THE MOON AND THE SUNDARBAN
Featured in issue 1 of Asian-Australian Literary Magazine ‘Pencilled In’ – Fear and Hope.
This short story was inspired by a documentary I saw on the BBC UK channel in 2013 entitled, ‘The Man-Eating Tigers of the Sundarbans’. The documentary was about the Bengal Tiger living in the tidal mangroves of the Sundarbans, Bangladesh—the only place in the world where tigers actively seek out human prey (up to 300 people are attacked and killed each year). While it is a phenomenon that continues to stump ecologists, it has been loosely attributed to global warming (rising tide levels leading to a decrease in tiger’s rainforest territory). This is a concern for both the villagers and the tiger conservationists, who have seen a rise in poaching and ‘revenge killings’ of the endangered creature as a response.
The most fascinating part of the documentary was the conservationists’ innovative plan to train local stray dogs as a pack to warn villagers when a tiger is near. The bravery, intelligence and instinct for survival of these previously mistreated strays was what inspired me to write this story about Dukhe, a stray dog from the streets of Khula, Bangladesh, who finds his leadership of the Chadpai pack threatened by a mysterious creature lurking on the outskirts of the forest. He goes to investigate, and in the course of a single turning tide, changes the hierarchy of the forest forever.
Featured in the first issue of Dubnium Young Editors Project, sponsored by Carclew Arts and SA Writers Centre.
I wrote this piece of micro fiction in 2015 while on a tour in Barcelona with my family. While we waited on the bus for our tour group to return, I saw a beggar standing on the footpath across the road with his dog at his feet. I wrote as I observed.
A GYPSY IN A WAR TORN COUNTRY
This poem was recognised in the Imprint Booksellers competition run through the Flinders University school of Humanities in 2012.
In 2009, I lived and worked as an assistant English teacher in a remote community in Northern Vietnam. I was inspired to write this poem on a late night bus trip to Hanoi just after some particularly bad flooding in the area. Seeing locals paddling about on canoes just to get in and out of their houses was something I’ll never forget.
This poem was published Poem featured in Mint Magazine, Issue 7, 2013.
This poem was inspired by a creative writing unit I devised with a grade 8 class at one of my practical schools during my education degree. We were studying the ‘dialogue poem’. I wrote this as an example.