Monday 22 December 2014

Malala Yousafzai - my hero.

This is the picture I choose to illustrate my last post of the year. This young woman was on her way to school when she was shot in the head by men, who were so frightened of educated women, they were willing to murder a young girl to shut her up. She recovered enough to reveal to the rest of us exactly why we must educate girls. In all the bluster and bloodshed that is our world, she is a voice of reason and compassion. Let's hope her passion and message encourages more women to speak up.
This poem was written in an appeal to women, particularly Muslim women, who are over represented in groups that are currently in conflict between (mainly) men. Lysistrata was a mythical woman of Greece, a thousand years before Mohammed and two and a half thousand years before ISIL. The Taliban would have been terrified of her too.

 Lysistrata in Hijab. 

Children of Islam, 
virgins all. 
Unrequited, stunted, tragic. 
Educated in ignorance 
to worship death. 

 Mothers of Islam, 
virgins no more. 
Prisoners of your own making. 
Only you can set them free, 
your children and your men.

I wish all my friends a happy holiday season.
Whatever religion you follow, or if you follow none, we are all Human Family and I love you.

Pic: Courtesy Wiki.

Monday 8 December 2014

Cutting down to size.

My mother fed me all good stuff, but still I am quite small.
Compounding my deficiency, I married someone tall.
But all went well, until one night,
She laughed and mocked my height.
T’was then I lost it, cut her head off, threw it down the hall.

Thanks you again Tess for another kinky prompt.

 At a friend's suggestion, I sent a copy of Cull to her friend at the Pentagon. I hope he complains loud and long! BTW, the cheapest way to send books from Australia to anyone in the US, (probably even cheaper within the US), is through the Book Depository in the UK. A$26, London to Virginia!

Monday 24 November 2014


It’s water my dear, I agree,
Like lakes and sweet raindrops, you see.
But lest you first boil it,
‘tis certain to spoil it.
So please do not use it for tea. 

Old saying: ‘Take the pot to the kettle, not the kettle to the pot’.
Thanks Tess for what you do.
Book launch Thursday 27th 5.30 and the Vulcan Café Moruya.

Friday 14 November 2014

WTF! What idiot would not welcome this!?

"A secretly negotiated agreement between the US and China to lower greenhouse-gas output faced a wall of opposition on Wednesday from Republicans in Washington, who threatened to use their control of both houses of Congress to thwart the plan."

 Now roll ahead to the next Presidential election which the Republicans are odds on to win, and we have the scenario for 'CULL' the novel.

If the US pulls back on renewables as Australia is doing, China will be leading the world in the 'Fight against Climate Change'. If you have not read Cull by Stafford Ray (me), take a look.

The potential for disaster is explored there and its premise is becoming ever more frighteningly real. Now available for Kindle etc.
PS. Busy doing book signings and trying to complete the next book. :-)

Monday 20 October 2014

High Care Facility.

This last weekend, I, along with Jo and Chloe (the dog) took the caravan to the far south coast for a couple of days. When I lived there to nurse my dying mother, as anyone who has done that will attest, depression was never far away. So I joined a writers group to get the feelings out. At the writers meeting on Saturday, I renewed contact with some old friends, read some of 'Cull' and sold a few copies. But in the back of my mind was this poem, probably the best I wrote while nursing Mum, after she was committed to an 'Aged high care facility'. She understood the need for the move, but to see her there day after day, waiting to die, was heart breaking and I still cannot read this poem aloud without tears.

She sits and she stares
at the door to her world
from which she came,
to this allotted space.

Beautiful mind,
cruelly spared.
Taunted though empty days
and long, long, grieving nights,
by mem’ry of lost relevance.

Craving assurance;
a human embrace,
while latex plastic hands
touch only from necessity.

This little time, a miser’s gift.
Last chance to ease her passing,
with what will not be given;
The final validation of her existence.

 Thanks Tess for your wonderful prompts . Book launch date set for 27th November but the way it is going, the print run might have been sold out by then! One reviewer said "A cross between David Suzuki and John Grisham". How about that! Now available through Amazon.

