The Return

We stand on the old stone bridge looking down at the river flowing from the mountains to the sea. The water is brilliantly clear, gushing and bubbling over the rocks and pebbles and silt with effortless onward movement. We stare patiently at the darker water that pools by either riverbank under the shade of the overhanging trees, hoping that we…

Closer

Closer When will it be that she sees the shock of the old? When will she stop in her tracks, stop her breath, and take charge of my feelings, so that I’m not hurt by more than the passing of time? No time soon.   She marauds over me like terrain to be conquered. My arms are limbs to swing…

Convince us!

“Every man who says frankly and fully what he thinks is so far doing a public service. We should be grateful to him for attacking most unsparingly our most cherished opinions.” – John Stuart Mill, On Liberty   Does anybody stand for anything anymore? Or more accurately, does anybody stand for something that might be recognised as a moral vision…

I Can Dance, But I Don’t Want To

Shuffle. Shimmy. Shake. The external is merely a dance. It’s the dance we do to get off the dance floor. You know the one – you have to get to a point on the other side of the room, but the dance floor full of maniacally enthused glitterbugs is unavoidably en route, and because you live in the real world…

In it together

The air is polluted and it is unsafe to be outside. What looks like early morning mist is in fact a deathly haze of smoke blown west from the bushfire-ravaged eastern state. I have foregone my morning swim and cycle to work in deference to the ominous atmosphere that has dropped an unloving cloud of murk over the entire city.…

Like the Lights

This year’s Christmas story attempts to capture something of the season’s raised stakes. I hope you enjoy. Like the Lights The younger two jumped up and down at the window with giddy shrieks of excitement, announcing his arrival. She looked out over their heads and watched him step out of a taxi. He spoke briefly to the driver and then…

A Death in Melbourne, Southeast

A Death in Melbourne, Southeast Overwhelmed, Not all at once, But gradually. Its slow demise Borne witness By two thousand eyes. Once aloft With gleaming prow Breasting life’s currents. Oh! The fulgor Of union’s promise! Now slumped And despondent While being eaten From within. Stolen upon With practiced Indifference, Listing ever closer To bed. Pathetic, Wounded, And unloved – Where…

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Casting Off

“…the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.” Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian I recently went to my local cinema here in Melbourne to see Ad…

Doing it for life

I swam in horrible conditions the other day. It was not long after dawn on a mucky Monday morning and big, unpredictable swell, with huge surges of cold, dirty water, was moving me around like so much flotsam. I tried to use my usual landmarks to keep my bearings while at the same time avoiding being swept on to them.…