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Article: About Harry St. Vincent Beechey

Harold St Vincent Beechey (St Vincent in recognition of the successful Napoleonic era admiral who was godfather to an ancestor) Born: 16/1/1925 – Died: 13/5/2006   FAMILY Harry’s family includes:   3 step-children, 2 surviving – Terry, Barbara, John (dec) 8 Grandchildren 12 Great-grandchildren 3 sisters – Ann, Gillian and Veronica 2 brothers – Anthony […]

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Article: Mentor

  His close friend Wally Marek writes: “There are a lot of things about Harry that remind his friends of the genius of Spike Milligan; whereas Spike went to England we got Harry. Harry had the same capacity for not taking himself seriously… A number of people have said that Harry is the best-read man […]

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Article: Philosotherapy

Currently I am in practice in Melbourne work with people in a philosophical capacity regarding significant personal problems. I believe that many, if not most, problems at present referred to psychologists and even psychiatrists, are basically philosophical and as such would be better treated by a person whose professional training and special skills are better […]

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Article: Springvale Writers Circle

A passion based around words (Insight, 2003) Guns win battles, words win wars – such is the power of the written word. CHRISTOPHER MALLON looks at a Springvale group that is providing an outlet for those who want to write creatively. The increasing popularity of writing and its creative genres of fiction, non-fiction — and […]

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Article: Veteran

In 1944 Harry was a conscript with the D Day invasion forces of the English Army. Harry did not like to talk much about the war, however, he did open up a little to his friend Baker-Moss (Mossy) who was in the RAAF when they met.  Mossy writes: I suspect that we first bonded as […]

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Article: What is Philosotherapy

Many people who are suffering from very real and distressing problems are hesitant to seek professional advice because of the social stigma which still prevails, however unfairly, on those who undergo psychiatric, or even psychological, treatment. The situation is doubly unfair considering the fact that, for the most part, the problems requiring solution can by […]

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Essay: Sympathy. Empathy. Compassionem

SYMPATHY_EMPATHY_COMPASSION BY H. St. VINCENT BEECHEY These words, Sympathy, Empathy and Compassion, are often confused and used indiscriminately (even the dictionary fails to indicate properly the subtle distinctions between them) but to us, the members of ADARDS, there are very real and important differences. An understanding of these differences may well be a help to […]

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Essay: What is a short story

A short story is a piece of literary work meant to entertain the reader. Be it about the author’s personal experiences or an item of fiction, a story should be written in such a way that the reader can identify with the main character, relate to him, feel for him, hate and love with him. […]

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Letter: Bearded Poet Seeks Lady

Date: June 8, 1990. **************************************************************** PERSONAL ADVERT: Bearded Poet seeks lady. Qualities hoped for – Caring loving personality; Intelligence; Love of music (Mozart to Traditional Jazz); Must have active mind, interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, social sciences, quantum mechanics, literature, Art, Humanism, Ecology, Computers, Languages, Writing, Poetry, Fine food, Good wine, Good works, Tarot, Runes, […]

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Letter: Eulogy For Madge

  My very dear Friends, I would like to begin by asking your forgiveness for resorting to modern technology in what is a very solemn and important occasion but it is because it is important that I have done so. The main reason, of course, is that it is an emotional time for all of […]

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Letter: Family Mediation Centre: Noble Park

The Family Mediation Centre in Noble Park Victoria Australia was a pioneer in this form of conflict resolution in the Commonwealth of Australia. It was established as a pilot project by the Federal Attorney General’s Dept in 1985 and has since proved an outstanding success. We work to a well-established model of mediation which has […]

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Letter: Letter to Alan Parkes on Harry’s philosophy

Letter to A.V.Parkes, 70 Sheldon Road London N.L8.   Dear Alan, In this letter I am going to try, however fumblingly, to begin to expound my view of the world. It will be difficult to communicate, for reasons you will see later, including as it does such diverse themes as Philosophy, Ontology, Epistemology, Psychology, and […]

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Letters: Letter to ‘G.A.’ on short words

Friday, 21 June 1996 Dear G. A. Here is a task for you. Can you write a piece in which you just use short words, like this one? It is quite hard to stick to short words and not use long ones. Most tales need long words to show what you mean, but it can […]

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Play: Meditation Role Play

Parties: Lorenzo Di Lombardi (50) Widower (see P.2) Christine O’Hara (43) Divorced. (see P.3) SCENARIO Lorenzo and Christine met at PWP five months ago and started dating shortly after. The relationship has developed into a very close one and Lorenzo has proposed marriage. He proposes also that Christine should sell her house and invest the […]

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Play: Meditation Role Play 2

MEDIATION ROLE PLAY PARTIES: Mother: Lee-anne Jenkins (35) Daughter: Charlene Kennedy (16) Stepfather: Owen Jenkins (42) Probation Officer: Ann James (undisclosed) SCENARIO Charlene is a ’street kid’ on probation for street prostitution, possession and use of an illegal substance and attempted theft. She has been released on the condition that she shall return home to […]

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Play: Meditation Role Play 3

Parties: Ann Greely (28) Arthur Greely (37) SCENARIO The presenting reasons for this mediation are sexual problems and a deterioration of the marriage. It is uncertain who has initiated the request for mediation as they approached the centre together. Arthur seems to do most of the talking. He is ostensibly ‘gallant’ towards his wife but […]

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Play: Meditation Role Play 4

Parties: Jill Brown, nee Smith B.A. (Hons.) (27) David Brown B.Sc. Ph.D.(27) SCENARIO David and Jill met at university and formed a three year de facto relationship, sharing accommodation, hopes fears and ambitions. It was a very loving relationship and, to celebrate their graduation, they got married. Jill became a social worker (and breadwinner) whilst […]

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Play: Meditation role Play 5

MEDIATION ROLE PLAY Parties: Wilhelmina van der Valk (49) Hendryk van der Valk (52)   SCENARIO Wilhelmina and Hendryck are brother and sister. Hendryck is married and is living in his own house which he had mortgaged to finance a business which has failed in the recession. Wilhelmina is living in the family home, owned […]

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Poem: 1944 – 1954

I almost died in vain In Normandy, where cider apples green, Shell-falls lay, and only blood was red, And friends, like children, played at being dead. A bitter game for those who died in vain. I almost died in vain, Ere this decade of decadence was seen, And Worse, I almost died in vanity Thinking […]

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Poem: A Love Poem

Our kisses are those of children, Warm, and sweet, and innocent. Yet they express a trusting love so deep, so delicate, Its poignancy might be destroyed by cruder passions, Lost in the seething selfishness of lust. But there is the paradox. How do I rein my strong desire to give all that is me? To […]

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Poem: A sound slides down 

A sound slides down the surface of the morning rippling the stillness marring the perfection Yet even dissonance is harmony of a larger patterned day The veils of change obscuring Essential Rightness And the Brightness Grows the more for seeing unsought Lighting the dark corners banishing the shadow ghosts of fear By Harry St. Vincent […]

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Poem: Apaciblemente y con Làstima (Esperanto)

  By HARRY ST. VINCENT BEECHEY Translated by ANTONIO DAMARKO   Apaciblemente y con lástima Hago lo que debe ser hecho.   Las elecciones inevitables permanecen a la espera Con su doble filo reluciente y cortante Listo para morder la iricis profunda conciencia.   Una plantación. Un caracol. Según aplasto la delicada espiral No castigo […]

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Poem: Autumn Day

  Can this be an autumn day? The sky a balmy blue. The temperature in the twenties. The breeze Warm and confiding Not even whispering of winter. And the leaves Smug eucalyptus green Have no intention of changing colour To the rich gold-brown of autumn Of show-off Pommy trees. And does this mean, This metaphor […]

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Poem: Ave

  The bell is cracked But no matter Thou who do not hear it Would not come   And the stained glass windows Are stained indeed And glean of red and green Cast pools of colour in the dust   And pageantry and promp Have grown too pompous And the fat priests Are old men […]

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Poem: Beware of the God

  He sat there Obese and benign on a tiny stool Positioned with care near the intersection And he settled himself Arranging his rags – setting up the cardboard sign Beginning his ritual Conducting the traffic lights. – He limbered up with a snap of the fingers And GREEN became RED. He smiled and nodded […]

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Poem: Bubble

  A bubble is burst. Where now the rainbow people Who shone and glowed within its walls; The two-dimensional iridescence Who mingled end flowed And reflected an ugly world distorted but beautiful, Who twirled in a dream world Coupling, Coalescing, Mingling their colours in beauty end light. The Fuzz have busted the pad. A great […]

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Poem: Bugger the Limit!