Monday 6 October 2014

A hydrant too far.

Damn drat and blast, I am caught on the wire
Far too much haste, now I’ll tear my attire.
You ask me; ‘Why run?’
I say; ‘Not for fun-
You’d hurry too, if your pants were on fire!’

Thanks again Tess for another interesting prompt.

Monday 29 September 2014

Nice place to visit, but…

Sometimes, art is
expressing what is possible,
posing life’s conundrum,
visions of improbable.

Sometimes, art is
a wallow, so sublime
it’s understood by no-one;
A noble waste of time.

 I read yesterday that Ken Follett and I have two things in common. We were both brought up in Plymouth (Exclusive) Brethren families and we both play bass guitar. But there the parallels end. He has sold 176,000,000 copies of his books. I have sold about nine and am twelve years older. So dear reader, if I am to catch up, you had better hurry up and buy one!

Thanks again Tess for scrounging around for interesting images to challenge and inspire.

Monday 22 September 2014

At the beach, almost all people hide their keys and wallets in their shoes.

Hot sun, warm breeze, just you and me.
We lazed for hours, beside the sea.
Then home, then back,
Alas alack!
The tide came in; can’t find my key!

Book (Cull Stafford Ray) now available at Booktopia (Australia) and and of course from the publisher . Book Depository still out of stock. Getting some great reviews. (keep them coming in.)
Thank you Tess for your continuing support for writing and writers.

Monday 15 September 2014

Reality bites.

The breeze in my hair, so refreshing
as spring comes, its life force unleashing.
But what is that dusty,
that smell, rank and musty?
It seems that these curtains need cleaning!

NEW! Available now on for download.

For Australians: The book now available at Booktopia, and at a discount of 20%! If you want to see an in depth review, take a look at Kutamun's blog .
Thanks again Tess for another lovely prompt.

Monday 8 September 2014

Confession of Innocence.

I tried, not enough, to resist,
as instinct drew me to her.
It seemed at the time, as if
Choices was just another word
others used.

And now, as years and consequence
reveal the possibilities, too late,
I know, as gentle sadness comes,
I was helpless, a moth, drawn
to its candle.

Thank you Tess for providing us with your challenges.

Something happened yesterday that took me back a long time and brought this on. Perhaps it was also prompted by the unexpected and sudden death of the incredibly talented Kerrie Biddell, musician extraordinaire.
For anyone still searching for the Book, it seems Amazon has not deigned to list it as yet, so I suggest you Google 'Book Depository', look for Cull by Stafford Ray, and leave your email address to be notified when it comes in. They ship free world wide.

Important (to me). Any of my friends who have read Cull, please go to Goodreads and review it for me.

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Nothing fishy here.

They all wait and hang around,
So expectant, held spellbound.
Looking, lifting,
Searching, sifting.
No red herring to be found!

 I just love Wyeth, and Magpie Tales .

My first book review. Here it is. It is almost as long as the book! 
Cull – Stafford Ray Classic Author and Publishing Services Pty Ltd – 2014 - ISBN 9780987607706 
Let me say at the outset this is a 4 star fast moving novel in the now well-established genre of a political thriller, much favoured by film makers. It is to be hoped its continuance in another form will be guaranteed by a sharp-witted film producer who gets hold of the script and film rights before the competition does. It is an extraordinarily visual story. 
The story weaves together several ongoing and current global themes as in climate change, diminishing stocks of the once readily obtainable oil and overpopulation. These themes are woven together in an unrelenting political context which holds the story together and provides the ever-increasing tension as various life views and political stances are challenged, or not, depending on the character, to breaking point. 
The characters whilst numerous, are not to the stupefying degree of War and Peace, and encompass those to hate – the quick witted, narcissistic psychopaths; the less agile mentally – going along with flow and the much rarer, essentially decent person – who is challenged to the core of his being. One such person is central to the whole story. 
Dialogues are first rate, the characters' private and personal feeling and observations (as in stage left sotto voce so to speak) are wonderful and the characters are very well drawn and consistently all of a piece. The structure of the book is well-nigh perfect, short chapters, moving settings and increasing tension mounting all the time. The excellent choice of type face and line spacing are refinements that are deserving of praise. 
The cover is also a very appropriate choice. 
 So OK you ask what did you not like about the book? Well, absolutely nothing at all. Perhaps a dramatis personnae page might be a thought. 
So again, four stars and who, I ask, is knocking on the door with offers of film rights for this extraordinarily visual fast moving political thriller? 
 Dr Pem Gerner. BA English Lit

