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7
Recommended Read

Neck Deep

How did my basement get filled with stuffed toys?

I'm standing in my basement, neck deep in stuffed toys. There are piles of Kermit the Frogs, and other muppets, there are a dozen Dora dolls and Bob the Builders. There are generic little seahorses and stars. Some of them are the size of my hand and others I won at fairs, and are life sized, most of them are somewhere in between. The basement is filled in archaeological layers of stuffed...Read On

14
Recommended Read

Legacy

life, learning,

I’m that child. Born to him and her. Who grew too soon. Walked while others crawled. I’m that child. Who heard their words. And somehow knew. I’m that child. Whose pain came all too often. Who lived with rage. I’m that boy. Who dressed himself each morning. And then his siblings. Who had no role models. I’m that boy. Who fought in school. Who never had lunch money. Who...Read On

8
Recommended Read

This Is Where I Write

Where do you write?

Coach B is the Quiet Coach. It is a good place to think, to reflect and from which to draw inspiration. It is a silent movie and my mind writes the title cards. I always travel in Coach B, though it is always at the far end of the platform. For four and a half hours, it is my high-speed cocoon in which complete anonymity is mine for the taking. I smile as I board; I like this place. ...Read On

4
Recommended Read

Ride No More

The sun keeps him company.

The sky’s blue-gray – opaque and oppressive. The clouds can’t even seem to stand up to it, because they’re ghostly – unreal – their dark bottoms devoured by that steely background. Heh. Have to remember that. Sounds like a good opening for a story. I’ve got a nice view of it, not that I want it. The narrow rock shelf I’m lying on doesn’t give me much else to look at, other than the...Read On

16
Recommended Read

The Fixer Upper

“I feel useless.” “You’re not.” “It doesn’t matter. That’s how I feel .” I wish I was a bicycle. Silly, I know, but think of it. Throw me in the back of the car and take me down to the shop and… “Twenty dollars, she’ll be good as new.” Liar. We tried that. Once you’re broken, no matter how much tinkering, you’re never quite right. The wheel wobbles just a bit. The brake rubs....Read On

18
Recommended Read

Amber Rae

A dark story.

Amber Rae Amber Rae was born that way, with eyes so big and blue, with golden hair and skin so fair – as soft as morning dew. Painted toes of scarlet-rose her sandals couldn’t hide – behind would sail the ponytail her older sister tied. Amber liked to ride her bike the mile or so to school when traffic flow was fairly slow – on mornings dry and cool. Before her trip,...Read On

6
Recommended Read

Shut Out

He leans back on the bed watching over the top of his book as she sits at the dressing table, unpinning her hair. I like the way your breasts rise when you raise your arms over your head, he thinks. But it does not arouse me as it did in those early days. Each pin removed allows a few more strands to fall from the tightly coiled bun.  She tilts her head to one side allowing the brush...Read On

12
Recommended Read

Note to Self

a needed pep talk

You are broken .... but you are enough. Remember this as you wish for the .... life .... love .... language that belongs to another. Stop adding new cracks to your fragile soul through flagellation and words that you have deemed are your just dessert. Rest in love you know. Trust the moments. Tell yourself over and over .... you are worthy. ...Read On

6
Recommended Read

The Call

I lost my stepson last month

The Call It comes as a shock – when you glance at the clock, it’s an hour that no one should call, but the name on display gives the caller away – so you answer the phone after all. The voice you detect isn’t who you expect and your slumberous brain starts to clear as the desperate tone that you hear on the phone sends a message no parent should hear. That message,...Read On

7
Recommended Read

Joy Creek

Last spring I paddled up Joy Creek. The water was high and I couldn't get far. The cathedral arch of green branches whispered. The noon sun sparkled like stained glass. Last summer I paddled up Joy Creek. The water was lower and I pushed under more of the brush. I sat in the silence, whispering prayers with the wind. The morning sun glowed with hope. Last autumn I paddled up Joy Creek....Read On

11
Audio version available
Recommended Read

The Four Seasons

A suite of Haikus, read by our own Daisy.

