Welcome to The Badlands – a latenight lullaby

Bodies of children, guns more sacred Lay in heaps on crimson pavement The future dead, the ghosts of hope A shattered nation with prayers will cope . Pagoda beauty, suddenly soured Hateful icons, a new leader's power Crowded camps, no fault their own Despair and...

Ding, Dong, the Blog is Dead – pondering progress

Blogging these days is not like it once was... a fickle, little-read beast at best. And it's hard to believe that just five years back I chose to take a dip in the blogosphere, a late starter, a wandering writer through the once-was maze of Wordpress and Blogger, of...

Snow Monkeys – and absent friends (Yudanaka, Japan)

The Tokyo bar is a circle, Teppanyaki hotel chefs in tall hats and shirtsleeves in the centre; their shiny cleavers deftly dealing with slabs of beef, cabbage, prawns and abalone.The air smells of garlic and warm vegetable oil. I sip a Sapporo, the man across the way...

The Price of Progress – fading phantoms (Dili, East Timor)

I'm sitting in Melbourne, recalling a visit to one of the world’s youngest nations – the Republic of East Timor – just 720km northwest of Darwin. My photographs show a damaged city with bullet-marked buildings; a country scarred by a month-long bout of violence...

Private Wars – `lest we forget’ (Melbourne, Australia)

  I met Becky in the supermarket dairy aisle; a vivacious 40-something, born and raised locally. I’d seen her around, but we’d never met before Ed reappeared. I asked how my old friend was. “Not so good,” she said. “Still can’t sleep. And he really struggles with...

People and Places – a poem

the place I see is special; a block of stone or wending path built by many hands or feet.   and in my dream, I dream of this: a vibration, scent or residue, from pasts that are long lost.   till when I wake the dream takes shape, wrought of violence, longing or...

Losing Faith – at the Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

  The plaintive cry of a lone peacock fractures the silence. Croaking egrets chorus from clumps of reeds at the foot of these stone walls and ramparts. There are snorts and bellows from buffalo. Two calves splash about, the mother’s wet horns and back steaming above...

Just a Matter of Time – a glimpse of old Cochin (Kochi, India)

I’m in Melbourne, startled as the nurse draws the curtain behind me, the click of the rings on the rail loud in the quiet of the ward; the sweet smack of cough mixture wafts through the room. I turn away from Sally, my long-time neighbour having a tough time but...

In Safe Hands – a prayer for Sai Baba of Shirdi (Mumbai, India)

  A dancing doll bobs on a string of beads slung from the top of a grimy windscreen, swinging back and forth like a hypnotist’s watch. The emaciated figure has a white beard and is dressed in a loose-fitting skullcap and long tunic of white. Meet the Indian mystic Sai...

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