Monday 25 August 2014

Mission Impossible.

Across the heavens, stars therein,
Imponderable, improbable, discipline.
I stare in wonder,
As I ponder:
To paint this, where does one begin!

Thanks again Tess , for giving us a place for our creativity to show.

From Cull, the book: China is demanding world wide zero net carbon emissions within five years. What will be the American response?

"Harry Fromm must choose between loyalty to his President and the human race...."
If Amazon can't help you, try the Book Depository.

Monday 18 August 2014

Sorry, Archimedes.

The first I noticed was the soap
That slid across the kitchen sink.
And then, the hill I climb with ease
Was steeper than before, I think.

Then where I often park the car,
Once level, now was at an angle.
And my bed, a solid haven,
Tipped me out, bed clothes a-tangle.

 But when I sought the Magpie prompt
I realised then, the simple fact is;
Why my life seems such a shambles;
The world had tipped upon its axis.

 RAD's photo from Magpie Tales makes a challenging prompt.
 PS. Thanks for those intrepid seekers from the Blogosphere, who tracked down my novel, Cull at JoJo and bought it! I look forward to (and maybe dread) comments.
BUT! Just heard from JoJo they are releasing Cull in the US and Britain. I will announce when and where as soon as I know.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Captive Audiences.

"Sex before marrying, never."
Say celibate priests, oh so clever.
"Let God bless your union
In Holy communion,
Or suffer His Hell-fires forever."

Poor old God gets bad press from me. But to be fair, he allowed me to be abused in his name.
I hope my friends are not offended by that. But, as Phillip Adams said (words to the effect): "Being an Atheist means there's no compulsion to hate anybody." And I don't, not even God.

Maybe you can find more politically correct contributions at Magpie Tales

Monday 4 August 2014

There's a love knot in my lariat...

There once was a lass who
Could twirl a mean lasso
But lucky in marriage was not.

With husbands a-plenty
When each of them left he
Said: though she was good in the cot,

Her violent temper,
A dog with distemper,
Was nothing compared, so each reckons.

So all of the eight
Sailed right out the gate,
But Burton came back home for seconds.

Please take a detour via Tess's ranch for more poems and stories.

Here is the web site for THE BOOK (Cull) :
When you go there, you will see the book and can read a few chapters FREE!

Monday 28 July 2014

Not just a pretty face.

Nefertiti of Amarna
Ancient world of glory.
Akhenaten, Royal partner,
Oldest known love story.

Take a look at what others created from this prompt at Magpie Tales

Tuesday 22 July 2014


Confusion of the nation,
Retail computation;
Food-miles consternation.

Traded our simplicity
For triple wrapped duplicity,
In corporate multiplicity.
Lost our village, more’s the pity!

Thanks again Tess for a thought provoking prompt... takes me back.

Monday 14 July 2014

It's not the rush down, it's the slow drag back.

When two singles become a pair,
And coitus continuum share,
Make sure the bedroom
Can sleep two, or quite soon,
You’ll wear out the carpeted stair!

 Thank you Tess for yet another peep into your house.
 Still waiting for a release date for the BOOK! I'm chuffed that it got a 9/10 from the evaluation team at JoJo. Yeehaaa!

Friday 11 July 2014

Don't know whether to laugh or cry!

When one writes a book that depends on a reader having some idea of the state of current political intrigue, there is always the risk that events will take a sudden turn that makes a key premise obsolete.

