Being a Father…

There will be a time of walking into the forest, baskets in hand, two children, two parents. Perhaps it will be strawberries, or birch boletes, or Waldmeister or thistle roots and baby nettles. Small feet in boots, curious faces, the awe of entrusting a pocketknife or a forager’s stick for the first time. There will be…

Viaduct

This is why rocks were made to fly through my window shards like the feathers of the foraging sparrows dress the floor, the way you could not when you were not strong in a 1967 Kombi, travelling on   The clouds on the roof of the sky set me free whispering ‘Oh my Lord, why…

Resolutions

Today I painted a picture with my beautiful toddler. We sat out in the garden in the din of the cicadas, below the blue gums and angophora trees that fill our garden. I tried to show him how to load the little brush in his chunky fist, and on a clean sheet of paper sang him…

Muharrem

It it the radiance of his soul  that I shall remember most vividly. Fat and endearingly ugly,  we all called him Muci, (rhyming with poochie). He was Turkish, one of the many who lived in the area, hated and distrusted by the Austrians as they were. At the time they often squatted in the empty…

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…

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.