crazy ...

i walked for two hours looking for a net cafe anywhere remotely close to my place and at 9pm came back to find one in the lane just behind my doorway ...

is it symbolic? ;)

i went out for lunch. lovely food. and even nicer sitting and chatting for ages. but then i came back. it was 6. it was pitch dark outside. it felt so strange. felt crazy sitting alone on the sofa and staring out, so i went out for a walk. stretched out for 2 hours. exploring stockbridge. saw tupi. or her clone. she recognised me too :) she jumped on me and licked my face, while her owner stood there apologising.

once a long long time ago, i lived at home. hung out with friends and at school after school. came home late - fooled around, all of us ... juls, neeraj, poongie, raju da, jo. or most of the days i went to adit, chatts or malo's house after school. ma came home every evening. baba came home every year. ruebell, tipsy, tupi ... made a noise. poong kept spoiling my books. juls kept whacking my clothes. jo made me miserable with her hyper-emotionalism ... now its silent all the time. my clothes are clean and neat. no one makes a fuss. or scribbles in my leather bound books. nothing really happens anymore.

but thats the way life goes. u have to learn to let go. you give some you get some. u cant stay at home forever. u have to leave the nest someday.

theres a beautiful pizza place near my house. it overlooks a "river" or excuse for ... it has a little table - one special table - its in a seperate alcove, surrounded by glass walls. red cloth covered tables. glowing candles. i love looking at it as i walk past.

ive been thinking of moving my poems to a seperate blog. right now i just dump them on my home page or somewhere on the pink pages.

sister of my soul

i dont have internet access at work. and i dont have a pc at home. which makes it impossible for me to keep in touch with people. calling is crazy - just calling my extended family is almost too expensive for me, with my one set of natural parents, and dozens of adopted parents, chatts, ad, sauce, juls ... and of course my kiddo. theres the work email, but its very cranky. it randomly picks up people and decides to block them?

looking back, it was one hell of a lousy week. everything i did just went wrong. lost my notebook which had everything imp in it. went in a four and 5 turned up. couldnt remember my numbers correctly. and ofcourse the usual home troubles were at an all time peak. cant do anything right. fat and ugly. bad person. either piss of someone everytime i open my mouth or piss myself off cz im being totally fake. how can any one person be so totally crappy in every possible way. its an art form and im an artist. the king of crap.

but still, its such a beautiful day today that its easy to forget all that. its bright and clear and crisp. blue skies and clouds in little wisps. friends to love who feel like they're close. dreams to make you forget ur woes. chatted with poongie till deep in the night. when u laugh before bed it makes u wake up bright. just woke up once 2 for a drink. the sky was so pretty as i stood at the sink.nice sunday :)

The Sins of the Father

am i my brothers keeper?

Stranger In The Mirror

who are you stranger?
you look just like me,
you sound just like me,
why are you so familiar?

there was a flash of color
there was whiff of bloom
i followed, the burning desert trail, and found u desert rose ...

some part of me thought to crush u
under careless feet. some part thought like me ull hurt
if i let u survive

hard and fast grow desert flowers
poison hearted, acid leafed
sweet and pretty, innocent flowers - always ready for the kill

i hear ur voice now
like a echo, ringing out across the darkness
i see ur smile now, fading out, as ur light goes out

different worlds never meet.
wounds that early never heal.
voices rage out day and night.
theres no respite.
theres no relief.
so much pain.
so much hurt.
u cry out loud
hope no one will hear
u want to fall down on the ground
doubled. screaming. shout out loud
noone will hear.
noones there

shadows of the sun

she reaches out and touches you
quietly in the dark

and her cold fingers freeze slowly
around your unsuspecting heart

she'll never let you go
wherever you may run

wherever you may run to
She'll be waiting in the dark

you've run away, far from home
left everything you've ever known

then suddenly,
laughing over coffee
in an ungaurded moment
she'll steal up quietly

and her icy fingers squeeze slowly
around your unsuspecting heart

she'll smile as she swallows
your startled gasp of pain

noone will hear
your silent screams fade

noone will see
your spasms of pain

all that will show
is an absence in your eyes,

as they gaze in the distance,
far away ...

and noone knows how far it is
as she slowly slips away

with all that golden forgetful laughter
melted in a corner of your eye

and as u smilingly make some excuse
a worldly, grownup reason why

know one knows
she'll be back, sure as she went away.

they say some wounds never heal.
she'll always be right behind.

wherever you may run to,
she'll be right behind.


