Writing and Expression From The Sunshine Coast


Michael Mann

Michael Mann has 8 articles published.

Gritty Poems

Poetry by



Low self

Lower opinions

What does it matter?

Who are they?

They never shall and never will

know her story

or break her will.

Cold shoulders

Lonely roads

A father who betrayed.

She sees her fate

in a portal between her thighs.

In a public restroom at a truck stop

she powders her nose with Peruvian makeup,

applies lipstick redder than a stop sign,

yet she still can’t see the signs.

Another john 2 am,

by 2:45, dead and robbed.

Gone too is little Timothy who never even cried.


No Escape


No escape from this:

the light from a zippo heats the tainted glass,

chemicals evaporated into clouds

raining toxic addiction.


The kitchen

A crockpot

Bright lights

Poison culturing into evil.


The dingy man,

teeth missing or broken,

his hand holds a zippo,

a lightbulb pipe cooks his preferred method

of no escape.


Tried some at eighteen

on a dare from friends.

A good boy, straight A’s.

Pressure mounts like heat in the pot.

No escape from this..


ETA 5 minutes


Time 2:13 am

Place: any town or city

Brown devil’s blood boils in Satan’s platter.

The snake is loaded in the pistol.

He is tied, but bound by nothing.

Slowly the serpent uncoils through the tunnels,

it slithers sinister.


We got a male, early thirties,

unconscious, unresponsive,

apparent OD

ETA five minutes.


After the Bar


Even a mouse wants out.

No tree but bright lights regardless,

blinking white blue and red.

Sounds mingle like rain and snow.

A child cries wrapped in a blanket,

next to his mother similarly clad.

The questions from one officer:

“And what happened when he got home from the bar?”
Cold, with no heart, in the rear of the car

a man sits wearing an undershirt and blue boxers.

He yells:

“Wait til I get out Suzy. You and that brat’ll get it!”

Suzy and Jacob turn from the officers toward the house for the last time.

A gift has come,

The gift of resolve.

By Christmas morning they’ll be at her sister’s.

A new beginning.

Snapshot: A bit of hard-won honesty.

Growth & Wellness/Snaphot by

People see me I’m sure in many different ways – happy, funny, loving, dedicated, etcetera. What I neglect to show is my depression. “Really?! YOU’RE depressed?” some might say. And I would reply unequivocally, “Yes.”

I hide it of course behind my “say what’s on my mind” attitude and my coarse black humour. Those who know me might not understand what I have to be depressed about. I’m loved, safe, have money, athletic, and much more.

The truth is, folks, I’m haunted. Haunted by every mistake of judgment, every bad decision, every heart I broke. It really stems from childhood, back before I was adopted. I was born with nothing, and from 0 to 6 years old, bounced between so many places that I really don’t have roots. Being born with FASD made me different, sometimes in ways I don’t like. I can’t tell when someone’s “taking the piss” with me or straight up bs’ing.

Back when I was still drinking, that little humdinger helped some take advantage – took my money, lied to me. You might say I’m dwelling on the past but you know it still hurts.  Then, I cared more for liars and cheats than I did for myself or those who loved me.

Even now, with all that’s going right and well for me, I look at others who travel, have a family, do harder work and have more money, and I don’t feel envy, not exactly, more like “less than.” I couldn’t hack doing construction or ferry work so though I save every dollar, I wish I could do more.

Maybe I’m just pissin’ and moanin’ but life feels like it could be better. Am I ready for the next step, whatever that might be? Time will tell.

Facing Up to Facebook, A Rant

Media by

Like almost the whole planet, I’m always on Facebook. And what do I see? Post after post about Eminem, MGK, or people saying, “I’m cleaning my friends’ list.” I rarely post myself but I’m guilty of sharing to promote my interests, namely music, movies, or even, yes, a cat video, or something political.

I understand the concept of wanting to be heard, and as my friend says, “I have an opinion about opinions.” But 24/7 posts, pretty much 365, I mean really??? Don’t you have a life??? Family? Friends?