  “Bugger the limit!” The young man said as he pushed his foot down to the floor. His Porsche was doing a hundred and ten and still, he was looking for more. The policemen were sitting, bored, in their car, which was partly concealed by a tree. In the lap of each cop was a […]

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Poem: Business as Usual

  The sun is shining still And people go about their business As though nothing has happened. Children laugh – Birds sing. The paper was delivered as usual. Extraordinary, the Ordinary, Despite everything. And I – who have lost a love, Whose world is upside down, Am surprised to see it right way up.   […]

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Poem: Circus

  Sawn in half! and in her prime too! A shocking affair. Zoltan the Great has freely admitted it. Pique Pure pique At being relegated from the centre ring. Forced to do his act At a double disadvantage Whilst aerialists swooped Oohs and Ahhs from the crowd But not for him And his girdle was […]

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Poem: Compassion

  Pitied be a Ginsberg, howling of a hipster hell And a thousand solutions in search of a problem   Pitied be the Hippies, hallucinations in squalor Expanding the mind not minding its expense   Pitied, the straights whose jackets are tighter   And pitied those who think   Pitied be the babies, who smile […]

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Poem: Connection

  Conducting a sexperiment (Strictly according to Masters and Johnson) He keeps an anxious eye on his meters and dials. “Love” he says, “My darling dear” (Verbal stimuli are an effective aphrodisiac To the female psyche) “My sweet are you sure, Quite sure, That all your electrodes are properly attached? Because, Lover, Sweetheart, My readings […]

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Poem: Cramped Hermitage

  We scuttle sideways through life Seeking a larger shell. In growing, our comfort zone Becomes uncomfortable.   Our Opinions, once so accommodating, Restrict our growth, Cramping our burgeoning self, Stifling our new ideas Like shoes too small for growing feet And we, constricted, Develop calluses on our consciousness; Constrained by lack of space.   […]

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Poem: Cranswick

  Now is the line of Cranswick Once more assured a place Ensuring perpetuity Lasting continuity Continuing Humanity Rodney’s only vanity A son to save the race.   Nor, shall we grudge his triumph Sons are wealth indeed What joy equates paternity I grant perhaps maternity Collateral an eternity Keeping strong the breed.   And […]

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Poem: Crowd Scene

  A shot rang out; And the crowd moved; making a dark and sullen sound. HUBBUB? RHUBARB, SUBURB, RUB ALLUB, BAH SEELUB, AH UB A HUBBURB, And its fringes drew back like singed fingers, Leaving a crumpled thing Clutching the reddening ground, And a shriek seared the silence that fell As the soldiers slid forward […]

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Poem: Daguerreotype

  Faded sepia A frame of grey cardboard Age-speckled and smelling of damp Discarded Destined for the dustbin But Wait Dust away the mildew Look closely at the subjects And wonder Two figures – posed In the unnatural postures demanded by slow exposure Flinching at the flash of magnesium The young couple – engaged at […]

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Poem: Dracula

(aka Browning)   How sweet she seems, how virginal in sleep Her raven hair a swirling pool of night Outspread upon the pillows pallid plain.   And how her peeping shell pink extends these And loves the shadowed column of her neck.   Oh that neck, how soft it seems, and warm. Warm with the […]

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Poem: Ego

Galaxies endless, Stars beyond measure, In orbital cosmos circled and spun And infinitesimal, briefly existent Winked a star, small and yellow, the sun And fluke of infinity, motes round a candle in orbit elliptic, the planets flew by The third from the centre wreathed thinly in vapour Is the earth, blue of sky For all […]

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Poem: Endings

  Beginnings are different. The Hope, the Newness, the Unfolding; Sprouting shoots greeted by spring sunshine; The thawing of ice, the greening. But Endings? The unacknowledged inevitable, For all things must end, Are always traumatic. The initiator has anguished; Waking at four in the morning, Running scenarios through the mind, Role-playing the final rejection. And […]

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Poem: Entropy

  You can never go back. Lost faith, lost love, lost innocence. And Christmas is never quite the same Without the belief in Santa. Humpty Dumpty was never mended after the Fall. And yet we build again New eggshell castles in the air. Leaping arches, flying buttresses, And lacework traceries over windows Overlooking faery gardens. […]

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Poem: Episode

  And after a while lie got up and saw his shoes neatly side by side SIGNIFICANT   and put them on his quiet eyes watching watching his deft fingers dancing with the laces And SHE came in speaking words to him with her mouth but he saw only the folds of her dress and […]

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Poem: Epistemology

  Well wadaya know, the egghead, here Hey brains make with the spiel, Hey guys crowd round and meet the prof He’s out of sight for real   For real? Reality, I fear Is something I have sought In life and nature through the years And gives it much thought.   I’ve learned to classify […]

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Poem: Escape

  How sweet it is to dream and let The turbulence of life go by, An islet in a river set, Watching the scudding clouded sky. Fern fronds trailing fingers wet Reach out to touch a floating spar Incuriously, for such things are.   How sweet, with reason left behind, To feel the wind in […]

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Poem: Familiar

  Familiar as the touch of a loved one’s hand The smell of Liver and bacon The scent of evening roses The taste of Chocolate Of rich red wine And the sound Of voices Known by Cadence and Tone Belonging, unmistaken, To all that is uniquely bound By memory to the personal past That cements […]

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Poem: Finesse

  I decided, not to rape this virgin page With crass obscenities, (So much, Alas, in vogue) But merely to seduce it a little. To explore its erogenous zones Hopefully – Gently titillating – With a ballpoint pen. And the thought struck me That ancient poets always used a quill. A far more suitable instrument […]

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Poem: Gently And With Sorrow

  Gently and with sorrow I do that which must be done. Ineluctable choices lie in wait Their double binds gleaming and sharp Ready to nip the toughest conscience. A seedling. A snail. And as I crush the delicate helix Do I not punish it for my future crime Of eating the lettuce? Or, neglecting […]

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Poem: Gestalt

  And meanwhile, back at the ranch There is congruity – as in all things. But we, in our unidimensional One-thing-at-a-time linear fashion, See only the chain of events. Each forged link binding us to history. And we think One-thought-at-a-time That things are thus and thus – in logical causation. Splitting the rainbow into seven […]

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Poem: Gift

  In compassion I give you silence My most precious gift. No words White black or brindle No multi-hued verbal psychedelia They are the wrappings To be torn To be thrown away Discard them! For you have wasted forty thousand years Engrossed with the packaging Driven to paranoia In attempting to decipher The label. Unwrap […]

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Poem: Grey Dawn

  Grey dawn on empty marshes And the plaintive cry of a lone bird pierces the chill. The mist whisps upwards to a rising sun, Smelling of seaweed And licked lips are as salty as tears. Hands deep in my pockets I turn my back upon the whispering sea And think longingly of warm things: […]

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Poem: Haiku

  A flash of lightning. A tree leaps from the darkness. Gone, it is still there. A jewel glistens. Rainbow fires, red, blue and green. It is a raindrop. Where are all the dreams Of our hopeful tomorrows. Lost in yesterday. The waves on the beach Speak angrily of a truth That no one can […]

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Poem: Hampton

  On my first night there. The R.S.L. Signing me in with grandfatherly pride. Tattered remnants of old Christmas decorations stir limply from dusty rafters. An architectural monstrosity Early Scout Hall, Clusters of cronies prop the bar and past presidents, in faded gold, challenge the Roll of the Fallen. He proudly displays Australian disrespect for […]

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Poem: Hazel

  We laughed at your funeral And you, silent in your white coffin, Would have laughed too To hear how you lived again In die fond memories of your friends. The anecdotes of an outrageous lady Who lived and loved and laughed her way Into our lives Were the echo of a world Now forever […]

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Poem: Incommunicado

They are of very little use, you know, These words – these images. And yet we still try to communicate the ineffable.   Face contorted with effort we make sounds. The dumb speaking to the deaf who strain to hear. The mind’s eye purblind as we seek to twist the murky mental mist into a […]

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Poem: Infinity

INFINITY Vast, Vast, Vast, it is, Nullity and Emptiness, Immense and empty space beyond the Stars, Gold, Gold, Gold, it is, Void and Chill and Matterless. Old, Old, Old, it is, If Age there he in Timelessness. Dark, Dark, Dark, it is, Lightless, Lifeless, Meaningless, Black, the empty space beyond the Stars. H. St. Vincent […]

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Poem: It is harder for us

It is harder for us Self-alienated by artifacts Surrounded by Things Concreted imaginings But In a brushwood hut on a misty mountain And willows drooping And stark bamboos Thrusting to the sky Or bending to the wind With freshet streams feeding the waterfall A half-heard thunder Minute droplets Breeze-borne Softening the air There Where the […]

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Poem: Joy in the Morning

(1989) by Harry St. Vincent Beechey   Dark lashes lace her eyes in sleep. Her lips, downturned in dream, Belie the tranquillity of her face. I brush the kiss-curl from her forehead And gaze upon her beauty.   Scarcely breathing I watch her in wonder The smooth brow, Even the laugh lines that light her […]

