Monday, June 11, 2007


Hello there,

This is the old blogsite address of the Clifton Writers' Group.

Due to changes with the Blogger system, we have had to change the address and set up a new Homepage which is linked to a number of blogsites for each of our talented writers.

The new address is: Click here

Since you are here anyway, I will show you a photograph and a few examples of our works.

Please do visit our homepage and the links to the writers' work as you will find them extremely interesting and, at times, most amusing.

The Clifton Writers' Group had a display at the inaugural 2007 Cambooya R.A.D.F. "Harvesting the Arts" Festival at the Greenmount Hall, Greenmount on Friday 27th April and Saturday 28th April.


’tween birth and death no certainties reside.
A cautious path may lead us to old age
Whilst love requires that caution’s tossed aside.
With luck, we may end loved, mature and sage.

You were a gift, presented in my youth.
And green, we toyed with love, squandered each day
On dreams and schemes, oblivious to a truth
That, without vigilance, lovers lose their way.

Years passed, first slow then at a rapid rate.
Like double stars we’d orbit, never meet
Our union, fate would never orchestrate,
Now, with regret, I do concede defeat.

Too young, not wise nor brave, with no forethought,
That Time could steal away the dreams we sought.



(This work is a response to one of our monthly assignments. We were to write about the recent phenonemon in our community where microwave ovens are being recycled into mailboxes.)“Someone’s moved into the old Walden place.”

“You’re kidding?” Ralph turned to the postmistress, eyebrows raised. “That old joint!”

Mavis shrugged and handed him the mailbag, “They left a note pinned to the door over the weekend.”

She picked it up and poked her owlish glasses back into place, “J. Briese, 678 Walden’s Road.”

“I’m surprised anyone would find it habitable,” Ralph replied. He stowed the mailbag and parcels in the van, slapped the “mail contractor” sticker on the side, and began his run.


Jane was delighted with the place. Oh, she knew the house needed some work, certainly a lick of paint, but it was solid enough. The garden was the real treasure. The orchard had somehow survived decades of neglect, and was bursting with fruit she doubted her grandchildren would recognise. Medlar, loquat, quince, and fig, perfect for picking and preserving. There was nothing like cooking with your own produce. And the old wood stove would be perfect for drying tomatoes when she got a crop going. The veggie garden would be a bit more work. Never mind, she told herself, I might be past digging, but the lasagna method would do the trick. Lasagna has certainly done the trick on me, she thought, as she pinched a roll of fat round her middle. With a sigh, she headed inside for a bikkie and a cuppa.


Ralph pulled in the drive of the Walden place. The drive was rutted with gravel washouts like little creek beds, and the grass was level with the van windows. He couldn’t see the house, but he held it in his mind’s eye from many years ago. He’d been a regular visitor then, and the house, although nothing flash, was a tidy little four-roomed cottage with a front verandah and a lean-to kitchen out the back. Some delicious meals had come from it, too. There was no power here then, and he’d often sat out the front and chatted in the glow cast from the kerosene lamps inside. He knew no one had lived there since old man Walden had gone into the nursing home in the seventies. The place must be falling to pieces.The mailbox was new, however. The old milk can had been removed and a shiny white microwave sat atop the fence post. It looked almost new. He pressed the door release to slip in the local newsletter, and started in surprise. There sat a steaming mug of coffee, the rich aroma beckoning, condensation forming inside the door, rendering the little note propped against the cup slightly limp. “For you,” it read.

Against his better judgment, he took the cup and sipped it. It was perfect. Strong, with just a drop of milk, and one sugar. He sat for a moment, deliberating. It must be for me, he thought, who else opens a mailbox? But how did they know how I have my coffee? Must be a joke from someone I know. Someone who knows. Not very funny. But he finished the coffee anyway, and to show whoever it was that they hadn’t got the better of him, he scribbled a polite thank you on the back of the note before he left.


Jane collected the mail after her cuppa. She was rather pleased with her idea of using the microwave as a mailbox. It was almost new, too good to simply throw away, but no use to her here with out power. She’d never really liked microwaving food, anyway. It didn’t seem natural. Her late husband, Des, had wanted her to have all the mod cons. He’d been a dear that way. Her children hadn’t wanted the thing, either; they had huge, complicated stainless steel jobs. It would probably enjoy its new life as a mail receptacle. It would certainly get more use! Not much mail today, but the mug had been drained to the last drop, obviously appreciated, she thought with a smile.


February 14th was a surprisingly light day for mail. They all email and text now, Ralph thought, not like the good old days. Romance shouldn’t have an electronic component. At Walden’s Road, there was nothing to deliver, but he checked the box in case there was a pick up. There was. A heart shaped, pink iced cookie as big as his hand. For a moment, Ralph was stunned. Then, in a rush of heat, he became angry. This wasn’t funny. It was a long time ago, and he didn’t need old wounds opened at this stage of his life. He was sixty, for God’s sake! He left the cookie and the drive in a cloud of dust.


