ARTS AND CULTURE


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If you vote for me

3 Comments
21 May 2017 | Bill Rush, Marlene Marburg, Maureen O'Brien, John Cranmer

CloudsCars will be turned into flutes; sheep graze in public parks. Trams will be lined with books; prisons, wisteria-walled. Politicians will sing in choirs; accountants taught to tango. The old will have honour and cake and a licence for practical jokes. The middle-aged will lie on grass and watch the procession of clouds. The young will be loved and learn that to live is to be slowly born.


The power of poetry in the age of Twitter

13 Comments
18 May 2017 | Gillian Bouras

Dover BeachDoes poetry still matter in our Twitter society? Such was the question that caught my eye during a random Google session. The answers consisted of some lugubrious comments to the effect that poetry, like the novel, is dying. It is hard to believe that poets were once considered celebrities, and that poetry was once a pre-eminent form of entertainment. We also generally refrain from mentioning poetry and politics in the same breath. 'Twas not always thus.


Weighing evil in the wake of nuns' war terror

2 Comments
16 May 2017 | Tim Kroenert

'Faith is 24 hours of doubt and one minute of hope,' says one of the nuns at a 1945 Polish convent. Soon Red Cross doctor and avowed atheist Mathilde learns the details of the predicament: of the terror wrought at the convent by Russian soldiers at the end of the war. Over the coming weeks, she oversees the health of those who fell pregnant during the intrusion. Gradually she wins their trust and, in the process, has her mind opened to a brand of faith that, in such circumstances, can be anything but blind.


Sweat shop sheet

3 Comments
14 May 2017 | Linda Stevenson

Blood-stained sheetThe hem is good to touch, has a firm stitch. I wonder ... who pressed it flat, by whose hand was the white cotton thread sent bobbing, in what factory did my semi-slave breathe, labour? Was it here, a sweatshop in our own suburbs, or a distant forced camp? What lamps burned through hard-pressed nights of work? The sheet's material is light, a white cotton, beckons rest for me. Except, I still think over it ... who dyed, sewed, folded, packed? Who went to their bed dog-tired, with blood-sore fingers?


Clues so far to the magic in reality

4 Comments
07 May 2017 | Darby Hudson

PathRepeat your name over and over and it doesn't make sense. Being able to hear your name across a noisy crowded room. Being able to see things in the dark by not looking at them directly. Walking down an old path brings back a conversation you had in exactly the same location years ago. Your handwriting looks exactly like your father's. Revisiting a childhood park destroys the memory and paves over it with the newer, boring adult memory. When you chase something you can't have it.


Hardline on soft drink

8 Comments
01 May 2017 | Isabella Fels

Glass of colaIn my late 20s when I became seriously unwell and diagnosed with schizophrenia, Coca-Cola was like an ever flowing fountain of happiness for me. How I loved sipping it. I would even quickly down it with my meds. I could feel life getting better and speeding up. Having Coke was magic. But lately, with all the publicity surrounding the dangers of drinking fizzy, sugary soft drinks, I am trying to cut down. It is not easy trying to fight an almost lifelong addiction.


Who was that luckless politician?

3 Comments
30 April 2017 | Geoff Page

Steve Fielding pixellatedWho was that luckless politician, federal, I think, gone now from so many memories, including mine? Male, a sort of suited fledgling, older maybe than he looked, the guy who feelingly achieved, while reaching for the aphoristic wisdom of his people, the verbal train-wreck we remember so much better than than the 'issue' or his features as they pleaded with the swooping of a lens: I'm torn between two places and a hard rock?


Poems for Anzac Day

2 Comments
23 April 2017 | Jena Woodhouse and Ian C. Smith

Anzac Day buglerNow, the forces of annihilation once again cohere, as if this were a valve in history's cardiac arrhythmia that faltered and unleashed a haemorrhage of horror, trauma, fear. The damask roses bloom unharvested in devastated fields. Their perfume cannot mask the stench that permeates the air, the atmosphere of dread, of mute despair. But when the juggernaut of war is redeployed elsewhere, the fragrant fields will come into their own, if there are hands to care.


Ghosts of grief in modern, secular Paris

1 Comment
18 April 2017 | Tim Kroenert

Cynical about the prospect of any kind of afterlife, Maureen nonetheless spends time holed up in an old Parisian mansion, trying to commune with the spirit of her dead twin brother. She is employed by a difficult and demanding fashion model as a personal shopper; literally, she spends her paid working days buying clothes, shoes and jewellery for someone else. The juxtaposition of the pure materialistic focus of this work, and her doubt-riven incursions into the spiritual realm, is intriguing.


Poems for John Clarke

4 Comments
17 April 2017 | Peter Gebhardt

John ClarkeIt's a bleak sad day, That special voice has been taken away That voice that saw so much, Waged war against the witless and their wrongs, That smothered our lives and hopes And that voice will still sing his songs. Which we are free to hear for ages on.


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