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Poem: Judo – A Sonnet On It

Judo is a gentle art, I’m told. An art which trains the body and the mind, Uplifts a man, and helps him live a bold And fearless life, wherein the wise may find A freedom from neurotic introspection. There you will find us, building strength and will, In glorious action striving for perfection. Seeking ever […]

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Poem: Kurkl

  O strange and savage blade, What alien mind Devised your cruel curve. What use to serve, What purposes to find, And for what nameless horror were you made.   I heft you in my hand, A sentient thing, You twist within my grip. However held, you slip, And turn for a downward swing, Strange […]

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Poem: Labels

I tied a label on it Robbing it forever of its Godhood Rendering it invisible beneath the layer of semantic paint Guaranteed indelible. Midas-like I am accursed And every wondrous Suchness touched by my thought Becomes a noun Forever lost to me beneath its name. The purity I glimpsed is now obscured By the golden […]

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Poem: Lament

The gulls are crying again And there is little I can do To assuage a grief so inconsolable. A handful of bread taken on the wing Or fought for In a savage, pecking, squawking scrimmage Serves to distract them for a moment From their wheeling, keening sorrow. But all to no avail. They ride the […]

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Poem: Lassitude

HO HUM! another weary day Is done and past recall, And I, too tired for sleeping, lie And watch the shadows on the wall, The shadows dancing on the wall.   My muscles, tensed with toil, relax, Albeit slowly, as I find That worried thoughts no longer tax My peace of mind, My precious peace […]

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Poem: Love Poem Two

I have a prayer that sometimes in your dreams Caressed by a warm and gentle air Laden with the scent of flowers Dreaming that you dream You conjure up a phantom lover And he Noble as an Elf-Lord Is there at your command To pleasure you in every subtle way That you have long desired […]

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Poem: Manifesto

Fear us! Society – We are the Changelings! And you are right to feel uneasy. For we are NEW. Rebels there have been – Revolts and Insurrections And Wars – civil and uncivil. And you have played that game and know the rules And take measures – and usually succeed, or fail To be replaced […]

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Poem: Missing

Something is missing There in the gloom. You’re patting your pockets, Searching your room. You’ve counted the children, Called each by name. Whistled the dog, and Checked if he’s lame. You’ve unpacked the shopping, Put it away. Binned all the rubbish. And called it a day. But there, in the darkness, Unable to sleep. Unable […]

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Poem: Musical Interlude

How to begin Ah yes — a violin And its fellow the cello Playing a simple air Two octaves apart And as a base, the double bass Supporting a pyramid of sound. And Oh, an oboe Big brother bassoon The cor anglais (The English homing in again) The wood-winds blowing Heralding an autumn. Bold as […]

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Poem: Nature

by H.St V.Beechey   Nature’s red in tooth and claw Or so the poet said. Suggesting if you mess with it You well may end up dead.   The jungle teems with bugs that bite Its streams are full of leeches. The seaside has its perils too Despite its sunny beaches.   The great white […]

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Poem: No Sanctuary More

Seek no more a hidden place, No more a veil to hide your face, No hermitage in which to hide, No secret place wherein to bide; There is no sanctuary more. Run no more in panic flight, Nor shun the world in foolish fright. Hope no more that you may find Sweet escape within the […]

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Poem: Nostalgia

The scent of daisies: And I am a child again, Lying on my stomach in the grass, Watching the teeming earth with eyes That haven’t seen it all before. The sky, A bluer blue than older eyes can see, Explains infinity. A half-heard tune, and old emotions rise, Catching the throat. A half recalled regret […]

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Poem: Nothing Personal

It’s nothing personal I’m sure it will come back to me In a moment Just who you are, and where we met And when it was Maybe ten cars ago And fifteen homes, and twenty jobs. And who was I then? What life style did I favour? And did we share a pad A friendship […]

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Poem: Poem to a Poem: A Sonnet

Oh artful group of words, where lies, your charm? What makes your victims fall beneath your spell? Lifts them to heaven or casts them into hell And fills their soul with passion and alarm.. How do you sooth the sick and ease their pain? How do you stir the young to martial strife And justify […]

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Poem: Refrigerator

O.K. Sit there damn you! Squat and solid in your suchness Humming quietly to yourself In an unknown tongue Smug in your being Thinking yourself so clever Refrigerating. But I know something you don’t know. We made you – Do you hear? Well maybe not I Not I personally But someone did; Some man Some […]

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Poem: Scent and Taste

The smell of toffee warms the heart With memories of childhood days Before the taste of Caramel A more sophisticated smell Taught us more elitist ways. Vinegar, so fierce and tart. Will cause saliva glands to flow And pickles tease the tastebuds when We eat them and go back again And watch a new addiction […]

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Poem: Sea-Side Mum in Winter

SEA-SIDE MUM IN WINTER Inside, the children play the game I bought Suitable for ages eight to eighty. Outside, declined as a player – do I seem older than eighty? I walk the deserted beach – sleet numbing my face Like grief. The tide has left a scum – a dirty bathtub (And I’ve told […]

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Poem: Search

Sorry, I’m a stranger here myself. I can offer no help to you in your search for identity. Turn new left if you will; or right, right, right, right round in ever decreasing circles, following anxiously in your own footsteps, looking for a leader as stupid as yourself. Follow the middle way (if that’s your […]

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Poem: Squeal or Fry

  ‘Squeal or Fry’ said the senator Squeal or Fry, “Not I,” said he “We will not lie,” said she “We’d sooner die”. – Save them said the people Give us hope That justice is not dead “Show Mercy” said the Pope, They are Red! said the senators They’re better dead! – The voices of […]

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Poem: Stars

How great they are and terrible, In unrelenting light, Aldebaran and Sirius, Betelgeuse and Regulus, Rigel and Capella, The awful stars of night. And each a sun to dwarf the sun, And each a sun ere life began, And yet some small presumptuous man Has Named them one by one. For naming them is taming […]

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Poem: Still Life

An apple – a pear – a wooden dish And one flower, lonely in a vase Is still life A frozen moment of eternity. You need only to look to see A shining live apple. Look very closely – Look At the ruby red richness merging into the acid green. The highlight of an unseen […]

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Poem: Stress!!!

What is this thing called stress? Everyone is suffering from it. Everyone is under it. It causes things, Is the result of things, Creates itself Spreads like fire But more silently. Those under it cannot escape without The help of others who see. The seers are mediums – They contact the cause, They Converse, Illucidate. […]

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Poem: TCL-TCL

TLC-TCL Maybe I love you too much! I love the sight and sound of you I love the taste and touch I love the scent of you And the movement My senses are swamped by you And I am undone. But what of the male stereotype? The sexual dominance? The aggression? How is it that […]

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Poem: The Dance of Life

When I was born so I was told My mother danced to the sound of the polka A 19th century dance in double time Two beats to the bar was my birthing rhyme I arrived on cue and cried in time And of this dance no one could fault her When I was a babe […]

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Poem: The Dispossessed

1. Two – A gull’s eye view A boy on a board A drunk in the dunes Alone with the sea and sand and sky And their stories – Two Effects of a cause But let us pause Turn time backwards half a day Backwards say To when he picked him up Thumbing a lift […]

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Poem: The Edge of Nothing

I stood on the edge of Nothing And gazed at the emptiness within. I found it difficult to believe That Darkness is the absence of light; Cold, the absence of heat. Can it be that Light repels a massive and encroaching Darkness And warmth drives off insatiable Cold? May the light of Love defy dark […]

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Poem: The First Man on the Moon

“I am the first man to stand on the moon”, he cried, His voice, cradled in air, to his helmet tied. And no echo came from the mountains towering high That reached black and white to the star-strewn sky. And the dust slid round his feet, none rose In earthlike cloud as he scraped his […]

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Poem: The Gay Wedding

THE GAY WEDDING The ceremony itself was rather queer. A general exchanging of rings. The gaiety a little forced But all the conventional forms closely observed. The speeches: “Not losing but gaining a son” “A toast to the bridesmen” “May all their troubles…” (But that was too much, and in very poor taste). A quick […]

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Poem: The Guru

I, your Guru Have nothing to offer you. NOTHING! NETI! NETI! No self to give. No concept of you To offer it to. NETI! No hope and no despair. No Birth, No Death No knowledge, no ignorance. NETI! NETI! No love-hate, good-bad, short-tall, great-small dualities. No fictitious polarities. NETI! No Isms and schisms. No drug-induced […]

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Poem: The innocence of Childhood

  The innocence of Childhood The Trust, The Belief The pillowcase at the foot of the bed. Awakening, the prodding foot Finds Proof that the impossible is real.   And the child defies the scorn of older children for Dad says it is true And SANTA’S Presents were there there in the pillowcase, there at […]

