Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final Edition of Calamity's Corner 

Sad to say this is be the last edition of Calamity's Corner. I'll miss not receiving the bright little magazine each month.
Calamity has again suggested Christmas reading and buying, many of the books in the magazine which have been reviewed and their authors interviewed during the four and a half years of Calamity's Corner's existence.
Now is your last chance to read LJ Roberts' book review column and movie reviews by Gabriela and Sheryl.
For one who likes travelling, I was always interested in Travel News. One of my favourite cities is featured in this last edition: Paris.  
Always fond of animals, I loved Pet of the Month and some of the unusual animals featured. This month is no exception with young Cailyn from NSW Australia holding a pet carpet snake.
Jacquie Rogers has always been there with her interesting Blast from the Past tidbits.
Best of luck to Ted, Calamity's husband, who had to be rushed to hospital for a life saving operation. He is now back as good as new in the safe loving arms of Calamity.
Now to end on a personal note. I loved reading about Stefan, the hero of The Unhewn Stone and his struggles with the evil sibyl. Happiness Guaranteed, a chilling sci-fi short and the happy Billy the Bonsai Bull.
I look forward to A Summer Squall in March 13.
Farewell Calamity's Corner. I will miss you.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ballad of the Sad Losers

I wrote Ballad of the Sad Losers after I'd been to one of her concerts. She is a wonderful singer. Such a full rich voice.
Ballad of the Sad Losers 

When Margret Roadnight came to town
Old Jimmy Cowman remembered
how he was going to be
the greatest jazz player in the world.
Play that sax, Jimmy
play them Blues.
He was Satchmo 

When Margret Roadnight came to town
She sang a song of the fifties.
Little Nancy Dee remembered
dancing with Johnnie Jones
to the old seventy-eights
Jimmy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. 

When Margret Roadnight left town
She took her songs with her.
Old Jimmy Cowman sat upon his porch.
He didn't see the crop that was failing.
Little Nancy Dee wept
remembering the night
Johnnie Jones waltzed out of her life
in the arms of her best friend. 

When Margret Roadnight left town
She took their dreams with her.
Buy print book from
Three children try to save a creek from the developers and are helped by a great goanna. Children 7-11 years.


Monday, November 26, 2012

I wrote this short story after seeing a painting with a outback woman and a child whose job it was to close the gates at the railroad crossing before the weekly train came through.
Waiting for the Train 

Minna found the three bobtail goannas among the cartons of empty cans and rubbish stacked at the back of the yard.
She placed them in the separate races she'd built from the broken stones which she'd carted from the tumbledown house at the end of the road.
The goannas refused to move. Minna prodded one. It opened its mouth and showed its blue tongue.
Suddenly the goanna at the far side took off, waddling furiously on its short legs.
"You'll be last." Minna warned the defiant one, still mouthing its rage and fear.
The goanna in the middle race scrambled over the dividing wall of broken stone.
"Naughty." Minna scolded as she put the creature back behind the others in punishment. "You have to keep in your race."
The goannas were moving nicely now. The defiant one caught up with the other two. "Come on," Minna cried to it. "You can win."
 The goannas reached the end of the race lanes and scuttled to safety among the wooden boxes, forty-four-gallon fuel drums and empty kerosene tins at the back of the yard.
"Minna," her mother called from the verandah. "Can you see the train?"
Minna climbed the peppercorn tree and stared southwards across the flat treeless plain in the direction whence the train came. "No, Mumma."
Minna's mother closed the gates at the rail crossing when the trains came through. It was her father's job but usually he was out rabbit trapping or kangaroo shooting or doing a bit of fencing for a pastoralist. Minna and her mother closed the gates even when he was home. 
The train arrived every two weeks at the little railway siding. There weren't many goods to unload. "We only buy the basics," said one of the pastoralist's wives, who came in with her husband to pick up the station supplies, told Minna's mother.
Read the rest of the story on my site at
Download the Rainbow Children at

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cry of My Country

 I wrote this poem for a friend of mine and didn't intend to publish it. She was English and belonged to the Edward Thomas Society when she lived in England. She was shocked when I said I had never heard of Edward Thomas let alone read his poetry. She leant me a book of his poetry. As I read I realised how different her growing up in England was to my childhood in Australia. In her old age, she was perhaps filled with memories of her childhood.

Edward Thomas was one of the doomed World War 1 poets. He was killed in action, Arras, France, on Easter Monday, 9th April, 1917. 

Cry of my country.
              To Eileen Turle 

She said
Have you read Edward Thomas
and lent me a book
of his poetry. 

He spoke of English things
Of meadowsweet
the first primrose
the blackbird song at evening
and English lanes
green and white in their season.
These things she remembered. 

