After the Burning / Comes the Rain (Two Drabbles)

The sweet essence of milled sugarcane washes over me. I’ve wound the car window down as I drive beside the river, inhaling the echo of sugar that earlier waved from a patchwork paddock. Exercising sun salutations in Winter’s stillness triggers the emergence of torchbearers. Circling the crop molten flames drop. Centrifugally forced, bush rats and the diamond […]

The Place Where The Dreamcatcher Hangs

At the back gate where the frangipani struggles against the predations of passing samplers who want a piece for their garden without asking, or caring that the cumulative effect is the snipered dwarfism of gnarly limbs where I dismount from bicycle to lift the latch there is a sound, of tinkling glass taken out of […]

River On Fire (Haiku)

Brown river echoes the war birds’ distant thunder, shadows on water. _____ On Saturday afternoon my daughter and I traveled to Brisbane to see Riverfire – the major concluding event of the city’s annual festival. On the way to an early evening fireworks display I reflected on how the WWI Centenary celebrations have flavoured many […]

ENDANGERED: COASTAL EMUS AND SUGAR CANE FARMERS

Though I have traveled this stretch of highway several hundred times, only twice have I seen the rare and elusive coastal emu. More squat than his inland cousins with brown feathers, he sailed regally through the green sea of knee-high sugar cane. I recall this windshield scene and the retired cane farmer says that although […]

TO TRAVEL WITHOUT

Would one carry luggageWhen the porters smileDisarmingly white-toothedBecause you are their next mealThe roof over wide-eyed childrenA calling-in place for global roamersThe café where you drink milk frothedThat has not curdled in distended stomachs?Would one knowingly chooseThe life of one over another as thoughIt were as simple as choosing a meal from a printed menuWhen […]

The Nude Painting

The artist’s model reclines. Fully clothed, he fusses with the line of his shirt, the trouser length, his tie. A stray thread worries him. He pulls at it. “Comfortable?” she enquires. His face is fully exposed to the woman sketching him, she who will paint him and capture his face… torso… legs… on canvas. He […]

Constance F. Gordon-Cumming Finds Home

Orphaned young, Constance accepted the governor’s invitation to sail to Fiji.  With pen and brush the Scottish spinster records sweating missionaries civilizing island savages. After drinking kava from the enlightened coconut shell, the mountains beckon her with echoes of distant highlands ablaze with heather.  With the native women she climbed the dangerous tracks, her long […]

Dissatisfaction and the Author

“Everywhere else in the world seems exciting. But I am not famous.” “Yes you are,” she disagrees. A semi-experimental novelist is just a fraction of the world that he exists in. He is relatively famous, within this thinly spread audience. He sips dandelion wine and ponders the marshmallow soles of his sneakers.* If he wanted […]