Miss Elsie Ratchet

Tony was born in Sydney in 1953. Coming from artistic family background, he studied art, music and photography in his early years, then pursued a career in advertising in his early twenties. From 1999 he took up writing full time and his published works thus far include twenty-one books - fiction and non-fiction, short stories, poetry and plays.

Miss Elsie Ratchet 

Sun eclipsed the ragged stone monolith above,
and light hesitantly edged its way into the glen.
The glimmer of morning dew upon heather,
rimmed the upper valley,
as light chased shadows along the creek cut floor.
Thatched roofs, one by one were light engaged, distinct,
while blue ethereal smoke like ribbons attached to sky,
marked the first morning fires stoked.

Miss Elsie Ratchet stood atop the milliners stoop,
her hob-nailed boot laden feet, apart,
rocking on her heels, rotund form swaying,
hands, matron-like, clenched behind,
happily watching day unfurl,
as if she alone had orchestrated it.
A bulbous woman,
with one heavy dark brow lower than the other,
and a one-eyed tick, like a constant winking,
with a nervous cud chewing and ruddy, round face,
and an innate wrought iron will and resolve.

With sun securing the glen,
Elsie relinquished and slipped inside the shop, bell reverberating,
flipped the open sign, and peered out one last time,
eye twitching, mouth busy, fully committed,
then disappeared; the pane now just a deep shadow reflection.
Day had begun, in Hatters Glen.

As Peace Reigns  

Mushroom houses bask in shadowed light,
afoot the giant timbers,
yearning spires like pillars into the sky,
where flickering light glitters
and then paints the floor is confetti dots,
green cascades and mulching plots.

Meshed, the embracing vines,
woven like silk in a lofty rise,
while shards of light do fall amid the shade,
search-light streams of wonder,
exploring each leaf, bark and fruit,
in a peaceful array, as life in diversity, reigns. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More

Shared Language

Award-winning journalist and teacher, Stacey Curran recalls how her husband's traumatic visit to the hospital ended in laughter and friendship, supported by the international language of sport.

Sandra Arnold. The Meeting of Tahr Minds

We met the group next morning and shared the 4w drive of our guide, David, for our  trip...

2 poems by Daragh Byrne

Irish-born, Daragh Byrne has lived in Sydney for a decade. He writes informed by a longstanding meditation practice and his background in physics.


Short Fiction

Micro Fiction Translated from the Arabic by Essam M. Al-Jassim

Fragile but harsh flash fiction translated from Arabic. A newspaper’s fate, a note from a sweetheart, a story of soil, a story of loss…

Una Media Naranja (A half-peeled orange) By Denis Casey

A relationship on the brink. Dialogue on a knife’s edge—who gets the first cut? Find out what’s in a half orange.

‘Clear, Blue Waters’ fiction by Lee Stoddart

Flash fiction that reads like prose poetry in its consideration of the aesthetics of still water.

Get unlimited access for just  €7.50 P/Quarter

Get access now
Terms and Conditions apply
Click Me