keywords: New Australian Poem

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  • Frank Brennan, Ambassador from the Republic of Conscience

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 04 June 2015
    12 Comments

    'As a legislator and a Catholic, I often felt gratitude for Frank Brennan's ambassadorship from the republic of conscience. I found the need to weave, this need to take 'data points' from many places and form my conscience. I regarded Frank as a bit of a hero.' Kristina Keneally launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney, 2 June 2015.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Submarine Catholic

    • Various
    • 26 May 2015
    4 Comments

    Fifty 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.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The snob who snubbed Australia's Indigenous imagination

    • Brian Matthews
    • 01 May 2015
    14 Comments

    Mrs Cowling was formidable. Her significant physical presence was accentuated by a commanding mien, impeccable English enunciation, and an impressive depth and breadth of literary reference supporting rock-firm opinions. All these years later, I wonder just how burdened she was in teaching literature to Australian students, which she continued to do into her 80th year, by her husband's notoriety.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 24 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My mother often used to say

    • Geoff Page
    • 17 February 2015
    4 Comments

    Although 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'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sitting in a room with my mother and father

    • Diane Fahey
    • 03 February 2015
    2 Comments

    The 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.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pop up shop of poetic pollie horrors

    • Brian Matthews
    • 30 January 2015
    9 Comments

    We 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. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A broken life gathered in beauty

    • Bill Rush
    • 02 December 2014
    5 Comments

    I hope no-one asks me what the preacher said ... for I'm looking south, where David strikes his harp in a riot of glass and the hymns wash over.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The other hero of Anzac

    • Robyn Rowland
    • 14 October 2014
    8 Comments

    Muriel Wakeford was stunned to see the ocean suddenly scarlet, a shoal of new-mown corpses that lay face-down in the sea. She saw what few steps most men managed before a grey hail began dropping them like insects sprayed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    David Walsh's Catholic guilt

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 26 September 2014
    6 Comments

    A Bone of Fact is one part love letter and two parts plea bargain. That’s how Walsh can take a stab at Catholicism one minute and the next admit that in the 'thrall' of Michelangelo’s Pieta he loses all faculties. And for someone who’s gleamed much from betting, gambling gets short shrift.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Concern for Jennifer Aniston

    • Various
    • 23 September 2014
    1 Comment

    Buying coffee. Newspaper reads 'Jennifer Aniston is reportedly spending $20,000 a month on beauty treatments'. Next, the Herald covers her age, her profession and her interests. The girl in front of me cradles her latte as she nudges and tugs a carbon-fibre-framed stroller and purrs with concern for Jennifer.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    I am Gaza, I am bleeding

    • Lyn Bender
    • 15 August 2014
    9 Comments

    In the last month, an estimated 2000 Palestinians including 400 children have been killed and 10,000 injured.  Much of Gaza is reduced to rubble and rendered uninhabitable. It was a 30 degree day in Gaza as our small band of around 20 kept vigil in the cold night rain at Melbourne’s Federation Square. A Muslim girl recited a poem, ‘I am Gaza I have a dagger in my heart. I am bleeding’.

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