So even before my new novel hits the bookshelves, it has happened to me. I will tell my friends when the big release happens, but today I read in the Guardian, two articles that, although they might make the discerning reader wonder, they are nevertheless very welcome.

The first is the announcement that China is offering new buyers of Electric cars a subsidy of about $7,000 average, but will also waive 10% sales tax.
The second is the signing of a Clean Energy pact by China and the US, the two biggest emitters and the two biggest manufacturers of Clean Energy infrastructure.

Of course the book is still fun to read, and when Obama goes, it is a new ball game. If certain leaders are elected, I could still be on track for the story to unfold as written. I hope not!

Don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Pic :The Guardian.

Monday 7 July 2014

Moggy Mischief.

My cat purrs and gently preens
Twitches whiskers, so serene.
‘Til I tried
To wash her hide…
Tore my shirt to smithereens!

 Find stories and poetry about Tess's cat at Willow Manor.

Coal: Nature's Hazardous Waste Dump.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Poles and wires, Cheats and liars.

1.  At Wally’s house, there is a septic system that treats sewage and sprays the treated water onto his grass. Even when nobody is home, the system needs to be powered, but uses only a tiny amount of electricity from the grid. The bill has remained at about $24 per quarter for almost two years, while the house has been empty. But suddenly, the bill jumped to $78 for the quarter.

2. Recently, Jo’s house has been adorned with a 1.5 Kw set of solar panels, enough to generate more than her total electricity use. Her bill should have come down to almost zero. It would have been about zero, except for a new charge that appeared on both Jo’s and Wally’s bill. A service fee, apparently for rent of posts and wires.

Up until now, that has been included, but is now added on top of the usual payment for electricity used. Fact is, Australians have been cutting their household electricity use for years, so demand has dropped. We thought that was a good thing, so many people doing their bit for Global Warming, but suddenly, less used poles and wires need to be paid for, so in goes the charge.
Meanwhile, politics reared its head and most of the rise in power charges was blamed on the Carbon tax by our current government when in opposition. That was an outright lie. If it was not, when they scrap the Carbon Tax, we should see prices plummet. I don’t think we will and here’s why.

Because the Carbon Tax added under 10% to the cost of electricity, while prices went up over 50%, we know Abbott lied to get into Government. But power is largely a State responsibility. It seems that' under a smoke screen of ranting over the Carbon Tax, the states were Gold Plating their distribution systems. So, now we get to see who was lying, or do we?
NSW is now about to sell off its posts and wires to Private Capital. OK, so I think we now know why Gold Plating the system happened at our expense, when it did.
Being in such great shape, it will attract a higher price, and the new owner, being a monopoly, will continue to push up prices.

 Jo is thinking of buying a battery bank, an inverter and snipping the wires. I can’t see how they can charge for posts and wires we do not use, but I’m willing to bet they’ll think of something! 

Coal: Nature's Hazardous Waste Dump.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Anyone for Poker

You want to keep playing now, Ron?
I warn you, this card is tres bon.
If you insist,
And continue this tryst,
You will not have a single stitch on!


She took both his apples
And his wild grass.
If she has her way
She’ll soon have his arse!

 If you like this, pop over to visit Tess Kincaid.

Coal: Nature’s Hazardous Waste Dump.

Saturday 28 June 2014

Let Sleeping Whales Lie.

In response to Gabriel’s comment about drowning, I tell you this true story.
While in Eden (S coast NSW), living on my yacht, a gale came through that sank one boat in the harbour and damaged several others.
I skedaddled at the start and anchored off the lee shore, spending the next three days sleeping, reading and fishing. After the gale had blown itself out, I headed back to the quaintly named ‘Snug Cove’, and my spot on the wharf.
At about the half way mark I found myself on a collision course with at stationary Humpback Whale. I changed course enough to miss, but close enough to see it was quite still, apparently dead. But around her, circling slowly was a calf, probably about three metres long and very much alive.