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Poem: The Lost

There’s a great grey plain where lichen grows, by the sun unkissed. And amorphous beings unanswered call, from out the mist. Here lies no fear. What use is fear, to those beyond despair? For even Tantalus had hope. Prometheus yet may lose his rope, But here’s no light, no hope to fight the dullness of […]

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Poem: The Old’n

On my first night there. The RSL. Signing me in with grandfatherly pride. Tattered remnants of old Christmas decorations Stir limply from dusty rafters. An architectural monstrosity. “Early Scout hall”. Clusters of cronies breast the bar And past presidents, in faded gold Challenge the Roll of The Fallen. He proudly displays Australian disrespect for rank. […]

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Poem: The Orchid

THE ORCHID Delicate, exotic, the strange orchid entrances the mind With colours and curves that twist dimensions. The eye, deceived, deluded, turns the tormented vision Inwards to infinity. And there, in the depths, lost in the darkness Of flowing forms, one ceaselessly searches The meaning of existence. And echoes sound from a Bach fugue, a […]

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Poem: The Point in Time

I am back again, but I don’t know for how long. The pencil and paper are here as promised so I will begin. Maybe this time I will succeed. God knows I hope so. My mind is quite clear and I remember everything. It is insidious, this New Age stuff. As a philosopher I should […]

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Poem: The Snow Clad Wood

Strange it is, and quiet. The pendent icicles, agleam with inner fire, shame the winter sun, and great smooth masses of unbroken white soften the shadows. The dreams of sleeping trees take substance and pervade the air surrounding them, until a dome of iridescent beauty forms, takes shape, reflects the inner loveliness of things to […]

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Poem: The Unborn

We, the unborn, [Heap curses on your heads, Men of the age of Madness. Hope of the the future stillborn, Blighted fruit of your dreads, Posterity accursed are we, To centuries of sadness. – Small was the thought you gave To us, the men of tomorrow. Five thousand years of grief are in your seed, […]

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Poem: The Well-dressed man

He was there, of course, at the Races His clothes murmuring quietly of Saville Row. And later, at the Ball, resplendent in tails, Diamond studs gleaming (but in the best possible taste). And at the Garden Party Where we finally lost patience And squirted him in the crotch with a garden hose Making it appear […]

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Poem: The Young’n

By H.St.V.Beechey   I babysit in the soft warm sand.She runs about on sturdy legs.Perhaps she is sitting me—I do not run much any more.She calls to me. “Great-grand-papa!”Each consonant crisp as a race-caller.”Great-grand-papa. Come quick! See? What is it?”Creaking, I answer her urgency, to where she squatsHer attention pointing out the tiny creature. Once, […]

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Poem: Three Muses

THREE MUSES. The silent voices call again, The voices heard in childhood dreams. Promising, entreating me to hear The rich wild symphony of starlight gleams. “Come listen to the moonlights mellow tone, The dark bass of the crowding hills. List to the oboes in the wind, And xylophonic notes of evening’s chills.” “Can’t you hear […]

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Poem: Threnos

Men fear wit. A case of biter bit, Causes distrust of it, The subtle pun, The simple man, will shun Wary of hidden fun. For who may know, How far such fun may go And mock the listener if he be too slow. […]

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Poem: To an H-Bomb Scientist

TLC-TCL Maybe I love you too much! I love the sight and sound of you I love the taste and touch I love the scent of you And the movement My senses are swamped by you And I am undone. But what of the male stereotype? The sexual dominance? The aggression? How is it that […]

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Poem: To An Unnamed Island Continent

TO AN UNNAMED ISLAND CONTINENT Plain upon plain upon plain Distance has no meaning here Marked out neatly in anthill monuments to nothing. Saltpans dreaming whitely of long dead seas Blunted mountains conceding slow defeat to erosion. And yet Here on the coast Crammed into their five cities The newcomers vociferously proclaim the name “Australia” […]

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Poem: To Edith (no. 1)

TO EDITH (no 1) What can I say? That I love you? You knew that already. That I love you enough to lose you? That is closer. I thank you for all you have done. I thank you for your gentleness, your patience, And your soft mouth. I thank you for your tolerance of an […]

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Poem: To Edith (no. 2)

To Edith. (no. 2) I lost a love, and I was lost. After the numbness, the disbelief, Denial and anger, I found myself again, or so I thought, I found another. But how much is my need? How much my fantasies – projected on another. How does the arrogance of “I Love you” Demand a […]

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Poem: To My Bath

Subtle temptress, white of form, Alluring in your veil of steam, Smiling white enamel gleam Hinting of a friendship warm. Tantalising, playing the coquette Repulsing my advances, as my toe, Timid as lovers touch, would know Your mood, You hotly chide “Not yet” At last relenting, your embrace Stimulates, then soothes to rest. Secure and […]

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Poem: Two Work Poems

TWO WORK POEMS. 1. Mantis. The forklift driver mounted the back of the mantis. It raised its arms in ecstasy to the sky. “Watch Out Vic I” t warned him. “Don’t get too involved. “You know what the mantis does to her mate!” 2. Strange Journeys. The timber warehouse, the smell of pine and I […]

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Poem: Viewpoint

He entered the railway carriage – The Newcomer. Placing his attache case on the rack. Seating himself delicately His fingers nipping his trousers to preserve the crease. And they regarded him The Travellers Bored by the long haul from A to B. A morals charge, mused the policeman. But that was reminiscing. It’s allowed nowadays […]

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Poem: Vision

As I sat quietly by the fire I had a waking dream The whole wide world before me spread, I saw the living and the dead, Massed like a mighty choir Pass in an endless stream. And loud so loud, their voices rang Each voice so loud and clear, And youth and joy in descant […]

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Poem: Waterfall

On a mountain far away Where little streams combine to grow Together, from their interplay A mighty river starts to flow. Quiet at first, through grassy meads And then a gorge with craggy walls Constricts and narrows there, and leads The river to the awesome falls. Confused and angry waters roar And, unsupported, leap in […]

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Poem: Where

Where can I buy Some rose-coloured spectacles, To hide from my eye, The madness of man. Where can there be A place where atrocities Don’t call to me Of the badness of man. Each, in his way, Thinks himself justified, And night conquers day In the sadness of man. But one day the weak Will […]

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Poem: Windows

The moonbeam probes the arrow slit. Searches the ruined keep to find Nothing within – Not even a ghost. The squadron of fish, in close order drill, Flits to the right in perfect formation Indifferent to the porthole Of the sunken troopship. Graffiti scrawled, the whitewash Obscures the window of the empty shop And the […]

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Prose: A Christmas Story

It takes a lot to surprise a department store Santa. There hadn’t been a hint of this sort of thing in Santa school. We had, of course, been taught the politically correct manner of perching a small child on the knee, acceptable ways of addressing our diminutive clients and the danger of making unreliable promises. […]

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Prose: A Kitchen Conversation

  The new house was a snip at six million — old money that is — I can’t get used to Globals. I was filled with excitement at getting my first Smart House and a great deal of trepidation at having to train it. The manual describes it as customization. The technician had burnt me […]

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Prose: Accident

It was no accident. The boy picked his way across the unfenced plantation. He paused to examine a small sapling, his tree, the one he had planted during Beautification Week. He set down his school bag and knelt to adjust the rabbit mesh and pull out a few weeds, picked up the bag, and walked […]

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Prose: Ah! Venice

I’m sure it must be Venice; you can see one of the bridges to the left of that column with the lion on it. It’s funny though, that ought to be San Marco square but there’s no sign of the Campanile. Maybe the artist has his back to it. What sort of a picture of […]

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Prose: Annie

Annie hesitated shyly in the doorway of the classroom. Already there were two or three people seated in the rough semicircle of chairs, those strange chairs with a hinged flap for writing notes (If you’re right-handed, she thought). A brisk looking woman stood in the centre talking to them. With a birdlike motion of her […]

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Prose: Bad Samaritan

  The priest entered the cell. He raised his hand in a blessing and murmured a greeting as the young man got to his feet. Thank you for coming Father. I know it is a bit irregular, but I really need to talk to someone.’ They said you asked to see a counselor. How may […]

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Prose: Beards

  Before investigating this fascinating subject one should be clear from the start that beards are not merely hairy things that grow on the face. Admittedly they are hairy, but so are moustaches. They grow on the face it is true but so, of course, do eyebrows. No, there is more, far more, to them […]

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Prose: Bell, Book, and Candle

  The cathedral was silent now. The echoes of the sonorous Latin phrases died away, vanishing into the murk of the domed ceiling. With both hands, the Bishop closed the huge bible, and, with a ritual gesture, swept the giant candlestick to the ground. The golden wax candle was broken and extinguished. As the flame […]

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Prose: Betty Plum

The great star smiled sweetly, her professional smile. Underneath she fumed as the headmaster bumbled on. “As you know, Miss Elizabeth Thatcher is a world-famous superstar. She has honoured us with her presence today, her return to the town of her birth, because she was at one time a pupil at this very school. Yes,” […]