"We, the wild falcons of these skies
We, soft orphans of these tumultous times
We, sweet, intoxicating, poison hearted, wicked thorned
Wildflowers of the barren desert of progress
We, with delicate petals bright
And burning acid centers that sear u when u reach them
And by that time, its too late to draw out, to draw out whole ...
Beware, watch out, all be warned
proceed at your ur own risk.
dont cry out later that u were fooled
by our deceptive masks of innocense

will we ever find a home in the Garden
of the Gentle & Wise Gardener
with strong leather gloved Hands
Will we ever
Find our way back to heaven?

we, who are the bastards of two so unwed cultures ...
how quick we are to judge the rest
and say they wont ever ever ever understand us
the way we are
we think the nether lands of the mind
are our private preserve?
we think we are the lone peregrines
in the wastelands of black darkness and grey despair
thots of death and suicide or murder and vacany ...
journeys to blank space,
our sole sojournes?
our uninvaded playgrounds
they come here too,
the children of light
to take a peak or play a while
with what do they return?
what do we take, what do we give?
and how do we enter,
their very world
their safe and happy and clean world
armed with multi colored masks
pretend, pretend, its all pretend
but they do, or may
try comprehend
we're mockingly fearful,stoically shy
be brave, be brave
what are we so afraid of
what have we to lose
what have we left to lose anymore


i found this somewhere on my home page. i enjoy reading my own words. at times. is that funny or weird.

I did always believe that the songs that suddenly pop up in ur head are pulled up by our subconscious bcz its trying to say something .... TO us or maybe just mumbling out loud??? Anyway ... last few days I kept listening to "smoke on the water" but I didnt make any connection till right now ... you gotto have a really macabre sense of humour for this to hit ur funny bone ...
This song is my own mp3 version, which is a live recording, btw and starts with Rod Evans Screeeeeeeeeching "I know this seems like a devilish ploy But its one way to bring the proceedings to an end ...."

song in my head today ... Jesus Dont Want Me For A Sunbeam ... except that it comes out like jesus dont want me anymore ... why does it feel like the end of the world? when ur sad, u feel so alone ... isolated. and u laugh and crack dumb jokes. and hope no one notices ... but it just goes on hurting. what could u say. what cud u do ... how can i save her?

anyway ... on the lighter (?) side also found this on the site ...

You know there are somethings I love so much they make my heart ache for a few isolated moments at times ... like some words like cerullean & fey, like a few songs ... creep / love hurts / wicked game / jealous guy / romeo-juliet ... like ristretto coffee ;) and some flowers or sitting in the open in a isolated place at night ... while the world sleeps and u can kid ur self into beliveing theres no one else alive anywhere, anyplace ... like the pool of water I had once seen going from pune to bombay ... it was like a sheet of metal ... it looked so solid ... like how a little girl had once smiled at me on a bus in bristol at a time when I had been missing munal like mad ... I just got on and she looked up and smiled ... like we were supposed to meet up there andshe had been waiting ... she had a pink bow in her hair ... will I forget .. like some poems ... like "jenny loved me" I read it on the net, alone one night and I cried and I couldnt stop. I couldnt stop.
and another soul stirring memory. I was walking home from the bus stop in bristol one day. balmy vening. winds blowing all around. this is near the city centre and used to talk all kinds of weird by lanes ... a new one each time & there were so many! god I loved that city so. anyway, so its about 9 pm and the sky is just about begging to fade to darker shades ... Im walking ... its cold ... and I have one of those "I'm all alone in this world & thank god" feelings. Im walking by this huge church and SUDDENLY there are lights inside & the bells start chiming .. I cant explain this ... but it was heavenly. The sounds of the bells floated all around in the air till I felt like I was dancing in a cloud of song & the whole world was so beautiful and I was SO GRATEFUL I was alive & alone & free

no comp. cant write much. did some poems but they are still in the notebook. will type them out sometime soon.

am i my brothers keeper?

When home is not where the homeland is
Wo gehen wir denn hin? Immer nach Hause.
Where are we going? Always homeward.

in search of a thicker skin

why do we get such strong / uncontrollable likes and dislikes in people? what do we care. y do we care. we hate to care. there r millions blue right now all over the world. what the h%$£ can we do ... why do we care. y shud it still hurt us after they forget. why would we still hurt? y do we cry for stupid things. y do we get mad and be all determined to stay mad ... but forget all about it in 5 mins.
i hate it when the simplest things get stupidly complicated?

