David Stevens

Posts Tagged ‘australia’

Happy birthday Winnie the Wombat (not womb-bat)

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2017 at 10:47 am

Happy birthday, Winnie the wombat. You look fun and cuddly. But …

 

Wombats are big furry buggers that look like a giant crawling teddy bear and the unsuspecting say “oh cute, so cute” until they turn and outrun your wife and trip her over and you keep running you coward because you have soiled yourself you are so scared, they just keep running and you hear your wife scream because its stopped now, only a fallen victim will stop it, and you hear it, you hear her flesh being torn, it makes a ripping sound, and you cannot ever forgive yourself but you also hate her a little bit forever, because she cannot forgive you, and it is no consolation that the wombat does not eat the flesh, it tears and nuzzles for a moment then returns to its business, it does not eat her because it is a herbivore, but it rips her because it is a nasty big furry bugger, and it could answer the question if it could speak, it could tell you if your wife tastes like chicken, because it has tasted both even though it does not swallow, but even if it spoke, you would be too chicken shit to ask, you gutless wonder.  The relief you felt when she fell.

Not to be confused with the cryptid womb-bats. And what are they? you ask …

 

Womb-bats

The dry evening scurry

Falling leaves

Crackling open before

They hit the ground.

Tiny, not unnoticed as they swarm,

but unmentioned in polite company.

Huge amniotic eyes take in

the miracle of the world

each night.

Before the dawn,

unborn

Rustle along the sheets

A slight disturbance,

a shifting of knees

A minor annoyance

at the early morning turn,

the slight parting

as they enter

to nestle in.

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Sralya Day

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2017 at 6:02 am

Here’s some culture for Australia Day – get it inta ya.

Sralya Day, now its a thing. Not just some dusty public holiday at the fag end of the summer holidays, an extra long weekend for free just to make returning to school easier for Mum and Dad. A thing. With concerts and stuff. Sam the former red Wiggle still needs to make a living. Hey, Sneaky Sound System are on at Liverpool, but nobody believes me.

 

FLAG DAY

It was Flag Day

so we wrapped ourselves in flags

and went to the pub.

Funny, eh!

Everybody else had the same idea, but.

And all the flags were the same

because we are all Flaglanders.

It would have been nice to wrap myself

in the flag of difference

but I was too scared.

Everyone looked the same.

The fun idea had become

A Sad Party Thing.

It doesn’t matter.

The flag unites us.

Our fear of looking different unites us.

All eyes are wary on Flag Day.

Everyone smiles with their mouths

as they lift their beers,

but all those eyes are looking about.

And those eyes are quick.

You don’t want to stand out.

Not on Flag Day.

There are no excuses.

It is not “I pay my taxes” day.

It is not “I am a human being, I have rights” day.

It is fucking Flag Day.

Alright?

You sad party thing.

Jan Goldie …

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2016 at 1:56 am

… has been interviewed at Angela Slatter’s blog regarding her contribution to “At the Edge”.

ate

Billy Idol might be grappling with himself

In Uncategorized on July 2, 2016 at 5:20 am

Damn fine news.

My story, ‘The Penultimate Report of Sergeant Burns’ appeared in the inaugural edition of The Grapple Annual, by which I was rather chuffed. Now my ‘The Golden Age of Science Fiction’ has been included in their second volume (along with 41 other pieces), entitled The Grapple Annual No.2, presently under preparation.

Once again, I grapple with all of the big issues of the day: is it socially acceptable to hobble your child, if it is done to prepare them for a job? Is it ever ok just to buy a magazine for the pictures? Why is it best not to know what other people are thinking? Is there a difference in the empathy appropriate for a horrible little man, and a horrible little man with no arms? And I ask these big questions in a journal which is a follow up to an official under rated book of the year award winner. Who could ask for more?

At The Edge

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2016 at 12:58 pm

With a wrap like this, of course I am extremely happy that my story ‘Crop Rotation’ is part of ‘At the Edge’, available now:

Compiled by award-winning editing team Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, and including a story by Arthur C. Clarke finalist Phillip Mann and foreword by World Fantasy Award winner Angela Slatter, At the Edge is a dark and dystopic collection from some of Australia and New Zealand’s best speculative writers.

Click here for purchase information

 

edge

So Excitement

In Uncategorized on February 2, 2016 at 12:15 am

So excitement is right. There must just be something wonderful about being a ‘Tim’. I’ve raved before about Tim Powers, and of course there is Tim Brooke-Taylor, and, er, I suppose, Tiny Tim. But Australian Tims are in another category altogether – and I am not (just) talking about Tim Tams.

Tim Winton releases a book (for adults – not ‘The Bugalug Bum Thief’, for example, despite the intriguing title), and I’m there. Tim Flannery, (almost) ditto – ‘The Future Eaters’ remains amongst my favourite books. Hell, I even liked Tim from Big Brother a few years ago.

