Sunday, August 26, 2012

Country of the Lost

Thomas Timothee Vasse from the French explorer Nicolas Baudon's expedition was lost in the surf in Western Australia before the state was settled by the UK government in 1829.
The nearby river and estuary and a town of approx 1300 people was named after the lost seaman.
The poem was published by Western Review and Pixel Press 


If Thomas Timothee Vasse
Of Dieppe
had not drowned in the surf
at Geographe Bay in 1801
but lived
to welcome the Bussells
in 1837
could he have persuaded them
the Nyungar people
were not wandering nomads
but guardians of the land
and had kept the ancient laws
forty thousand years. 

Now the forests are eaten
By wood chipping
the cleared land
turned the rivers to salt
where Nyungar fished
and danced the corroboree
of the hunt
sang of the totem
kangaroo goanna and emu
and the great serpent
which came from the north
carving life-giving waterways
out of the earth mother. 

In thirty years
Of living with the Nyungar
Thomas Timothee Vasse
might have learned
the relationship of the land
     to the people     
         and the people  
               to the land
but the old truths are forgotten
and we, the inheritors
ignore their passing.

 Buy a print copy from
Three children try to save a creek from the developers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oscar Wilde Esq

I happened to spot an article about Oscar Wilde on the online Arts and Letters Daily recently. It surprised me to discover he was once the editor of a high market woman's magazine, devoted to literature, art and modern life.
Oscar was thirty-three years old and desperate to earn money to support his wife and two sons.
Curious to discover the sort of magazine which he'd edit, I downloaded a copy of the Woman's World from Google Books. 
The content of the magazine boasts of at least a hundred articles, short stories and poetry.  The Woodland Gods, the first article, seems wordy and would perhaps be boring reading for today's reader. There were no advertisements so the magazine probably earned its income from its sales.
Oscar asked Constance, his wife, and his mother to write for the magazine. In the edition I downloaded are Children's Dress in this Century by Mrs Oscar Wilde and a poem, Historic Women by Lady Wilde.
Arthur Fish, aged 27, was a sub-editor of the magazine. One could imagine the admiration in which he held his boss. He was soon arranging commissions, editing pieces and covering for Oscar while Oscar spent afternoons at his favourite café with his friends. Oscar wrote some of his most brilliant essays during the two years he spent at The Woman's World so the time wasn't wasted. We should give thanks to Arthur Fish - why do lapdogs to the great and famous have such uninteresting names - for The Critic as Artist and Pen, Pencil and Poison to name two of Oscar's essays.
In spite of Arthur doing most of Oscar's work, Oscar tired of being editor and spent less and less time in the office. Due to falling sales, he was dropped as editor and the magazine returned to its original format.
Perhaps The Woman's World couldn't survive without Oscar's brilliance or perhaps it was always just too boring a read. The magazine folded in 1890.
I'm sad to say that history doesn't record Arthur Fish's feelings when he lost contact with the dazzling effervescent man we know as Oscar Wilde.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Walking on Eggshells

How does a woman feel when she meets her father and half siblings after thirty years and discovers he isn't the ogre her mother described. How great would be her anger at her mother's lies and the duped well meaning social workers who prevented him from having contact with her. The rest of the story is on 

Walking on Egg Shells  

Alicia Morovia couldn't take in whom she was speaking to when she received the telephone call.
The man said his name again, "Jack Halling." He added, "I'm your father. I hope you don't mind that I phoned?"
"No, no."
"I wonder if you'd like to meet me and…my wife. And Christine."
"My …daughter. Actually that’s why we’re in Melbourne. Christine’s husband has been transferred here.”
Alicia had a feeling he almost said eldest daughter. She was his eldest daughter though she hadn’t seen him since she was two.
“We could have lunch…or a coffee…” Jack Halling’s voice trailed off.
“Lunch sounds fine.” Alicia mentioned a place in the city where she’d be sure not to meet any of her friends.
She put down the telephone and glanced at the clock. Half-past-three. The children would soon be home from school.
She ran her fingers through her hair, stressed after the call. She didn't know what her father looked like. She'd never seen a photo of him. Her mother would have destroyed them.

Download Substitute Bride from
Emma Napier helps a friend escape an unwelcome marriage. on her way to London, she meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. He thinks Emma is the perfect choice.

Monday, August 13, 2012

1960 - 1999

!960 - 1999 was published in the little Tamba magazine which I believe has gone out of business. Recently it was published in the Dark Diamonds anthology edited by Graham Kershaw.