A winter's day
In a deep and dark December
I am alone
Gazing from my window
To the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow

I am a rock
I am an island

I've built walls
A fortress deep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need for friendship
Friendship causes pain
It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.

I am a rock
I am an island

Don't talk of love
Well, I've heard the word before
It's sleeping in my memory
I won't disturb the slumber
Of feelings that have died
If I'd never loved,
I never would have cried

I am a rock
I am an island

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me
I am shielded in my armor
Hiding in my room
Safe within my womb
I touch no-one and no-one touches me

I am a rock
I am an island
And the rock feels no pain
And an island never cries

I Am a Rock - Simon and Garfunkel

closed a blog ...

closed a blog ... it was called weltanschauungen - world view ... whats the point. have so many, never write in them.

The description was : all around life rolls on. as I drift, fly, travel all around mans world, across distance and time, unique distills to common roots, more things change, more they stay the same

I am weary. i am drowning. in a pool of weltscmersch. yet a spark is hope. dormant, but in destroyable

there was only one dumb post ...

56 anniversary of a nation as an independant country
but issnt it really our 56 anniversary as one nation
was there an whole and consistent india before the raj united us?
we were always a collection of neighbouring states
common fantasies of a glorious past. desperately remembered
and todays India, what is it tied together by? A forced common use of a mother tongue which atleast 35% of the population does not even understand? and only about 30 percent speak naturally, from birth. Or is it a common land mass? The languages, the cultures, the people, religions, customs, histories ... everything is drastically different. Then what is common? at one time we had a common enemy. now even that separates us

with circumstance as the only thing to bond us together ... we r moving into the future, awkward, stumbling, five steps in five directions, one foot going forward, one going back. the pace is furious. the timing is critical. will we ever make it ...
back to the future, where we belong


This was the blog that was going to be for just friends

"That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending- performing. You get to love your pretence. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act- and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you're trying to stea
"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human with the soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." Jim Morisson - The Doors - The greatest writer / songster / joker ... ever? so the kid thinks This page is going to be dedicated to friends ... intentions are to add one post for each friend I have ever loved, but then the 'road to hell is paved with good intentions' ;)"That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending- performing. You get to love your pretence. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act- and the sad thing is, people get so used to their image, they grow attached to their masks. They love their chains. They forget all about who they really are. And if you try to remind them, they hate you for it, they feel like you're trying to stea
"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human with the soul of a clown, which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." Jim Morisson - The Doors - The greatest writer / songster / joker ... ever? so the kid thinks This page is going to be dedicated to friends ... intentions are to add one post for each friend I have ever loved, but then the 'road to hell is paved with good intentions' ;)

History of English Language - From Some Webpage

Brief History of English
Where did English come from? The Germanic language of the Angulseaxans (Anglo-Saxons), who began arriving in the British Isles in the middle of the 5th century AD, developed independently of the original continental Ealdseaxe (Old Saxons), becoming what is called both Anglo-Saxon and Old English. English developed from there, more or less as follows:

450-1100 Anglo-Saxon/Old English

1100-1500 Middle English (Chaucer)

1500-1700 Early Modern (Shakespeare)

1700-1900 19th century (Industrial Revolution & Victorians)

1900-2000 Modern (Technology)

But who were these Saxons? Where did they and their language come from, and whom did they find when they arrived in the British Isles?

Ancient history
When did language start
Brief history of English
Old English
Middle English
Great vowel shift
Early Modern English
19th C English
American English
Modern English

[If some characters aren't ɛɑʃɪlʏʃɛɛn, click here.]
The Venerable Bede, in his Historia Ecclesiastica (written in Latin 735-739 AD) says that there were four peoples (languages) on the island: Picts, Scots, Angles, and Britons. The Scots were Celts who had come from Ireland in the 5th century; the British were the Celts from Manchester; the Angles, a generic term of the time including Angles, Saxons and Jutes, were the Germanic peoples from the continent; and the Picts.

The Celts
The Celtic speaking tribes emerged in central Europe around 3000 years ago. They dominated southern Germany and the northern Alps in the 1st millennium BC, and emerged in southern Europe in the 5th century BC (Spain, Celtiberians). They’re the Gauls in Europe, and the biblical Galatians in Turkey, as well as in Switzerland/northern Italy (Lepontic) and Britain and Ireland.

The Celts were known to the Greeks as Keltoi (barbarians). The first historical account of the Celts by the Romans report how they came out of the Alps (400 BC) and displaced the Etruscans from the fertile Po valley, which eventually led to the decline of the Etruscans (800 BC - 100 AD).

