Intoxicated

I’m writing this post in a way I haven’t before. It’s just past midnight here in Australia, and the temperature is down to 29ºC (that’s 84F for any Americans playing tonight). That’s a welcome relief from the 41ºC (106F) we saw earlier, and I’m sitting here listening to the song of the crickets, and the…

Edge of Lindabrunn

The grass caresses the corner where the three roads meet, hills behind and playful hares boxing in the impossible green Beyond, the wilting sunflowers and maize line the street and into the western alps the sun slides, soon to be unseen.   Now rising in the depth of earth the lime-chill waters flow and send…

Introduction to a Mountain

You know that snow is white, looks white, even in the dark. The dark that you left home in early that morning, and that only now is beginning to abate into a reluctant dawn. And the snow curls around hills and lays slumped upon trees and houses, still gleaming with a blue glow that slowly…

Spires in the Earth

In a the earth revealed 65 million years before stands a city 1500 years old, the heart of a nation that has for a millennium endured.   There, in the soil of the Central Cemetery first turned 154 years ago the ashes of a man who was 69 have lain for two years.   They…

About a Girl

It’s the last week of school before the spring break in 1995. My friends have all received and lamented their annual report cards, while celebrating the approaching completion of their school lives at the end of the next term. From here a few will apply for Gymnasium, which involves sitting numerous difficult examinations in a range of…

One Way

One way to get to the hospital, is to drive west, then turn left, past the pick your own flowers field and then the brothel where you note the mayors’ car is parked before you see the cathedral loom over the approaching skyline   Turn left at the public baths then a quick right down…

Angels Sleeping In Your Hair

With the passing of a new Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, it is time to think about how empathy and mercy must inform our responses.

Blanket Fort

In the woods, behind the church where we picked clumps of  barberries but, “Don’t eat them whole – they are toxic. There’s poison in the seeds and leaves.”   A concrete bunker rose behind hewn at skewed angles from the earth pine needles scattered all around the fight of a nation’s pained rebirth   Like…

Cigarette Machine in Oncology

Six men lay in steel sided cots, while outside cathedral bell rings, same sound these past 800 years whilst the town’s white noise still sings.   A symphony of fading life a chorus forth from weary lungs, metre of machine manifest, in murmur of a heart that thrums.   Six men lie in deathly repose…

The 5 tastes of Resin and Wine

It was not until I was nearly 17 that I discovered that he was an alcoholic. When I tell stories of my childhood the response is always the same. “So you were abused.”

Contrail

There’s a little rise between the carpark and the hospital entrance itself, a hummock of grass you circumvent as you walk up to the main doors. The paramedic staff are a constant feature here – standing out in their searing orange or yellow jumpsuits. They wheel gurneys to and fro, and after a week of…

One Hour to Puchberg

  Austria is full of tiny hamlets clustered in the valleys, and I’d always been struck by the apparent wealth displayed in these homes. Often three stories tall with immaculate yards and expensive German saloons parked in their driveways, I could never understand what their occupants did for work, so isolated from the major towns…