Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Ghosts of Victoria

With all the talk in New South Wales of trying to resuscitate the rail infrastructure, especially now the drought appears to have broken and everyone will be scratching their heads as to how to get the harvest to port, I thought a note of wistful irony was in order. Thus this gem from Flanders and Swann from 1963 mourning the passing of the great railway age in England and the advent of that tardy monolith, British Rail.

Miller's Dale for Tideswell ...
Kirby Muxloe ...
Mow Cop and Scholar Green ...

No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe
On the slow train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road.
No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street.
We won't be meeting again
On the Slow Train.

I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw.
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more.
No whitewashed pebbles, no Up and no Down
From Formby Four Crosses to Dunstable Town.
I won't be going again
On the Slow Train.

On the Main Line and the Goods Siding
The grass grows high
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside
And Trouble House Halt.

The Sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate.
No passenger waits on Chittening platform or Cheslyn Hay.
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives.
They've all passed out of our lives
On the Slow Train, on the Slow Train.

Cockermouth for Buttermere ... on the Slow Train,
Armley Moor Arram ...
Pye Hill and Somercotes ... on the Slow Train,
Windmill End.

- Flanders and Swann "The Slow Train" 1963

Thursday, February 04, 2010



Meuse Press has released an e-anthology titled “From This Broken Hill” – an unique combination of writing from some of the country’s top writers (past & present) combined with a dazzling array of photography.

A place of near mythic proportions, this city deep in the outback. A mine that put the money into Melbourne. Arts hub while simultaneously isolated by distance.

But in some ways Broken Hill was the experiment that became multicultural Australia – it had the country’s first mosque, many communities continue to thrive within its boundaries. The rough heart of Unionism still stands strong. People escape to this city, others escape a childhood there. It has its horrors and highlights, once there you’ll never forget.

Read an excerpt from a Napoleon Bonaparte set in the city, read the view back from leading poet Rae Desmond Jones who grew up there and wonder at the mining waste turned into a thing of beauty surrounded by red soil.

Edited by Barbara De Franceschi, Marvis Sofield and Les Wicks.

Supported by Broken Hill Regional Writers’ Centre, Broken Hill City Council, Countrylink & ArtsNSW

Available at



OPENING (Free): Tuesday 9 February, 6–8pm

16 paintings and etchings by Jacqueline Balassa, together with poems by Norm Neill responding to the artworks.

Robin Gibson Gallery, 278 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst (near Darley St).

Exhibition open Tuesday–Saturday (11am–6pm) until Wednesday, 3 March. Selected artworks and poems should be on (click “Exhibitions”)

Live poets @ Don Bank

When: the 4th Wednesday of every month, 7:30pm
Where: the Don Bank Museum, 6 Napier St, North Sydney
Cost: $7 entry includes supper and drinks
Phone: Danny Gardner (02) 9896 6956
Mobile: (0422) 263-373

24 Feb: Guest poet: Sheryl Persson
24th March: Mark Tredennick & Tatiana Bonch
28th April: Live Poets is 20!

Open section: anyone is welcome to recite, sing, tell a story or play
an instrument.


Leigh Rigozzi exhibition is on Thursday 25 February, 6pm Tin sheds Gallery, Sydney Uni,

He’s an up-and-coming person in the art world, has been featured on the ABC and in the Herald and has had a residency in Paris. He’s currently a tutor at Sydney College of the Arts.


Tim Miller's Year of Sundown exhibition - 365 Days, 365 Paintings. Here's a utube link to a video of the images, for your enjoyment - and to send onto anyone you think may be interested.


Poetry workshops at the New South Wales Writers Centre


With Brook Emery (10EMER3) at NSW Writers’ Centre, Callan Park, Rozelle.
Sunday 7 March, 10am – 4pm
Full Price: $140 / NSWWC members 30% discount: $100 / Concession: $85


with Les Wicks

Saturday 5 & 12 June

NSW Writers’ Centre PO Box 1056, Rozelle NSW 2039
Phone (02) 9555 9757 Fax (02) 9818 1327
Email: Website:
Office hours: Monday to Saturday, 9am-5pm