The Celts appeared in Britain and Ireland around 2800 years ago, essentially bringing the iron-age to the British Isles. The Irish Celts spoke Goidelic, the language that became Irish (Gaeilge), Manx (Gailck), and Scottish Gaelic(Gàídhlig) (In the late 400s, Gaelic speakers from County Antrim, Ireland invaded the western district of Argyll, Scotland (then Pictland or Pictavia). They called their new kingdom Dalriada but they were known as 'scots', meaning raiders, by their enemies.)

Goidelic is also called q-Celtic because it retains the ‘kw’ sound of proto-Indo-European (below), which survives today in words such as mac (son, as in McDonald, son of Donald).

At a later time period, there were more migrations of Celts into England, occurring up until (and possibly even a little after) Julius Caesar’s expeditions in 55-54 BC. These Celts spoke Brythonic, which gave rise to Welsh (Cymraeg), Cornish, Cumbric (Cymric) and Breton (when Cornish folk migrated to Britanny in France in the 5th century AD partially because of the bothersome Irish Celts).

Brythonic is also called p-Celtic because the ‘kw’ sound had developed into a ‘p’ (or ‘b’). The Welsh for son is map or mab, the root word of Mabinogion (a well-known collection of ancient Welsh legends including some of King Arthur, although the actual meaning of Mabinogion is unclear, something like ‘tales of youth’, ‘youthful career’, ‘aspirant to bardic honor’).

Since Lepontic (northern Italy) is p-Celtic, as is thought Celtberian, Gaulish, and Galatian, does this mean that Irish (q-Celtic) is the most ancient of Celtic languages, since the p-Celtic diverged from its Indo-European roots?

The Britonnes, so called by the Romans, were one of the many tribes in Britain, and it is this that eventually gives rise to words like (ancient) Briton, British, Britain, and brythonic. Interestingly, the Greeks called the British Isles (300 BC) Pretaninkai nesoi, the p-Celtic stem pretan the same as the q-Celtic Crethan, the Irish name for the Picts.

Tribes typically refer to themselves as the one true people (‘the chosen race’, ‘all men’, ‘the real people’) who live in ‘the homeland’, but are called by their neighbours usually something disparaging, starting with foreigner, and it is these names that more often seem to get passed down, becoming that by which they are known today.
Viking vik /vik/ originally meant fjord or bay, but also has the connotation of landing place, settlement, camp. So vik-ings means people of this camp, or literally townspeople. In Old English, wic means village.
derogatory terms
Celt from the Greek keltoi meaning barbarian.
Welsh, Wales Saxon word wealas, meaning foreigner, for the displaced Celts who became the Welsh.
Cornwall (‘Cornish Welsh’) Cornish foreigners
Goidelic Welsh gwyddel, meaning savages, for the Irish who briefly colonised in the west. (Goidelic is the language family name, see above.)
Scots related to an Old Irish word for raider, making Scotland mean the ‘Land of the Raiders’.
Gauls Latin Gallatae = barbarians.
barbarian Greek for foreigner.
Hebrew derived from a Babylonian word meaning vagrant.
gaijin Japanese term for foreigner
gringo Mexican term for foreigner

The Romans arrived in Britain in 43 AD and left during the 5th century, completing their withdrawal by 436 AD. They were essentially managers of the land, farmed by the Celts, in return for taxes and protection. (They allowed a small number of Saxons to settle in Britain in those centuries.) They had control of Britain as far as Hadrian’s Wall, north of which lived the insurmountable Picts!?!

Germanic tribes emerged from southern Scandinavia around 3000 years ago and spread into northern areas of Germany. In the ensuing centuries, they expanded, encountering the Celts (4th c. BC), and Romans (1st c. BC). The eastern tribes were the nomadic Goths, the northern groups are the various Scandinavians (which gave rise to the Scandinavian languages), and the western ones in northern Germany were the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes (amongst others). Their languages became German and Dutch, and English began with Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who invaded and settled in Britain in the 5th century AD. (They were initially invited by Celtic King Vortigern to help him fight the Scots and the Picts?!?)

