Summer is Coming …

At this terrible time in Australia I’ve shared from Australia a poem, a painting and now this short fiction from an Australian author I follow – Cage Dunn – stark imagery of everything lost.

Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

The old homestead needed more than a touch of TLC. It needed to be demolished and the ground razed and the black stumps chopped up and buried.

Summer. Sandy hated summer. The heat, the flies, the extra feed for the animals. More water sucked from the stinky bore. She couldn’t drink that water, she couldn’t grow that feed. The animals wouldn’t last this summer.

The last flock of breeders. There’d be no more after this. Her heart wasn’t in it anymore.

The house. The beautiful old house. Sandy visualised it as it was when she bought it.

Edwardian, veranda’s on four sides, double-French doors that opened onto the cool veranda.

Now it was a black mass of charcoaled timber and blackened stone. The beautiful Jarrah floor was dust and ash under the stumps.

What was left was the chimney, the cast-iron wood stove, two or three pencils of framing timber…

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Australia is Burning

This touching painting says it all.

A Word in Your Ear

Our beautiful and very talented relative Melina who is Greek Australian painted this heartbreaking image.  It seems to have touched many people and her post is going viral.  She has given permission for the image to be shared but asks that a donation be made to one of the many charities set up to deal with the crisis.  Her website on face book is called Melina illustrates – if you would like to follow the thread and see the photo /comments/ links to donation sites.

Currently Mitch’s brother and his family, who were trapped on the beach in Malacoota, are still in their car trying to get out and back to Melbourne.  We have friends and family in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the territories,   We are thinking of you all.  XXXXXXXX

N.B.  Please note the date on the picture should read 2020 not 2019 – already acknowledged by…

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How was it for You?

How was your New Year – hopefully better than Brian’s. Enjoy Grace’s story.


January is my least favourite month-cold, dark and seemingly interminable. Many like to begin the month with a party. Here’s a story I wrote years ago about a New Year’s party that did not go according to plan…

The Rescue Party
Brian Meadon peers out into the darkness and is forced to admit a grudging fascination for the way the snowflakes are looming out of the sky and settling in an ominous and ever growing heap on his car’s windscreen. His initial feelings of hot anger and frustration with the car’s failings have ebbed away to be replaced with somewhat colder resignation. There is still just enough light outside to make out the writing on a road sign beyond his lay-by. ‘Stoodley Interchange’, it asserts, taunting Brian with confident superiority, even though accumulations of snow are creeping up its legs.
Settling back into his driving seat once more, Brian decides…

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the battle (do or . . .)

I have been following Frank Prem’s unique poetry for a while and quite recently read his ‘Devil In The Wind – voices from the 2009 black Saturday bushfires’ , little realising that a worse nightmare was unfolding in Australia. It’s already Saturday in Australia and as we sleep tonight Frank speaks for many towns and people facing fearsome fires.

Frank Prem Poetry

today is the day
(for the moment
at least)
that they say
might bring the creature
to our doorsteps

it will start out cool
then boil up
later on
into searing

looking out the window
the smoky haze
is not too bad

though I can still taste
yesterday’s plastic
in the air
and the stench
of burning rubber

what I notice
making the ground
seem like
a carpet that has come alive
is the flits
and the flights
of a cloud
of small blue butterflies

and we will stay

it has been decided

is our plan

in the township
we will not seek
to defend
at our door

there are places
to run
to be as safe
as anywhere else is

and we will do our best
to survive
with all our neighbours

I will go
to my workplace
in the afternoon
to undertake…

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The Power of the Written Word

My fellow Remainer and local blogger Grace sums up well what the past year has meant for many of us and also pays tribute to those people we meet in real life. Lots of us belong to groups of all sorts and they are an important part of our lives.


So 2019 is grinding towards an end, and what a complex, mangled year it has been for us, here in the UK.

On our small island with its natural water barrier between us and the world, a civil war of words has raged since 2016, over whether we should pull up the drawbridge to our sea moat and withdraw into our brittle little shell or continue to relate with our nearest neighbours in the same convivial way we’ve enjoyed for 50 years.

I’m disconsolate to say to my overseas readers, not only that the drawbridge fans have won the war of words, but that all of we ordinary citizens, those of us who don’t have huge investments squirrelled away or are not hedge fund managers, who are not the fabulously rich elite and right wing newspaper owners, we have all lost.

