Had to see a man about a dog.

Stand all alone, bare beach

Cold hands warm waves sandy feet

Bag of oysters – sharp as rocks – good to eat

but the love, of his life, out of reach

Should she ever coming back forgive the heat of the conversation when they meet last time ?

He really wasn’t sure of that and feeling quite level headed decided that actually there may never be another conversation.  He turned around and stepped southward along the shore walking along the water margin and whistled to his dog to catch up.  At least Oscar would stick with him he hoped.  The stars were coming out and he stopped and looked into the sky.  There was constancy there in the dark with the celestial sphere up there.  Gradually rotating inexorably at the same speed day in day out.

‘Oscar! – he shouted over the sound of the waves.

A bark and the dog was up to him already standing back and waiting for him to throw something.  He picked up a bit of driftwood and through it into the waves. The dog bounded in after it and after some few moments came bounding out of the water, flicking salt slake all over the place and then giving  a good shake after dropping the wet stick at his feet.

“ok you old joker — Oscar, I suppose you’ll miss her as well – eventually.  What if the whole world slowed down and the days got longer and the stars moved slower, he asked ?  Would the moon care Oscar ? Just because the days get longer, doesn’t mean the year would. Still take the same number of heatbeats….. all totally wasted no doubt.  Would she notice ?”

The dog barked – still waiting for him to pick up the stick.

He picked up the stick and started drawing in the sand.  First a heart, then some initials then – the dog sniffed and barked again.  They both sat down and got out the bag of oysters.

Shucks the oysters

wags the dog

moonlight glistens

stars are gone

warm waves sandy feet

suck the oysters – aftertaste – feel the beat

but the love, of his life, out of reach


The bookmark reflection

‘Hate that book’ – he muttered – looking at rather than talking to his phone.  Walking faster now he arrived at the bookshop and glanced up.  A woman was sitting there reading a book – he could see through the window – just sipping a coffee and kind of smiling, deep in reading thought.  He thought he recognized the book and one he had recently read himself.

‘Hi’ he said catching her eye on entering the shop.  ‘Hello’ she said carefully looking him over and suddenly not smiling.

‘I loved that….Jane Cenion really knows how to write.’ he said, pointing at her book.

‘Yes, I like it as well’ she said.  Determined not to keep going with this conversation.


‘What are you reading ?’ she asked, quite sure that he probably wasn’t reading anything.

‘Oh – just some dumb book someone gave me.  I hate it.’

‘Oh really ?’ she enquired, suddenly brightening.

‘Ah you woudn’t know it.  It’s called Grimus’.

‘O – I’ve read that.   What else do you hate ?’ – she said.

Well – so he started, remembering at random almost all the books that he hated. Kids books, Celeb Biography, Poetry, History books.  Fiction books with no plot.  Anything so called post modern.  After a while he noticed she’d been taking a list of all the books he hated so much.

‘What are you doing ?? he demanded !’.

“Oh it’s nothing – don’t worry. I’m on a 365 challenge you know.  I’ve found it hard but a focus to read all the books that people tell me they hate.  People love to hate things, you know, different reasons. Even things they start out loving and saying how great they are.  They can end up hating with a passion.   So anyway, I made it a thing to read all the ‘hated’ books.” – she said.


Little Black Book - Tersiiska

He sat down now, opposite her without asking.  Looking down he saw a little black book that she put thelist of hated things on.  While sitting there suddenly silent. Lost for words.  She picked up the little black book, pressed a small button and the eBook flashed to life.

‘Look’ she said showing him.

Wow!. An ebook that actually looks like a notebook he thought.

A table of contents appeared and in it he could see for himself.  At least 50 titles.  All books he hated.. but no .. there were some of his favourite books in there. ‘How could anyone hate that book?   ..  I loved that book !’ he said, looking up at her.

‘Yes but I found that now I love all of the books that people love to hate and I love to understand now why the authors had written them.

Suddenly he felt exhausted.  Not only were some of the books those he loved but others things that his friends had said they hated.  All listed and downloaded into the little black book.  Slowly he got up suddenly feeling trapped and claustrophobic, he had to get out of the shop. Walking toward the door he saw his own face in the reflection of the glass door.  Grimus he thought. ‘ Perhaps I’ll read it’. What else did Rushdie write ?.


Photo: Tersiiska/Flickr – Copyright 2014.

