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Extracts and Anthologies

Bird Brains (Unpublished Extract)

‘It’s their highly responsive MHV!’ Aurelia adopting that high-flown tone of hers. They were discussing the intelligence of birds. Aurelia had edged the conversation in that direction, maybe as a way of proving, if proof was needed, how very clever she was. Her PhD had been on avian cognition: Thinking Psittacinae-fashion. She had spent two…
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Liberation

Twinkle, twinkle, little star How I wonder what you are, Up above our house so bright Like a demon in the night. I’m so scared of things that thump. Scared to laugh, scared to jump. I’m so scared of lights that shine. Scared to walk, scared of mines. They say that soon all this will…
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Dick’s Life

My wife slips quietly from our bed, silencing the programmed alarm clock before time, so as not to disturb her sleeping husband. But her husband is awake; I have woken before her, and feign sleep as she moves about the darkened room. She takes underwear from the chair (removed from the drawer with the jingling brass…
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Cold Snap

The removal van’s outside again. Six owners, now, in only twenty years. Folks don’t seem to stay around for long. Spend all their money doing the place up nice, then bugger off. Well . . . I say, nice. Too many fancy shades for my taste. That dining room’s been all the colours of the…
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Death and the Maiden

Watching him had become a comforting pastime, a part of her life. Something she did when washing the dishes; she seldom used the dishwasher now. He was someone to look down on as she hand-washed her ‘delicates’ – previously tossed into the washing machine without a thought. These so-called delicates even extending to barely worn…
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Visual Verse: Imago

A clean child from a clean home, I loved to play in the dirt; I was drawn to it as magnet to iron filings – as clean child to dirt. You’re a clean child from a clean home, my mother would say, Never forget that! I never did. Yet wondered why I needed to be…
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Visual Verse: The Trip

You’ve come back to me over the years, come back often, that bright, blazing light of yours never quite dying in me. And always there are colours. Come back as you come back to me on this train: the newly vamped carriage all orange and purple and blue, the over elaborate patterns on the seats….
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Visual Verse: September 1940

Mum tied it on. ‘So they’ll know who you are,’ she said. Wearing half me clothes, the rest squeezed into a small suitcase, I felt like a badly wrapped parcel – but it didn’t feel much like Christmas. I bit me lip, pushed my fingernails into my palms until it hurt, glad I’d stopped biting…
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