The spirited are a windsock responding to voices from all quarters.

Windsock by lumpi; Voice by Nicky Arscott
Illustration “Windsock & Voice” by the author [full attribution of elements below]


Having reached its zenith, even the sun seemed to find the day too hot to keep moving, for it loitered long, glaring indecently through the sparse foliage.

What had appeared from a distance to be promising relief for a solitary bushwalker, turned out to be meanly deceptive as he searched for an adequate patch of shade. …

Image by: Amy Scott — Director, Sedulous

Silos are good for storing grain, but not opinions

ANZAC Day is the day on which Australians gather to remember our war dead. The following is the occasional address, introduced by the Masters of Ceremony, given during the pre-recorded online ANZAC Day service in Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia in 2020 (the Year of Covid 19, when there were no public services anywhere in the country).

Master of Ceremonies 1
In 1914 we went to war in support of an empire to preserve white Australia. …

Stan was bewildered and sceptical. Now he’s vindicated but disappointed — and resolute in response.

Maggie and Stan

Paintings and poems and the like stand — or not — on their merits. Many such works are responses to previous compositions*. It is not necessary, however, to be familiar with an earlier work to adequately appreciate the latter. This very short story, in the form of a letter, has a back story — a book of 406 pages. Someone had to give Stan a voice, and to do so in a way that reflects his (lack of?) eloquence.

Hey Maggie —

Yeah… Hey

Way back before the internet and online gaming there was a game, the name of which now escapes me, that people played in a group, in which pairs of people traded with each other. As one person in each pair lost the 'survivors' traded with oneanother until there was only one person left with all the money. On one occasion I disrupted the game as it neared two thirds of its course and triggered the compulsory acquisition of all wealth and distributed it evenly and began the game again. There was still only one winner, but more importantly, the people knocked out on the first round in the first game were knocked out in the first round of the second game (I was one of them - so, beware incompetent ideologues, eh?). I know that doesn't answer your question. But it demonstrates the 'truth' of the 'great man's' assertion.

Out of silence into self-determination

Bliss Bombs
“Lollie Jars” by Doug Beckers is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Author’s note 1: No words were harmed in the production of these poemelles. All apparent mis-spellings are instances of intentional wordfusion (less delinquent than confusion; more effective than cold fusion), some of which came to me while I was experimenting with fission — angling for dinner.

Author’s note 2: I was once in a large group exhibition under the pseudonym Pam Tsu-lih. I purported to to have been through the Cultural Revolution and to be living as a recluse on Magnetic Island. The point of the exercise was to deceive one of the local art…

One of sixteen gift wraps made for an exhibition of cards posters and wraps.

Cartoon Corner
Image by the author

I have recently become aware of the practice on Medium of Prompting. Someone makes a suggestion and others respond. This is a very vigorous activity among poets and people who write poetry (a distinction I draw so that I can publish poems without presuming to be a poet.) This post is an unsolicited response to a poem, In my Sacred Space, by Mark Tulin. When I saw his illustration I simply could not resist sharing the image here with readers, Mark in particular.

The image is…

Killing two birds with one stone and getting rich for my trouble

Did someone say birds
“Gambling cat” by gchampeau is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Did you hear about the bloke who’s suing a casino for the $30 Million dollars they let him throw at them? Gosh! I hope he gets his money back. But on one condition: that he gives 30 artists a million dollars each. Why? Well, if can throw that much money away he obviously doesn’t need it; and it will cure him of his gambling addiction. I promise. Sue me if I’m wrong. How do I know I’m right? Think about it. What do you become when you give…

The vital question. Our common lot.

Decaying into transcendence
Photo by AdamKR is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

How remarkable it is to live; and yet
how little notice we take, at first,
of things that later make us fear and hope
for answers we cannot supply ourselves –

until we realise we haven’t asked
the question most embedded in our lives:
instead of Who am I we ask Why Me.

Elan vital* unfolds to lavish each
with opportunities to reach beyond
familiar strategies and grasp the whole
of life as one definitive event

in which one’s fate is quite beside the point –
the falling of a leaf that must decay
without the…

… we are surprised

Vines of Rampant Temper
Photo by the author

Once or twice in a lifetime
- no more than three times, four at the most –
the world assumes a mysterious aspect,
such as recently, in the dry tropics,
when La Nina made a rare and lengthy stay,
and all was green for months and years,
and her allure gave nature license
to throw off habitual limitations

so that shapes not known to science
confounded eyes
that scorned the evidence
of archetypal forms
and saw no more than vines
of rampant temper
smothering their hosts
in murderous suicide.

Such, it is said, is the sorry…

Paul Smith

Every thing is everything.

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