A dead whale, if washed ashore presents quite a problem for authorities, and of course there was the added problem of a motherless calf. So I radioed Marine Rescue to report the body, gave its position and asked them to call me with any follow up news. About two hours later, my phone rang and it was a National Parks Officer, with more news.
He told me he found the apparently dead whale where I said it would be and circled it as I had done. He then drifted up close and gave it a poke with his longest boat hook. What happened next almost cost him a boat.

She reared up and swished her tail towards her tormentor, swiping the boat and sending a wave of water over the crew. She then took off at top speed towards Antarctica, a frantic baby thrashing away in her wake. They followed at a distance to be sure she had not been injured. But she eventually slowed to cruising speed and all returned to normal.

 Pic: from Wickipedia.
 Coal: Nature’s hazardous waste dump.

Friday 27 June 2014

I was hoping to practice mouth-to-mouth… but…

I bounded, with gigantic leap
Into the bottomless deep.
I dragged her ashore,
But then heard her snore.
Not dead, just soundly asleep!

I found it in the Draft File! Silly me!

Really, Your Honour!

I must say here, right from the start;
And admit it was not very smart.
But I thought she’d drowned,
So I took down her gown,
All the better, to massage her heart!

To those who went looking for me. Sorry, I wrote this on Monday, but somehow it got lost!
Hop over to Tess’s place for great stories and poems.

Coal: Nature’s Hazardous Waste Dump.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

When we were kids we said some amazing things!

Reminds me of this nonsense poem:

One fine day in the middle of the night,
Two dead men got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,

One was blind and the other couldn't, see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout "hooray!"

A paralysed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,

A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And came to arrest the two dead boys,
If you don't believe this story’s true,
Ask the blind man he saw it too!

 Thanks Tess for another challenging picture from her collection.

 Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Monday 9 June 2014

DIY 1955. OMG! I was there.

Two track TEAC,
Stereophonic playback.
Three speed, sync'd heads,
VU’s in the red.
Two mikes, placed right
Make a demo, outa sight!

 Split to Tess's pad for more nostalgia!

 Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Overdoing it.

I started out to decorate,
Guitar, driftwood, a lamp, ornate.
But I was rash,
Now have no cash
So come right in and please donate!

Thank you Tess.

 Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Body Language Story.

For a moment I thought Ostinov had me, with the queen in check to his bishop, but I blocked him with the king’s rook. It looked like a desperation move, but it wasn’t. I had planned it to happen that way. Then it got really interesting. I didn’t really believe he would fall for it, but he took the rook with his bishop. I had the bishop covered with my queen’s rook. He didn’t know it, but the trap was closing. He was distracted by my knight, just one mover from taking his queen and he failed to notice that taking my rook put him in check. He was really sweating then and I knew I had him. He had nowhere to go and it was mate! Cecily, that was the most exciting game I have ever played against Ostinov and it was in record time too. I beat him in under ten hours! Oh! And we have a rematch in a month, I’d really like you to come and watch!

 Thanks again Tess for another demanding prompt!

 Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Monday 19 May 2014

Hobbin Rood... Takes from the poor to give to the rich.

I think it started here with Graham Morris, political adviser and Mr Media Savvy, when he apparently advised John Howard to answer all question with the same slogan. It worked like this:

Q: “Mr Howard, given that it was known that Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction, do you still think it was prudent to invade Iraq?”
A: “Interest rates will always go up under Labor.”
 Q: “Mr Howard, given that you knew asylum seekers were not throwing their children overboard to ‘blackmail’ Australian authorities, why, just before an election, did you say they did?”
A: “Interest rates will always go up under Labor.”

 Q: “Mr Abbott, given that you promised no cuts to education, health, pensions, the ABC and I could name many others before the election and are, post election, cutting all of them, do you now concede that you lied through your teeth to fool the people into voting for you?”
A: “Err…. Um…. We have get the budget back into surplus. That is what we promised, and that is what we will deliver.”