Don’t get me wrong, I am on FB constantly. But to me, if you are not a musician, designer, or actor, 24/7/365 posts should not be a thing.

If you are a musician, for instance, promotion is something I do feel deserves a lot of Facebook time. Small time or underground artists post a lot on my Timeline when a new album is coming out or they are going on tour. Andrew Raines AKA Don Orias recently made a post to promote a new album. The post said if a hundred likes were achieved, the new album would be made free for a limited time. As a huge fan, I jumped at the chance and not only “liked” the status, but shared the heck out of it. Eighty-eight likes were reached and Don Orias released Agony, his new album, for free on his Bandcamp site. This is important, if not vital promotion for an underground artist as it is a good way to gain new fans.

But when you are not an artist, musician, or actor, non-consequential posts, like trolling or what team won what game, are not needed. And what the heck is the deal about watching concerts through a cell phone on Facebook Live? Most of the time the sound is so bad I can’t even hear the words. If it were me, I would just use my cell for selfies with the artist and that’s it. Put the phone away! Record the concert in your mind’s eye and experience the epicness 100 per cent!

But yes, I have dabbled in small time posts once in a while. Guilty as charged. For example I posted about apple crumble and Law and Order recently, so no, I’m not immune. Really all that does is make you the one person dying to be the centre of attention. Got a dog? Play with him or her. Having a baby? Get the beep off your phone! Times such as these are for your eyes only. Love and cherish them.

Rant over.


Snapshot: Mickey

Pets by

Hi. My name is Mickey. I’m a sixteen-year-old kitty at the Sunshine Coast S.P.C.A. I’m a big black hunk who loves a lap.

Having a tough day? Let me purr it all away. Don’t let my appearance fool you. I’m going to be around for a while. I could really use a new set of digs. I’m no prob with other cats or with dogs as I love everyone. Just give me love, special yummy food, and the occasional med and I’m good to go.

They treat me nice at the S.P.C.A., yet I know that someone out there could use my special set of skills. Some say I’m the most affectionate cat they’ve ever met. I love harder than a puppy or a kitten and can make you feel like Number One, because let’s face it you are Number One. I look into your eyes and plead, “Take me home.” I heard that the S.P.C.A had waived my adoption fee and maybe something can be arranged about vet fees (oh joy).

I know they’ll be sad to see me go, but I deserve a home. You’ll love me, I’m pawsitive.

(Mickey’s story transcribed by Mike Oswald)

Opinion: Separated by a TV Screen

Media by

Hearing that Roseanne Barr had gone on a racist tirade on Twitter brought forth in me an automatic response. I called her an ugly person with an ugly soul. I had and have no real reason to say such a thing, but in my haste to feel morally superior to this person, who in all truth I know not, I rushed to judgement. To be honest, that puts me not farther from her but in her shoes. With zero knowledge of the exact circumstances I cannot make informed choices or judgements. I would need to sit down with Roseanne and put aside all my negative preconceptions and ask my questions. Will I get that chance? No. Therefore all I can truly say is I don’t agree and leave it at that.

I find the essence of Trump era America to be jumbled, yet focused. While celebrities such as Roseanne Barr support Donald’s ideology, others like Eminen are dead set against it. I, as a white male, age 25 to 40, am not a Trump fan. However for me to spew vitriol at the man, when we are separated by not only a tv screen but a country is foolish. Yes I still find myself doing it. Getting back to the first point, racism in America has always been a problem. Yet it has gone up exponentially since Trump’s win in 2016. The ideas of tribalism have also increased. People are somewhat obsessed, either one way or the other, myself included. If the damage to America is truly to be repaired, acts such as March for Our Lives, the MeToo movement, and capturing racism and police violence on the screens of Smart Phones must continue. If people want to intervene in a bad situation, they must not let radical idealism come between them and a peaceful solution.

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