words

A Read More

Affirmation

If he’d had more space, he would have added another line.As it was, the size of the first line pretty much dictated how large the […]

C Read More

Cool

There was uproar in the morning. Her brother burned the breakfast, and she left, slamming the door so hard she heard the framed photo of […]

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Punishment

Her daddy smoked Camels, and mommy smoked Pall Malls. All the mommies smoked Pall Malls. Camels smelled different. “You give her too much,” her grandma […]

F Read More

Fascination

She said she liked his dog, but it was really about Albert. They hadn’t spoke, but she would hover nearby, watching his assurance and easy […]

B Read More

Birthday

Philip woke up on his twenty-eighth birthday alone. It wasn’t unusual. He had a deep fear of relationships, and a sense of personal inadequacy his […]

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A label should not save you

Summer in Australia includes the Christmas season, and I was finishing up work with several clients’ horses. That time of year saw owners pulling into […]

L Read More

Last time

Her father came into her room for the last time. Charlotte filled a tin with crackers, stuffed her sister’s ragdoll, Lady Wintermere, down her underpants, […]

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Cleaning house

Her pregnancy test was positive, but he drew the line. He would not go back east. “And give up all this?” he shouted as they […]

B Read More

Broken heart

Sometimes you must sit down and make a mental list of all the things that are wrong, then realize those things are parts of a […]

F Read More

First date

His nostrils froze the moment he left his mother’s, and discovered her neighbor with a red hat and red nose stuck halfway into the road. […]

N Read More

Nights without planes

Like JFK, or the man on the moon, September 11, 2001 is the event people will share with you where they were when they heard […]

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Let’s make America great again

Harry McShane, 134 Broadway, Cincinnati. Sixteen years of age on June 29, 1908. Had his left arm pulled off near shoulder, and right leg broken […]

E Read More

Empty space

Somebody I knew died today. His body was found near a friend, who also died in the early hours of the morning. The two were […]

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One snowy Saturday

It was that kind of afternoon. Paul rolled out his dirty jokes to offend Eli, who played indignation with panache. Albert edged each sidewalk, and […]

F Read More

For my dad

I was 21, and teetering between originality and influence. I was an art student, and that was just about the right place to be. Even […]

L Read More

Love letter to America

America, I don’t know where to put my anger. Sunday night I saw something just posted about the Orlando shootings, and Monday morning, I woke […]

T Read More

Typical

It happened one evening in 1957. Officer Andrew Wesley was in the car when the call came in. “Elderly woman complaining she had a break-in,” the […]

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Addie

Born the last of ten, Addie is the sixth to survive. Married at 17, she will miscarry five times. A travelling salesman steals her heart […]

B Read More

Beloved ones

I’m doing two loads more of laundry here on the weekend, hoping both will be done in time so they will dry on the line. […]

L Read More

Looking for Iowa

It was probably 15 years ago. Route 9 across Iowa, and the rolling expanse of corn and soybean fields gave way to the necklace of […]

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Fish

I know somebody close to me who once carried his life around in a plastic grocery bag. The kind of bags found blowing feral across […]

T Read More

The legacy of childish things

One 1970s afternoon in my early years at St Giles School, a film projector was wheeled into the classroom, and we saw a movie I […]

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Journey

I turned 46 in December, and on my dresser is a little tiger I was given more than 40 years ago. On a wardrobe in […]

B Read More

Boy of steel

“But don’t forget who’s taking you home, and in whose arms you’re gonna be.” Community announcements, Ford Fiesta for sale, a missing dalmatian with liver […]

I Read More

It’s all right

I was re-watching some of the first season of Mad Men tonight. The final episode is titled The Wheel, where Peggy makes a life-changing discovery, […]

E Read More

Evolution of love

My relationship to horses has changed, and it has not changed. As the magic of Christmas deserts an adult in a way they can never […]

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A tale for our time

Alice was a small, brown haired girl with two older sisters, one in community college, the other a senior in high school, and a younger […]

S Read More

So if you want to debate gun control…

Those who hold court in the forum of gun control and gun violence might be defined by power, horror, truth, fear, strength, rage, ignorance.  But […]

