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Flowers react to Spring

07 September 2015 | Chris Wallace-Crabbe and Les Wicks

CyclamensBig daisies bulge on their bush, the lurid cyclamens are crouched in squeals of shocking pink, but raggedy scarlet geraniums have been out all winter and don’t give a stuff.

Redesign my soul

31 August 2015 | Rodney Wetherell

Todd SampsonMy soul's antennae are TV-tested for searching power, speed, vibrations — sluggishness is found, and some corrosion, but not a power of deep delusion. I pass, but barely — could do better. Empathy is down, the next test finds, neighbours more passed by than loved. And do I love myself?

The girl who stole her brothers' honour

24 August 2015 | Moya Pacey

Muslim womanIn the dark cage of the village ... They shaved her black curls, closed her green eyes, scooped the body into a sack - threw it into the cold river.

Real estate agents and the crime of locality theft

20 August 2015 | Brian Matthews

Sydney City of Villages signWe set off towards the beach and the esplanade that meanders towards what the better class of resident likes to call the 'village'. 'I prefer "township" – it's more Australian,' I said. Roy scoffed at what he called 'this "village" nonsense.' Referring to electronic theft of credit card numbers, online personal details, he said: 'I reckon there's also a phenomenon you could call locality theft.'

The holy mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

18 August 2015 | Brian Doyle

Sisters walkingNot one of them ever raped a child or moved rapists from one parish to another. Not one of them ever played havoc with church funds. Not one of them ran off with a secretary. As far as I could tell each of them embraced hard work, and kindness, and humility and was every bit as committed and dedicated to the ancient mission of the Church as any priest or brother or abbot or bishop or cardinal or pope.

He is not the killer he used to be

17 August 2015 | Jordie Albiston

Crow on a wireHer every lover, her filler of dreams, her kisser of broken & bruised. She watches him through the pills, she misses him when he leaves, whispers to foot that when she recovers she will love him for ever & ever, but now he is heading back down the stairs & she stares at his absence.

The laws of cricket rewritten for the fairy world

10 August 2015 | P. S. Cottier

Cricket ball with fairy wingsBatsmen may fly, or even run, after striking the ball, but must never proceed in a straight line. Wickets are to be baked of gingerbread, with sticky marshmallow bails ... A second infringement of bail removal will result in a fifty per cent reduction in the need for gloves of any hue. If this should occur, the severed hand will float into the ether, waving farewell to the game it loved like a wife.

Thoughts on a lonely God

09 August 2015 | Gillian Bouras

Nikos KazantzakisWhen my son was four, he asked me one night, 'Why did God make the world and us?' I nearly broke a plate while searching for an answer; in the event, he beat me to it. 'I think he did it because he was lonely.' Perhaps the great, 'blasphemous' Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis also considered the possibility of God's loneliness, for at one stage he wrote: 'My God and I are horsemen: we ride and converse.'

Greece's lonely season

03 August 2015 | Jena Woodhouse

PomegranateA tarnished pomegranate warms the chill niche of the windowsill, mottled like a faded kilim, mellow rose, dull gold; the island in the autumn thrums to lyres of the bourini, the pagan tongues of log fires in the chimneys; ancient ferries plying the Aegean in the winter run the gauntlet of the gales like emissaries of reason. It is the lonely season.

Love's twists and turns

27 July 2015 | Isabella Fels

Love birdsHow I love spending good quality time with you | You twist yourself around me giving me no space. I just want to hurl you into space | You're leaving, that's a fact, you said it straight out, with hardly any tact | I'm so alone being without you, I can still feel your glare | Thank you for giving me your love.

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