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Prose: Bird Watching

  “I rather like watchin’ birds meself, Prof” said Leo with an evil leer. He skillfully drove the veteran 4WD along the narrow track into the depths of an ancient forest in southeast Victoria, tracts of which had been mercifully spared from modern loggers and wood-chippers. Maybe they owed their reprieve to the gullies and […]

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Prose: Chestnuts

  She stood as close to the glowing brazier as possible, her hands thrust deep into the pockets of her bulky jacket, watching as the vendor shovelled the hot chestnuts into a paper bag. And I watched her. Our relationship was at that wonderful Can it really be true? stage and I found myself looking […]

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Prose: Childhood

  Childe Hood, the brat of Sherwood was in trouble again. Robin junior was the despair of his mother, Marion, and a considerable annoyance to his father. Birch twig and bribery, both had failed to curb the mischievous demon that took possession of the infant from the time he could walk. Now, at eight years […]

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Prose: Christmas Father

  The street lights fought a losing battle against the dawn as the twins clumped out of the house, tottering precariously on their new roller-blades. They clung to the fence, each reluctant to leave its security but anxious to be the first to break free and fly like a bird down the wide sloping pavement […]

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Prose: Competition

  ‘NO!’ said the Master. ‘I fear you do not yet understand. Do not you Christians say, “Love thine enemy”?’ You must see competition for what it is — Co-operation. Without ‘Yin’, there can be no Yang’. And once again, we met in battle — and once again I was defeated. There were times though […]

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Prose: Deception

  I once met a Spanish cabaret star in Seville, his stage name was Albert Smith, and his speciality was English dancing; I understand that the local senoritas thought this was wildly romantic. One evening the Albert Smith fan club resolved to get a lock of his hair. They got the lot! He was wearing […]

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Prose: Dialogue

  “USUAL LIFE”, said the sage, “IS VERY TAO”. “How Tao is Mao and his little red book? How Tao the Bomb? How Tao Black Power?” “AS WELL TO ASK ‘HOW WHEN IS ZEN?”. “And Then? – What then?” “ORDINARY LIFE IS VERY TAO” smiles the sage. “CEASE ONLY TO CHERISH ILLUSIONS. ALL YOUR CONFUSIONS […]

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Prose: Dialogue #2

  “Have you finished in there? We haven’t got all day!” “You’ll just have to wait, Constable, things are difficult one-handed. Besides, I shouldn’t be in here, I should be in the Ladies.” Some Lady! Come off it George, you are right where you belong – in the Disabled toilet. That’s what you are – […]

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Prose: Dossier

PROJECT: TO SELECT PHRASE TO ACT AS INSPIRATION FOR STORY AND THEN DEVISE A LEADING CHARACTER FOR IT. PRODUCE DOSSIER. PHRASE: “THE LETTER OF THE LAW” A short story about a man who is completely “literal-minded” who finds himself in a situation where his only salvation, and that of someone very dear to him, is […]

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Prose: Dozing

  He dozed as he waited for Meals on Wheels. He/d hear them, no worry about that – the squeaking rear brake shoe, the click of the old cyclone gate, the chink of the soup ladle. They’d bring it in cheerful but hurried. Two ladles of soup sloshed in the cracked soup bowl he had […]

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Prose: Emma

  NO, I won’t change my mind. I quit! Finished! Finito! I’m out. As far as I’m concerned the Cool Cucumber is history. Who knows, maybe I’ll start another ‘zine; Start small again. Turn another small newsletter into an international magazine with a readership of millions. Maybe I was just lucky, or maybe it was […]

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Prose: Enchanted

  Enchante Madame. The Frenchman bowed over me wife’s hand. “Pierre DuBonnet.” The wife simpered as I looked .on a bit shirty. Ya gotta hand it to them Frogs, they sure know how to chat up a Sheila. “Charmed, I’m sure, Mon-sewer,” she said, batting her big blues. I said nuthin’ “And you, Monsieur, I […]

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Prose: Face To Face

The dictator regarded the face in the mirror with satisfaction. “A fine face, doctor. You have surpassed yourself. A firm, strong, face! Yet not too outstanding. With this face, one could merge with a crowd, but it is not nondescript. No, it is a very good face.” The plastic surgeon stood on the other side […]

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Prose: Fashion

Aubrey Bean swept through the salon trailing havoc in his wake. He was obviously in a foul mood. The models, normally prima donnas in their own right, wilted and shrank into the sidelines, unwilling to confront the Maestro in full flight. Aubrey, in a temper, was a force to be feared. No sign there of […]

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Prose: Father Tom

  It is always hard for a priest to pick up the threads of a new parish. I could see why the bishop had chosen a troubleshooter. “My son,” he said, “I have not given you an easy task. There is a spiritual malaise to be sought out and conquered. It is never a light […]

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Prose: Fear

  Its onset was subtle, he hardly noticed it at first, just a prickling of the neck hairs, a feeling of vague unease. Something was teasing at the edge of his peripheral vision, but when he dated a quick glance there was nothing there. The bland countryside was empty of human life and the little […]

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Prose: Fourteen Postcards

Fourteen Postcards 1 Well here I am! The coast at last! Booked in at the Premium Motel. Bought this card at the desk and dashing this off before I do the town. H. 2 Hi again. After steak and chips at the Diner I found the Gold Star Disco. Noisy but nice. Didn’t dance much […]

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Prose: Friends

  She checked it all again; first the stove, where the leg of lamb browned slowly behind the heat-misted glass of the oven door, the little internal light tantalising with its meagre vision of roasting potatoes. Time for basting again? No, it is scarcely ten minutes since last time. Ten minutes. She looked anxiously at […]

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Prose: Girl Meets Boy

GIRL MEETS BOY To cut a long story short I will just give you the basic details about Pearl and Paddy. There was this chick, see. To put it in a nutshell she was no blushing bride. For the almighty dollar, she would be all things to all men. Up to now, Dame Fortune had […]

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Prose: Grief

  When I was young, and I must admit that this was in the days before antibiotics, I had a boil. Besides being painful I hated it with all the passion that a child is capable of. The ignominy I the sense of injustice that such a thing could happen to me, that this alien […]

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Prose: Has Evil Triumphed?

  Perhaps I should just say “The Rape and Child-murder of Julia Price”, thus giving at least the dignity of truth to her memory. But then I might have done an injustice to the serious ethical considerations of her violator, Austin Clarke (God damn his soul), who claimed he was no paedophile because he had […]

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Prose: He and She

  There, already I have told you something. If I had said, “His and Hers” or “Him and Her” you would have had completely different expectations; the one about possessions, the other about ‘pawns of fate’ to whom things happen. There are other possible combinations: He: dominant, loving her, using her. She: loving him, hating […]

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Prose: Holiday

I will just lie here—Thinking Thinking. Perhaps if I think hard enough they will go away “Mother! Stop this nonsense!” The voice was exasperated. “Snap out of it. You are not doing anyone any good just lying there. You are being childish” Never would I speak to Mutti so. She would rap me with her […]

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Prose: Humour

In one of the philosophical moods that engulf me from time to time, it was my good fortune to stumble on a truism – I woke my wife, it was three a.m. “There is something funny about Humour!” I said. She was not amused. She failed to see the joke, she said, in being woken […]

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Prose: Intercession (a Memorandum)

CONFIDENTIAL DATE: TO: FROM: SUBJECT: MEMORANDUM November 9, 1987 St.Bridget of Ireland St.Vincent Australis Intercession   One of my flock is in a wondrous state of confusion which appears to concern one of your lasses. Therefore, St. Bridget, I am asking, informally of course, for your help in this matter. It appears that my lad […]

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Prose: It isn’t fair!

