April 19, 2017
She stalks them, device in hand, in a modern bloodless hunt. They hide near buildings, the cute light beings, and she captures them with her e-net. The one she desired most appeared; half hedgehog and half platypus.
‘Great!’ she said. She had been searching just for him. He was king of all the cute light creatures. She lined up the e-net with the furry ball, with his fringe of pink spikes.
The hedgepus pounced, all claws and teeth. He skinned and ate her, with the efficiency that only practice brings. They stalk humans, the light things, and no nets are necessary. Their hunt is not bloodless.
His cuteness returned, with only a few stains on the fur near his mouth. People would assume that he had eaten too many berries. The hedgepus is said to relish the raspberry.
A kidney marked the spot, flung out like confetti.
This micro story was highly commended in the Microfiction category of the Fellowship of Australian Writers National Awards for 2016, just announced. (I’ve edited it a little since then.) I also won another category, called the ‘How-Tweet-It-Is Poetry Award’. I won’t post that one, though, as I have submitted it for publication Elsewhere. That second award allowed me to try out a poem short enough for Twitter, without joining that foul and parasitic ‘conversation’.
I also enjoy writing the occasional wee story, like the one above, safe from the constraints of character. And often plot… Prose poetry morphs into story quicker than seagulls wolf chips.
Very happy to be highly commended for a tiny horror story, too.
Next week, I promise fewer internal organs, and even a different image.
March 28, 2017
A limited number of autumns
mulched, or tumbled in a barrel,
spread thin, or just allowed to fall.
The angry man with the blower.
The desperate, toothy rake,
plied like a weapon to hold back
swarming leaves of dragon red.
Carpeting drive and inscribing soil —
the pointed, scarlet letters
of a limited number of autumns.
I belong to the ‘let it fall where it will’ school of gardening, which must frustrate those with gardens that look like they were bought from Ikea and assembled with an Allen key. There are many introduced species of trees in Canberra, which provide people with the ideal way of expressing their personalities as they battle the leaves. Or not.
March 14, 2017
Feral is the weed that walks hops or swims
that we seeded here first of all.
Like weapons in Afghanistan to fight Russians,
they shoot back against the giver, given time.
The irony in the soil, the punch-line
that keeps moving.
They are the spoonful of toad that never
helped the sugar.
The feral is the new devil;
we burn them, use their live bodies for cricket,
run them over.
They are our scapegoats, scapetoads, scapecarp,
whipping boys for our royal, stupid selves.
Varmint, pest, pets gone wild, rejigged —
dancing to their own tune.
Continuing thoughts about what is a weed from my last post, this week I touch on feral pests, with which Australia is now teeming, after 200 years of colonisation/invasion.
Cane toads are probably amongst the most famous, although even cats multiply like mice (ew!) here, and feed on parrots and lizards and all the tiny marsupials that most Australians in cities have never seen.
I am working on a sequence based on this; though trying to organise my thoughts is like teaching cane toads manners. (And that’s not a cane toad above, but it is a cool illustration, courtesy of the wonderful resource Old Book Illustrations.) The guy peeping at the main figure is 100% Gandalf, and I’m sure he has Powers over toads.
Either that or he uses them for their interesting secretions.
March 7, 2017
quick bloom brightness
When is a flower not a flower? When we classify it as weed. This plant has sprung up near me, and as it is at eye height, I noticed how lovely the flowers are. However, in most gardens it would be immediately removed as a threat to lawn and order.
A little like the way we ignore the fleeting thoughts that pulse through our heads. Unless of course, we’re “mad poets”. Going to seed, every day.