My road runs wide and long.
Through the shimmering heat
The red dust dances
beyond the horizon
and from a Tallerack
by the creek
comes the harsh call of a crow.

Buy a print copy from
Emma Napier helped her friend escape an unwelcome marriage. Then she met Lord Desborough, a handsome young rake, who was looking for a temporary wife. He thought Emma was the perfect choice. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A Cat Named Ginger

What part does a cat play in a relationship?

Gordon Smith lived on fried eggs, sausages, chips and a myriad of tinned food after Irene, his wife, died. He dreamt of the dumpling stews, roast lamb and the cakes Irene seemed to produce so effortlessly.
He couldn't believe his luck when he met Gladys Dobson, a bright-faced woman like Irene and like her, perhaps too pudgy around the hips but he liked a woman with a bit of padding and discovered besides being a widow, she was a renowned cook.
He inveigled an invitation to afternoon tea at their third meeting. When he arrived at Rose Cottage and saw the luscious cake bedecked with cream, strawberries and chocolate shavings she'd created, he thought here was the woman for him.
Cakes were Gladys's specialty. Each concoction seemed to outdo the other.
Gordon drooled over the large portion of Strawberry Hazelnut Gateau with lush strawberries nesting in cream which Gladys set before him. He dug into a serving and demolished it with relish and eagerly accepted another helping.
Gladys invited him to pop in whenever he was passing. "You're so thin," she said, her eyes large and sympathetic.
Gordon had always been thin. In spite of the fried eggs, sausages and chips, he hadn't gained any weight.
He called at Rose Cottage the next day, vaguely giving the reason he was on his way to the shopping centre and wondered if Gladys wanted anything.
She welcomed him with a wide smile. "You must have a cup of Earl Grey tea and a vanilla slice which I've just finished icing first."
He didn't need any persuading and accepted gladly.
Read rest of short story at
Buy in print Cats in a Dreamspell anthology of short stories
Download Cats in a Dreamspell from

Friday, October 12, 2012

Summers in the Heart

There is nothing like summer in Australia especially for the young. I lived in a large country town which the Avon River flowed through. The school holidays, seven weeks then, seemed to last forever. I hope you loved your summers as much as I did. 

Summers in the Heart 

Taking leave of reality
I found the boat at the river. 

A switch in time
And I was back
where the sun never sets in summer. 

Sand water sky
Drifting in the borrowed boat
I found again
the lightness of being.

Buy a copy of The Battle of Boodicuttup Creek from
Three children try to save a creek for the water birds. Suitable for children 5 -11

Monday, October 8, 2012

Young men should be wary of girls who invite them home to their castles. 

The Vampire Girls  

 Mayga took her phone out of her bag, pressed a few numbers then held the phone to her ear as she said to her cousin, Eliane, "I better let Vlad know we'll be home this weekend. I hope he doesn't have any of his greenie friends around like he did last weekend. We lived on soybean patties and a vegetarian combination. I was dying for a juicy rare steak."
"I liked the herbed sunflower seed loaf that Cameron made. He looked so healthy with that red blood pulsing through his veins.” Eliane rolled her eyes and ran her tongue over her sharp little white teeth.  “He and I spent a lot of time together. Vlad was so difficult about it.”
“Darling, you had Cameron trapped in your bedroom all weekend. No wonder Vlad was difficult. He wanted Cameron to stake the beans but don’t worry about Vlad. Oh, Vlad, darling,” Mayga said, speaking into her mobile. “It’s Mayga. I’m just letting you know that Eliane and I will be bringing two friends home this weekend.”
“I’m not going to be a party to you and Eliane seducing any innocent young men,” Vlad yelled. “I had enough of it last weekend.”
Mayga held the phone away from her ear. “How do you know our friends are men, darling?” holding the phone to her ear again.
“When have you or Eliane ever had a girlfriend?”
“Those two weren’t so innocent.” Mayga pulled a face at Eliane and mouthed, he’s going to be difficult. “I’d only known Darren ten minutes and he had his hand up my skirt.”
You'll find the rest of the story on
Buy a print copy of Murder Among the Roses from
Detective Matt Allenby investigates a murder in Taylors Crossing then finds he is falling in love with one of his suspects