It was on all the TV news channels and I knew it would make the headlines in all the morning papers: Prize-Winning Australian Journalist Dies in Africa. Kevin Moran’s Last Battle. But I remember his first battle. Even as a boy he was a battler and a rebel. My first memories of him are of […]

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Prose: Love Thyself

You are a Special Person In the Biblical injunction to Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself attention is usually directed to the neighbour’s side of the equation. The implication is nevertheless plain that to do this effectively we must first love ourselves. This is not a call for narcissism: for excessive self-love, but for a good […]

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Prose: Mediscare

Is it that serious, eh James? Well, you are the expert, Old Boy. I’m not casting aspersions on your professional ability – but really! I know that you know your stuff. That is why I pay your whacking great fees without a murmur. But you’re serious this time. The situation is bad. Ah well! I […]

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Prose: Meditation

Fear us! Society – We are the Changelings! And you are right to feel uneasy. For we are NEW. Rebels there have been – Revolts and Insurrections And Wars – civil and uncivil. And you have played that game and know the rules And take measures – and usually succeed, or fail To be replaced […]

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Prose: Necker

Karl Gustav Necker sat in the shabby cafe, gazing through the hole he had rubbed in the steam on the window, gazing at where the wall had been, at where the wall should be. He sighed. “Hey, Professor.” The young man called as he bustled through the door in a flurry of snowflakes and made […]

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Prose: New Year [no. 1]

The clock struck the expected twelve times, hooters hooted, sirens screamed champagne corks popped and the usual intoxicated voices chanted the customary song. ‘Should Old acquaintance be forgot?” Well, should it? The philosopher considered the question. Let us face it. Those referred to are Acquaintances, not friends. If they were that old an acquaintance and […]

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Prose: New Year [no. 2]

On the TV the countdown had begun. He took up his glass and paced himself, silently counting the seconds as he moved towards the gate, timing himself to arrive there on the stroke of midnight. The street was empty, bleak beneath the streetlights stretching in each direction. Not a soul to be seen. As his […]

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Prose: Nothing Dentured

There was a young lady named Reith Who came from the Scots town of Leith When searching a mate She refused any date Unless he had all his own teeth. Nothing Dentured… Fiona Reith dutifully completed the Computer Dating enrolment form. Some of the questions were, she felt, a little too personal, but what they […]

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Prose: Number Eight O’Connell Street

Bad Joyce Competition 2001 Title: Number Eight O’Connell Street By H.St.V.Bcechcy And phwat are we to make of this modren whorl, with Himself princeprancing the tillhops from hence to thence like a mounting goat with a yard on him full of inches? One thong leading to a nuzzle. Believe me, Tis the tit of the […]

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Prose: Opus

It was to have been his greatest work – his magnum opus. Groups of his students coalesced throughout the campus; generated heated discussions, and dispersed as their energy was spent. And from the towers of learning other eyes looked down; some cynical, some concerned, but all of them alert for further trouble. The cause of […]

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Prose: Painters

“This is the hut.” said the hostel manager. “We want you to do the interior; walls, ceiling, the lot! I hadn’t the heart before – Not until they’d gone.” He flung open the door and I walked into a blaze of colour. The room was one gigantic mural. The wall facing me at the far […]

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Prose: Power

Megatons of water from the huge lake reservoir swept through tunnels, plummeted down shafts, and whirled the great turbines into a frenzy of rotation. Their deafening voices could still be heard in the control room. Subdued by metres of solid rock, the muffled roar tugged at the edges of consciousness. To the white coated men, […]

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Prose: Probation

The probation officer raised his eyes from the file and looked across the broad desk at the youth. His steady gaze held the lad’s defiant eyes until they fell, shifting from side to side like a trapped animal. The officer sniffed and resumed his reading. The heat of the day was oppressive, even in the […]

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Prose: Prosthesis

She was running again, her feet pounding the pavement, the wind cooling the perspiration on her brow. Mile after mile after mile, lost in the private mental world of the marathon runner; there was the strange effect of running on the spot as though the scenery itself was streaming past and she was centred as […]

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Prose: Psychology

I was reading a -woman’s magazine the other day when I was intrigued by the second item I came across. My first interest was, of course, the letter rage to see if ‘Worried Blue-eyes’ was still whooping it up, will that girl never learn? I then turned to the subject of our discourse: the Psychology […]

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Prose: Side Window

Side window/Natural Causes/Baseball Bat Two bodies merited at least a detective inspector, and it fell to the lot of D.I Staines, who chose D.S. Stubbs and D.C. (Gym-shoe) Traynor as his support group. It was not a pleasant task. The bodies had remained undiscovered for at least a week, according to the forensic specialist accompanying […]

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Prose: St. Patrick and the Serpent

Did you hear the tale of how the Blessed St.Patrick rid Ireland of the snakes? and how there’s divil a one to be found there nowadays except in zoos and such for the education of the innocent who would never see such creatures in the wild. That is all down to St. Pat, because in […]

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Prose: Stargazer

It hung therein the blue-black night, a second magnitude star in a minor constellation, hiding among a million others, but his eye found it unerringly it was Home. The tall man turned. Shouldering his pack he set off resolutely to where the beckoning lights of the tiny township offered a lot more warmth than interstellar […]

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Prose: Surealestate

“Seven stairs to seven stars” the phrase ran through my head, recurring, disturbing. Some way off, barely visible through the swirling sea mist, a solitary gas lamp flickered and sang. I pulled my raincoat colour closer about my face and made my way towards it. In the little island of light I looked again at […]

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Prose: Sweetheart

They were at it anew! Michael heaved a silent sigh. His two dearest friends prepared to do battle once again. “I’m sure you could have done better for yourself Dearest/’ she said, “if only you had been a little more selective in your choice of wives.” Adam hesitated under Eve’s watchful gaze. He looked across […]

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Prose: The Boy Who Dreamt Tomorrow

“Hey, Stubbsie, Got a minute?” Briggsie, our giant full forward, was at my elbow. I looked up from my book in surprise, he usually says “Hey Nerd.” I was in my quiet place beneath the trees, and Briggsie looked as out of place as I would have felt, out there, where his mates were kicking […]

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Prose: The Butterfly Murder

Detective Inspector Staines and his faithful sidekicks, D.S.Stubbs and D.C. Terry ‘Gymshoe’ Traynor, piled into the unmarked CID car. The men allowed Traynor to drive the clapped out vehicle, their laziness overcoming their normal prejudice against women drivers. She, always anxious to please, drove very carefully. She might almost have been participating in a driving […]

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Prose: The Cuckoo Clock

As her fingers fumbled with the wrapping she was conscious of his face, his kind stupid English face. It was filled with a delighted anticipation as he watched her unwrap his Christmas gift to her. “I hope you like it, Eva,” he said. “I had a devil of a time getting the genuine article but […]

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Prose: The Elf Maiden

The moon had turned the wood to silver. The leaves, etched sharply against the shadows, glittered trembling in the light summer breeze as I followed the winding path leading to the clearing. The ancient cromlech gleamed in the moonlight, the white stones of the dolmen framing the entry to another world. As I stepped through […]

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Prose: The End

He stared at her in disbelief. The shock, rendered him speechless. Strange reactions were taking place within his body, incongruous memories of the Big Dipper flashed across his mind. But this stomach churning, free fall sensation, was not pleasant or exciting. The icy slither of feeling that seized his tail bone was the precursor of […]

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Prose: The F*H*P*S

by H.St V.Beechey Felix Hull was a music teacher, a trainee teacher it would seem, for surely one so lacking in the first idea of how to deal with a class of thirteen-year-old boys it would be hard to imagine, They gave him hell. Teacher baiting is an art, and a skilful practitioner would know […]

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Prose: The Gardener

The gardener collected his tools. It was time to start work. Today he would restore the garden to its timeless beauty. He picked up his broom and rake and strode recklessly across the carefully prepared garden and gazed with reluctant admiration at the great colourful Mandala that occupied the centre of his domain. Vibrant in […]

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Prose: The Gun

He has this mental picture — a picture of a gun. At first it is indistinct; a pistol, a rifle, a machine gun? He doesn’t know; only that it will project a missile. He can see the projectile leaving the muzzle. It is in slow motion, deadly, unstoppable — twirling slowly on its axis — […]

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Prose: The Icon

The odd shaped domes, atop the squat towers of the little church, gleamed silver in the last rays of the setting sun as the old man paused to catch his breath. He clasped his precious parcel to his chest. The new building seems toy-like to local eyes, with its yellow bricks highlighted with brown, for […]

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Prose: The Interview

THE INTERVIEW “Well, that concludes the first part of the interview.” His kindly brown eyes regarded me across the desk as his left hand sought and found a bell-push to his right. “Miss Smith will escort you to the executive tea room. She will fetch you back here in twenty minutes. I think we have […]

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Prose: The Interview (no. 2)

Ryan was a little nervous. It was his first time on this side of the desk in a job interview, he took a quick look at the applicant’s C.V. “Tell me, Mr Smith. Why do you wish to work for us?” The reply was a conventional one. Ryan made a note. “I see from your […]

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Prose: The Jonathan Task

Write three sentences about self embodying the three principles of creative writing. 1: Structure. 2: A Creative Idea. 3: The Magic of Language. Why am I a Writer? I love words: Gay little words like GAY (now forever perverted and besmirched); long words like circumlocution; rumbustious words like boisterous and obstreperous; Rabelaisian words such as […]

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Prose: The Journey

I sit in my corner seat, gazing out of the window. The wheels of the train continue their interminable conversation with the rails; the clackety-clack drowning the hum of my fellow passengers as they go about their own business, feeding babies, reading papers, flirting with strangers. But I pay no attention; I am thinking about […]

