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Book review: The Scarlet Letter

“Truth is to power what fire is to wax, that’s why power and truth are mortal enemies,” says Bangambiki Habyarimana, a Rwandan author of the book, Pearls of Eternity. The book by Nathaniel Hawthorne, published in 1850, is concerned with the relationship between these two adversaries, in whose battle we see inflict untold suffering upon …

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Twelve

What are the white, fluffy clouds saying as they watch over us?

Twenty- twenty

It’s Sunday morning, so I go for a walk on the lockdown streets. First, down the footpath, crossing a driveway, where a black cab waits at the McDonald’s window, blowing white smoke, a masked face peering out. Then onto the avenue, where a glossy sign advertises a mansion for sale, where potted flowers are hanging …

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Late

I thought those poplars were statues in the moonlight.

Review: A Canary for One

We all know he is a deceptively spare writer — Ernest Hemingway. The famous six-word fiction: For sale, baby shoes, never worn has been largely ascribed to him. And his complete collection of short stories, comprising 71 stout-hearted vignettes, is spread over just 650 pages. This brevity is never diminutive in substance. It was Hemingway …

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Theatre review: Homer’s Odyssey

The image of captivity litters Homer’s Odyssey, and is keenly represented in Loucas Loizou’s staging of the Greek mythology, casting himself as Odysseus. The production unfolds within the ruins of an enclosure, its walls exposing crumbling brick and ancient decay, with no door or windows in sight. In this digital event, the camera is fixed …

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It’s Like

Words that misunderstand the heart’s native language The moon in daylight An invitation that comes in the middle of the night Loving with intelligence A fireplace, tropical home The sucking of a lung ventilator after the heart stops pumping Into a candy-floss dawning sky columns of smoke billowing The last chapter nobody reads because the …

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Lockdown Poetry

Curfew Excepting an all-night globe palely burning the corridor at 5 A.M. was dark but for my iridescent shoes and a ribbon of light under the door three rooms away where a flush choked and swallowed as I strode past in silence not knowing this poem is for the interrupted-sleeper or early-riser who also perhaps …

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A Family Album: An Exhibition

Her Por Por’s (maternal grandmother in Cantonese) kitchen wall, sporting a flip-calendar, transistor radio, and condiments shelf is how artist-photographer Pia Johnson, of Chinese-Italian heritage, has chosen to honour her family history. Julie Dowling depicts herself and her twin sister as cheeky four-year-olds peering out from amongst their aboriginal relations in a colourful acrylic painting. …

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Closer: A Short Film

“Watch us cope, watch us try to cope, watch us.” We do — we can’t help it — as we find our psychological being exhibited so vividly before us, through raw, limpid physicality, in Adrian Berry’s short online film, whose title conjures human’s innate desire for connection, (no more so than) at a time when …

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Forest Walk

I love walking through the woods On a spring morning, Alone, naked Under a dress, exploring The footpath Straggles onward into The mystery of the Primeval forest There’s the smell of Damp leaves, Of wombats, sleep, Slow air, infinity I can see All the dark places where The sun has not yet reached, where A …

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