beneath the moon stars tiptoe on the water’s surface

have you ever felt

trapped… so trapped you hurl your elbows thrust your feet lunge your head the walls keep sticking to your face your arms skin you’re in the belly of ectoplasm a voice screams it echoes between your ears pressure builds up in the brain without release valve you want OUT at all costs even if everybody …

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his eyes met hers there was instant recognition despite the masks and years

native language

my mother-tongue is touch he says : his articulation is descriptive in the present tense language beguiling and urgent


an eastern love story: her eyes slope towards his


closing my eyes I luxuriate in the rhythm of aloneness


this longing: a peony a room with no windows the devil’s pleasure a new madness


Many people are uncomfortable with space between events or conversations pause mid-dialogue they are made up of uncertainty and provoke impulse the searching for new topics unplanned revelations of feelings displays of silliness filling in a gap and erasing what they were meant to say

Review: The Happy Prince and Other Stories

Literature for mature readers does not always contain a moral; it tends to thrive on ironies and conundrums. The kernel of children’s stories, however, is more likely to take the shape of better-defined lessons. In Oscar Wilde’s endlessly brilliant The Happy Prince and other stories, practical teachings are ensconced in dazzling tales of imaginative lustre. …

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Now you are shallower than you seem it is not authenticity I encounter with its honesty and honour but this coarseness that I cannot get through my toes still probing when there is little water reaching into the dryness that is old thinking to discover a deeper, hidden flow


I sat at my desk this evening, bereft and ashamed It had been a hollow day With nothing to show for it, and not For want of inspiration. The dream From which I had awakened Lingered on in the morning, with acre upon Rolling acre of my grandmother’s coconut plantation about my pillow And her …

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Because the car-wash service Is running off their feet Collection for me is expected Only in three hours, so I walk down the street Turn the corner to take myself On this greyish November day For a cup of tea at a cozy cafe With brick walls and wooden floor. Afterwards I cross the road …

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Film review: Burning

The geometry of yearning is elegantly plotted in Burning, a sensuous, complex, metaphysical thriller. While it is sometimes food for which the three central roles are hungry — the protagonist, at least, seems always to be eating — it is the lust for perverse gratification, for truth, intimacy, the meaning of life, and indeed living …

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A(nother) day at home, so the orange lounge pants, the green table lamp, the simple rhythm of my computer cursor tapping her dainty finger The sun, in its afternoon glory, slants through my northern window, throwing itself off the wall mirror, that sends shafts of primary colours across the study I watch the spectrum shift …

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touching me where few have been his voice warm, deep, masculine has its own contours and texture; in his smallest of laughs is a potent gesture that holds and envelops me yet there is a mystery in his words in which i see an inner man grow gradually more transparent whose magic peels me back …

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A Boring Weekend

So she sips on almond milk, warming her hands around the mug. Outside, the clouds are hurrying east, as they darken the earth and un-darken it in endless cycles. Her feet are cold and, setting the cup on the writing desk, she pulls on her socks. How nice it feels. Life is good. She takes …

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In the balcony

It’s time to give the plants a drink. In the balcony I pour water into soil, wait for excess to drain. Day is giving way to dark: a clear deep blue on the northern sky. Above the jacaranda trees, a bird sails home, an orange tissue crumples the air. Indoors are photographs of those I …

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Against the facade of sleep: breathing, stars, waters Not even waters, but its stars — the smooth fabric of breathing To enter the waters of this wall I must love myself fully

(Digital) Theatre review: Berlin

If you are going to stage a romantic thriller do it in the Sumner; better still, film, and turn it digital. The intimate confines of the Southbank theatre, not least our screen constraints, are perfectly suited for the sort of dangerous, intriguing, and sexy interplay that pheromonal busyness often engenders. And the blistering performances in …

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(Digital) Theatre review: Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes

Izabella Yena, a relatively new-comer in the Melbourne theatre-scene, is fast becoming one of our most promising and precise performers. She has the capacity to suggest a character is carrying emotion, like an overfilled vase, and dare not lose control for a moment; yet, the rising star is able to pierce through darkness to illuminate …

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I believe you are not happy I believe you have gone to the edges of yourself, and what is in the centre is anyone’s guess: nothing — that is one answer — or, nothing much I believe peace, disappointed in you, has long left your side I believe loneliness is your most faithful companion I …

Continue reading Animosity


The rouge of leaves and trees so voluptuous as if this autumn the first autumn The wind blows making gathers on the lake this day the first day A pair of green birds so happy and so in love lift off a bough soaring toward the sky everywhere orange, blue, green, red, purple, yellow all …

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This morning the sun strokes me with the back of his fingers and I open — a spread of folds, blushing pink — and all day butterflies land on me burrowing through curves and creases into my deepest universe as they lust after the sweet juice, then carry away with them, in their quest for …

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Berries at Sunset

What could be better than delighting in a handful of nature’s sweet largesse — rasp and straw and blue — as the sky writes in their voluptuous colours


Rose petals diffuse in hot water, and the air wafts with a garden at springtime; sipping on its sweetness is like the gentle touch of your lips


Today at daybreak walking on the footpath the air brisk upon my face, first across the quiet road, down the avenue stepping on young-autumn leaves, past a cat on a roof, then round a corner I gaze forth toward the sky. The moon — wide, generous, exuberant, so large and so low I could touch …

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Street Person

He bends and places a bottle of booze On the ground. Dirty pants sag To expose a white, resigned bum. He sits his fat body down. When I come back round the same corner A woman drops a coin Into his blackened hands. The alcohol is Half-drunk. “Spare change?” he looks up, Not at me …

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Film review: Nomadland

“I am house-less, not home-less,” says the main character near the beginning of the film, in response to a well-meaning probe. The notion that one’s home is something you carry with you — and in this case, metaphysically and literally — shapes the transcendental heart of Nomadland, a serenely visceral work based on a novel …

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Is there any question the carpet of leaves on the grass, on the path has heaps to teach us about spiritual generosity? Would you ever doubt the great, beautiful elm senses your presence from vibrations you make in the air? I walk like this each morning, around the reserve, across the bridge, over the lake, …

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Six o’clock, upon rising, You put the music on: Meditative beats, spiritual mantras, Classical tunes. It is not to fill the space; There are voices of crickets, Early taxis, the whistling wind. Even the resident bird has woken up To take its place at the corner Of the parapet. No — You put the music …

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I read between the lines of my heart While a red leaf floats like whisper upon my lap. And is there any more clarity than before? Only more conflict, more questions, more uncertainties. Nothing like the delicate truth of trees, through time. Dense, tedious heart, too many layers, too many possibilities. Tome of inanity, I …

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At Alexandra Gardens the fog hangs like drapes from blushing trees. I walk into its folds. I breathe in a long time. It smells of stone, stillness, mystery. It draws deep into my belly, spreading the bones. Letting go, I hear them whisper: Who was that? in her luxurious dress of silk


Is a connection man-made, like a highway? Or is it preordained, like To whom we were born? Does it only run between us and Real objects or people? Things you can hear or see. I think about the grandfather I’d Never met whose spunkiness Courses through my veins. I think about the imaginary characters Of …

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On Foot in Fitzroy

The two-storey terrace houses Have been conjoined At their sides A long time now Their arched balconies Framing lit windows where Love mingles with disappointment, and Anguish dissolves into peace this Is Fitzroy, Victoria the last trams For the day Roll on here Past alleys of street art Across the pain of the bar’s Remaining …

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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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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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I thought those poplars were statues in the moonlight.

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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