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Lunch at Dee Why

March 31, 2009

(Napkin scribblings today while waiting for colleague)

Smell of salt heavy.

Pale green (jade) sea glimpsed

through foaming white.

Hissing sand the hearth to scissoring swells,

Paddling gulls anxious about the foam.

Writing on soft tissue napkin.

Gentle chatter of blue rinse set

under a grey sky

and wave chopped horison backdrop.

Norfolk pine fronds lift and

Fall in horizontal rhythm

cued by an onshore breeze

That brought a mornings fall

Of Seattle rain (but warm) that

Puddles the paths, glitters the grass,

Soddens the shoes and forces lunch inside.

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Cultivating Defence Minister Fitzsgibbons

March 26, 2009

liang290.jpgAround here there is a whole lot of huffing and puffing about the Defence Minister who is in hot water because he rents his residence from a powerful and influential Chinese national – a businesswoman who once had lots of hands on business activities in Australia, less so now. Not divulging this contact is the source of some of the heat the Minister is now receiving though a little of that is being dissipated by the debate about the rights and wrongs of the intelligence and security community investigating that relationship. It should not leave me feeling so but I am always surprised at how naive our populace is about these things. To help get some perspective on this little brouhaha flip the scenario. Read more

1421 (to be repeated?)

March 22, 2009

type052b_luyang_01.jpgThe style is a little didactic but the account (1421) by a former British naval officer (didactic therefore explained) of his search for evidence that the Chinese bounced around the globe in their massive ships and fleets in the early fifteenth century is surprisingly compelling. His proposition seems to have survived wide peer review which is perhaps the acid test for such disruptive claims. That being the case I read with incredulity the likely wrecks of Chinese junks off the Australian coast, evidence of Chinese settlements on  the US New England coast and pervasive evidence of their settlements along California and down into South American. Under the leadership of Admiral Zheng He  the Chinese were sent around the globe on missions of trade, diplomacy and exploration. And not in tiny vessels or in small numbers but in 400 foot ships, hundreds of hulls and tens of thousands of sailors and others. Read more

A Drug Arm Storm

March 14, 2009

teenagers290.jpgThe rain shimmered off the road and leapt under the street lights but was completely outshone by the viscous lightening and cracking and thundering percussion which attended it, all right overhead. The end of a warm, humid day but it did make us wonder if we would find anyone out on the streets tonight. Read more

Afghanistan Prophecy

March 8, 2009

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In the late eighties I would occasionally wander down the end of the hall to the afternoon intelligence briefings. They were different to the ones we attended in the morning. The generals attended the early sessions and we briefed them on the issues they wanted to hear. (And it did not hurt for young “thrusters” to be seen by the senior wallahs either!!).

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Taxi Story – The Pakistani (II)

March 4, 2009

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I am from Lahore and I drive this taxi part time. The taxi is owned by an Indian. I found this Indian CD behind the visor. It is actually a Pakistani song but the Indians like it. It is a very beautiful song and actually we all like it. Now this one is from India. It is an OK song. I will leave it playing.

I came from Pakistan 12 years ago. I went back to Pakistan every year until my parents died. Parents are the centre of the universe and the reason we go back. But they are now dead. Now I am the centre. Read more

A Country Flight

March 3, 2009

brisbane_rocky290.jpgHow do you know you are boarding a flight to Rockhampton? Is it the laconic voices of salt and pepper grey haired men who meander out to the plane? Maybe it is the sunny dress on the toddler and her blond curls hinting at the tropical sun. And her mother dressed  for capricornia in a top that reveals more cleavage than a swimsuit model. Read more

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