Some Ancient History (Indo-European)

,-(Phrygian) ,--------------------------------|--Norwegian
| | |--(Norn 18c)
|-(Illyrian) | |--Swedish
| | `--Danish
|-(Messapic) | ,--(Burgundian)
| | ,-----------------------------|--(Vandal)
|-(Thracean) | | `--(Gothic 16c)
| | | ,--Yiddish
|-Balto-Slavic | | ,-high------------------------German
| ,-North-´ | | ,--Afrikaans
|-Germanic-|-East-----´ | ,--|--Dutch
| | ,-German--low--Old Saxon-------´ `--Flemish
|-(Venetic)`West|-Old Frisian--------------------------Frisian
| | ,-Northumbrian-N. dialect-lowland Scots
|-Albanian `-Old English|-Mercian-Midland dialect-Modern English
| |-West Saxon--S. dialect-Dorsetshire dialect
Indo |-Armenian `-Kentish ,--(Cornish 1777)
European| ,--|--Welsh
|-(Anatolian 2000-1700 BC) | |--(Cumbric)
| | `--Breton
|-(Tocharian) ,-- Brythionic (p-Celtic)---------´ ,--(Manx 1974)
| |-- Goidelic (q-Celtic)--------------|--Irish Gaelic
|-Celtic-------|--(Gaulish) `--Scottish Gaelic
| |--(Celtiberian) ,-------Greek
| `--(Galatian 5c AD) | ,-----Romany
|-Greek(Mycenaen)-Classic Greek--Koine(common)-´ | ,--Romanian
| (1400-800 BC) (800-400 BC) (400 BC-500 AD) | |--Italian
|-Indo-Iranian-----------------------------------´ |--French
| (10c BC Sanskrit) |--Catalan
`-Italic--(Latin 6c BC–recentish)-------------------|--Spanish

In the same way that Romance languages Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese are obviously related, Germanic languages Dutch and German are related, and the Celtic languages Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish are related, it was discovered that that these language groups are also related, though more distantly. All such related groups are part of the Indo-European language family. As Latin gave rise to the Romance languages, so a proto-Indo-European language is inferred, which gave rise to proto versions of each language group (such as Latin), which then gave rise to most of the languages found today in Europe, Persia, and northern India.

English is a branch of Indo-European, in the Germanic group. The chart shows the Indo-European language family tree, with Celtic and Germanic expanded more than the others. Extinct languages are in parenthesised, with prepended dates indicating when a language became unique, and appended dates the language’s demise, and a range showing both. Indo-European is one of a score of major language families, such as Austronesian, which includes all the southeast Asian languages, and Amerind which includes most of the native American languages. These language families, deduced linguistically, bear a striking correlation with the major ethnic groups, deduced genetically. One popular theory is that all these languages originated from one language, or at least there were a bunch of coexisting ones, but only one mongrel prevailed (in a similar way to people starting). But when was this, and who were these people?

When Did Language Start
It all started with a Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago (±0.14). After a split second of quark soup, we got radioactive subatomic particle soup which took hundreds of thousands of years of simmering for actual atoms to coalesce. After a few hundred million years, galaxies formed, which promptly started manufacturing stars, and the stars manufactured the chemicals we all know and love, and are made of. Our galaxy formed around that time, about 13 billion years ago, although taking a few billion years to assume its present spiral structure, but our sun formed much later, appearing about 5 billion years ago.

The rightmost scale of the accompanying graph is (almost) linear time. Nothing much was going on in the universe except star formation and aliens going about their usual day-to-day business. The earth formed about 4.6 billion years ago, and after almost another billion years, life finally formed (think wads of bacteria in shallow parts of oceans). After another couple of billion years rolled by, algae formed, and various inexplicable slimy things (Ediacara). Eventually, about half a billion years ago, life as we know it began to proliferate, with lush vegetation and all manner of creepy crawly thingies. Mammals actually appeared about the same time as dinosaurs, but kept well out of the way, until a big meteor nuked all the dinosaurs. The thus-liberated ratty creatures took a mere 5 million years to evolve into primates, but 8 to evolve into real rodents, and 10 for bats. And hominids finally made their appearance, along with grasses, 25 million years ago.

Humans escaped from chimpanzees about 5-7 million years ago, though in modern parlance, we speak of sharing a common ancestor at that time back in the plio-Pleistocene era. The earliest actual Australopithecus fossil dates back to about 5 million years ago, and the earliest Homo erectus fossils date back to perhaps almost 2 million years ago, and evidence of modern humans Homo sapiens date back no earlier than a mere 200,000 years.

Homo erectus (Peking Man, Java Man) survived until 50,000 years ago, and Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthals) survived until 30,000 years ago. But it was Homo sapiens (us) who survived solely, until mere moments ago.

