Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Retreat of the Drought

Retreat of the Drought  

Late evening the rain came.
It hovered on the horizon
Hidden in the darkness.
In slow time
it marched towards the homestead
crossed hills and valleys
coming down with a steady drumming
on the corrugated iron roof. 

The earth rebelled as pools formed
Until overcome
it let the invader into its womb
where the seeds of life are stored.
Rivulets of water
swelled into streams
gushed into dry dams
the water rose
covered the bones of drought stricken sheep. 

All night
The farmer lay awake.
Crossroads at Isca
Novel set in Roman Britain. Two young women's lives are changed forever.



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Military Musems


The photograph hung
Amid dusty Great War uniforms.
The caption read -
Name unknown
Died of wounds

I asked the woman
At the desk
about the photograph.
She said it had
arrived anonymously in
a box of army relics. 

I had a great uncle
Who died at Passchendaele.
He was my grandmother's twin brother.
I imagine him
smooth cheeked, clear eyed
like this forgotten soldier
willing to die for
King and Country. 

After her death
My grandmother's possessions
were packed in boxes and
distributed among the family.
All her precious little treasures
her little bits of remembrance
some of them maybe
to reside in military museums.
Three children save a creek from the developers. For children 7-11



Friday, March 22, 2013



I met Stephanie, the new arts teacher, the week after I saw Caroline on the plane to England.
"I'd like someone's help to hang my paintings?" Stephanie said at morning recess after everyone had introduced themselves.
"I'll give you a hand," I said, attracted by her vivacious pixie face framed by short dark hair so different to Caroline's cool blondeness. We made a date that evening.
 Stephanie's eyes lit up. "Thank you. Come for dinner."
Nigel, the manual arts teacher, a gangling one hundred and ninety centimetres, leered at us in his usual inane way.
I knew what he thought: Caroline has been gone a week and you aree already on to another.
Stephanie's front door was open when I arrived at her unit on the second floor of a three-story block of flats. Receiving no answer to my knock and call, I went in.
She sat on the mat in the living area wearing a pale blue sari, edged with silver and red trimmings, staring through me as if in some subliminal trance.
I went outside and lit a cigarette, wondering whether I should go home. I'd finished my second cigarette when she came out.
"Oh, there you are. Do you want to hang the paintings before or after dinner?" 
During my few minutes in her unit, I hadn't seen a sign of a meal in preparation. I glanced at my watch: seven o'clock. I was hungry. Caroline and I always had dinner at seven. I did most of the cooking.  Caroline decided the time. “Have we time before we eat?”
 Stephanie nodded, confirming my fears that dinner would be much later.
Read rest of Shanti on www.authorsden.com/laurellamperd

Substitute Bride - a Regency novel



Monday, March 18, 2013

Doctor and Patient



Doctor and Patient 

We sat at the table
Watching Chekov performed
as a dinner adjunct.
Little intimate things she knew
about me -
pap smears, breast examinations
the vagaries of an aged parent
and a philandering husband
but she was an enigma to me
so we sat in silence.
Wind from Danyari
Joe Hennessy builds a sheep station for his heirs in Western Australia


Friday, March 15, 2013



Skulls adorning a landscape of hills
Teetering beside chasms
Cut brown into green softness.
In the foreground, a folding of green
like my green crumpled dress
which I wore
when I went out with Robbie
who doesn't want me anymore. 

I thought of the skulls
And how one day I'd be one. 

Why wait fifty years? 

They are flying above me
Against the skyline
Like balloons of methane gas.
I want to be up there with them
looking down on my desolate world.
Murder Among the Roses
Murder detective novel set in Western Australia

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Koombana Bay  

Walking along Koombana Beach
To Port McCleod
The sun setting beyond Rocky Point
On Back Beach
I watch for the dolphins
But they are away
Frolicking upon some far off wave
Catching a last fish for the day. 

I look to the west again
You came from there
To our rendezvous. 

I reach the spot where we met
And try to remember you
fifty years ago
long hair tied in a ponytail
firm brown legs in shorts
but images of our granddaughter intercede
and I see her, not you
as you once were. 

Memories are fleeting
Tiny cameos
like rain drops on spring mornings. 

Suddenly you came
Sneaking from beneath the image
of our granddaughter.
I hang onto your smile
as desperately as I held onto your life
but the smile has gone
as you have
and I walk alone
beside the darkening waters
of Koombana Bay.

 Crossroads at Isca - romance - set in Roman Britain







Saturday, March 9, 2013


Read rest of story www.authorsden.com/laurellamperd


Matt first noticed her when she paused at the water's edge, silhouetted darkly against the setting sun.                                                                           

It looked like a scene from a glossy magazine.

The next evening he saw her again. She wore jeans, a windcheater and a beret set at a jaunty angle. The weather had turned chill after yesterday's heat.

The third evening, Matt positioned himself on a seat close to where she walked. When she came level with him, he saw she wasn't as young as he'd thought.

She'd been a fashion model, she told him later. They lay on the beach, their bodies almost touching, drying in the sun after a swim. She even had a model name - Krystina. Her parents had arrived from some eastern European country when she was ten

 "I love you. You know that, don't you?" he said, his hand curled around hers.

She laughed. "You're only a boy." There was a tinge of her parents' European accent.

“I’m thirty-three.”

“And I’m fifty. Old enough to be your mother.”

“You would be a very young mother.” He wanted to kiss the faint lines at her eyes.
Battle of Boodicuttup Creek. Suitable for children 7-11. three children try to say a creek from the developers.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Woman with a Pearl Necklace

The last of the Vermeer poems

Woman with a Pearl Necklace
                                    and Vermeer 

She looks a girl
But is old enough
to be pregnant
her young body
swelling with child
when she should be dancing
in the sun. 

She stands before the window
Holding the necklace
like an offering
welcoming the light. 

Vermeer painted her youth
Skin luminous
eyes shining
arms smooth and plump
like a baby
not twenty years later
worn down by pregnancies.

Substitute Bride a Regency Novel
                        Print www.feedaread.com





Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Milkmaid and Vermeer

I think I only have one more Vermeer poem after this
The Milkmaid
          and Vermeer 

Stand there in that stream of sunlight
He said.
Pour milk into the bowl.
Use the jug. 

He brought the bread
She baked that morning
and sat it in a basket
on the table. 

There were other objects.
He lined them up like a connoisseur.
A blue jar used for oil
And little buns made to eat
with the chicken soup.  

She stood with the jug
Ready to pour.
The light wasn't right. 

Vermeer fumed
At the injustice of the weather.

Download Wind from Danyari from www.omnilit.com and other sources
Joe Hennessy builds a sheep station for his heirs in the north of Western Australia
Print copy from www.feedaread.com