1960 – 1999 

1960 – The bay curved the coast
like a crescent moon
Around the bay
the bush hugged the sand dunes. 

My mother and father fished
While we paddled in the shallows
and dived into the sea
chasing the sea-stars
from their hiding places
as the white faced heron watched.

1999 – At night
The lights of tankers
twinkle in reply to the lights
thickly ringing the bay. 

A wind comes from the south
Filling the senses
with pristine sea and white ice.
The waves roll in
hiding the conduit
transferring land waste to the sea.

My children go wet suited
To search the sea of my childhood.
They return.
The sea-stars have vanished
from the rocks under the sea
and the white-faced heron
has gone from the shore.

Friday, August 10, 2012

August Calamity's Corner

August Calamity's Corner is now available as a free download from

Calamity's Corner is a cosy chaotic place where you share an interest in books, films, places and leisure pursuits with like-minded people.

Thanks to Calamity for hosting me as her Author of the Month, allowing me to indulge my thoughts on writing sagas and tell you how I came to write my two books, Wind from Danyari and Journey from Walara which are about a fictional sheep station in the north-west of Western Australia.

In her film review, Calamity takes us back to a 1976 film when the Western Thriller was all the go and Charles Bronson, that old heart throb, starred in just about every Western I saw. According to Calamity, in Heartbreak Pass, C Bronson doesn't disappoint. And so he shouldn't when he has lovely Jill Ireland as his heroine.

German thriller writer, Edith Parzefall, takes us with her to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil with photos and descriptions of that vibrant city.

See yourself in Calamity's Corner. Send in a film review or a story about your favourite pet.

Wind from Danyari and Journey from Walara are available as downloads from and other sites
Wind from Danyari is available as a print book at
Journey from Walara available in print form soon

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear everyone - I've nearly had this story accepted for publication several times. I hope you enjoy reading it here. Laurel 

Wild Dog Rotto - suitable for children 7-11

Colin and Frankie had spent the summer school holidays building a tree house in the big eucalyptus growing in Colin's backyard. They scrounged planks of timber from the town's old rubbish dump and Frankie found a box of rusty nails in his father's shed.
Rotto, a big rangy black dog with a white blaze on the front of his head, lived next door. Whenever Colin and Frankie were up in the tree house, he ran over to the dividing fence and stood with his front feet against it, barking and growling and showing his teeth
"There should be a sign at the front of the house, saying, Beware of the Dog," Colin's mother said. "That dog is a menace."
"He's not," Colin said. "He's lonely. He's on his own all week. I wish we could have him over here."
"He'd probably eat you up. I hope you and Frankie aren't teasing him."
"We're not."
At the weekend when Sam Anderson, Rotto's owner, came home from the mining town of Kalgoorlie where he worked, Rotto went everywhere with him: to the football and the beach in summer.
"I wish Sam would take us," Colin said. "We could sit in the back of his Nissan behind Rotto."
Frankie had seen Rotto and Sam eating meat pies in the park opposite the supermarket. "They are wasted on that dog," Frankie said.

Read the rest of the tale on

Download Substitute Bride, a Regency, from
Miss Emma Napier helps her friend escape an unwanted marriage. She meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. He thinks Emma is the perfect choice.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Dear Readers 

Probably not a good poem but I felt I had to write something.  

It's so sad the world is more interested in the Olympics than the plight of innocents in Syria who only want their lives and to live freely under a government which they elected themselves.


            London Calls 

Years of training
Tears. Grief
The defeated vanished
From the chosen
Planes boarded
Laughter. Farewells
The world glued to radios
Television, mobile phones, e-pads. 

From Aleppo
Lost in hurrahs for gold
Cries of people
Save our children, our babies
Our lives. 

Anthems resound around the world
Flags raised. Medals brandished
Drowning sounds of tanks and gunships
From Aleppo.

Download Crossroads at Isca from 
Two British girls meet two young Roman tribunes and their lives are changed forever.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sometimes there is really a Christmas in July. That's what I thought when my copy of Graham Kershaw's beautifully crafted poetry book, Dark Diamonds, arrived in the mail.
The book was printed on an Arab treadle platen press and hand-bound in an edition of 150.Many of the poems featured in the book were written by some of Western Australian finest and best known poets. Their poetry bears the stamp of the wild Southern Ocean which beats up upon our southern shores.
The wonderful illustrations in the book are by Alison Kershaw and printed on the Arab from etched copper plates.
Discover more about this fine book on