The darker moments of a former career can be interesting companions at 3am, but one moment of pure pleasure was when I arranged for Tim Low to speak at a conference. He divided the audience, and that was great. People came up to me afterwards, both pleased and puzzled. ‘Feral Future’ dealt with exotic invaders and pests, at the same time revealing much I never knew about the modern history of Australia, and it was followed by ‘The New Nature’. An important part of both books is how we are dominated by the thinking of our age, an alleged commonsense which often does not stand the test of time, and how important truths may be counterintuitive. I would wish these books on anyone with an interest in nature and/or Australia, and our ecological future. However, very important, read them in order – TNN has a greater degree of (cautious) optimism, and was meant to given the topic of FF. I, of course, being me, read TNN, thought, this is great, and hunted down FF – also great, but man was I bummed out. In the words of the immortal-ish Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour and read them both (but yes, in order).

But: so excitement – I have in my hands the latest Tim Low. I cannot really comment because I have not read it yet, but it is about one of my favourite things: birds! And plenty of Australian birds! (have I mentioned that I am a birdwatcher, though a very bad one? has my wife told you how hard it is to work through our holiday photos to find a photo of our children, when most photos are of a branch where a bird had been sitting only moments before?) And science! And did I mention birds? – well, birds! And the cover is absolutely gorgeous …

song began

Low is an amazing writer and speaker, a fascinating man. He is a scientist who writes with both passion and where appropriate, dispassion, about such interesting and amazing things, especially on topics dear to my heart. I look forward to diving into this.

 

Senate Inquiry into Lyme-like illness in Australia

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2016 at 12:49 am

Thousands of Australians are suffering from a Lyme like illness. The Australian medical profession is failing these Australians by denying the existence of the disease,  failing to diagnose the disease, and failing to provide adequate treatment.

The Federal Senate is conducting an inquiry into this situation. This is great news. However, it requires material to work with. It requires submissions.

If you are an Australian who:

  • suffers from a lyme like illness
  • is a carer for people with a lyme like illness
  • has experience with a family member or a friend suffering from a lyme like illness

or if you are just concerned about this situation, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT that you make a submission. It is easy to do:

LEFT CLICK ON THIS LINE TO BE TAKEN TO THE LYME DISEASE ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA RESOURCE PAGE

Here you will receive all the guidance you need to write a submission

It can just be a few lines or a couple of paragraphs, it does not need to be an epic.

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – MAKE A SUBMISSION TO THE SENATE INQUIRY NOW

Happy Australia Day

In Uncategorized on January 25, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be a thing. Why does stuff have to change? It used to be a dusty little public holiday tucked away at the end of the summer school holidays, a final gasp. Now its concerts and loyalty tests and mass barbecues. We didn’t used to wave flags, we all knew where we lived.

Sorry kiddies. Listen to me carrying on! It’s not like we haven’t seen it all before, somewhere. And so now I repeat myself …

FLAG DAY

It was Flag Day

so we wrapped ourselves in flags

and went to the pub.

Funny, eh!

Everybody else had the same idea, but.

And all the flags were the same

because we are all Flaglanders.

It would have been nice to wrap myself

in the flag of difference

but I was too scared.

Everyone looked the same.

The fun idea had become

A Sad Party Thing.

It doesn’t matter.

The flag unites us.

Our fear of looking different unites us.

All eyes are wary on Flag Day.

Everyone smiles with their mouths

as they lift their beers,

but all those eyes are looking about.

And those eyes are quick.

You don’t want to stand out.

Not on Flag Day.

There are no excuses.

It is not “I pay my taxes” day.

It is not “I am a human being, I have rights” day.

It is fucking Flag Day.

Alright?

You sad party thing.

Lullaby

In Uncategorized on October 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm

The day finally stops. Dad’s taxi is parked in the garage – the almost not a teenager managed to miss the last bus of the night and faced a two hour walk home. “Time just disappeared.” I flashed a glance at his wrist – the watch we bought him is there. Oh well. I suppose I was never young.

There is no night traffic here. The silence stretches. In the day, there is intermittent construction. Somebody somewhere thought it a good idea that one of Sydney’s last little suburban green spots be nibbled at the edges. Houses are slowly being constructed in the gully, to await the next bushfire. I remind myself there is nothing I can do.

I lie down, and my ears adjust to the silence. I notice the call, and smile. A southern boo-book is doing its two-note thing. I relax, the call of the owl my lullaby. I have only seen it (or a relative of it) once, trying to pick up a too-big possum from the roadside, while a couple of my children stood with me at a respectful distance, urging it on.

It will call for hours. Tonight though, a surprise. In the distance, another voice. More chesty, more typical – the boom of a Powerful owl. Sleep comes easy to me, with the night time lullaby. Possums, rodents, white cockatoos are all nervous at the call of the predator, but they lull me. I am not hunted, after all. I just know there is world out there, not entirely of concrete and bitumen, carrying on its business without me, and I am grateful for it. Despite everything the day brings, my heart swells with thanks.

Tom Uren

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

I am sad today to hear of the death of Tom Uren, a big man with a huge heart, one of those rare people, a politician of conviction who lived to be of service to others. He survived the horrors of imprisonment by the Japanese during the Second World War, and witnessed the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Neither those experiences nor his Depression era working class youth left him bitter, rather they gave rise in him to a desire to work for peace and to live a life of love of others. His politics were about getting a useful job done, for the betterment of those in need, never forgetting the people he came from. A more fitting tribute than I could write may be found here. I am happy that I got to shake his hand, and that he occasionally called me ”Boy” in passing on the street.  (“Hello Tom!”. “Hello, Boy.”) May he rest in peace.