Sunday, September 30, 2012

On Dark Afternoons

Writing On Dark Afternoons, brought back memories of my grandparents farm near Caron, West Australia and where I used to spend most of my school holidays. The second verse is one of my memories of them among many others. Grandma would cut a slice of the hot bread just taken from the oven. I'd spread it with butter and the light as thistledown bread, melted butter would dissolve in my mouth.

The poem has had a considerable publishing history. I'm glad to publish it here again on my blog and website.

Northern Perspective - another literary magazine which has folded.
Pixel Papers - stopped publishing
Anthologies - Moving Out, Moving On 
The Ink Drinkers
The Japanese Grandmother

I read about a woman
Wandering along grassy banks
on dark afternoons
seeking her past. 

In my mind, I see them.
My grandparents in that house
Of bush timber.
He smoked a pipe
while she kneaded dough
and set it
wrapped in a blanket
by the fire to rise. 

The dusk sweeps
Gently at my window
as in my mind
I travel from town
to farm and back again.
And the night grows darkly
by my door.
Download The Japanese Grandmother from
Anthology of short stories and poetry. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Wolf and the Riding Hoods

The Wolf and the Riding Hoods has been published in The West Australian Newspaper, Scripsit, In Perspective, The Ink Drinkers and The Japanese Grandmother. I hope you enjoy it. 


Twins, Catalina and Philippa, were on their way through the stretch of bush between their house and their grandparents' farm.
"Do you think we'll meet a wolf?" Catalina asked as she jumped from log to log.
"We might." Philippa put down the basket their mother had packed beside one of the fallen logs. The log had settled across two larger ones and formed a nice little bridge.
The girls walked along its narrow surface, their arms outstretched, hands spread, balancing.            

Arthur drove along the slushy track, wet from the morning's rain, looking for Leggatt's farm. He wondered if their bit of insurance was worth going out of his way. Rounding a bend in the road, he saw ahead of him, two little figures clad in red raincoats and hats, walking along a fallen log. He stopped when he reached them.
"Hi, there, chicks," he called, grinning as he wound down the window. Though he was nearing sixty, Arthur liked to keep up with what he thought was the latest jargon of the younger set. 
The girls stared at him then said in unison, "Hello."
Arthur switched off the engine. "Where are you going?"
"We’re going to see grandma,” one of the little girls said.
“Where does your grandma live?”
“She lives in a house on the other side of the forest.” She pointed to the track behind her which led into the forest. “We’re having a sleepover with her and granddad tonight.”
Arthur’s eyes, set in a pudgy red face, glinted with expectation. “I’ll give you a lift. It’s a long way for two little girls to go by themselves.” He leant over and opened the car door.
The little girls jumped down from the log. One of them picked up a basket. They stood with the log between them and Arthur. 

Download The Rainbow Children from
Short stories suitable for children 4 - 11. Jenny makes friends with the Rainbow Children and has an adventure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poem - A Life

I've sent this poem out several times to be published but always had it rejected. Perhaps it's too short, doesn't say enough. I've looked at adding to it. But I think it says all I want it to say. What do you think? 

A Life 

She sits in a yellow circle
Of lamp light
working with tiny stitches
on a wall hanging
made of silk and linen
stitching more of her life.

 Buy print book, Wind from Danyari, from
Joe Hennessy builds a sheep station in the north west of Western Australia.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Road to the Cemetery

A tale about how minds can be persuaded. 
A short story. Read the rest on


The two women with four children between them, walked along the lane to the cemetery where Betty's mother, Lena, had been buried four months earlier.
Betty waved the sticky little flies away with the bunch of roses she carried to lay on her mother's grave. "Roy said we should take the car. I told him I wanted to walk. It'll be like a pilgrimage. You know, like going to Mecca." She eased the cloth bag she'd made at the Craft Club on her shoulder. "He wants to rent out mum's cottage but I couldn't bear to see someone else in it. Every time I looked out the back door, mum was there, working in her garden or sitting on her porch doing her cross stitch."
"It was sensible of her to buy the transportable with her superannuation," said Sandra, Betty's best friend.
Betty nodded. “She collected quite a bit of super money too. She spent forty years working in the bar of the Shamrock. She said we’d have the transportable after she went. That’s why she put it in our backyard. She always thought of me and the kids.“
“You were lucky you had her around to baby sit. I wish my mother lived close by instead of in the city.“
“Mum loved looking after the kids. She always said I did her a favour sharing them with her. She was always available except when she was at the Club.“
“She certainly loved her bingo. She was there nearly every day.“
Download Crossroads at Isca at
Two British girls meet two young tribunes from the great Roman fort on the plain and their lives are changed forever,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Heart Upon the Hearth

How farmers and their families feel when drought strikes in Australia from a woman's point of view.
Published - In Perspective December 1993
Published - The Royal Scribe January 2001 

Heart Upon the Hearth 

Like harp strings
play upon the soul.
Women reaching out
in this room of tea and scones
and countrywomen. 

The flames burn brightly
In the morning
Stirring stirring
and the noise of children
leaving for school
and the roar of the tractor
from the shed. 

Black coals reflect my soul.
The tractor is silent
As the earth waits
for rain.
The day draws on
bright sun shining shining
into a house of gloom
the heart of my man
as black as coal. 

I blow
Willing them into life.
A tiny flame of hope
spirals upwards.
I feel the strength there
and women talking talking
giving their strength
the flame grows
as I feed upon the strength
of my sisters.
Download from
Detective Matt Allenby investigates a murder in Taylors Crossing. He finds himself falling in love with one of suspects.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Septermber Calamity's Corner

September Calamity's Corner is now available for download.
For Readers, Writers and Movie Buffs.
Contact for a free download.
James Lockhart Parry is the author of the month. If you like fast moving racy thrillers, James LP is the writer for you. The Messenger is one such book.
Read Ted's movie review Reach for the Sky, the story of Douglas Bader, the English WW2 fighter pilot hero who lost his legs in a plane accident in 1931. I saw the film when it first came out. It was a big movie in its day. One couldn't help but admire Douglas Bader for his courage and tenacity.
Join Aussie traveller, Phillip Skinner, who holidays in Marrakesh, Morocco. His text and many photographs encourage one to save one's money and go there for the next holiday.  

Join the readers of Calamity's Corner and see yourself in print. Suggest a quick quiz of an unusual event or activity.
There is plenty more in Calamity's Corner.

Download Murder Among the Roses from
Detective Matt Allenby investigates a murder and finds himself falling love with one of his suspects.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Hppaened Between the Elizabethan Galliard and the Wine and Cheese

Read my short story What Happened Between the Elizabethan Galliard and the Wine and Cheese.

Merryn turned into the High Street and pulled her jacket around her as the force of the wind hit her. She wished she'd brought her rain jacket. It looked like rain.

"Hi, Merryn," a voice called.

She stopped and looked over to see Anthony, whom she was madly in love with, sitting on his motorbike outside the Star Café.

She hurried to him, wanting to put her arms around him and nuzzle her face against his.

"Where are you off to?" he asked.

"I'm going to Marjorie's."

"Oh, Marjorie."

She caught the distain in his voice. Marjorie didn't like Anthony either. She glanced at her watch. "I should be there now so I can’t talk long.” She pretended she didn’t care whether she spoke to him or not. Better not let him think she was desperate for his company.

“What about coming to the Devine’s? It will be more interesting than Marjorie. The Devine’s are having one of their musical afternoons. They’ve got this classical guitarist performing?”
Read the complete story on

Download from
The first book in the Walara series about a fictional family who lives on a sheep station in the north west of Australia