Before our births, void of choice, we became part of the story,
During our lives, with a choice, we can't escape the story,
After death, abandoned choice, the story continues to seep.
- Andrew Mansell


Photo by Lu

Photo by Lu

Look at that boy’s fulsome hair
My receding hairline can’t compare
His glowing eyes like rich blue yolk
Mine as red as a finger poke
Nappy clad clean, his hairless tender skin
Freckles, wrinkles, moles for me are in
He’s full of energy, eager for action
I’ll just sit here with a small fraction
Thoughts of fun, mischief, occupy his mind
Lost opportunity, nostalgia, I do find
Joy and naivety in his unassuming heart
Deceit and disbelief has torn mine apart
For him to consume soft bread is a must
Whereas I nibble and savour the crust
He has much to learn, even more to understand
My remaining brain cells take their last stand
His sole of purity will always be fine
This I know because it is still mine.

Andrew Mansell, June 2013.

The End

Photo by Cameron Grant

Most places, just pass by,
most people, don’t say hi.
Most places, are on the way,
so are most people.

Andrew Mansell, May 2013.

Photo by Simon James 2

Photo by Simon James 2

City Dweller and Bush Brother

Photo by Ed

A city dweller went home to visit his brother who lived in the bush. The city dweller’s shady financial dealings and unpaid debts had led to threats on his life if he didn’t pay up. He hoped over lunch to convince his brother to lend him some money although he knew his brother was doing it tough. For lunch Bush Brother served baked beans on toast and half a glass of water to wash it down. City Dweller ate the food with contempt and Bush Brother knew his brother only ate to be polite.

After the meal the brothers had a long talk, well rather City Dweller told his brother of a glamorous life working on the share market and how he needed 50 grand, right away, to kick off an even better life. The only money the bush brother mentioned was his superannuation for when he was too old to work. City Dweller did his best to convince Bush Brother to access his retirement money and promised he could double it within a month. At night Bush Brother let City Dweller sleep in his bed while Bush Brother slept on the couch. Bush Brother dreamt of fancy restaurants, fast cars and beautiful women that City Dweller had told him about. In the morning when City Dweller asked Bush Brother to come to the city in his limousine, he instantly agreed.

The Car Behind Me

Photo by oopsfotos

The car behind me beeps.

My hands cover my face; fingertips cling to my moist forehead. My Thumbs rub amongst prickly sideburns. My Palms shelter my eyes with a comforting darkness from what lies ahead. Twenty years to the same place – the cemetery. No more, not today. What for? To watch another number lowered into the earth and covered by dirt. I’ve done my time and you know what? They can call me.

The car behind me beeps again.

I lower my hands, expecting something different. How stupid of me. Nothing has changed in the last – I don’t know how long. I squint at the sun’s grey reflection, angled at me off the tarred road; breathe like an asthmatic in the exhaust around me. Vehicles, mainly cars, slowly pass me either side. ‘You bloody idiot,’ some hero shouts from a courier van. Who would shout at a hearse? Weep, cry, hold on to the door handle – yes, but not shout, never shout.  A semi driver honks while his rig slowly rolls by.  As if I’m going to answer. Who they are? I’m making the decision here. The sign did say freeway. We’ll, I’m the one who is free now, free except for the body in the coffin. What do you think of that? I might just walk away from here.

Dreams of Reality

Andrew Quested

Once the late evening rain ceased, a gentle sea breeze wandered into the void. A fresh fragrance from the conifer hedge drifted through a wide open window of the master bedroom. Anthony and Connie moved into a deeper sleep, unconscious of their bodies’ joy in the rejuvenating cool air. Earlier they had tossed and turned before dozing off in the energy-sapping sultry atmosphere that recently had a hold of the Mornington Peninsula. The sea breeze did not blow alone as it ventured further into the bedroom. It carried someone uninvited from an ancient time – a time when stories were chiselled in stone and editing of them a crime.

In the moment before wakening, Anthony felt a thrusting pelvis press upon him. The cotton sheet he had slept under lay strewn on the floor. Finger nails gently scratched his shoulder blades. From her warm breath floated Kapet incense. A talcum like powder with a subtle vanilla scent covered her being. He saw hazel eyes through her woven feathered mask.

‘You are perfect,’ she said in an Aramaic tongue. She then faded as did the breeze.