Three precipitous things occurred with the advent of modern humans: an astonishingly rapid increase in intelligence or sophistication (your mileage may vary), and along with that, culture and language. The evidence for these comes also from three sources: anthropology, DNA testing, and linguistics. Most of the above comes from stones and bones. DNA testing of people of today has allowed scientists to create a family tree, then by measuring the variation, deduce when there was a common ancestor, and also the relationship between the various ethnic groups. For females, the DNA measured is in the mitochondria, small organelles that pass unchanged, apart from random mutations, from mother to daughter. For males, the DNA measured is on the Y chromosome. Mitochondrial Eve appears in Africa about 130,000 years ago, and Y-chromosome Adam about 59,000 years ago.

Similarly, the linguistic measurement traces the variation in related groups of languages back to a supposed common language, and this language with other such-derived languages back to another common language, all the way back to the original language. All three methods, of thus tracing the original humans and their ultimate dispersal around the planet, produce excellently consistent results, but with enough inconclusivity to keep the raging academic fires burning fiercely.

Migrations out of Africa began possibly as late as 50,000 years ago. Although Europe was thus populated about 40,000 years ago, the ice age squoze them out of the main part of Europe until around 16,000 years ago, when they were let back in. Farming was invented around 10,000 years ago the Middle East area, and these folks spread into Europe around 8000 years ago, where they would have encountered the original people (who did all those cool paintings in France), still hunting and gathering. God was invented by this time, just in time to create the creationists, about 6000 years ago on 23rd October 4004 BC.

Some linguists have surmised that language began about 150,000 years ago, and that this language, termed proto-World, diverged as humans spread around the world. So, in this scenario, language appeared with modern humans kind of at around the same time that culture and sophistication suddenly flourished, and culture is seen as a measure of modern consciousness. So the big question is, did consciousness beget language, language beget consciousness, or did they both arise hand in hand?

Which would mean, by the way, that my earlier claim about rhyming slang is patently false, because, Mr Anderson, what good is rhyming if you are unable to speak?

So we’ve populated Europe and Asia with nattering humans, and history begins about 10,000 years ago when farming was invented in the middle east. These folks spread east and west, taking farming with them. In this way it entered Europe about 8000 years ago, and was apparently gradually adopted by the indigenous hunter-gathers in Britain 6000 years ago.

It was previously thought that the Kurgans were the progenitors of Indo-European. They were an agricultural and warlike people from south Russia, as far back as 7000 years ago, spreading to Danube area of Europe and beyond (3500 BC), and arriving in the Adriatic region before 2000 BC. However, the Indo-European proto-language is now thought to have emerged amongst a loose collection of clans in Anatolia (the eastern end of Turkey) 6000 years ago, and from there diffusing many directions, including around the Caspian and Black Seas and in to Europe. Over time it diverged to become most of the European languages of today, such as the Celtic, Italic, and Germanic languages.

Legend has it that Morgaine, King Arthur’s lover and petite half-sister, was part Pictish, which explained her mysterious ways, psychic abilities, and small dark complexion.

Little is known of the Picts whose language died out in the 10th century, almost without trace, as the people merged with the Scots. Bede says that they were originally Scythians (north of the Black Sea, or Scandanavians?) who sailed to Ireland, picked up wives, and continued to the then fertile shores of Scotland in some remote time.

In the early 1950s, F. T. Wainwright collected everything known about them in The Problem of the Picts. The only criticism was that the problem in the title was singular. Many historians said the Picts shouldn’t exist, but were thwarted by sparse but persistent evidence. A mystique continues, despite a recent survey, The Age of the Picts by W. A. Cummins, which provides all answers presently knowable.

Brief History of English
Old English 450-1100 (Germanic)
So the Saxons arrived in 449 AD. As it happens, they were invited to help the various and sundry British tribes defend themselves, now that the Romans were gone, against the ever pillaging Picts, who kept dashing over Hadrian’s wall and rushing back again with their loot and booty, occasionally assisted by the Scots from Ireland. Although, it took no time for the Saxons to side with the Picts, chase the British tribes off to the extremities, and use the land for themselves.

The Celts were eventually pushed back to Wales in the west, and Cornwall in the southwest. In the 5th centuary, some Irish invaded southwestern Scotland, and in the 6th century a large group from South Wales and Cornwall emigrated to Brittany in northern France, where they still speak Breton. This is the Britain as described by Bede.

Today, Scottish Gaelic is spoken in Scotland, Irish Gaelic is spoken in Ireland, and Welsh is spoken in Wales. Manx (Irish Gaelic influenced by Norse) was spoken in the Isle of Man until the middle part of this century (last native speaker was Ned Maddrell who died on 12th December 1974). Cornish was spoken in Cornwall until (inscription on gravestone): "Here lies interred Dorothy Pentreath who died in 1777 said to have been the last person who conversed in the Ancient Cornish the peculiar language of this county from the earliest records till it expired in the eighteenth century in this parish of Saint Paul".

