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 […]

THE LANDING

Not being a parachutist, I notice the incoming bird with splayed feet and the awkward wings of a teenager. Others look up, grounded as we are, to benches and grass and sand. Mothers pushing children on arcing swings. The fisherman casting bait through parabolas into saltwater. Even the dog that marked the pole. Collectively we […]

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 […]

Sparkle!

“Sparkle with me, Lilly!” The lady who harbours original growth forest secrets in her nooks and crannies has stripped off and with the brassiness and aplomb of uninhibited age, coupled with a ‘who bloody cares anymore’ attitude, calmly tacks through the beach-goers on a course for waters glistening. Racing across the sand, my one-piece swimming […]

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 […]

Shimmy

The little guitarist girl turns her back and jumps a little, jiggling pert bottom towards the audience under the high-top canvas tent. She had raised the hopes of every red blooded male and dashed the dreams of all the single girls, packed as they are like plastic sliced cheese, sweating under ponchos that keep out […]

So I Get Up And Wander Around

Elusive Morphia is running late for this evening’s date. I’ve rolled over and left room for her. She favours others, I fear. My choices waver between soothing my heart with soulful tunes by those who’ve been ‘stood up’ or turning the radio on and listening to rambling interviews. I’ll risk missing her wave tunneling through […]

The Sky Above, The Land Below

Keel high, our hull scrapes at the edges of the curtained sky. Barnacles ask why they’re in the spotlight. I sigh, put my back into spinnaker hoisting and know I will feel strained muscles tomorrow. Sweeping the ocean’s bed clean, cloud puffed sheets fall like parachutes and land dream-ridden on a pointed toe. Tiller firm, […]

BUTTERFLIES IN TRAINING

We’re small people going on an excursion with our teacher. A school day but off the school grounds. We are to walk in formation. The arrangement transforms us externally. Makes us safer. To those within it is something else. “Everybody in lines. Girls, line up behind Amelia. Boys there, behind Tonto. Good. Off we go […]