It’s World Poetry Day… so for everyone for whom the tiger’s yell comes articulate – or not as the case may be! – here’s my good friend John Keats on the essence of the business…

KeatsWhere’s the Poet? show him! show him,
Muses nine! that I may know him!
’Tis the man who with a man
Is an equal, be he King
Or poorest of the beggar-clan,
Or any other wondrous thing
A man may be ’twixt ape and Plato;
’Tis the man who with a bird,
Wren or eagle, finds his way to
All its instincts; he hath heard
The lion’s roaring, and can tell
What his horny throat expresseth,
And to him the tiger’s yell
Comes articulate and presseth
On his ear like mother-tongue.…

What is the best Charles Dickens novel? The one you are reading right now! He never put out a bad book. In that sense he’s the Buddy Holly of English prose; in a greater sense he’s the Dylan or Mozart. Anyhow, happy just-belated birthday (7 February) to him!

Here he is in 1842 during his first US tour, painted by Boston artist Francis Alexander. He’s just turned 30, he’s had five novels published – all big hits – and he’s only a year or so away from writing A Christmas Carol.

Dickens

Port Macquarie Koala Hospital in northern NSW is a wonderful refuge and treatment centre for our precious koalas. This Christmas I had the best present ever – the adoption/sponsorship of Lismore Rose, a charming koala with a bright white bib. She’s also a permanent hospital resident, as she’ll never be fit for release into the wild.

Here she is!

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I visited the Koala Hospital a few years ago in my capacity as a journalist and wrote a feature story about the amazing work of the dedicated staff, almost all volunteers, who work tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate injured koalas.

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The Koala Hospital needs a lot more support and I urge anyone who can to adopt a koala. You’ll feel great helping out and the money goes exactly where it’s needed – into the welfare of this very special and seriously threatened Australian species.

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Dimension 6 Annual Collection 2019 (now available from Couer de Lion publishing) features my story The Sirens’ Secret and other tales of wonder and imagination – science-fiction, the fantastique, etc. And sirens! Listen, can you hear them? You can’t resist…

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My one-act ghost play A Bush Haunting premieres on October 3 as part of the Blackheath Theatre Company’s New Voices program, which haunts Blackheath Community Hall atop the Blue Mountains for five shows until October 6.

The Blue Mountains Gazette published a story about the New Voices Season this week based on interviews with the five playwrights.

Tickets are available via the Blackheath Theatre Company website

New Voices Group

READER’S DIGEST‘s September issue includes my feature on Lord Howe Island – eight pages in print and now, in paperless cyberspace, a wondrous podcast entitled AN ISLAND OF WONDERS. Just click that there link!

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IMG_2110 September’s READER’S DIGEST has already sprung into action, sporting the journalistic fruits of my recent jaunt to Lord Howe Island in an eye-catching eight-page spread.

From the heights of Mount Gower’s mystic mist forest to the diamond depths of its coral reef dive sites, Lord Howe is an unforgettable get-away-from-it-all experience. Read all about it!

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