Flash Fiction: Adobe Window

October 21, 2021

Quietly intimate now, after, still linked by a fast-fading bridge, the lovers lie languorous in each other’s arms. No breeze disturbs their passion-spent rest, no gusts sway the torn cotton covering of the small window set high in the adobe wall. Slashes of sunlight cut across their tanned and sweated bodies like rivers of gold, like segments of ripe orange.

Outside, the bleaching sun blazes down against the white wall made nearly invisible by the glare, while the black square of the window stares unblinking, like an eye refusing to surrender to the torturer’s gaze. For the desperate starling, parched and exhausted from its fruitless search, the dark-stained block appears a refuge from the sun’s incessant heat, and it alights on the sill, moving swiftly into the recessed shadow.

Cooler now and rested, the young starling, ever inquisitive, explores beyond the shadow, pushing its head through a gap in the thin drapes. Beneath him lies a world of welcome gloom, a map of shadows, an atlas of unfamiliar forms. With barely a glance behind him into the suffocating heat of day, the bird leaps through the curtain into the mote-speckled room that beckons with the image of a forest clearing.

Gliding silently through the heavy air, the young explorer slowly circles the room, unsure now of his direction but certain of his desires. Seeking water, he sees it in the golden sparkling streams that gently rise and fall with slow and certain regularity. He swoops and, landing on what he has no vocabulary to call a thigh, he quickly pecks at the glistening skin.


Safeway Site Meeting

October 21, 2021

The PR company — Pottinger Bird — working for the developers of the proposed towers at the Safeway site, Commercial & Broadway, are holding “information meetings” about the project next week.

The meetings are by invitation only for what they describe as the “stakeholders”. Apparently, neither Grandview Woodland Area Council nor any of the community activists who have devoted so much volunteer time on this project are considered “stakeholders”.

The meetings are on Wednesday 27th October, one from 3-5pm and the other from 6-8pm, at the Cultch.

I urge anyone and everyone concerned about this neighbourhood-altering project to write to Virginia@pottingerbird.com as soon as possible and politely ask for an invitation, noting your concern as a local stakeholder.

Image: Street Art #3B

October 21, 2021

Aberfan: The Death of Childhood

October 21, 2021


Aberfan disaster, October 1966.jpg

Today is the 55th anniversary of one of the saddest days of my young life. A rain-soaked and ill-sited colliery spoil tip that loomed over the south Wales village of Aberfan collapsed, burying houses and a school, killing 116 children and 28 adults. Lessons had just begun for the morning when the 34m tip spilled 140,000 cubic yards of spoil into the village.

I didn’t know any of the victims, and had not even heard of the village until that morning. But I remember weeping as the news came over the radio, and I am tearing up now as I type this.

The National Coal Board and several employees were found to be responsible and money was raised. But nothing could replace the lives that were lost due to management’s callous disregard for public safety.