I can’t dwell for too long on an issue…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Party – Just One Wish – Guests, Food, Music and laughter

It’s Christmas party time at Smorgasbord today, with music of all sorts and a Fairy Godmother to grant wishes. There’s lots to see and do so pop in and out all day.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The theme for this year’s party is ‘Just One Wish’. We are all familiar with the story of Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother, who was pretty liberal with that magic wand of hers and managed to turn a pumpkin into a golden carriage.

Unfortunately, she has long since retired and hung up her wand, but because I asked nicely (and she would like me to promote her memoir –The Prince Charmings I have Known!) she has agreed to allow my guests, just one wish…

My thanks to everyone who sent in their special wish and with a great deal of positive thought from us all, and of course a little assistance from the magic wand of the Fairy Godmother, they might just come true…

Please help yourself to food and drink and if you would like to dance on the tables… that is great. You will…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Christmas Music with William Price King – Carol of the Bells and For unto us a child is born

Join in more festive fun at Smorgasbord with one of Sally’s regular guests choosing festive music. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir are sure to liven and brighten your day.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

As we get closer to Christmas, William Price King shares more music to get us into the festive spirit.

“Carol of the bells” was composed by Mykola Leontovych in 1914, based on the Ukrainian folk chant “Shchedryk “,with lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on a four-note ostinato and has been performed in many musical genres. Performed here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

“For unto us a child is born” -Sir Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, Susan Gritton, Sara Mingardo, Mark Padmore, Alastair Miles and the Tenebrae choir in “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Mesiah, composed in 1741.

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Christmas – Festive Stories – Snow Storm by Carol Taylor

Carol Taylor is one of the bloggers I follow regularly and I was really taken with her Christmas story featured on Smorgasbord yesterday.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Most of you will know Carol Taylor from her Food and Cookery Column here on Smorgasbord as well as her own eclectic blog located in Thailand, where she shares the wonderful food on her doorstep and recipes that turn them into delicious meals.

Carol also is passionate about the environment and has some down to earth things to say about our contribution to the state of the world, and the loss of habitat leading to the extinction of far too many species. You will also find her quirky and whimsical sense of humour coming through in all her posts..

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: Carol Cooks 2

Carol also writes short stories and contributed tothe Phuket Island Writers AnthologyAmazon US

Which leads me to the reason you are here today, which is to…

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Smorgasbord at Christmas – Festive Short Stories – Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty.

Enjoy another visit to Smorgasbord where the seasonal fun is well under way. Sally is sharing other writers’ Christmas stories, today it’s my turn.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Stories have always played a part in Christmas celebrations and over the next few weeks I would like to share your festive tales… and you can find details of how to participate at the end of the post.

Xmas Eve by Janet Gogerty

Linda hated Christmas, or rather the long run up to Christmas. It was busier but easier when the children were still at school; they knew exactly who would be there for Christmas every year; four children and four elderly relatives. Now, since the children were grown up and the elderly relatives no longer around, each year was different.

But this year would be the first Christmas she and Roger had spent by themselves. He was looking forward to spending Christmas Day and Boxing Day alone, relaxing; Linda was not. With the prospect of such a quiet Christmas there did not seem to be anything to get ready…

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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Christmas Book Fair – New Collection – #Verse #Short Stories – Life’s Rich Tapestry : Woven in Words by Sally Cronin

Sally Cronin’s blog Smorgasbord does a wonderful job both as an on line magazine with great contributers and also in promoting Indie Authors. Read how Sally became an Indie Author and take a look at her latest book.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Delighted to share the news of my own new release today. Life’s Rich Tapestry : Woven in Words is a collection of verse, micro fiction and speculative short stories.

About Life’s Rich Tapestry

Life’s Rich Tapestry is a collection of verse, microfiction and short stories that explore many aspects of our human nature and the wonders of the natural world. Reflections on our earliest beginnings and what is yet to come, with characters as diverse as a French speaking elephant and a cyborg warrior.

Finding the right number of syllables for a Haiku, Tanka, Etheree or Cinquain focuses the mind; as does 99 word microfiction, bringing a different level of intensity to storytelling. You will find stories about the past, the present and the future told in 17 syllables to 2,000 words, all celebrating life.

This book is also recognition of the value to a writer, of being part of…

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