Captain Leviticus slammed the splintered remains of the wheel to port. The Ark’s masts groaned under the strain. “We’re getting close”, he screamed over the diabolical winds. “Fifth circle,” yelled the navigator, gazing intently into the orrery. Down below all the supplies rattled in the lockers; oil lamps flickered; a…

A “meta-libretto” weaving together the plots and tropes from some of the world’s best loved operas

“What’s past is prologue”, William Shakespeare said. So let us look into the past at the great stories that have captivated generations. Stories of courtship and love, loss and betrayal, palaces and princesses, suspension of disbelief. The thing is nothing really ever changes — stories of great emotion will always…

A short story inspired by the stream-of-consciousness opening of “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf

I gazed down at a crumb on the oatmeal-coloured carpet, picking it at and brushing it under the sofa. The table and chairs above me were grey. A heavily made-up women leered down from the television…

A coat of downy fur surrounds her
rosy cheek;
tightly wrapped against biting jaws.
Day by day the sun rouses
winter land from its slumber.

Awake! Saffron dust blows in February’s storms.
Contorted limbs turn their bare bark
skin to face the warming March air.

A woodpecker knocks on the silvery door
of her trunk.
Pearl necklaces tumble
in glittering raiment down
from bough to bough.

The bud fills with the promise of spring:
a headrush of sap bursting
electric green leaves from their winter prison.

Hazel nods each leaf in approval
of warm rain washing
her new April outfit.

April 2017

Sailing the wine-dark Ionian Sea in search of Odysseus’ real Ithaca — and finding ourselves

There is a problem with Homer’s Odyssey. Descriptions of Ithaca, Odysseus’ mythical home, bear no resemblence to the modern Greek island of Ithaca.

While at university, I attended a lecture given by the geologist Professor John Underhill. His theory was that the Ithaca in the books was actually the Paliki…

How online university courses are destroying opportunities for young people

Enter stage right the glamorous young hero, about to save the day. MOOCs (massive online open courses) are about to explode as education’s hottest ticket. Brands like edX and Coursera are about to go viral.

Peel back the shine and the reality is different. MOOCs have been eagerly championed by…

Adam D'Souza

Traveller. Teacher. Occasional writer.

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