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Prose: The Launch

The moored vessel rocked gently alongside the little pier, the ripples in the placid water reflecting flashes of sunlight along the white hull to rival the gleaming brass fittings. The fat man gazed at it with satisfaction. Already he peopled the empty deck with a couple of lithe bronze bodies. One, conjured up from last […]

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Prose: The Lino Cut

THE LINO CUT. Her sharp blade slipped, castrating him – once again! And the ruined lino-cut joined the others in the bin. She tried once more; tracing the preliminary sketches afresh onto the lino square. She felt a vague disquiet. Why, always at this point, and why, for heaven’s sake, a lino-cut? Why not just […]

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Prose: The Lordly Ones

The Lordly Ones By H. St V. Beechey ©Copyright 2003 Wherever did you get the idea that THEY are tiny creatures with gossamer wings? You’ll be saying next that they sit on toadstools and flit around in the dusk like mosquitoes. The things you saw probably were mosquitoes. THEY are far more perilous beings, and […]

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Prose: The Lost Verse

THE LOST VERSE There was a verse I never dared to write, My love, O my poor lost love, When first we met so many years ago. I gave you verses then, of love, of hope, Voicing our joy as we discovered love Rejoicing in each new gift as we unwrapped our presents As we […]

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Prose: The Luck Stone

THE LUCK STONE The man from forensic prized the stiff fingers apart. “It’s a stone, a pebble.” he said, “let’s see what we have got. Weight, about one gram. Size, six centimeters long; an elongated pear shape, three centimeters at the widest part. one at the tip. Thickness one point five. Colour; slatey grey near […]

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Prose: The Mask

The eyes of the mask are empty now, holes into emptiness, the mask itself the shed skin of a snake. Brady shuddered. As with a snake, it meant that the thing lived on, no knowing where it might be now. Perhaps, like the pupa and the moth, the new form would be completely different — […]

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Prose: The Mountain

There, on the sheer southwest rock face of the widow maker, the concept of “mountain” is too large to grasp. His full attention is concentrated on the red granite six inches in front of his eyes, on the pressure of his body against the rock, on the tiny cracks and concavities that his restless fingers […]

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Prose: The Music

THE MUSIC How to describe the indescribable? I am an old man now, yet if I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can hear the music still; or rather the ghost of the music, and I am transported back to my tenth year. I remember that day well. It was a bright clear day […]

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Prose: The Photo

Ah yes! This were a photo of my cousin Jack. That jacket he’m wearin’ it ‘ad pockets deep enough to ‘ide a rabbit, or even an ‘are. And on the right side, a long pocket for the gun. ‘E were proud of that gun, were Jack. The barrel and stock were shortened, but it were […]

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Prose: The Place

I am back again, but I don’t know for how long. The pencil and paper are here as promised so I will begin. Maybe this time I will succeed. God knows I hope so. My mind is quite clear and I remember everything. It is insidious, this New Age stuff. As a philosopher I should […]

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Prose: The Recluse

No-one knew for sure who had taken the old captain’s house, up there, high on the cliff. There was gossip in the village of course. Mrs Binns, in the local shop, was the most vocal. Righteous anger or sour grapes, she had been hoping for a bit of business; the silver Rolls Royce, with its […]

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Prose: The Red Car

From the road, the little red car looked like a new toy parked on the gravelled forecourt in front of the old farmhouse. A white police car was slewed across the drive way, blocking its escape. The bodies of the two policemen lay like discarded rag dolls between them. Logan uncurled his long body from […]

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Prose: The Return

It wasn’t the same; it never is. He hefted his carryall, switching hands as it became increasingly heavy. He turned, trudging back along the curiously shortened street, searching in vain for the remembered magic of his birthplace, the chill wind piercing his light weight clothing. Although only mid afternoon, the grey sky darkened, pressing down […]

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Prose: The Shades

The house stares blankly across the narrow strip of garden. From the road, its large windows, with blinds of some metallic reflective material, look for all the world like those disquieting mirror sunglasses that used to disturb my wife—I had to throw mine away. The blinds are forever closed—it wasn’t always that way. It was […]

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Prose: The Shadow

I succumbed at first sight. There are people like that; people who are universally appealing. Admittedly all of us a vulnerable to a certain combination of features. But it is usually an individual matter. Perhaps the shape of a nose, an eye colouring, even a gesture that evokes a childhood memory can trigger a feeling […]

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Prose: The Solstice Event

‘You mean Santa doesn’t come here at all?’ Belinda’s bottom lip quivered. She gazed at her sari clad cousin in concern. ‘No, but don’t worry. Alana will bring you some presents while you are here. She is a Deva who lives in the forest and brings presents on Solstice Eve — if you have been […]

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Prose: The Tough One

THE TOUGH ONE I should have guessed when I heard that E was in Kakadu and M had flown to Sydney and that people seemed very thin on the ground in the centre. “It shouldn’t be TOO hard.” said the intake worker (who insists on anonymity), “Though it is a bit unusual.” A Male – […]

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Prose: The Train

As the historic train left Adelaide, the novelist considered the journey ahead with muted excitement. They were all minor V.I.Ps he supposed, in their own way, or else they would never have been given the coveted seats on the first through train to Darwin; Those in his carriage, of course. The real V.I.Ps, in the […]

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Prose: The Unicorn

Carstairs, the hunter, held his breath as he caught his first sight of the fabulous animal. He was upwind, so there was no chance of it scenting him, but he had been told that it had extremely acute hearing and was very timid. This wasn’t to say that it would not charge him if he […]

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Prose: The Visitors

THE VISITORS The children were the first to see Them as They slipped from Whenever to Now. There was barely a ripple in the reality curtain and the visitors were suddenly there, looking as permanent and established as a favourite view of a mountain, or a preloved teddy-bear dozing on a pillow. The children were […]

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Prose: The Wanderer

THE WANDERER It is hard for the likes of me, a homebody, to understand a man like Dermot. A Wanderer, he termed himself, in one of those interminable chats we had that always lasted long into the night. My stock of malt whiskey was sadly depleted on each visit to my lonely cottage, but it […]

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Prose: The Water Way

“Be patient” murmured the old man, his Buddha smile as calm as a still lake; but the young men stirred restlessly, their hands fiddling with the safety catches of their rifles, checking and rechecking the loaded magazines. Peasant boys most of them, they tugged at the collars of their coarse camouflaged uniforms, uncomfortable with the […]

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Prose: The Whistler in the Wind

It is when the wet west wind blows keening through the thickets that I fancy I can hear him. The wild sound of his reed pipe seems to ride the soft mist of moisture bearing the scent of the sea. I tell myself that he is long gone and. together with the other half-dreams of […]

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Prose: The Wound

The peons cross themselves as they pass my door; the men grabbing the sombrero from their head, the women, in the high crowned black hats of the region, take the cigar from their mouths to mumble Aves. They look at me and then, invariably, their eyes turn to the big wooden cross that stands between […]

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Prose: This Door is open

(?) IV ACT IV SCENE IV (incomplete work) Two warders brought him to the governor’s office and stood one at each side of him in front of the broad desk. The governor made a sign and the prison officers left silently without a backward glance at the seventeen year old who stared insolently at the […]

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Prose: Thoughts on Lao Tzu

“Therefore the sage keeps to the deed that consists in taking no action and practices the teaching that uses no words”   TAO TE CHING II 6   The wise man delights in militant apathy Taking no notice he hopes it will go away In vain the fools hope for words of wisdom and know […]

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Prose: Turkish Delight

For the past eight hours the bus had struggled through the mountains. It was night, and Carstairs was grateful for the fact that the vehicle had not had to halt for its hourly rest to allow the radiator to cool. The night air kept the temperature below boiling point,, but, in the bus, the body […]

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Prose: Virtuous Reality!

“Safe Sex is Cybersex—Cybersex is SAFE!” Victor hummed the advertising jingle as he prepared for his self-promised treat. He had been saving all month for this. This was the big-time, the upmarket program used by VPs and other execs, not a sleazy “Dial-a-Dame” advertised on the Participorn networks. Victor James was a virtual clerk, a […]

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Prose: Walking on the Beach

As he walked along the beach, memories came to him of other beaches he had trodden. The beaches of childhood. The mounting excitement as it was approached in the sunshine; passing the little shops, colourful buckets and spades strung in rows; racks of rude postcards — fat ladies with fat bums and enormous bosoms threatening […]

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Prose: Winter

I dressed to please him, hoping in vain to detect a glint of approval in the ice-blue eyes that so matched his name. Herr Winter, our Special Weapons instructor, showed no sign of favour as he took us through our drills yet again: The killer scent spray, a single press Chanel No.5, a rapid coded […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 01 – Good Time

The Good Series (aka the Charlie Series) Good Time by H.St Vincent Beechey ‘Have a good time,’ said the travel agent without conviction, as he handed us our tickets. It was said in the same bored tone as the ubiquitous ‘Have a nice day’, a contagion from the U.S. of A that has swept the […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 02 – Good Friends

Good Friends by H.St Vincent Beechey   ‘We are just good friends.’ Bonnie had said it again in her endless efforts to justify her position as my companion. ‘Damn it Woman’ I growled, ‘Is there no end to your cliches. And besides, what gives you the idea that I’m friendly towards you? You have dragged […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 03 – Good Gracious 

by H.St Vincent Beechey   It was the champagne, it must have been. Bonnie and I were in Switzerland, or some place with a pointy skyline, (I leave such things to her as my personal assistant/travel organiser). We were in a hotel at this winter sports resort, all very respectable, separate rooms of course as […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 04 – Good Morning!