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Calamity's Corner October

Check out October's Calamity's Corner. Email Calamity at for a free downloaded copy.
Author of the Month is Edith Parzefall. Her new thriller, Strays of Rio, brings a new dimension to the street kids and drug gangs who inhabit the back streets of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Edith wasn't content just to read about the gangs, she travelled to Rio and explored the pavelas, visited a local school and a street kids project to gain firsthand experience.
Some of the situations Edith wrote about with these deprived children of the streets makes one want to rage against the unfairness of how these children are treated.
Strays of Rio is a book everyone with any compassion should read.
The book is available from Kindle Books and MuseItUp Publishing
How well do you know your movies?
Do you know who got the part of Dirty Harry but injured his hand and was replaced by Clint Eastwood?
Now is the time to discover whether you know this and other pert questions by checking Quick Quiz.
Two delightful small animals from the Berlin Zoo are Pets of the Month. Calamity doesn't know their name. Can you help out?
Do you want to see yourself featured in Calamity's Corner?
Send in a movie review or present your favourite city or holiday destination?
There's plenty to read in Calamity's Corner. A sparkling magazine for people with shared interests in books, places, films and leisure pursuits.
Download Substitute Bride from
Miss Emma Napier helps her friend, Abby, escape an unwanted marriage. On her way to London, Emma meets Lord Desborough who is looking for a temporary wife. He thinks Emma is the perfect choice.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

On Dark Afternoons

Writing On Dark Afternoons, brought back memories of my grandparents farm near Caron, West Australia and where I used to spend most of my school holidays. The second verse is one of my memories of them among many others. Grandma would cut a slice of the hot bread just taken from the oven. I'd spread it with butter and the light as thistledown bread, melted butter would dissolve in my mouth.

The poem has had a considerable publishing history. I'm glad to publish it here again on my blog and website.

Northern Perspective - another literary magazine which has folded.
Pixel Papers - stopped publishing
Anthologies - Moving Out, Moving On 
The Ink Drinkers
The Japanese Grandmother

I read about a woman
Wandering along grassy banks
on dark afternoons
seeking her past. 

In my mind, I see them.
My grandparents in that house
Of bush timber.
He smoked a pipe
while she kneaded dough
and set it
wrapped in a blanket
by the fire to rise. 

The dusk sweeps
Gently at my window
as in my mind
I travel from town
to farm and back again.
And the night grows darkly
by my door.
Download The Japanese Grandmother from
Anthology of short stories and poetry. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Wolf and the Riding Hoods

The Wolf and the Riding Hoods has been published in The West Australian Newspaper, Scripsit, In Perspective, The Ink Drinkers and The Japanese Grandmother. I hope you enjoy it. 


Twins, Catalina and Philippa, were on their way through the stretch of bush between their house and their grandparents' farm.
"Do you think we'll meet a wolf?" Catalina asked as she jumped from log to log.
"We might." Philippa put down the basket their mother had packed beside one of the fallen logs. The log had settled across two larger ones and formed a nice little bridge.
The girls walked along its narrow surface, their arms outstretched, hands spread, balancing.            

Arthur drove along the slushy track, wet from the morning's rain, looking for Leggatt's farm. He wondered if their bit of insurance was worth going out of his way. Rounding a bend in the road, he saw ahead of him, two little figures clad in red raincoats and hats, walking along a fallen log. He stopped when he reached them.
"Hi, there, chicks," he called, grinning as he wound down the window. Though he was nearing sixty, Arthur liked to keep up with what he thought was the latest jargon of the younger set. 
The girls stared at him then said in unison, "Hello."
Arthur switched off the engine. "Where are you going?"
"We’re going to see grandma,” one of the little girls said.
“Where does your grandma live?”
“She lives in a house on the other side of the forest.” She pointed to the track behind her which led into the forest. “We’re having a sleepover with her and granddad tonight.”
Arthur’s eyes, set in a pudgy red face, glinted with expectation. “I’ll give you a lift. It’s a long way for two little girls to go by themselves.” He leant over and opened the car door.
The little girls jumped down from the log. One of them picked up a basket. They stood with the log between them and Arthur. 

Download The Rainbow Children from
Short stories suitable for children 4 - 11. Jenny makes friends with the Rainbow Children and has an adventure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Poem - A Life

I've sent this poem out several times to be published but always had it rejected. Perhaps it's too short, doesn't say enough. I've looked at adding to it. But I think it says all I want it to say. What do you think? 

A Life 

She sits in a yellow circle
Of lamp light
working with tiny stitches
on a wall hanging
made of silk and linen
stitching more of her life.

 Buy print book, Wind from Danyari, from
Joe Hennessy builds a sheep station in the north west of Western Australia.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Road to the Cemetery

A tale about how minds can be persuaded. 
A short story. Read the rest on


The two women with four children between them, walked along the lane to the cemetery where Betty's mother, Lena, had been buried four months earlier.
Betty waved the sticky little flies away with the bunch of roses she carried to lay on her mother's grave. "Roy said we should take the car. I told him I wanted to walk. It'll be like a pilgrimage. You know, like going to Mecca." She eased the cloth bag she'd made at the Craft Club on her shoulder. "He wants to rent out mum's cottage but I couldn't bear to see someone else in it. Every time I looked out the back door, mum was there, working in her garden or sitting on her porch doing her cross stitch."
"It was sensible of her to buy the transportable with her superannuation," said Sandra, Betty's best friend.
Betty nodded. “She collected quite a bit of super money too. She spent forty years working in the bar of the Shamrock. She said we’d have the transportable after she went. That’s why she put it in our backyard. She always thought of me and the kids.“
“You were lucky you had her around to baby sit. I wish my mother lived close by instead of in the city.“
“Mum loved looking after the kids. She always said I did her a favour sharing them with her. She was always available except when she was at the Club.“
“She certainly loved her bingo. She was there nearly every day.“
Download Crossroads at Isca at
Two British girls meet two young tribunes from the great Roman fort on the plain and their lives are changed forever,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Heart Upon the Hearth