R Read More

Reflections on being a regional journalist

A few months ago, I sat down to interview World War II veteran Keith Anderson and his wife in their Inverell home. It was on my […]

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Role model

The little girls look up to her, and her talent. She knew how to sit quietly, patiently, for the time it took Mum to make up […]

M Read More

Mindfulness

When I was a child, I used to use my trusty 110 camera with its wrist strap, to capture space in a photograph. I would cycle down […]

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I’ll leave the light on

I am wondering what would happen if Australia did raise its annual refugee total from about 13,750  to beyond 20,000 or 30,000 or even more. […]

S Read More

Shepherdess

The ticking, ticking was uneven. She lay and breathed with the ticks, but they came quickly made her chest hurt.  Then a scurrying and she […]

H Read More

Hollow hopes

To her, everything seemed possible that day. Optimism glowed in her eyes, and when she left the shop, the owner felt more positive about young […]

N Read More

New job

Her mom’s is in a nursing home and nobody has the money. Eileen’s been out of work for two years, but Jana found her a […]

S Read More

Solid

She is top in her class, and gets guff about it from the other kids, but she ignores them. She runs faster than the fastest […]

C Read More

Children in a cage

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The House of the Dead , 1862 Prisoners have better […]

T Read More

Throw the logic out with the bathwater

Why does anybody really think more guns will mean fewer deaths? I mean, really. More cars mean more accidents, more mouths to feed mean more […]

W Read More

What is liberty?

I was pretty excited to learn that a second book by Harper Lee will be released this year. No matter how Go Set a Watchman […]

A Read More

A wonderful gift

My camera is acting up again, and tonight, in an attempt to clean it, I accidentally smudged the CMOS sensor with grease or something. I’m […]

L Read More

List: what do we argue about when it comes to horses?

I have just written a short essay on how we can overlook the needs of our horse when it comes to our own ambitions. Those […]

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Why can’t we talk about horses like human beings? Oh wait…

Many people say, you probably won’t meet anybody as opinionated as a horse person, and I’m inclined to agree. I’d even go so far as […]

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What the heck, Beatrix?

I took a late lunch on Tuesday and walked over to the library to return a few books. On my way, I met a friend […]

B Read More

Biography

Born at the wrong time. Her father was last hired, first fired. Her mother was flattened by postpartum depression. They found their feet when she […]

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Wanderlust

Night crickets shimmering outside my car in Idaho, the wind buffeting my tent in New Mexico at Angel Rock or mosquitoes pinging off the tent […]

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Christmas in Australia

Besides the heat, the landscapes, leagues of people headed to the beach, cricket on the television instead of football, kangaroos outside instead of squirrels, I […]

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Racism and me

I need to start out by saying, I think there is a pitfall in being a white person and writing an essay about race. Some […]

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Quiet love

The last time I celebrated Christmas in the United States was 2002. My parents travelled to my Wabaunsee, Kansas home and we had a memorable […]

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Runaway

For a few minutes, the vaulted ceiling of the station, the kind light, made her feel everything would be all right. If she made it […]

B Read More

Backing off the precipice

When the spots were whirling in front of my eyes, and the whole room began spinning, I should have guessed something was up. With me, […]

O Read More

Old friends

“Where is the bus?” Rita said. Anya was busy studying the new iPad her son had bought her for her birthday. The internet eluded her, […]

W Read More

What a horse can teach you

This is the only photo I have with me and a filly that taught me something about horses I will never forget. Every horse I […]

G Read More

Gaze of love

All Johann could think about was that wink he got from Sally, the coolest turtle on the rock. Last week, he had ventured all the […]

T Read More

The day that changed everything

Iris’s father said he would be right back. Said to wait for him outside the restrooms, and the entire family sat and waited, and waited. […]

L Read More

Learning about my apathy

A visit to the kill floor of a local abattoir last week has left me with some questions about myself, and what moves me. I […]

M Read More

Moment

It was the end of the night, and he had been working up his nerve all evening. She said no.

O Read More

Ode to a veteran

I have never viewed myself as a woman who would feel at home in a room full of ageing veterans, but it might be one […]

B Read More

Best laid plans

It’s Saturday and I have the entire weekend now shimmering before me with hours of promise. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s 9.21am and so […]