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 the…

The Teeth of Dawn

1986   A single red light illuminates the jetty, and the gentle sloshing of the water is the counterpoint to the tinging sound of halyards and stays striking the masts on the yachts all but hidden by the inky night. The mechanical sound of the reel as it winds in, the sight of the hook…

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…

Manifest: Antisocial Media

What do you do when you realise Social Media is closing you off? How do you reconnect with what it is you want to share with the world?

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…

Staying Awake So I May Sleep

I dreamed of you last night. You were whole – in a way I can barely remember. You stood there, so it was like the double amputation never happened. It was like your death never happened. You stood there and told me this was the last time we would see each other, and I pressed…

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…

Nest in the Snow

In the stricken branches of the winter birches of a buckled world made of blinding white, and shades of gray, we found a birds nest long abandoned.   Blue eggs shone as a trio of wavering failure and those following mornings I woke to the hush and reverence of falling snow.   Woke to a world…

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…