By H.St Vincent Beechey   ‘Good morning,’ Bonnie’s voice was as bright and chirpy as usual. I grunted something from behind my paper. To tell the truth, if I must, I was sulking. I could hear it in my voice (I hate it when I spot myself behaving childishly) but I couldn’t help it. I […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 05 – Good Intentions 

by H.St Vincent Beechey   I was overjoyed to discover that Bonnie was interested in computers. She listened attentively as I described the new features I had found. ‘Look,’ I said, pointing my mouse arrow at a tool button, ‘This is real plug and play. Watch now while the program searches for my new modem. […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 06 – Good Grief! 

By H.St Vincent Beechey I spent the whole of the next day in my room, having my meals sent up, and instructed the switchboard not to accept any local phone calls at all, including those from inside the hotel itself. I needed to think. I hung a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on the door knob, […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 07 – Good Idea 

by H.St Vincent Beechey   ‘I have had a good idea.’ I looked across to where Bonnie reclined on my bed-our bed. ‘We’ll go to Denmark.’ ‘Denmark?’ Bonnie seemed puzzled. ‘It is quite a nice place, so I’m told. Copenhagen is a charming city. But Denmark? At this time of year? It would be better […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 08 – Good Question! 

By H.St Vincent Beechey ‘It’s time to move on’ said Bonnie. We had spent a week in the Swiss hotel, but to me, it already seemed like home. That’s the funny thing about travelling. I hate moving, but once I have settled into a place it feels as though I have been there for years […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 09 – Good Thinking

I was happy again in Salzburg. Our short stay in Liechtenstein had been a disaster. Bonnie was extremely angry when I had rebuffed her advances on our first night there and decided to punish me with, what was to her, the most dreadful punishment of all. She pointedly ignored me and made friends with a […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 10 – Good Progress

by H.St Vincent Beechey I think it was in Salzburg that Bonnie finally got my measure. At least she was now showing a lot more skill in baiting the hook. No longer did she fall into the error of expecting me to be lured by normal tourist attractions. She steered me clear of crowds and […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 11 – Good Sense

It takes two to quarrel. That is a truism it has taken me a long time to learn and to learn the hard way. Sometimes a quarrel might be necessary, sometimes it might be fun; but nowadays I decide If, When Where and How. Bonnie still had this to learn. Bonnie was puzzled. After her […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 12 – Good Manners

If I was impressed, it was fair to say that Bonnie was overawed. Schloss Eisenberg surpassed all our expectations. It was indeed a fairytale castle. I will always remember my first view of it. The big Mercedes limo had met us at the nondescript railway station in a nondescript town, historic, I suppose, in a […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 13 – Good Solution

by H.St Vincent Beechey I thought it best to be perfectly honest with Bonnie; after all, I would need her intelligent cooperation if I was to solve my current problem. It was no time for anyone to go off half-cocked, so I told her everything that happened that evening. After dinner, I found myself alone […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 14 – Good Taste

by H.St Vincent Beechey   Rhine rhymes with wine, or as Bonnie insists, Rhein rhymes with Wein, which she pronounces as Vine, which, in my book, is what the grapes grow on. At Schloss Eisenberg, we were in the heart of the wine country, and I was anxious to sample the local product. At dinner, […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 15 – Goodbye

by H.St Vincent Beechey I stared at Bonnie in utter disbelief. ‘You what? ‘I’m not going. I’m staying here, with Fritz. I’ll fax the trust. I’m sure they will fly someone out to take care of you. Don’t worry, I won’t tell them that you took advantage of me.’ She tossed her head, ‘Fritz says […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 16 – Good Riddance

by H.St Vincent Beechey   I left Bonnie in Frankfurt, mainly because it was the nearest international airport. The silent chauffeur had driven us back to the station after a subdued goodbye to Schloss Eisenberg. The Baroness had seen us off, and I will always remember her small, sad figure gazing after us, her hand […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 17 – Good Samaritan

by H.St Vincent Beechey   I awoke from a night of troubled dreams that dissolved unremembered as I opened my eyes. It was early, my body was still on German time, and for a moment I wasn’t sure where I was. The ornate bedroom of the castle had been replaced by the pastel walls and […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 18 – Good Advice

by H.St Vincent Beechey The fact that I actually knew and had met Kevin Riordan, Joe’s youngest brother, in far away Melbourne, was the source of much wonder and discussion in the Riordan Family. It didn’t matter that I had spoken to him only twice and that our paths seldom crossed. I had met him, […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 19 – Good Journey

‘Look on your journey as a dance,’ said Joe. ‘When y’re doin’ the waltz or the foxtrot surely y’re not doin’ it to get from here to there in the quickest time. It’s the same with travelin’. Be doin’ the travelin’ in the same spirit. Wherever you are, you are there. It is all Ireland, […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 20 – Good Memory

After I hung up I gazed idly at the map in front of me. Startled, I did a double take; I had given myself three days to drive sixty-five miles, about a hundred kilometres. Bonnie had not commented, and I realised that she too had fallen into the trap so often encountered by Australians overseas, […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 21 – Good Deed

Memories can be precious… I will never forget my first day with Helena. The euphoria of the previous evening had not diminished-it had grown if anything. Our kiss in the moonlight had remained just that-a kiss. It hardly occurred to me that there could be anything else (but I am notoriously slow in these matters). […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 22 – Good Planning

by H.St Vincent Beechey   ‘Stop it, Charlie, we really must be serious for a moment.’ Helena brought us down to earth. We were in her room where we had retired to consider the problem posed by Bonnie’s imminent arrival in Ireland. I had promised to be at Shannon airport at fourteen hundred hours on […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 23 – Good Arrangement

by H.St Vincent Beechey   I got to Shannon Airport in good time to meet Bonnie’s plane; too early in fact, and after I parked the car I wandered through the overseas terminal pondering on the sameness of airports. I found a bookshop. As a result, I nearly missed her arrival. It is always the […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 24 – Good Weekend

by H.St Vincent Beechey The journey from Shannon to Killarney was not turning out a great success. Bonnie had lapsed into a sulky silence, which was just as well as I was furiously rehearsing how I would raise the subject of Helena. To cap it all, I had become increasingly aware of an odour, a […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 25 – Good Timing

I Fled from Killarney, but where to go? I hadn’t made a note of Helena’s itinerary. Why should I? I hadn’t expected her to shoot through. I had no idea what Bonnie had said to her, but whatever it was, it had prompted Helena to leave, without even talking to me first. There were other […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 26 – Good Vibes

by H.St V. Beechey Kenny’s is a wonderful place. The art on display is mostly that of contemporary Irish artists, and as for the books…. They have everything: Rare books for the collector, with an emphasis on Irish works, but also a really comprehensive selection of hardbacks and paperbacks. There were busts of Irish writers […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 27 – Good Communications

 by H.St Vincent Beechey   I awoke in a strange bed. That, of course, I had been getting used to during my trip; but this was a strange strange bed. None of my usual travelling bits and pieces were visible as the dawn half-light stole quietly into the room. Twilight was still a novelty for […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 28 – Good Work

Our sojourn in “Honeymoon Cottage”, as I like to call it, was all too brief. Helena was adamant in explaining the cold realities of her itinerary. She had a deadline to meet. On Monday, the 20th of May, Helena was contracted to head a new project in Sydney. ‘But…’ I said aghast. “But me no […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 29 – Good Nature

In my blissful reunion with Helena, I had almost completely forgotten about Bonnie. It was several days before I even thought to look for e-mail. My mind was on other things. On the day of our departure for Dublin, before completing our packing, I thought to check. There was a message. I printed it out […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 30 – Good Deal

I’ve been to all sorts of meetings, and I admit that half the time I am unsure of what is going on., but this was a Lulu! Kitty and Helena had arranged everything.. At 11 a.m. Bonnie was coming to sort things out. To sort ME out, I thought. The meeting was at the Riordan’s […]

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The Good Series: Chapter 31 – Good Fortune (Epilogue)

Helena has gone back to Australia. And I have surprised myself; and been surprised. The world has not come to an end, the skies did not fall, (just as well with that heavy plane in the air!); and, as I looked at those blank grey automatic doors that had swallowed Helena alive, I pondered on […]

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