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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


measuring the step
with her chin -
the blind dog

- Andrew Burke

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hadow/Stuart Short Story Competition closes JUNE 1st

The FAWWA Hadow/Stuart Short Story Competition is closing
Monday, June 1st 2015
Last chance to enter your stories!!
First prize: $400
Second Prize: $100
Plus 2 Highly Commended prizes up for grabs: $50 each
For more information on how to enter 
go to our
or contact us
Phone: 08 9384 4771
Many Thanks,

Jazz Dinner in Canberra

Bookings on 6248 5538 or email Jaye and Katie at
Dinner at new time of 6.00; music starts at 7.30; non-eating seats can be booked but eating keeps the Gods in business. Please note: special dietary requirement requests, e.g. gluten-free. can be sent to the Gods ahead of time to ensure satisfaction. There is always a vegetarian option and I've asked Jaye to have a lower cost option on the menu as well e.g. about $22.

Admission: $22/$15 conc.

Donate to Doctors Without Borders

Responding To Medical Emergencies    

Dear Friend,

With escalating violence and instability in many countries where we work, our resources are being stretched to the limit.

Médecins Sans Frontières’ field teams in Yemen, Syria, Gaza and South Sudan have set up mobile clinics to provide internally displaced families with access to expert medical care.

Our teams are providing emergency surgeries to patients affected by conflict and delivering psychosocial care in the aftermath of trauma.

When the Ebola outbreak occurred in West Africa, we were ready and able to send emergency response teams to treat patients and help contain the spread.

And we were able to respond quickly to natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and, more recently, the devastating earthquakes in Nepal.

But we need your help. Please send a gift today so we can continue to deliver emergency medical assistance to patients when they need it most.
Your generous gift will help Médecins Sans Frontières keep operating where other organisations cannot - whether we’re treating mothers and babies, patients suffering from deadly diseases and other medical emergencies, or people devastated by war or natural disasters.

Within days of the first earthquake in Nepal, more than 80 tonnes of cargo sent from Médecins Sans Frontières’ warehouses arrived in Kathmandu, including equipment to construct an inflatable field hospital.

Our teams are running mobile clinics by helicopter, visiting remote villages in the mountains north of Kathmandu to provide consultations and distribute tonnes of shelters, hygiene materials and cooking equipment. With the monsoon season approaching, we’re worried that the window of opportunity to reach people in these areas is rapidly closing.

Please donate today so we can continue to provide medical humanitarian aid to people in desperate need of our care and respond quickly to emergencies like the recent earthquakes in Nepal.

Warm regards, 
Paul McPhun
Executive Director
Médecins Sans Frontières Australia

Building Bolero -- The Queensland Symphony Orchestra Moves to South Bank

One of my favourite pieces of music. Anybody else remember Albie Thoms film of the same name? Wonderful!

Geelong Poetry Anthology - SUBMIT NOW

Call for Submissions for a Poetry Anthology

First Call: Now to 3oth June
(Early Submissions encouraged)


At the meeting on 23rd May '15 I spoke about this idea.
Last year we had a Poetry Competition with 12 'Winners' and more than 60 poems entered. We undertook to provide the opportunity for publication but the Annual Anthology was for 'Memoir'.
We will now do a Poetry Anthology to include work from 12 winners and open to both the other entrants and all others in our GW contacts who want to send us Poetry for possible publication.
Maurice Alexander, Secretary, Geelong Writers
Important Note:
This publication will be as well as our Annual Anthology. The call for submissions with details of requirements will be sent to this same group but there will be 2 different e-mail addresses to submit your writing to.

Guidelines for E-mail submissions (all submissions by e-mail to following e-mail address)

E-mail Address:
Form: Attachment as a ‘Word’ document.
Contact details (to be included in both attachment & body of e-mail):
Name; Postal address; E-mail address; Phone no(s).
Writer’s Bio. -(To be attached as a separate ‘Word’ document:) Limit 100 words Please include your name in document name e.g. Jane Blogs Bio
Preferred formatting
(Except poems if alternate format is artistically important)
MARGIN: ‘normal’ in word.
FONT: Times New Roman 12pt
PARAGRAPHS: Left aligned; first line indented
HEADINGS: Standard 1 to 3 only

Subjects and Themes:

Our working title will be "A People's Poetry" and it will be a Geelong Writers Publication.
Suggestions: Poems that tell of you as person with connection to Geelong as place, people, past history, politics, society etc.
Alternate Title and themes: Joys of (Poetry) Writing.

So all Poets be inspired send your work early for consideration!


Copyright © 2015 Geelong Writers, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a Geelong Writers Inc member

Our mailing address is:
Geelong Writers
PO Box 1306
Geelong, Victoria 3220

Monday, May 25, 2015

Love’s Philosophy by Percy Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river  
And the rivers with the ocean,  
The winds of heaven mix for ever  
With a sweet emotion;  
Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine  
In one another’s being mingle—  
Why not I with thine?  
See the mountains kiss high heaven,  
And the waves clasp one another;
No sister-flower would be forgiven  
If it disdain’d its brother;  
And the sunlight clasps the earth,  
And the moonbeams kiss the sea—  
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?

- Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1792 - 1822

(Such a beautiful poem.)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

This touches my heart

A western lowland gorilla baby named Mjukuu, born in October last year, rides on the back of his mother Mbeli at Taronga zoo in Sydney, Australia

Friday, May 22, 2015

Rochford St Review: David Brooks' OPEN HOUSE (UQP)

A Place Where You Can Bring Things Together: Andrew Burke reviews ‘Open House’ by David Brooks

Open House by David Brooks, UQP 2015.
open house david brrokes

There are many themes in David Brooks new book Open House, many values of love, many heart felt convictions, many parables and narratives. The collection’s cohesion is the poet’s voice, borne out of colloquial language, stated in an intimate cadence and brought together by true conviction.
The main theme of the collection is man’s cruelty to animals. And this animal kingdom encompasses every living creature – from slugs to elephants. Mankind should live at peace with all creatures. As Francis Ponge once wrote: We only have to lower our standard of dominating nature, and to raise our standard of participating in it, in order to make this reconciliation take place.
Even though some poems here are polemical, they are not blunt force instruments. The poems are persuasive and thoughtful, sharing a belief with the reader rather than wielding language like a bludgeon. But I am saying too much of what they are not: here is an example of what they are – from the poem ‘Phasmid':
They call them Phasmatidae, I think, the genus,
though I might well be wrong;
the species I simply cannot trace: small
stick-like insects so perfectly disguised
you’d think them a part of a eucalypt until,
the wind or some sudden
disturbance of the leaves dislodging them, they fall
onto something not their colour. Match-length
scrolls of bark, they could be, though looking more closely
you think something more delicate, utterly.
Three more verses expand on the theme until this last verse:
The next day the car was gone
and the creature also from my mind until,
driving in again, a few days later still,
and getting out of the car, I saw her
lying less than a metre from me, her hind-part
just crushed by my driver’s-side wheel.
I picked her up, of course, and buried her beneath
the tree from which I’ve always thought she came
and since then, for eleven years or more, I’ve
wondered what could be their name.
One of the great strengths of Brooks style is his clarity of vision. When poetry in English was polluted by faux philosophy and stylistic filigree in the late 19th century, Pound and Eliot et al went to Eastern poetry for a cure – the image was at the heart of the new poetry, the sharp image transporting emotions from the poet to the reader via the page. We hardly notice such a technique in our contemporary poetry until it is used in an exceptionally excellent manner – or the reverse. Here Brooks uses the clarity of the senses to paint pictures which carry vibrant thoughts without force or flippancy.
Almost always there is something
flickering on the edge of our attention, like someone
at the back of a crowd, trying to catch our eye.
Sometimes it delivers its message, some-
times in doesn’t.
…………..This last three months or so
there has been a long row of pumpkins
in a farmer’s field, running parallel to the highway …
Five verses of meditation on pumpkins later, Pumpkins on the Koper Road ends with these lines:
The mystical significance of pumpkins quite
escapes me. But maybe that’s the point: that it’s
one of the businesses of things to go, one of
the businesses of poets to try to hold them.
A simple imagistic poem follows, August:
No wind, and yet
a flock of tiny
to the road like leaves.
Some of these small poems lie in the text like a pause for breath, both physical and thoughtful. There are love poems here, and a small amount of elegies, and some poems near the end of the collection focussed on our relationship with sheep – ‘Reading to the Sheep’ is a delightful poem, prompting many trains of thought (see Emery Brook’s launch speech for more). The Lambs carries much weight in its approach to lambs and sheep as used for tales in the Bible – Brooks’s reading is rich and thoughtful:
and a reminder too, that ‘sacrifice’
means to make sacred: it’s all
to do with lambs, rams, ewes and wethers, it seems to me,
not God,
a way to justify a choice of food
we know to be cruel beyond measure
but for which we nevertheless continue to hanker, though
not just that but – back to the tales – the curious way in
read carefully, we find they admit to it all …
Open House ‘is a place where you can bring things together’, as David Brooks says about poems in one poem. It’s a healthy size at over 150 pages and a multi-level collection, beautifully written
with its own intimate tones echoing long after you have put it down.
– Andrew Burke
Andrew Burke has been writing and publishing in Australia and beyond since the 60s. He holds a PhD from Edith Cowan University, and his current titles from Walleah Press are Undercover of Lightness (2012) and One Hour Seeds Another (2014) Burke blogs at

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to write a Cover Letter: Ploughshares

You’ve written and revised your story, essay, or poem. The hard part is over, and now it’s time to send out your work. Don’t let something as simple as a cover letter trip you up.

Here are a few tips on writing a great cover letter.
Don’t forget! Submissions for our Emerging Writer’s Contest close this Friday, May 22, at 12 noon EST. The winning story, essay, and poems from the 2015 contest will be published in the Winter 2015-16 issue of Ploughshares, and each writer will receive $1,000.

Submit online today!