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In the uncomfortably quiet streets

15 June 2015 | John Falzon

Opening scene from Blue VelvetStreets like the streets in Blue Velvet or Land of the Giants. I think I may have been the only poet.

Smells like baked scones

01 June 2015 | Wendy Fleming

Baked sconesI will sit the pot on my desk filled with red geraniums, variegated blue and pink wallflowers I’ll let it breathe devotion, your heart work, imprint your words of love.

Painful memories of my schooldays

26 May 2015 | Isabella Fels

Sweet Dreams booksIt was a place of torture, with great physical and mental pain. I remember being hit at with a hockey stick. I was forced to stoop, in all sorts of ways. All my efforts came to nothing, even when I gave the girls money to buy lollies, and lent them my Sweet Dreams teenage romance novels.

Submarine Catholic

25 May 2015 | Various

SubmarineFifty years ago well after my baptism my first holy communion & my confirmation I would have likely said – practising Catholic. Most friday nights back then I’d find myself with Father kneeling before him on the carpeted step of the confessional box my little red face pressed upwards to the grille.

Speak of the Devil no longer

19 May 2015 | Gillian Bouras

The Death of God debate raged on and off several decades ago. Now it's the Devil's turn. Medieval clerics believed he was everywhere. Earlier this year the General Synod of the Church of England decided it was time for him to retire, and have 'disappeared' him. 

Our working TV taken to the tip

1 Comment
18 May 2015 | Saxby Pridmore

Old TVOld, heavy as a mountain, though still going. But too bulky, and it didn't fit the space left by the new skirting. With betrayal in my heart we trolleyed It to the car.

What my father gave me

1 Comment
11 May 2015 | Lerys Byrnes | Flora Smith

Carlos Botelho, My Father, 1937My father and I worked quietly together. We would take on the load, touch up the mask, saying too little to each other... His photograph hangs in my study now, watching me write, sharing the silence.

Curious names subvert Cuba's politics of exclusion

1 Comment
07 May 2015 | Catherine Marshall

Cuban kidsRoger Blanco Morciego is a young Cuban man with an English name, who grew up in a communist country ostracised from the rest of the world. 'In my neighbourhood we have seven Rogers. I think we were named after Roger Moore'. I have my own theory about this: people who are shut out will do anything to explore and understand the realm they've been excluded from. 

Grandmother is dying

05 May 2015 | Brian Doyle

Grandmother in bedThere are two chairs flanking Grandmother’s bed and I am to sit in the chair by the window. That is the chair in which children sit and I am a child so. Grandmother is in the bed sleeping. I am keeping vigil. Mother says Grandmother is dying but she looks like she is sleeping to me.

Politics beckon, we're better off dead than alive on Nauru or Manus

04 May 2015 | Barry Gittins

Sri Lankan asylum seekersAnglo-Saxons and Germans and Dutch and the Frisians all saw ‘the evil’ as inferior breeding. When you’re tagged as ‘bad’ or evil it seems you’re guilty of dreaming non-tribal dreams. The African-American ‘n-word’, ‘bad nigger’ was tribal rejection by white folks de rigueur.

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