As a result, Old English is predominantly Anglo-Saxon, with very few Celtic words adopted into the language (about a dozen p-Celtic and three or so q-Celtic words).

Old English also borrowed from church Latin (~450 words) and from Old Norse (~50 words). 7th century Christian missions to Britain brought learning and literacy, initially entirely in Latin, but an Old English written language did emerge in the northeast and in the West Saxon kingdom of Alfred the Great in the second half of the 9th century.

The first known written English sentence, "This she-wolf is a reward to my kinsman," is an Anglo-Saxon runic inscription on a gold medallion (about the size of a 50¢ piece) found in Suffolk, dated about AD 450-480.

By 750 AD Old English had evolved into a distinct language separate from the original speech of the Angles and Saxons. Of the 1000 most frequently used words today 83% are of Old English origin. Of our remaining vocabulary about 30% are Anglo-Saxon survivals. Tens of thousands of our current words are of French and Latin origin.

From the 8th to the 11th centuries, Vikings plundered lands adjacent to the Baltic and North Seas, including northeast England. The Danish King Cnut conquered Norway and England, usurping the English throne, in the early 11th century. Large numbers of Scandinavians settled in England throughout the Old English period, giving the language several thousand common words.

As well as most alphabetic characters we use today, Old English included ash æ /a/, thorn þ /th/, eth ð /dh/, and (Runic) wynn w /w/. The þ and ð are still present in Icelandic, and the æ in Danish and Norwegian.

Middle English: 1100-1500 (Germanic + Romance)
With his invading Normans in 1066, William the Conqueror established French domination. They were originally Danes (‘Northmen’) who had settled the northern coast of France (Normandy) in the 8th and 9th centuries.

All Old English nobility were wiped out. Norman French became the language of the aristocracy and the government (Normanized Latin was used in government, church and learning), and English remained the speech of the masses. So until about 1200 England was bilingual, when many French words were absorbed into English. (English: ox, sheep, swine, calf, and deer. French: beef, mutton, pork, veal, and venison.)

By the mid-1300s, English had reasserted itself, with a statute enacted in Parliament in 1362 that all lawsuits be conducted in English. French became a cultivated rather than a native language. The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453) meant French was the language of the enemy. The Black Death (1349-50), which killed off 30% of the people, increased the economic importance of the labouring classes and with it the importance of their language (not to mention their immune systems).

Geoffrey Chaucer (1340-1400): Chaucer’s English (the variety or dialect spoken in London) established itself as the standard. However, from 1250 to 1400, English adopted the greatest number of French words (40%), and of the nearly 10,000, 75% are still in use.

It also changed in fundamental ways, especially in pronunciation and grammar (becoming simpler), from highly inflected (Germanic) to very analytical (modern). Some dialects retain some of the early pronunciations for a few words (/doon/ for down in northern England and Scotland).

The Great Vowel Shift
Think of how we say our five vowels (ay, ee, ai, oh, (y)oo) and how we pronounce them phonetically (as in bad, bed, bid, bod, bud). This is an echo of the shift in pronunciation of vowels from (Old and) Middle English to more or less what we use now, and it occurred in various stages mainly during the 13th to the 17th centuries. Linguists refer to this change as The Great Vowel Shift. Spelling of (Old and) Middle English was very phonetic, and was effectively standardised with the advent of printing (William Caxton 1475). But after the shift, spelling was no longer consonant with pronunciation, a situation which continues, and exasperates English learners.

Most of the vowels (apparently, 18 out of 20) changed, some completely, and others just when in relation to certain consonants (/english/ → /inglish/). The long vowels changed from Middle English to modern, as follows: vowel example
i: → a ɪ
tyme /teem(ə)/ → time

u: → ɑʊ
cou /koo/ → cow

e: → i:
/fet/ → feet

o: → u:
goos /gohs/ → goose

ɛ: → i:
deel, dele /del/ → deal

ɔ: → oʊ, əʊ
ston /storn/ → stone

a: → eɪ
/nam(ə)/ → name

The cardinal vowel chart (see cardinal system at the end of the pronunciation chapter) shows the same changes as the table, and indicates the approximate time when the changes took place. Notice that changes generally started at the top and moved down. Essentially, as changes were occurring, vowels had to remain distinct for clarity, which is why they had to make room for each successive change, and they had to be intelligible across two or three generations, which would modulate the process. In England but not America, noticeable short-vowel changes include the pronunciation of the first vowel in clerk, Derby, and Berkshire to rhyme with star. Some vowels didn’t change in all areas. For instance in northern Britain and Canada, the original oo [u] and oh [əʊ] vowel in words like house, down, and about are still pretty much unchanged. In England the or [ɔ] vowel can still be heard in older upper class accents in words like cloth, off, cross, and often.