How farmers and their families feel when drought strikes in Australia from a woman's point of view.
Published - In Perspective December 1993
Published - The Royal Scribe January 2001 

Heart Upon the Hearth 

Like harp strings
play upon the soul.
Women reaching out
in this room of tea and scones
and countrywomen. 

The flames burn brightly
In the morning
Stirring stirring
and the noise of children
leaving for school
and the roar of the tractor
from the shed. 

Black coals reflect my soul.
The tractor is silent
As the earth waits
for rain.
The day draws on
bright sun shining shining
into a house of gloom
the heart of my man
as black as coal. 

I blow
Willing them into life.
A tiny flame of hope
spirals upwards.
I feel the strength there
and women talking talking
giving their strength
the flame grows
as I feed upon the strength
of my sisters.
Download from
Detective Matt Allenby investigates a murder in Taylors Crossing. He finds himself falling in love with one of suspects.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Septermber Calamity's Corner

September Calamity's Corner is now available for download.
For Readers, Writers and Movie Buffs.
Contact for a free download.
James Lockhart Parry is the author of the month. If you like fast moving racy thrillers, James LP is the writer for you. The Messenger is one such book.
Read Ted's movie review Reach for the Sky, the story of Douglas Bader, the English WW2 fighter pilot hero who lost his legs in a plane accident in 1931. I saw the film when it first came out. It was a big movie in its day. One couldn't help but admire Douglas Bader for his courage and tenacity.
Join Aussie traveller, Phillip Skinner, who holidays in Marrakesh, Morocco. His text and many photographs encourage one to save one's money and go there for the next holiday.  

Join the readers of Calamity's Corner and see yourself in print. Suggest a quick quiz of an unusual event or activity.
There is plenty more in Calamity's Corner.

Download Murder Among the Roses from
Detective Matt Allenby investigates a murder and finds himself falling love with one of his suspects.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What Hppaened Between the Elizabethan Galliard and the Wine and Cheese

Read my short story What Happened Between the Elizabethan Galliard and the Wine and Cheese.

Merryn turned into the High Street and pulled her jacket around her as the force of the wind hit her. She wished she'd brought her rain jacket. It looked like rain.

"Hi, Merryn," a voice called.

She stopped and looked over to see Anthony, whom she was madly in love with, sitting on his motorbike outside the Star Café.

She hurried to him, wanting to put her arms around him and nuzzle her face against his.

"Where are you off to?" he asked.

"I'm going to Marjorie's."

"Oh, Marjorie."

She caught the distain in his voice. Marjorie didn't like Anthony either. She glanced at her watch. "I should be there now so I can’t talk long.” She pretended she didn’t care whether she spoke to him or not. Better not let him think she was desperate for his company.

“What about coming to the Devine’s? It will be more interesting than Marjorie. The Devine’s are having one of their musical afternoons. They’ve got this classical guitarist performing?”
Read the complete story on

Download from
The first book in the Walara series about a fictional family who lives on a sheep station in the north west of Australia

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Country of the Lost

Thomas Timothee Vasse from the French explorer Nicolas Baudon's expedition was lost in the surf in Western Australia before the state was settled by the UK government in 1829.
The nearby river and estuary and a town of approx 1300 people was named after the lost seaman.
The poem was published by Western Review and Pixel Press 


If Thomas Timothee Vasse
Of Dieppe
had not drowned in the surf
at Geographe Bay in 1801
but lived
to welcome the Bussells
in 1837
could he have persuaded them
the Nyungar people
were not wandering nomads
but guardians of the land
and had kept the ancient laws
forty thousand years. 

Now the forests are eaten
By wood chipping
the cleared land
turned the rivers to salt
where Nyungar fished
and danced the corroboree
of the hunt
sang of the totem
kangaroo goanna and emu
and the great serpent
which came from the north
carving life-giving waterways
out of the earth mother. 

In thirty years
Of living with the Nyungar
Thomas Timothee Vasse
might have learned
the relationship of the land
     to the people     
         and the people  
               to the land
but the old truths are forgotten
and we, the inheritors
ignore their passing.

 Buy a print copy from
Three children try to save a creek from the developers.