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My mother often used to say

16 February 2015 | Geoff Page

Word ‘vote’ on cracked pavementAlthough a country atheist, my mother often used to say, she rather hoped there'd be a heaven, where one day I would have to pray, forgiveness for my voting record, my sell-out to the 'other side', by telling my large-looming grandpa, what made me cross the 'great divide'.

Lord A of Yarralumla

09 February 2015 | P.S. Cottier

Burnt sausagesSubtle as a ventriloquist, he clacks and grins ... But the beer is flat and the snags, the snags are burning to memory. Someone should give him a lap. Someone please give him a gong.

Avoiding the other 'F' word

03 February 2015 | Michael McVeigh

Asian Cup 2015 logoTo prevent arguments, I have given up using the word 'football' for any code. I now almost exclusively use the terms soccer, Aussie rules, rugby (union) or league. What matters is not the shape of the ball, but whether a sport can provide great stories and spectacles on the field. 


Sitting in a room with my mother and father

02 February 2015 | Diane Fahey

Cliff path, north-west TasmaniaThe wind a cool shadow felt at my back: when the sun’s blaze slams into my chest, I am held between them as if both would claim me, pass through me. So grief, with its heart-heat, its pressuring shadows, lays claim, passes into and through us.

Pop up shop of poetic pollie horrors

29 January 2015 | Brian Matthews

Joe Hockey smokes cigarWe all have these abruptly resurfacing images and references that pop up unannounced. For example, Treasurer Joe Hockey’s musings on the poor, who don’t drive very far – ‘O scathful harme, condition of povertie’ (Chaucer). And the rich, who are ‘lifters’. I was invaded mentally by Yeats’s ‘Surely among a rich man's flowering lawns.’ Without pain and with cigars and smirks of self-congratulation. 

Luther's flawed hardware decisions

27 January 2015 | Brian Doyle

Luther nailing 95 Theses to Wittenberg church doorMartin Luther was absolutely correct and right philosophically when he nailed his Ninety-Five Theses to a chapel door in Wittenberg. The Catholic Church was rife with greed and corruption and scandal and lies and theft and devious financial plots, as it still is, and probably always has been. But I maintain that Luther was utterly wrong and incorrect in his choice of tools.

The boys' pranged up moment of shared and shed untruths

26 January 2015 | Kevin Gillam

The boys drinking beerbeering, untangling, cruising, jaunty and blooming, the boys, in the ambered half light, the boys

US health care a sick joke that’s coming to Australia

22 January 2015 | Ellena Savage

Michael Moore 'Sicko' film posterAmerica's iniquitous health care system is often portrayed with dark humour in popular culture such as the 2007 Michael Moore film Sicko. Our own Federal Government has been putting constant pressure on our system of universal health care as it pursues a course of action that presents class warfare as fiscal responsibility. It raises questions about the vested interests behind dismantling health care protections for poor people. 


The musty sweetness of the Styx ghost

19 January 2015 | Chris Armstrong

Styx ForestWhen you get home from a bushwalk the forest has infiltrated your clothing, skin, backpack, there is a musty sweetness when I open the cupboard door, a week later, it wafts out and I wait a while to unpick your scent of nature from the fabric of my self.

Aussie diggers' pen as mighty as their sword

16 December 2014 | Gillian Bouras

Cartoon from 'Aussie'A soldier's life is usually one of bursts of brief action followed by extended periods of drudgery and boredom, and never was this more true than during this dreadful war of attrition that dragged on apparently interminably between 1914 and 1918. A book titled Aussie was published in 1920 as a bound collection of AIF soldiers’ own paper of the battlefield, wholly written, illustrated and printed in the field. 

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