Summer 2016


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.
Shakespeare Sonnet 18


This Summer Issue has many sad memories. My spinal surgery several years ago, a visit to my parents’ grave, memories of my paternal grandmother and then the more upbeat argument for paying grandparents.

Spinal Tap

a spine

Awakening with a start, I became aware of the pain returning. Burning up my legs, unbearable and breath taking. Searching for the button I shot opiate through my veins. Numbness crept through me, but not enough: my desire was anesthetisation. The dread returned when I realised the opiate merely muted the scalding sensation.

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Visit to the Grave

IMG_4745 (1)

The freeway is vacant of cars. I am relieved and can think about meeting my younger sister, Vivien, at the grave. The last time we saw each other was when we gathered at an old family friends for a New Years Day celebration. Since then another of our parents’ oldest friends had died. I experienced it as another loss. Those who knew Mum and Dad have become touchstones, associates who almost carry their DNA. Being close or conversing with those friends helps me stay in contact with the feeling that Mum and Dad are present; their memory is alive in many minds.

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Sunset in Broome

We spent a week in Broome following my mother’s death and I was surprised at how guilty I felt. This photo seemed to symbolise my mother’s death but also the hope of a new day when I could begin to grieve without guilt that I had survived.


Edith 1921



A love story with thanks to Anton Chekov and my great grandmother Edith.

 The door suddenly opened and my good friend Edie entered our large shared room located at the back of our employer’s house. Since arriving by ship twelve months ago we had worked as domestics for a solicitor in Sydney. Edie was diminutive with a square jaw and pointed chin, her fine brown hair plaited and pinned neatly under a hat. Her hazel eyes looked red from crying.

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A Painting That Can Stop a Bullet Being Fired

From the gangs of America to the non-violent activism of today, Kelly has spent his life asserting that art can stop bullets being fired. 

“I’ve been shot at. I’ve had a gun held to my head. I’ve been stabbed, I’ve got scars here.” William Kelly, artist, humanist and human rights advocate, reveals a long scar on the inside second finger of his left hand. “But my own mortality is not a big issue for me. I worry about others,” he says, laughing loudly, realising the irony of his words.

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