Gail Walter

Shall I say what I mean?
JANUARY 14, 2013 11:59AM

Cowcross Coffee With A Smear Of Blood

I am gazing into my soupy cappuccino at an assertive swirl of cinnamon. ‘I need a hero’ Bonnie Tyler agonizes, brassily invoking the eighties that so embarrass my children.

Opposite me, men in blood smeared white coats over sweaters over ties and shirts. Handsome granite profiles,… Read full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2012 1:25PM

The Romney In My Mind

I was making the bed this morning, my mind a battlefield of conflicting illusions, when a thought dropped in: you don't have to listen to any of this, it's just The Mind.

For a moment the whole landscape shifted like a computer desktop, to my left. All the dark fears,Read full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2012 7:30AM

Up In The Air

And what it does to you. Altitude. The first leg I am between two grumpy men, a sort of filling in a belligerent sandwich. He on the right of me, who I do not know, is sighing and hissing: ‘Jesus Christ” long and drawn out like: Jeeeezus Chrrrrrist. While he on… Read full post »

OCTOBER 4, 2012 5:16PM

Mom overboard. Almost.

Russell is a tiny, impossibly picturesque little place in the Bay of Islands, just north of Auckland, New Zealand. My mom is tiny too, although she’d say not, so I think I’ll take her there. A lovely drive, not too hairy, a couple of hairpin curves but I can inch along

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OCTOBER 2, 2012 4:15PM

Dancing Into A Hong Kong Sunset

The sky is turning a dusky pearl and now there are hundreds of us out here walking.  Across the water the glitter of Hong Kong Island at sunset seems close enough to reach out and graze with my fingers.



Later tonight there will be a formal display of light

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SEPTEMBER 3, 2012 11:48AM

I Said One Glass

We tumble into room 2817 at the Intercontinental in Foshan, China, with dreams of room service and maybe even a little telelvision. We flop on the bed, delighted to escape the mayhem in the buffet restaurant downstairs. 

I dial room service.


Two ‘roast half chicken’ and one g

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AUGUST 27, 2012 7:53PM

The Option To Kill Ourselves

For those of us who do not take the obvious escape, bowing out of life, committing suicide, ending it all, there is this remaining problem of how to continue in the face of the lesser daily suicides we commit and the extraordinary bravery an ordinary day, asks of us. The challenge… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2012 2:18PM

Not Quite Dying

A fly executes lazy laps an inch from my forehead, flaunting it’s fly self. I cover my lips with a fold of white sheet so that it will land on an eyelid, my nose, but not my lips that I shall have to kiss whether I love me or not.

It's… Read full post »

JULY 25, 2012 8:25PM

Women Are Doing It For Themselves

I was feeling a little sorry for myself, a little lonely as I watched the moon rise over Hoan Kiem Lake this steamy Wednesday evening. It wasn’t anything specific, nor too extreme, more a lostness, a kind of ennui. Most travelers have it some time or another. You’re watchingRead full post »
JUNE 23, 2012 3:57PM

My Dear Now Dad


You say, dad,

I think,

That it is joy

That must be

Our measure.

“Do you enjoy it”

You say

And we pause

To see

If, in fact,

Joy is present.

Magnificent wise,

my dear… Read full post »

MARCH 30, 2012 10:53AM

What Mexico Made Us Do


We are sitting on wickedly reclining wooden chairs with our feet in the fine white sand. We are different now. Opposite is our brand new compatriot grinning and plying us shamelessly with margaritas on the rocks with salt. The brazen July sun is setting over a lazy Caribbean. Our Caribb… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2012 1:39PM

Tartan Troubles

I am Scottish, and some other more complicated things. But I am, on one side, one side of my father’s side, quite simply, Scottish. That means, my proud mom of the more complicated, colourful history, told me, I have my own clan, my own kilt and my own tartan.
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MARCH 7, 2012 3:24PM

Vegas Spit And Polish

Can you do both of us?
We’re leaving Las Vegas, he’s a shoeshine man at McCarran Airport. There’s one of him and two of us. We’re not there on purpose, Vegas that is. It’s that time of year again, and it’s work. Okay, okay, there were windows of
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Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 27, 2012 12:16PM

The Avenue That Loves People

 I seldom venture from the Parklane Hotel here in Dongguan. It’s grand enough to take it personally. The surrounding avenues and architecture are monumental, a person could get lost crossing the road. So I am reluctant, you understand. And I normally arrive late on a muggy southern China n… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2012 4:19PM

And Verily...

I say unto you --I had to do this as an exercise years ago, and it was grave fun. What have you to say, my flock? Do we have any spontaneous sermonettes to add?

“You have heard it said that it is a good and worthy thing to volunteer for… Read full post »

DECEMBER 22, 2011 4:03PM

Oops, There Went The Scenery

The ground roars and trembles, tipping the surging crowd down the narrow escalators. The train to Guangzhou rumbles into Hong Kong station. We obstinately hold our ground and move steadily towards our cabin. The uniformed woman gestures irritably. ‘Upstairs’, she says. 

I, per/… Read full post »

Try this for a moment. Using your impeccable cellular memory, close your eyes and arrange your face into a scared expression, an angry one, even hating. Don’t get caught up in your mind’s idea of some sort of story that should go with the expression. Just wear it like you were… Read full post »

APRIL 19, 2011 2:57PM

A Gruesome Editing Metaphor

Kill the babies

My father said.

By that he meant,

Not the fresh, blush,

Flesh of newborns.

But the torrent

Of exuberant words,

When one




Why overflow

He said.

When flow,

Alone,… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
MARCH 16, 2011 8:30AM

Whisky...With A Dash Of Water

There are things you should do in Oban; drink whisky is one of them. Local whisky, single malt, conceived hundreds of years ago and matured in American bourbon barrels(!) for twelve reverent years.

The distillery is just there, off the main street, right in the centre of this picturesque
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DECEMBER 5, 2010 1:37PM


Almost freezing,

That’s one degree centigrade.

Just the one.

In the dry creek bed,

Something round,


Not the sun,


A perfect pumpkin,

Ghost of Halloween past.

Above, in the

Charcoal sketch


An owl… Read full post »

DECEMBER 2, 2010 5:47PM

Con For Love Goes Nowhere

(Response to OS Open Call On "Tell Us About Your Con")

The thing is I'd always been such a good girl. Without the help of any religious dogma my sisters and I had been taught that you simply told the truth. It was the ethical thing to do. 

In the end… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 30, 2010 9:11AM

When In Hong Kong -- Get Out!

Well, what can you do with an island? It just floats there wanting nothing much from you. It’s possible it doesn’t even need you, that’s how unequal the relationship is. If it shrugged you’d fall in the sea. But if it’s a small one, like Cheung Chau, there are edges ever… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 17, 2010 7:25PM

An Island Lost In Time

Perhaps it’s the absence of direct sunshine, the oblique, halfhearted way the frail light falls that makes this island seem ephemeral as a bubble, seem to float in and out of focus like a mirage on the opaque waters of the vast Pearl River Delta.


You have to cross a

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NOVEMBER 10, 2010 12:47PM

Okay NOW I Feel Heard

I posted this thousands of years ago...before there were comments. Then today, out of the blue, comes the response to end all responses. Maybe.

Repost below with comment included:

What Weight Problem?

I can influence any scale to do as I want. It worries me. What suffers is mutual respect; aRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2010 1:37PM

Montreal Without Clothes

I’ve never been to Montreal before. I had planned many things. I had not expected to be worried about basics, Montreal is about so much more than basics. I thought I had those covered. Here we were, a touch of France on the northern continent of the Americas, such a charming… Read full post »