The dust was still hanging in the air when Jane rounded the last curve in the drive. When she saw the cookie still there, her heart fell. Oh well, she thought, absently biting into a corner, there’s always Easter in a few weeks. She’d already waited a lifetime.


Ralph quizzed his mates and their wives about the Valentine’s Day prank. All pleaded innocence and ignorance. He was baffled. He’d been so sure it was Eddie, just like him to stir, but Ed had seemed genuinely shocked.

“I wouldn’t do that to you, mate,” he’d said soberly.

The weeks passed without further incident, and Ralph forced himself to put it out of his mind. Whoever it was had gotten the message, anyway, he thought. There were extra parcels to deliver in the week leading up to Easter, and he often pondered all the families that were apart at special times of the year, but still made the effort to show loved ones they cared. They were the lucky ones. He’d never married, never had any children, and the older he grew, the more he felt it. His friends were forever babysitting, going to Grandparent’s day at the school, football games and the like, while he pottered around his too big house and too small garden, alone.

As he turned into Walden’s Road, he thought about how different his life might have been if old man Walden hadn’t been such a bigoted old bastard. Ralph was a Catholic, and the Walden’s Lutheran, and no way was a Mick from town going to marry his girl. He’d sent her to secretarial college in the city to separate them, and he’d heard later that she’d married and had a few kids. All good full-blooded Prussians, no doubt.

Lost in thought, the egg caught him off guard. Oh for God’s sake, he fumed, not more of this rubbish! It was huge, must have weighed close to a kilo, and filled the interior of the microwave. It wasn’t store bought, but had been molded and decorated by hand. There were fine, lacey scrolls at each end, dotted with tiny pink, blue and mauve flowers, and his name was traced across the side in elegant cursive. Ralph felt all the years of loneliness press on his heart, the weight of all the leaden days he’d spent missing her slowly crushing him. He leaned back against the car seat and closed his eyes. This was too cruel. The emptiness was too complete to fight.But rain, hail, sleet or snow, the post must be delivered. All those Easter gifts in the van had homes to go to. He opened his eyes. There was a woman standing beside his open window, the egg cradled in her hands.

He jumped, and she smiled gently. “Not like you to turn down a feed, Ralph,” she chuckled. “Lost your sweet tooth, have you?”

Ralph stared at her; her eyes, green flecked hazel, were faded but held the same twinkle. The turned up nose had lost some of its pertness, but was still cute, and her lips the same droll bow he remembered. Her hair was finer, grayer, but it suited her short, showing off her rosy apple cheeks. She was a little softer, a little rounder, but it was, unbelievably, Jane Walden.

“Take this will you,” she thrust the egg through the window, “it’s melting in my hot little hands.”

Ralph stared, knowing how foolish he must look, but unable to conceal his amazement.

“I can’t believe it’s you,” he said at last. “I thought someone was playing a prank.”

“It’s me all right.” Suddenly shy, she looked down at her hands, rubbing at the chocolate smears with the corner of her apron. Forty years was a long time, but not long enough to forget a fond friendship that had blossomed into a tender love.

“I’ve just about finished my run,” Ralph said, “any chance of another of your fabulous coffees?”

Their eyes met, the wisdom reflected in them and the deep lines around them speaking volumes about the time that had been lost, time that could never be recovered. But the same youthful spirits that had fallen in love all those years ago still shone through, and in that long look, they promised each other that whatever time they had left, it would be enough.

Gloria Moress ©

MAILBOX BLUES by Dave Wellings

(This work is a response to one of our monthly assignments. We were to write about the recent phenonemon in our community where microwave ovens are being recycled into mailboxes.)


It’s mounted on the white picket fence,
Now no more than a token
Of an empty marriage that didn’t make sense:
Both were terminally broken.

I worked all hours to keep us afloat
And even attempted to save,
Only to return to a re-cycled note –
“Your dinner’s in the micro-wave.”

You would be out somewhere, (dancing on tombs,
Attending a witches’ coven?)
While I’d come home to the cold, empty rooms
And peer into the micro-wave oven.

I didn’t mind the odd Lean Cuisine
Or the frozen casseroled mutton,
If only you’d occasionally been on the scene,
Equipped with your own de-frost button.

The kids are grown up and live on their own
But your influence fatally lingers:
They can’t get a meal without using a phone.
They still think fishes have fingers!

It seemed only right when you took your leave
And the micro-wave gave up the ghost
To use the oven again to receive
The divorce papers coming by post.

Dave Wellings ©