SPRING Dripping from the eaves, Snow melts slowly while it turns The hard sod to mud. ***** The dog barks hoarsely, He echoes in vibrations As the moon shines down. ***** Up through the green turf, Crocuses lift heads of pearl Into buoyant air. ********************** SUMMER Sunshine comes with force, As the days grow languorous With burdensome heat. ***** ...Read On

33
Recommended Read

A Letter from Raymond

A couple delivers a lost love letter to the woman who never received it in 1949.

I turned to watch Alexis coming down the stairs. After twenty years she still took my breath away. “Why the stare?” Alex asked. “Because you’re more beautiful at forty-five than you were at twenty-five,” I answered. Alex walked up and kissed me. “Keep that up and you won’t get any sleep tonight!” she said as she winked at me. “Now what’s all the shouting about? Why did you drag me...Read On

19
Recommended Read

Oakley's Autumn Surprise

Sometimes change can be scary, but change is not always bad.

Please note that this is a teaching story for children. I have included some xhosa words, so they can learn both facts and a new language in a fun way that helps them understand rather than merely memorise.  Ilanga - Sun Imvula - Rain Umoya - Wind  In a deep forest not too far from here, there stood a little oak tree. His name was Oakley....Read On

16
Recommended Read

Solarites - Ch 1

There was only silence when I came to. The television wasn’t on in the background, Whisper, my cat, wasn’t treading around the room, and the morning birds weren’t singing outside my window. For a moment there I thought I had gone deaf until I heard my soft shallow breaths as I inhaled. There was a smooth surface beneath me. Freezing and rock-hard, definitely not my carpeted floors at home....Read On

11
Recommended Read

For Whom the Good Tolls

A Hemingwayesque micro saga

(with apologies to 'Papa' Hemingway) In a clean, well-lighted place out of the rain, the man and woman drank wine. The wine was good. They ate the testicles of a young bull that had bravely faced death in the afternoon. Both were good. Back in their room, he went to her breasts. Her breasts were there, and good. "You were good," she said. "De nada," he said, and left. It had been good....Read On

14
Recommended Read

How To Make a Cup of Tea

The perfect cup of tea is a labour of love

How to make a cup of tea There are two possible methods for doing this: first there is the kettle and tea bag method - my preferred method because I’m lazy, or the teapot and tea leaves method - I tend to only do this if I’ve got company or I just feel like loose leaf tea. The steps are quite similar though, so here we go. Ah, but I forgot to say: take your time, tea should never be rushed,...Read On

27
Recommended Read

If Ignorance is Bliss...

If ignorance is bliss, then ignoring someone can be blissful...

The first day of June that year had ushered in a heat wave that, as it turned out, would last for three months. No one knew it then of course, which was just as well. We all struggled through the hot, muggy days, shuttling back and forth from air-conditioned homes to air-conditioned workplaces, usually by means of air-conditioned transportation. It was supposed to be the best time of year and...Read On

21
Recommended Read

David's Day

The town's favorite son

David was a loner, but never alone. He always had his thoughts. He encountered Mrs. Scott as she left the grocery store. “Hello, David, how are you today?” Like you give a shit. “I'm just fine, it's such a beautiful morning. Here, let me help you with those bags.” Why the hell don't you use a cart like normal people. “Thank you, David, you're such a nice boy, the car's right...Read On

14
Recommended Read

Insomnia's Children

What happens to all those characters who are never written down?

He comes first, lumbering out of the gloomy shadows. Half-asleep, I try to protest, but his fist curls around my collar and he yanks me out of bed. He is the hardened villain of my nightmares who both terrifies and fascinates me. Right now, terrified wins. I give a feeble squeak, which I can't blame him for ignoring. "Where's my story?" growls the nameless villain, bearded face forced...Read On

10
Recommended Read

An Ode to a Sad Existence

What happens if I am not me?

I wished I was a flower underneath a great big tree, But then a dog would come along and shower me with wee. I wished I was a chestnut tree with lots of lovely conkers, But kids would come and nick my nuts and that would drive me bonkers. So I wished I was a schoolie living in the ocean seas, But a fisherman would catch me and then cook me with some peas. So I wished I was a beer that was...Read On

34
Recommended Read

The End

Tragedy can either draw people together, or push them apart...

