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An Indian tale of parallel worlds

14 August 2017 | Tony Herbert

xxxxxIt’s Monday, 24 September. The equinox passed a few days ago; the last of the monsoon showers seems to have gone. After Mass on my pre-breakfast walk, I notice the difference: the air fresh without the monsoon humidity, the lush green paddy crops, the dappled green and yellow of the early morning sun on the Sal trees. Out beyond the back of the parish is an unsurfaced road, good for stretching out. I first pass the houses of some of our Catholics, pukka, brick and cement, the fruit of their hard work and years of government employment.


Solitaire and Some souls

14 August 2017 | Margaret Quigley and Edith Speers


Were I to call

Were I to stumble 

Or even fall 

Would you hear me? 

Would the constant babble 

Of texts and tweets and twitters 

Silence my helpless cry

Seamus Heaney's poetry workshop

07 August 2017 | Peter Gebhardt

John Clarke

I found years on that my Birth Certificate

And Christening Documents spelt out a nominal fate

Of which I was totally unaware,

Dragging in English, Irish, German lines of past blood,

Like good stock,

Corriedales and merinos of good fleece.

What writers festivals say about culture

07 August 2017 | Tseen Khoo

xxxxxThe Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) starts on Friday 25 August. It’s a good time to consider what such a festival says about our local cultures, as well as being a perfect time to think about how you relate to that culture. 

The fear conundrum

06 August 2017 | Michael D. Breen

Silhouette in mistHow much fear do we want? Enough of it preserves our lives. Too much of it diminishes our lives. Currently, the balance is skewed by an overload of fear. Anxiety, its clinical name, is in epidemic proportions.

In defence of hope

01 August 2017 | John Ellison Davies

JudgeWhy do we get out of bed in the morning? Out of habit certainly, but at some level we have to believe that in the day ahead we may make some small incremental progress toward our goals, whatever they may be. A small improvement in the garden. The flourish of a job well done. We must have hope that we will find some joy in the day, some satisfaction that brings a sense of well-being.

Awareness Campaign and Despair Stalks

31 July 2017 | Haley Joray Arnold and Cassandra Golds

xxxxxYou used to have feet like a Russian ballerina/Arches (like ones plebeians would stand under, lose their breath for a moment)/The weight they carry remarkable for the/Tiny bones inside ... Despair stalks the house/Outside, like weather/Inside, like air/It has no form ...

Finding life in the obits

29 July 2017 | Daniel Rose

Obituaries pageI read the obituaries every Sunday. Maybe as a writer I enjoy the stories people leave behind. I think too, that in this age of fake news, angry politics and incessant streams of information, the obits offer a slice of realism. One small headshot and a two inch long bio. That is all that remains of us in the end. You might think that perusing the obituaries would be depressing. But for me, it's invigorating. It's energising. It renews my faith in humanity.

Non-ants and animal whimdom

23 July 2017 | Barry Gittins

xxxxxants don’t sleep elephants weep presidents creep oolong teas steep and we observe. dictators serve goosekillers swerve ignorance hits curve art shows verve and we obsess. rabbits stress tortoises press paedophiles confess corporations bless and we object

Spider music

1 Comment
16 July 2017 | Chris Jackson

Spider webI am, of course, a spider: my obstinacy, a viola; my gossamer back-and-forthing, woven ruminations of a violin. Watch me, busy always to continue a spider's life. All things love the little kingdom they inherit. This is home, intricate with fetched fidget, this scratchy bow-flight is a busy cello urging me to tracery, all tossed about in winds of orchestra.

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