 In every interview I have witnessed, which is now in the tens and approaching the hundreds, I see and hear our Prime Minister follow the Morris sales mantra. But surely the strategy that worked before the election, that is, to simplify complex issues into a few slogans such as “Stop the boats!”, “Cut the Carbon Tax!”, “Get the budget back into surplus!”, is now wearing a bit thin.
To me it is pathetic to see our Prime Minister’s dogged adherence to a tactic that is dishonest and insulting to both the interviewer and the observer. I hope I am not alone.

 Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull, leader-in-waiting, could be well advised to take note. One might maintain that an opposition's job is to throw everything at the government to thwart its policies, good or bad, as Abbott did so relentlessly in opposition, but perhaps it is time for Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition to think about a fair way to balance our budget, while not shredding those programs that make this country such a good place to live, regardless of one's status in life. 

These leaders are speaking to one of the best educated constituency anywhere in the world, so perhaps it is time they showed some respect for the collective intellect and confided in us. I am ready to be part of a fair reduction in spending, but penalising the poor while leaving the wealthy basically untouched is too Ayn Rand for me.

 Also, I am sure I am not alone in fearing that loss confidence in the political system will leave people ready to take their grievances to the streets, rather than the ballot box, as we are observing in the Balkans, Thailand, Egypt, you name it. Those people are not stupid or want to be destructive, they are basically frustrated by their lack of political access.

Of course there are always political vandals waiting to take advantage of that type of anger and when they do, it always ends in grief. Are we going there? Maybe we are unless we really take constituency seriously and stop rewarding dishonesty.

 We enjoy one of the most peaceful and compliant communities in the world, but watch that unravel if we lose confidence in our political institutions. Big Clive didn't help much either, by accusing the Electoral Commission of corruption. Once we lose confidence in the basic honesty of our electoral system, it is very difficult to get it back.

Photo: Lidia Nikonova (SMH)

Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Where have I been?

I have been sitting in the public gallery of the Supreme Court at a murder trial. The jury was out for four days deciding on two questions, the second of which was divided into two sub-questions.

For those who do not know, my elder son David died from a brain haemorrhage after being kicked in the head by a stranger. That was two years ago. But for the last two weeks, the accused faced the court on a charge of murder. He had tried to plea-bargain a verdict of manslaughter, but because of overwhelming evidence of the force of the kicks, captured on CCTV, the Police and Dept. of Public Prosecutions went ahead with a murder trial.

Footage showed the stranger walking up to David and his friend Sarah who were sitting on a doorstep in downtown Sydney. After talking to David for a short while, he suddenly stood up and kicked David in the head and upper body. The footage showed three kicks before the camera was masked by a passing bus, but he admitted to more and witnesses said there were at least six, up to nine.

After he kicked David, he walked away, but was tackled by a man who saw the kicking, and with the help of a bouncer working the door or a nearby night club, held him until police arrived. David appeared not badly hurt and did not press charges, so the police let the man go. David was talking normally and walked normally according to paramedics who were called to check him out. He did have an obvious haematoma on the back of his head and complained that his jaw was not lining up properly.

Because there was a head injury, he was taken to hospital for examination, which would normally have included an MRI scan. Unfortunately, there were six ambulances waiting with injured people, plus a full waiting room, so he was not given the MRI, but was triaged and returned to the waiting room to be given a thorough examination later. Nurses who saw him missed vital clues. His level of alertness deteriorated as time passed, but there was a change of shift. New people coming on duty, although told of his condition, did not observe those changes and also thought his less compliant attitude, and his insistence that he be allowed to sleep, was due to intoxication.

In fairness, he was an alcoholic but as reported by the paramedics, he was not showing significant signs of intoxication when they checked him out and there was no reason to think intoxication would get worse with time. So after three and three quarters of an hour of waiting, he left the hospital, taking a hospital blanket and walked across the road to a small park where he went to sleep. His body was discovered at about 2PM next day.