A Brumby with Bangles

Tersiiska Bangles


I found the first bangles in a dream.  We’d been climbing a steep volcanic mountain, and as we got back down below the snow layer the white melted out into a field of slippery silver bangles.  They had a kind of strange magnetism and as I got down to collect them they would fling away at high speed and land with a tinkle at some distance.  After a while I realized that the more I tried to collect them the more the ground cleared away to the black lava field underneath and in the end… frustration.  It’s not the first dream of frustration felt.  But I did not wake up in frustration but walking, some of the bangles caught on my foot and I managed to collect a few.  After waking I struggled to remember what happened next. I’d no idea what to do with the bangles  I had in my hand, so I’d thrown them  in a drawer in my desk, where all other travel collectibles are. I had no idea who I’d been climbing with either.  She’d been there climbing too but seemingly not interested in the bangles but wanted to get into the white zone at the top of the mountain. Did she come down ? No idea ? but I know when I woke I was in my room in my hotel nowhere near snow and out in the outback, far from any mountain.  But I opened the drawer and there they were, the bangles.

She’d been dreaming of riding a wild brumby in the snow country down through the rafts of snowgums, down to the creek.  The snow gums white trunks flashed by. The trees parted as the horse charged through them, shifting aside and springing back in time with the gallop. But then she felt as though falling and the ground rising up to become snow and white and cool.

As I got dressed I saw that the hotel had some prints of the snow country on the wall.  Memories of Clancy of the Overflow perhaps.  Hotel decor was low cost and somewhat stereotyped.   I imagined that all other rooms in the hotel had similar prints.  I opened the door and the light from my room streamed into the darkened corridor.

“What are you doing here ?” I asked on leaving my room.  There in the darkened cool corridor was a woman wearing the bangles I’d put in my drawer.

“What are you doing here ?” She asked with some affront. She looked past me into my room and her expression changed.  I turned around and saw she’d been looking at the print on the wall.  The one with the horses and snowgums.

“I’ve opened the door on my dream reality of bangles” I said.

“That’s funny – there is my brumby dream on your wall” She said.


















Photo Courtesy Tersiiska / Flickr / Bangles

related but interesting history gemaffair

White Sails Blue at Santa Monica

“I just dropped by to say hello” I said, dropping laptop on office carpet

“Oh, thats ok.. I got some work to do, though, got to get this sent off to someone now.. who needs help” Caitlin said, looking up.

Glancing round, beige office walls, and colorful things on shelves, it was nice to be back in town, so I sat there and relaxed a bit, not facing Cait, but looking out her window, finger on temple, elbow on desk separating us. Thinking how it was always a bit awkward starting off again.  I knew we were both friends. And we had said that we liked each other.  We had chatted sporadically on a messenger. It seemed to talk would be awkward and forced.  I just sat there silently, wondering about stuff, while she worked. Occasional ticking of the wall clock, and one or two careful mouseclicks, and keystrokes filled the air with a kind of chaotic clicking.  In these measured quanta of silence with busy minds not talking, friendship settled into the room.  Both minds were aware of each other, but busy with their current things to do, eager to get to the next place in time, but enjoying the moment allowed by circumstance.

“So I might go down to the beach today” I said.  “The sunshine will do me good.  Maybe go North of the airport, maybe Santa Monica, I’ve never been there before, if I go north and beat the traffic, I can spend some time at the beach, then drive back down to the airport.  The flight is not until 11pm or so.”

The silence continued, after some time she said “Yes might be best to go early, the beach is pretty nice and there is a pier… look”, she said, swinging the monitor round, with a Google map opened, and moving and panning and zooming into the Santa Monica pier.  “Just go up 405, and turn left on Route 10, till you get to the beach”

I was looking at her while she was talking, nice clothes, quiet manner, confident with the keyboard, and casually professional. I liked her, no doubt, she liked me, no doubt.  No affair, no romance, it would be just this, a quiet liking friendship.

“Thanks, I said, I’ll be going then.  See you later then, till next time, I should be back in a few months.” I said, standing to go and lifting the laptop back on, and feeling good, relaxed, and now with a purpose for the afternoon, ready to hit the road and get going while it was early after lunch.

She looked at me then, she got up and carefully walked around the desk, and came over to me. Close up, her eyes friendly blue cool with white light.

I left and hit the road, and eventually toward sundown,  stood on the pier, with the fishing, and the crowds, and the sunshine, the end of route 66, the end of the road for the day. I loved the white sails on the blue water. moving, searching in the light, like the eyes of my friend, looking south west toward home from the pier at Santa Monica.

[a surreal story with fictional characters and non fictional places]