Night Music: Bacchanale

September 14, 2020

Mono Awards

September 14, 2020

The Mono Awards celebrate the best black & white photography in Australia & New Zealand. The Guardian has a selection of this year’s finalists.   These were my favourites:


Adorable Babies. Photographer Xiaolian Zhang


La Tour Eiffel. Photographer: Liz Baker

Grandview 14th September 1920

September 14, 2020

Vancouver World</> 19200914, p.16

All previous Grandview 1920 clippings

Poem: Salamander

September 14, 2020


A bright orange salamander silently slithers

the length of the soft-pink stone-chip wall,

making faster speed than I could in this heat.


I sit, staring, mesmerized by this costumed athlete,

this splendid natural explosion of colour,

this distraction from the dull monochrome of my life.


With a desperate reluctance, I crack open the velcro

ties that bind me to the lizard, drawing back my focus

to include my companion and the unfinished wine.


“Let’s review where we are,” she says. “Yes,

let’s do that,” I reply from a distance, forgetting

where we’ve been in this conversation and why.


She clears her throat and continues:  “You and I

seem to be headed nowhere, neh?”    She pauses,

examining me for confirmation.  Perhaps I nod.


“As a couple, I mean.  We have to come to terms

with that.  We have to face the true nature of our failure

you and I.  We are not meant to be, that’s the point.”


I say: “I see.”   I feel her eyes burning me, expecting more.

Across the street, the afternoon shoppers flow in and out

of department stores and groceries and fish merchants.


“Well?” she presses.  “Am I right?  What do you think?”

I sip the wine, close both my eyes, and imagine

the cool cave where the salamander rests.