The only positive to come out of this was that, like the Gambler, he died in his sleep. His troubles are over. Because the assailant was arrested on the spot, there was no question as to who kicked David, ultimately causing his death. However, for the murder charge to stick, he must have had an intention to ‘inflict really serious bodily harm’. The CCTV footage seemed to show intention with the severity of the kicks, and the jury decided that way.

The next question for the jury to consider was whether an underlying mental illness caused him to lose control or whether it was more likely alcohol, consumed during a night of drinking at five bars or more, plus smoking three cones that caused him to lose control.

The jury was confused and so was I. Summing up, the judge’s directions were so convoluted and confusing, the jury must have felt they needed to err on the side of caution. So on that question, they decided it was more likely an underlying mental illness that caused his loss of control, and therefore, he was guilty of manslaughter. Philosophically, I guess anyone who attacks a stranger with no provocation, but with intent to do serious harm, has to be insane at the time.

In a few weeks, a sentence will be handed down but whatever it is, that young man’s future is bleak. He will spend years in jail, those years when most people are setting up their futures. And when he comes out, he will be a different person. What that is up to him, but the prognosis in not good.

 For the two weeks of the trial, I watched the accused and at times felt compassion for him. On that night, he made choices that resulted in a person dying and that cannot be undone. For his parents I feel even more compassion. I had to mop up a few tears when they approached me to express their sorrow and I was able to express my sympathy for them. Except for the sadness that never ends when a child dies before you, my worrying for David is over. But for that young man's parents, it has a long way to run, and most likely can only get worse.

Touchdown: 0.0534 seconds.

Once I built a tree house
High up in the sky,
There I watched departing leaves,
Imagined I could fly.

So now I’m in Emergency
My body wrapped in plaster
With broken bones, no dignity
An absolute disaster.

Please go to Magpie Tales for a more believable explanation.

Coal: nature's hazardous waste dump.

Thursday 24 April 2014

It's bad enough that... without this.

Have a look at these pictures that are circulating on the web, then read down.

These pictures purport to show a young Christian women, raped and tortured by 20 or more Muslims 'just because she was Christian'.
In fact, the photos were lifted from a horror movie made by a Canadian that had absolutely nothing to do with Muslims. It was about a serial rapist.
Take the link for more details and (if you have the stomach for it), watch a clip from the movie showing the scene depicted in the photos.
My question is: How is this type of material helping Islamic women achieve the freedoms and opportunities Western women enjoy (to a point)?
It is hard enough for normal, rational Muslims to take control of their governments, identify and arrest their violent elements and demand integration with the modern world, without these distractions.
Some Muslim societies have a long way to go, no thanks to our 'help' in Iraq and Libya, for instance, but there is hope.
Out of the current mess, we can hope lessons are learned and less xenophobic attitudes emerge, both towards their own Islamic variants and the other hundreds of belief systems we seem to have created as a species.
Left to evolve, as might well be what is happening in Iran, citizens who are no longer totally quarantined from the wider world, but have access to information via the web, for example, will demand freedoms for themselves that they know exist elsewhere.

Monday 21 April 2014

The best laid plans…


We expected a crowd to be forming,
With balloon sellers, cops, people swarming.
But down came the sleet,
We all got wet feet,
At the rally against global warming.

Thank you Tess for another thought provoking prompt.

Coal: Nature’s Hazardous Waste Dump.

Monday 14 April 2014


Destined to lion tame, straight from the womb,
Kept man eating pets, right there in his room.
With consummate skill,
He trained them, but still,
He kept a stone ready, to place on his tomb!

From a prompt by Tess’s cat.

 Coal: Nature’s hazardous waste dump.

Monday 7 April 2014



We come and we go
 And in between,
 We shine;
 Motes in a sunbeam.

 Written for Magpie Tales.

Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Monday 31 March 2014

Search for Meaning.


Images from other pages,
Legs, a tooth a razor blade.
Butterfly and tattooed skin
Scrapbook then, to stick them in.

 But what’s it mean? I hear you cry.
All a mess of shape and size?
The answer dear, is ‘nothing really.
It’s just our Tess being really silly’.

