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.
December 6, 2016
Young dog cups warmth
into her belly —
lots more where that came from
Old dog limps towards the fire
dreams, remembering bones.
We know of the bones to be.
This poem first appeared at the Project 365 + 1 blog for which I wrote a poem a day in June. And yes, I have an old dog and a very vigorous middle aged dog. People always whinge about how quickly their children grow up, but a fourteen year old dog is not an adolescent!
Now I’m off to attempt to write something, and to paint my nails a vivid sparkly green. Christmas demands it.
November 28, 2016
Out for review
Out for the count
Out of time
Out for lunch
Out and about
Out for a duck
Out of luck
Out of the closet
Out on the town
Out of the corner of my eye
Out of the box
Out of the mouths of babes
Out of fashion
Out caught behind
Out of it
Out and out
Over and out
A bit of fun this week; and why not, as we head into glorious summer and Christmas?
I was chuffed (a technical term for a state somewhere between freakily ecstatic and mildly pleased) to hear that I have been shortlisted for the Red Room New Shoots Poetry Prize, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, and Rochford Street Review. You can access the full shortlists here (plural as there was a site specific contest for the Botanic Gardens, too). Lovely to recognise some other people on the list! And to see some names that are totally unfamiliar, as well.
Now I’m off to work on some sunburn.
November 22, 2016
I love you poetry because all I need is an old envelope — Telstra or power bill or guff — and a pen
And you wait there hidden between the grains of paper like a wee tiger, pouncing, or a huge poodle, primping
I can write you for everyone, or just for me
And through you I have met clever people, and some even good (and also pricks, but let’s not dwell in embroidery)
Poetry you keep my mind in the top fifteen percent of my generation
And you make me embed my thought in Real Words™ like a bloodbug in a mattress, burrowing
I weep for you when some use your name to produce pungent advertisements for self — ah! the faces I have slapped, the duels I have fought in your name (if only on paper)
You allow me to take a word — say egregious — and handball it back to myself with slicker hands than Hawthorn
And you stretch back and forward as far as music
And you adapt like Galapagos, but quick
Tourniquet and snake, you bite and comfort, and I love you like a convenient maiden aunt loves her old cat, who miraculously survived the pitbull
And you are the very pitbull, and the pitbull’s teeth.
And in vaguely related news, I was just highly commended in the Poetry category of the Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing, organised by the New England Writers Centre. Very nice. The winner of the poetry prize (which I won last year) was Ian Hood, with a poem called ‘Drowning Satan’, which I look forward to reading. Paul Prenter was commended. All the poems (and stories, etc) will be published soon at the New England Writers Centre website, and I’ll link to that when I can. My poem ‘On average’ was about domestic violence.
The judge was John Foulcher, a fellow Canberran. (Judging was, of course, anonymous.)
P.S. ‘Hawthorn’ in the above, is an Australian Rules football team, who have dominated things over the last five years or so. (Until this year, in fact.) Another helpful guide to Australian culture for
benighted foreigners my lovely overseas readers.
P.P.S. Pitbulls are awesome dogs, and are only vicious if abused.