Collaboration with Dr Greg

After the Crossing Streams exhibition last year, I asked Dr Greg Pritchard if he'd be interested in collaborating on a Renga

Renga predates haiku as a form of verse and uses a similar format with the addition of two seven-syllable lines forming a response.

For a while I'd been stumped trying to decide which of my haiku to offer to Greg.

In the lead-up to the recent poetry reading in Narrandera, I decided to share one I'd written for that event while camping by the Goulburn River:
Ripples reflecting
streaming autumnal light
each moment passing

On the mountain, clouds come in
it is like a ship at sea

Dhal recipe

  1. Wash a packet of red lentils, then boil for up to 20 mins in a pot with about an equal amount of water or maybe a bit more.
  2. In a fry pan with oil cook an onion, half a bulb or more of garlic and about a teaspoon each of cumin, garam masala, cayenne pepper and curry powder. 
  3. Add half a pack of mustard seeds, if they pop it's too hot.
  4. Add a teaspoon of stock powder or dissolve a cube in water or add salt to taste.
  5. Mix it all together in the pot with the mushy lentils, using a little water to get all the flavour from the frying pan.
  6. Serve with coriander, if you like, or add vegetables.

Patriarchy demands of males

In The Will to Change (2003), the feminist author bell hooks wrote:
The first act of violence that patriarchy demands of males is not violence toward women. Instead patriarchy demands of all males that they engage in acts of psychic self-mutilation, that they kill off the emotional parts of themselves. If an individual is not successful in emotionally crippling himself, he can count on patriarchal men to enact rituals of power that will assault his self-esteem.

Never scream

My daughter Neve drew herself with telekinetic hair

Belgian Chocolate Virtuoso

Belgium make great chocolate, so when I saw these biscuits heavily reduced at the supermarket I bought a couple of packs

I'd never seen these before and worried they'd be like a Tim Tam. However, this fear was unfounded.

The chocolate was buttery and without the gritty sweetness that sometimes coats biscuits. There was a hint of praeline.

Biting into it revealed a slender biscuit that was dry and little spicy in a slightly gingerbread sorta way.

Having now finished both packets within a couple of days, I'm disappointed that I didn't buy more.

Dreaming about trees

In recent years I've had a few dreams about scarred trees

It's a theme that's surprised me because they are the symbols of this landscape being Wiradjuri country.

The other week, the night before the poetry reading in Narrandera, I had a dream in which a Wiradjuri man I know was showing me tree hollows and explaining how they were used as shelter by Aboriginals.

The conversation was sorta based on one I'd had a week earlier, when I quizzed this bloke about the scarred trees that I see in my travels around the Riverina and their significance.

The bit where the dream got weird was the following day, when I drove into Narrandera Common for a swim and spotted these hollowed River Red Gums.

There they were, trees from my dream the night before.


After being frustrated by the price of wombok cabbages, I've settled for making a massive batch of kimchi using savoys