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Social order of wallabies

1 Comment
13 June 2016 | Chris Wallace-Crabbe

WallabyBrunette or shocking white, these wallabies have their own special nook nearby, under that blackwood. Why just there, I ask myself: no particular foliage has given a meaning to the spot. Something about bone-dry shadow under those boughs appears to murmur clan or family. Yes, I know that sounds kind of patronising, but when these animals go through their routines we can see a social order clear as day.


The bleak ballad of Wilson Parking

11 Comments
09 June 2016 | Ellena Savage

Parking garageWhen my friend and I get to the payment station of the car park, it says we owe 70 bucks, which can't be right because we got the early bird special which was a quarter of that, so, nah. We call the parking lot people and they say look at the fine print, it clearly states that the early bird deal only applies if you leave the car park after 3pm. Wilson Parking is a subsidiary of a subcontractor of Transfield Services, which runs security at Nauru and Manus Island. I grow petulant and say I'll wait til 3pm.


No sex please, we're praying

2 Comments
06 June 2016 | Rodney Wetherell

Buff JesusIn prayer, our minds are sex-free, let us hope; our thoughts of God do not include the body, his or ours, svelte or chunky, erotic perfume should be undetectable, ditto the sense of orgiastic writhing sent down to us from digital porn heaven. Should your inner eye pick out an angel, beautiful, and fixing eyes on you, or Jesus wearing little but a wisp of cloth across a gym-toned body streaked with blood, contact your counsellor, ring that number - you've wandered to the opposition site.


One child held my left pinky

11 Comments
05 June 2016 | Brian Doyle

child holding pinkyOne child held onto my left pinky everywhere we went. Never any other finger and never the right pinky but only the left pinky and never my whole hand. To this day sometimes in the morning I stare at my left pinky and suddenly I am in the playground or on the beach or in a thrumming crowd, and there is a person weighing 40 pounds holding onto my left pinky so tightly I am tacking slightly to port. My finger misses her hand this morning. It has been many years since she held my finger.


Letting go of bicycle grief

7 Comments
02 June 2016 | Ben O'Mara

BicycleI found the remains of my bicycle on the carport wall. They were broken and twisted, like the body of a victim left to rot in a serial killer movie. The police officer told me it was strange. So strange that his partner took photos and dusted for prints. I couldn't make sense of the robbery. While sturdy, my bicycle was seven years old, and had seen better days. It wasn't worth much money. Who would buy worn leather and a few scratched bits of metal on eBay? Or risk being caught for second hand parts?


Lonely lament of a stay-at-home mum

5 Comments
31 May 2016 | Suvi Mahonen

Mother embracing daughter'Hi,' the text began. 'Just letting you know there's no pilates tonight. We're all going to The Hub to C an indie music jam. C U next week?' I put my phone down and stared numbly around my kitchen. Dirty dishes jammed the sink. My toddler's banana was smeared all over the fridge door, but I couldn't gather the energy to wipe it clean. I knew I was lucky to have everything I'd worked for - family, a new apartment, financial stability - but I also knew I had never felt so lonely. 'C U next week.'


Nuns in love

7 Comments
30 May 2016 | Brian Doyle

NunO, I had a sweetheart, sure I did, says a tiny stooped nun to me this morning. Long tall handsome man he was too. Did you think I signed up to be a nun before I could fall In love? No. I never met a nun yet wasn't in love before. It's good for you as a nun to have had your heart broken, seems to me, or to break someone else's heart. It's a way of the world. Better to know it so you can be tender when you see it later.


Rumours of thylacines and distant barbarians

23 May 2016 | Shane McCauley

Perth skylineHere in this weather-beleaguered outpost there are so many rumours - thylacines, panthers, wagyls even that in the distant east are barbarians ... But separating deserts might as well be galaxies, and we are self-contained, and even like those theoretical others have our contentments - blue sky, blue sea, and even now the sun's great wintery eye. Hidden as we are however we hold our heads high, perhaps would not be ashamed one day to be discovered ...


Miracle of the Andalusia schoolhouse wasp

12 Comments
19 May 2016 | Dan Graham

School buildingI attempted to continue with the class but it was impossible for the children to ignore the wasp. I elected to evacuate. We had our lesson on the playground. One of the kids went home and told their mother about the wasp and that instead of class, we'd had an extra long lunch. The mother failed to appreciate the dilemma I'd faced, called my boss and asked her how I could be trusted with 20 children when I couldn't even handle a single wasp. Next week, same class, the wasp returned.


Swept into the milky past

2 Comments
16 May 2016 | Pat Walsh

Broom bristlesThe sound of my old yard broom, worn bristles rasping the brick path, wet with last night's rain, picks at a faint memory that grows louder with each stroke, and carries me back across borders of seasons, lives and landscapes, to a time of rubbing gumboots sucking through the quickmud, hands hugging mugs of steaming tea, the uphill heartbeat of the engine, the baby bleating of hungry calves, voices cussing and coughing, and the scrape of yard brooms pushing back the tide of muck ...


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