April 30, 2011
What a year for disasters. New Zealand, Japan, the recent storms in the United States, and, of course, the catastrophic floods in Queensland. There are probably many more too, but these four are the ones I’m most familiar with, perhaps because they happened in developed countries, which tend to get more attention in the media. But wherever such events occur, the suffering is undeniably real. And to have a disaster in one’s own country means a certain responsibility to help in some way rests on those who were not affected.
I am very proud to have a tiny story called ‘Beating creativity’ (so flash, if you blink, you’ll miss it) in the book 100 stories for Queensland, which will raise funds for the Premier’s Flood appeal. The book will be launched on 3rd May, and will cost $19.99, and you should be able to order it through your local bookshop soon after that. Or you will be able to go here to find out how to order the book electonically, as a hard copy or an ebook. Here is some more information about the project, from the home site:
“One hundred beautiful stories. Our stories. When so much was lost or destroyed, this was created. That’s something that can never recede or wash away.” ~ Kate Eltham
CEO of The Queensland Writers Centre
100 STORIES FOR QUEENSLAND has something for everyone, from slice of life to science fiction, fantasy to romance, paranormal to literary fiction. Heart-warming, quirky, inspiring and funny the stories between these covers will lift readers to higher ground.
ISBN (Print): 978-0-9871126-2-0
ISBN (eBook): 978-0-9871126-3-7
RRP: A$19.99, US$19.99, ₤9.99, €9.99
UPDATE: There will be a slight delay with the hard copy. Best to go to the 100 stories link in the blogroll (or here) for further details. The hard copy book can now also be ordered from Amazon.
April 9, 2011
It’s fifty years since Yuri Gagarin went into space (April 12), following a few unfortunate animals who had no choice. No doubt about it, he was brave. There are many events happening worldwide for ‘Yuri’s Night’, go here for more info.
Here’s a little poem about him. This poem was previously published in The Mozzie (Queensland):
Yuri Gagarin, first human being in space, died on a training flight in a MiG jet on 27 March 1968.
Some say it was the weather,
and others far too much fuel;
and of course, conspiracies
always have their murky place.
Personally, I believe it was
a simple swarm of birds.
Not envious, not teaching
a Soviet Icarus a thing or two.
I think they just came to see
a man who’d seen much more
than any stonechat who knows
Summer Siberia and Winter Japan.
At least you died in flight.
Some things just have to be.
And then there’s Mars. When are we going to get there? Here’s another poem about space exploration, previously published in this very blog in 2009:
When we reach Mars, kicking up red dust,
walking against gusts like Marcel Marceau,
let’s not do what we did on the Moon,
forty leap and leap-less years ago.
Let us not plant any one nation’s flag,
like a toothpick through a lump of party cheese.
Might a woman set her feet first on the planet
so often connected with war? And please,
please, no one takes golf clubs, whether niblicks
putters, drivers or irons. Let Mars stay a place
untouched by sprees of futility, no heady sticks
to launch tiny white balls into circles of space.
Leave no junk; let the plains spread clearly.
Just a few thoughts from
April 7, 2011
No, this is not a post about a hideous 1970s (?) British comedy called On the Buses, but about poetry recently published on the bus network in Canberra. The ACT government buys the advertising space on the buses for three months, so that people have something to look at that’s a little more interesting. I’m delighted that my poem will be seen by an estimated 10,000 people.
Here’s my poem called ‘Dad’s tea’, which is about (drumroll…) tea. Click to enlarge.