 Follow this link to stories and poems at magpie Tales.

 Coal: Nature's hazardous waste dump.

Friday 28 March 2014



On Friday he came as a friend,
Brought a bottle, we drank to the end.
From then on, our mission:
Try every position.
I now need a few days to mend!

Thanks Tess for allowing us into your bedroom!
Sorry I am late; was busy checking proofs of The Novel.
Now back with the publisher. Exciting!

Coal: Nature’s Hazardous Waste Dump.

Friday 21 March 2014


Headline in the Guardian today.
"China working on uranium-free nuclear plants in attempt to combat smog Beijing brings forward deadline for world's first thorium-fuelled facility in attempt to break reliance on fossil fuels."

Scientists have known about Thorium for yonks as a potential nuclear fuel, so why is Thorium not the nuclear fuel of choice? It is much more abundant than Uranium, it does not go into meltdown and cause a Chernobyl or a Fukishima, its waste breaks down in a relatively short time, and is much safer all round. But there is one catch. It does not produce weapons grade by-products like plutonium, so no bombs. Can't have that!

Coal: Nature's Hazardous Waste Dump.

Monday 17 March 2014

A price on His head.


Some thought the expenditure rash,
On perfume, so patently flash,
That Judas aghast,
Said "Hey! Not so fast.
Just sell it and give me the cash!"

Take a look at Magpie Tales for lots of brilliant poems and stories.

Coal: Nature's Hazardous Waste Dump.

Monday 10 March 2014

Across the Threshold.


I married you, I must confess
Because of your fastidiousness.
You gave no clue
The real you
Would live in such an effing mess!

 Thanks Tess for the peep into your Travel Tales scrapbook. Did the dishwasher work? :-)

Thursday 6 March 2014

Surprise surprise!


Terrified by what’s in place
Behind the sleeper’s hair and face;
Where mandolin
Should lie therein,
A sub machine gun in its case!

 Thanks Tess at Magpie Tales for your amazing prompts.

Thursday 27 February 2014



He could have stayed silent,
Our poet of outrage.
Safe, secluded in his room,
Of books.

His words, his thoughts, his anger
Escaped to lesser minds,
Outside, where convenient
Stones lay.

Written for Magpie Tales. Sorry, I could find nothing funny in this sad indictment of violence.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Visible Means of Support.

Said Bob Sullivan in court,
 ‘Your Honour is mistaken.
Penniless I may appear,
And food, have not partaken.

 To wealthy folk, like you Milord,
 It may seem I have nothing.
But I can show you, beyond doubt;
I have a penny-farthing.

Please visit Magpie Tales for poetic and storytelling treats.

Off today for my last cruise in Heavy Metal... sold and being delivered.. Boo Hoo!

Monday 10 February 2014

My mother said:

“Man is an explorer
Who looks for places hidden;
And likes it even better still
If it’s somewhat forbidden.

 So when it’s time to go to bed,
And loving art, finessing;
It’s best you keep a little on,
To always keep him guessing.

Now, think of what to hide away
That keeps him hot and bothered,
By all means show the rest of you,
But keep the mystery covered.”

 Joe Cocker got it right! Thanks Tess at Magpie Tales for your photo…er prompt.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Tones Apart.

G and A in treble,
G and A in bass!
Tootsies very pretty,
(Like to see her face).

Sandals on piano stool,
Bottom on the lid,
Heels upon the music shelf
Rest of her is hid!

I wonder why, and then I know
The rest is really plain.
Because, if it was beautiful.
She’d have it in the frame!

Thanks Tess for a lovely photo to play with... is it you? :-)

Monday 27 January 2014

Snow business.

Snow can be lovely, the subject of art
And too much at once, a matter apart.
But why, in God’s name
Would anyone sane,
Gather it up to put in their cart?

If you like this, you will like this better.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Background check..

For many years, the ‘cellists train
To play so well, for little gain.
But cast a thought
For artists, caught
While painting landscapes in the rain!

For poems and stories that stick to the script, go visit The Magpie.