Category Archives: Short Stories

Doubts Like Roses

tend doubts like roses but treat happiness like weeds
which sprout in the cracks of the daylight hours
are cut down and thrown into the sunset fire

turn the epidermis of the earth
crack the bones and extract the marrow
mix in the ash and pack the compost

around the base of the roses. And when the petals
have fallen in their season, prune with abandon
until a solitary stem remains

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Cups of Tea

throughout our lifetime
over cups of tea
we told each other the same stories
as elegiac etiquette
an oral tradition where repeated
narratives were whispered
turning them into myth
a stain at the bottom of the cup
and in the retelling became gospel
a chip in the enamel
until we were finished and
we rinsed the cups, washed them
and put them away to reuse
tomorrow.

I Am The King

I’m riding past the fibro houses linked like rosary beads, counting them as you would Hail Marys because only Mary understands housing commission. And everyone knows at least one teenage mum. I stole the bike from someone’s front yard but told mum I found it in a hard rubbish clean up. Gave it a coat of paint from a spray can. Maybe one day I’ll drop it back where it came from. Right now, I am king and priest.

The Flood

Next, I take from the fridge door
the salvage of invitations and
newsletters and takeaway menus
and children’s artwork and
decade old photos; the gospel
of our relationship and spread
them out in the backyard
fashion a single sheet of paper
fold an origami boat for when
the next flood envelopes us and
we float on the drift water.
And when the dove returns
we will unfold the paper
smooth it out and put it back
on the fridge for the next time

Publication News for Post Marked: Piper’s Reach

I am very very pleased to announce that my collaborative novel with Jodi Cleghorn, Post Marked: Piper’s Reach, has been accepted for publication by Vine Leaves Press.

This is how Jessica Bell, publisher of Vine Leaves, spoke about it, “They have co-written one of the most touching contemporary love stories I’ve ever read.” And it’s more than that; a darkness lies beneath the story of Jude and Ella-Louise.

It has been a long long journey from the first letter handwritten in January 2012 to now, and there’s still some time to wait. The scheduled publication is slated for July, 2019.

I am  totally wrapped and chuffed and excited about seeing our novel in print and can’t wait to share it with you. Stay tuned as the year progresses and I’ll keep you up to date. 

This is how we pitched it:

“Post Marked: Piper’s Reach” is set on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, and follows the correspondences of Ella-Louise Wilson, a former narcotics undercover officer who left Piper’s Reach twenty years earlier to make a life for herself beyond the legacy of her mother’s heroin addiction and her high school best friend Jude Smith, a late-thirties marine biologist still living in his home town of Piper’s Reach with his wife and young family.

Consisting of 57 letters (originally hand-written and physically posted over 15 months), Post Marked: Piper’s Reach initially ran as a web serial from April 2012 to June 2013, gathering a diverse and engaged readership united by the yearning ache of the central theme of ‘the one left behind’. It explores the rekindling of old friendships, adolescent nostalgia, reconciliation of the past with the future, the guilt of wanting what you can’t have, the disparity of who you think someone is and who they actually are, and the consequences of a second chance.

Both Adam and Jodi were avid letter writers in their youth and the project evolved as a way of rekindling an intimate and forgotten mode of communication.

The novel is supported by several short stories, a chapbook of vignettes, and an extensive mix tape soundtrack.

If you’re keen you can read the chapbook HERE, and the first letter HERE.

Right now I’m working on a novella that is connected to the world of Piper’s Reach so keep an eye out for that too.

I’m doing my happy dance and getting stuck back into writing.

Handwritten Pages #30 Carapace

“Every time you slam the door a fairy loses its wings,” her mother yelled down the hallway.
She leant against the door, watching and waiting for the wings to float down; one onto her pillow and the other beside the laptop on her desk. Their thin, steel-like frames and metallic membranes were added like plates to the almost-finished coat on the dressmaker’s mannequin.
Slipping it off the mannequin and dressing herself in it, she confronted her image in the mirror, the light reflecting a kaleidoscope of colours on the carapace she wore.
I will not need to fly, she whispered, when I can wear armour.

Handwritten Pages #29 Conflagration

To scorch the earth
requires, firstly, a match
to spark the conflagration.
In it’s wake a monochrome
palette of ashes; the static
of a black and white television.
The white noise of silence
mistaken for a perpetual
round of applause.
Except you burned the memory
of why you did it in the first place.