris stands at the edge of the sea.

They might be Hindus – or Sikhs, or Muslims,

or Jews, or Christians, or Buddhists, or Jainists,

Taoists, Zoroastrians, Humanists!

What creative creatures we humans are –

or what a jokey shape-shifter God is!


Pleasure beaches like city squares are

unsafeguarded places where complete strangers

mix haphazardly close to, far off, as chance

dictates. This strand must be ranked as safe

by minority ethnicities

and people of colour. No one seems

circumspect or aggressive. Is the

seeming vileness of this kingdom, the

hateful and contemptuous claims of

divisiveness virtual not actual?

Is this the Big Lie of facile pundits

and celebrity snake oil politicians?

Is the peaceful joy of this ordinary

summer’s afternoon illusory?


As the wind-breaks begin to be rolled up,

chairs snapped shut, towels shaken the crows arrive

monstering aside the black headed gulls

whose environment this properly is.

They take whatever chancy pickings they can,

haram or kosher.




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