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The sound of black

1 Comment
12 September 2016 | Kevin Gillam

Black shapesI understand the meaning of her silence but don't have a word for it so I scour night sky for a term for the sound of black between stars and moon and meteorites and planets and us and come up with 'evol' and write it down and then show it to her and she says 'is that the root of evolve like before stuff moves or morphs?' and I say 'no, it's love backwards' and she stares at me and says nothing

Fighting the ancient urge to kill a free fire

11 September 2016 | Brian Doyle

FireOne time when I was about 12 my friends and I found a smouldering fire in the little woods behind our town's fire station. So we pulled it apart, and stomped it out, and threw dirt over the embers, and cleared brush away from the site, and then, dusty and sooty and inordinately proud of ourselves, we trooped into the fire station to report our feat. The fireman who met us listened carefully, and then he told us grimly that if ever we did such a thing again he would report us to the police.

Moonlight conventions

05 September 2016 | Ross Jackson

MoonI put in my journal: 'a full moon tonight, crisp and splendidly clear for our walk around the shore and back to the resort' ... What did the Israeli professor remark? 'It bodes well on Hoshana Rabbah that we are casting shadows in moonlight.' Though our Chinese friend had little to say following this evening's lecture, he was right about the yellow plum at the bottom of the lake.

The addict

1 Comment
29 August 2016 | Peta Edmonds

Man crouches against wallAn addict shows me his rack of ribs, he's off to the slaughter house. An addict rubs his face like a brushed potato. The addict searches through bins looking for scraps of himself and his whims. An addict lives in a room at the weaver's loom, peddling his stories and drugs.

Young George

22 August 2016 | Geoff Page

Young George PellWhat's he doing in my dream, that cardinal from Ballarat? He's in some sort of seventies presbytery or hardwood hall, shirt-sleeved but with collar on and playing ping-pong like a pro, fully-focused, yet relaxed. Forehand, backhand, lob or smash, nothing is beyond his reach. The other player is unseen but plainly worthy of attack. There's just the click of celluloid foreshadowing the rise to Rome. No ball hit that's not hit back.

Grandchildren are your children twice over

21 August 2016 | Gillian Bouras

Hands of various agesWhen we were all younger, I wrote about my three sons. In the words of Sir Thomas More, their characteristics strangely tugged at my heart, and like More, I fed them cake, ripe apples and fancy pears. Among other things. But eventually there was a mild rebellion about the writing, in the course of which my eldest threatened to send me a bill. Now I write about my grandchildren, three boys and a girl, who are too young as yet to be so commercially minded.

My 102 year old grandmother

15 August 2016 | Isabella Fels, Peter Gebhardt

Old woman's handIs she 2 or 102? She can be either. My grandmother sometimes she looks at me in silence with wide naïve eyes. Other times pearls of wisdom seep from her heart: 'Forgive and forget my sweetheart Isabella. Chocolate is your enemy. A good salad is your friend my precious Isabella. Don't do unto others what you don't want done to you my cherished Isabella.' I hold her warm hand. She understands me. She completes me, now that my mother her daughter has left us behind.

Exposed, illegal, adrift

08 August 2016 | Frances Roberts

Asylum seeker boatThis cramped corner of the decking planks is all you have on a pelagic wreck, a Medusa raft, splintered, rank ... Part of an interlocking human mat, you lie exposed and frightened, to escape the below deck stench of excrement and illness. Scant hope here of sleep ... The true villains in this outcome bask proudly in their stand firm against illegal entry by the family of man.

Forget conspiracies and own your complicity

07 August 2016 | Ellena Savage

Madonna in Frozen video clipThe talking heads say the same things I once heard on Illuminati documentaries. In place of Pharrell Williams making suspicious hand gestures though, the blame for the unpleasant outcomes of a healthy free market is bestowed on the western world's maligned: refugees, Indigenous people, queer people, the working poor. These talking heads, who feel desperate and inferior because they have never contributed anything to anyone other than themselves, are eschewing their complicity in harm.

Buddhist traffic light

1 Comment
01 August 2016 | Lesley Lebkowicz, Andrew Madigan, Barry Gittins

Traffic lightMy friend, new to Mandalay, never before in Asia, sighs as she sees the east- and west-bound cars and rickshaws slow to a ragged fringe across the intersection. The north- and south-bound take their turn in the same gentle, fearless lack of order. Ah, she says, see how aware they are, each of the other. Such harmony: you can tell it's a Buddhist country. Spoilsport, I point to where, so easily ignored, enmeshed in a thicket of wire overhead, lights flicker: green, amber, red.

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