We do it to ourselves

Cherry

Boxes, bags, and butterflies

They come in boxes, between the twilight, and the dawn. Easy to move with a fork lift, two or three for each return trip up and down the ramp, as...
Cherry

Papa's Watch

When she saw what I had done, my mother peered through the bars of her bony fingers and wailed. It was as if I had killed and pinned a giant rat to...
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The Producers

First in the chorus line, for a heartbeat, he danced a bossa nova, then flopped to the boards, spent, red - blooms - slow - ly un - furl - ing. And...
Gold cherry

TV Dinners (Boy with a Kalashnikov)

Tonight I devoured a chicken jalfrezi. Five and a half minutes – FULL POWER. Watched by a brown eyed matchstick legged boy with dust whitened knees...
Cherry

Let us pray for the clever people

Near midnight, I was listening to the clever people on television. After a while I thought, thank God for these clever people. Where would we be...
Cherry

Union Street Liberation

Camouflage carefully applied to eyes and lips, they patrol in liberated groups, sticking to the bright lights and the noise. Armed with Jaeger Bombs...
Cherry

A & E (Biology Lesson)

‘Now Arthur, you can’t smoke in here,’ they said, before they left him on his own, slumped in the wheelchair with the canvas seat, brakes on, faded...
Cherry

The Ants in the Acacia Tree (Benjamin’s Aria)

Part 1 (Cavatina) Beneath the shade of the lone acacia tree the man in the car-tyre shoes wishes for a cigarette, but settles for Khat, chewing the...

Knights of the Road

In our empire we go to war over the slightest thing: each morning donning armour over the undergarments of our self-importance. Rousing horses from...
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Cherry

The Business Dinner at the Waterhole of Reality

When the sun set, the crocodiles and the wildebeest met in restaurant intimacy to celebrate their continued survival. The crocodiles, quietly...

The Itinerant

He is there with the cuckoo, rough-hewn like the bark of the oak, world slung recklessly from his shoulder, gathered in tight canvas. From farm to...
Cherry

49 no reasons

dull eyed blue lipped cold lard puffed white chest forty-nine perfect perforations forty-nine cadmium red lozenges counted recorded brain (one point...
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Living in my brother's house

My brother reads my diary, the oil from his fingertips, is smeared across the page; his eyes have stolen the secrecy of the words. I know; my...
Cherry

The Almond Tree and the Almond Gatherers

They come prepared with sticks and blankets, while your new shadow reaches out across terracotta earth. Chattering, laughing, bubbling like a...
Cherry

Epiphany

No door, no windows, no roof, no bell, the minister is evicted. Hymn board, pews, altar too, spirited away in the night by creaking cart or hunched...
Cherry

The Settlers

Apologies. I try to stay detached in what I write. And I do not believe ABC should be a political soapbox. But sometimes I think enough is enough and...
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Cherry

Remain kneeling...

The frog in the pond, the bird in its nest. We have our places . The soldier ant, the worker bee. We have our roles. Footballer, artist, train driver...

Youth Mourns / Last Post

Duffy’s clock ran backwards, sucked the bullets from the wounds. Youth wailed her grief into the unforgiving earth, If only. If only. If only.
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The eight-til-late man

We lock ourselves in at night, afraid of losing our things, afraid for our lives. All day we work hard to collect things. All night we work hard to...
Cherry

Petal

Cold night spits a seed, brittle air sings, a poppy unfurls. A petal falls, upon the mat, makes the woman stoop in wonder, not knowing a leaf has...

Salt and Vinegar

I succumb to the electric crackle of an empty crisp packet bunched in my fist, knowing the story is only half told - completion demands the clench is...
Gold cherry

Jackanory

Jackanory They say the story’s always there before it’s told, like a wedding dress in the window of a second hand shop. Even on the swings I saw his...