Early Modern English: 1500-1700 (Elizabethan, Shakespeare, Renaissance)
In 1476, William Caxton (1422-1491) set up the first printing press in Westminster Abbey. By 1640, 20,000 titles had been printed (mostly in London) in English. This pushed English, written and spoken, towards a standard form. The Dictionary was produced, notably Samuel Johnson’s in 1755 (which he did on his own time!).

1650-1800: The Age of Reason (Augustan Age), characterized by a strong sense of order and value of standards and regulations. The language of this time is recognizable today. The ‘Great Vowel Shift’ occurred, along with spelling reform. A strong central government used English as the national language for all purposes, despite the revival of the classics.

Latin and Greek were the most important sources of new words, followed by French, Italian, and Spanish. Most Latin and Greek introductions were deliberate attempts by 16th and early 17th century writers to enrich the language, to elevate ‘low’ English. Words also came in from 50 other languages, largely due to the expansion of the British Empire.

19th Century English: 1700-1900 (No change – just expansions)
Grammar was standardised, continuing a standardising trend. The Industrial Revolution and the Victorian Age. Words began to come to England from the colonies, especially America. English dialect terms became Standard English.

American English
The first settled English colony was in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 – contemporaries of William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Francis Bacon (1561-1626), Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) and John Donne (1572-1631). By the 18th century, American was recognized as distinct from British English. The earliest sign is perhaps the absorption of Indian words, almost exclusively from the Algonquian speaking tribes. American also borrowed many words from Africans brought in with the slave trade, and European immigrants, but they tended to be regional: African in the South, French in Louisiana, Spanish in the Southwest, German in Pennsylvania, and Dutch in New York, with Spanish being the most pervasive. Yiddish has contributed differently to both American and British.

Many words and pronunciations died out in England but survive in American. Words adopted new meanings in the new world. Great changes were wrought in 20th century American, with global economic, political, and technological prominence.

The main differences between American and British are vocabulary and pronunciation. There are slighter differences in spelling, pitch and stress. This is borne out in this (not exhaustive) dictionary, where about 60% of the differences are nouns (vocabulary) and 20% are spelling differences. Interestingly, although American is more tolerant of neologisms, written American tends to be stricter in grammar and syntax.

Modern English: 1900-2000
Science and technology, the entertainment industry, the world wars, and the car, have all contributed to the English lexicon. Formations – self-explaining compounds, Greek and Latin compounds, borrowings from other languages, deliberate coinages, extending meaning of current words, slang, and acronyms – are used ever more frequently.

brown maple leaf

i have a dry, brown maple leaf
in my hand ...

she was growing older
her eyes weaker

it was cold
the wind was blowing

she stood alone in her garden
leaning hard, against the fence

this was the only free hour she had
early before they all awoke

she'd worked for years this way until
she'd forgotten how hard it once was, until it was routine

she cooked she cleaned and there were all those kids
shopping, mending, clothes, homework, cuts, bruises, fevers, fights

and yesterday she overheard
a friend asked her eldest what whats ur mum

and he said ...

she thought about it now as the sun woke up
unnoticed, a little tear slipped out

she thought of the work she'd done before
when she'd been a girl, a woman, a human ... not just mom

suddenly there was a sound behind
one of them woke up and called ....

a desperation in the sound ... mom ... like the end of the world
and she ran in ... all thoughts forgotten

that was the moment, this maple leaf fell
somewhere else in the universe ...

red maple leaf

i have a red, maple leaf
in my hand ...

it was cold
the wind was blowing

u were standing
leaning hard, against ur car

u'd driven madly, without destinations
till the voices in your head had stopped

then pulled up at this lonely spot
resplendant with the blush of fall

silent. deserted
where even the crickets called

and then came the tears
like a hurricane
shivering, trembling, shaking, tearing apart
not gentle rain. but dangerous storm

the world went went black
the world went blank

time lost meaning
life lost meaning

who were were
u dont know anymore

everything was over
she was gone

that was the moment, this maple leaf fell
somewhere else in the universe ...