~ The End ~ Becky Patterson sat in the dimly lit room, her head bowed slightly, staring blankly into space. She neither knew nor cared how long she’d been there. Finally she heard a light rap on the door, which opened before she could respond. “Excuse me, Ms. Patterson? Everything appears to be in order, and we need to — time is of the essence —” “Of course,” she said in a...Read On

9
Recommended Read

The Ring

A tragic love story

by Tony Radford It was early fall when he hit the mall – a year past Y2K, at a jewelry store on the second floor – was a final bill to pay. He’d bought the ring that he planned to bring to his love – a big surprise, some wine, a rose, romantic prose – then a question would arise. They’d set the stage at an early age – on the playground after class where he won her hand with...Read On

13
Recommended Read

The Washing Machine Man

It's up to me to convince Dad to change...

"Me?" I asked my sister. "Why do I have to do it?" "I think he'll listen to you." "When has he ever listened to me?" I asked her. "And what about Mum?" "Mum's too upset, she can't think straight." "Oh, OK. I'll have a go but I can't promise anything." "I know," she said. "Just try, the nurses are getting fed up with him." "I'm not surprised." "Good luck, Steff." "Oh thanks," I told...Read On

38
Recommended Read

Empty Kitchen

My father spoke of my mom's love of the sunrise at her funeral, thus I dedicate this to her.

“Shoot!” The exclamation punctuated the sound of pottery shattering. My neighbor, Karen had dropped a cup. It lay in shards across the hard kitchen tile. “Don’t worry, it’s just a cup. I have others,” I say, fetching the broom and dustpan. “I am sorry, sometimes I’m just so clumsy.” “Ah... it was just an old coffee cup, nothing to worry about.” My knees creak as I stoop to...Read On

17
Recommended Read

The Letter

I think we've all wanted to send a letter like this at one time, and forgiveness is not always easy.

I poured out every thought upon the page, Filling it up with all the rage and anger, That you have instilled inside me. My pen literally quivered, As I held it in my sweaty hand, Yet the words flowed swiftly, As venomous as any snake, And almost as deadly. As I poured the last of the wine into my glass, I reviewed my handiwork. Three pages of anger. Three pages of hurt. ...Read On

8
Recommended Read

Prayer for Jane Doe

This poem dissects the complexity of spousal abuse from the POV of a third party friend

Prayer for Jane Doe Copyright ©2005 Don (This piece is especially dedicated to all women (Jane Doe) involved in abusive relationships, but feel helpless or unable to quit…..No one can put a stop to it but you.) ~~~0~~~ At this solemn moment My soul endures emotional torment Images flashing, one and then another Oh how I love you, but you love another I remember that...Read On

11
Recommended Read

The Girl With The Upside Down Heart

Is the love you take equal to the love you make?

‘Is this seat taken?’ asked a quietly spoken man whom Veronica had never seen before. She shook her head, ‘no, go ahead’. The elderly man took his seat and placed a shopping bag between his feet. His hands unfolded a newspaper in front of him as the train began to pull out of the station. He then began to ingest the day’s news. Veronica looked at the Paper’s headline from the corner of her...Read On

12
Recommended Read

Did I ever tell you?

To all my friends and family...I never tell you how much you've influenced me and enriched my life

Did I ever tell you how much I adore your mind, dear friend? A shard of cutting brilliance and delight It inspires me to be more than I am A dance between the two of us – one leading then the other Not a waltz, more a Charleston Maybe modern dance, perhaps? Did I ever tell you how much I adore your heart, my mother? Full of compassion and caring It inspires me to be more like you ...Read On

39
Audio version available
Recommended Read

Words

Words come and go.The poetry muse dropped by at an inconvenient moment, and was sadly ignored.

 

11
Recommended Read

Welcome Home

It's not always easy coming home.

He grabbed his bag and stepped out of the cab, shutting the door behind him. Home. Finally home. He walked up the few stairs to the front door of his parent’s house. They had promised that his room would be the same, nothing touched. He turned the handle and opened the door. Complete silence, just how he remembered it. The scent of the old tapestry and the shoes in the hallway hadn’t changed....Read On