Never a dull moment at our house. Sometimes bad decisions are made and this morning that was the case. Not by us but by a ground squirrel. Carol had ordered a mattress topper for our beds and it was a big box that we had just retrieved from the Post Office 22 miles away. Amongst the traditions of Indo-Tibetan tantrism, there is a form of meditation in which the practitioner pictures their own body shorn of its outer layers and transformed into a skeleton. The initiation rituals of Siberian shamanism similarly involve visions of the living self butchered by spirits and reduced to bones. So it is that whenever I recall the funeral of my wife’s grandfather – in Tenri City, Japan on 21st March, 2014 – my mind offers up a series of jumpcuts, a triptych of images: the man in the hospital bed, the corpse in the parlour, the skeleton on the table.
Eleanor Hooker’s second collection A Tug of Blue (Dedalus Press) was published in November 2016. Her poetry’s been published in journals including: Poetry, PN Review and Poetry Ireland Review. She won the Bare Fiction Flash Fiction Prize (UK) 2016. Eleanor holds an MPhil (Distinction) in Creative Writing from Trinity College, Dublin. She helms Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat.
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Many mountain regions, such as the Eastern Himalayas, are densely populated. These populations put pressure on mountain ecosystems. WWF works to conserve biodiversity in mountain landscapes while promoting sustainable livelihoods for the people who live there.
Massacred For Gold by Gregory Nokes: In the late 1880s a group of 30 or so Chinese gold miners were murdered for their treasure, by some local ranchers and thugs. The crime occurred in remote Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in the US, so the news just gradually leaked out, giving time for some of the perps to escape the country. The crime became part of local lore but the facts were hidden by the officials in control. The author discovered documents in strange places that had been secreted away for over 100 years, so as to keep the myth of the massacre. He interviewed people who were helpful and others who must have had facts but refused to talk about it, even though over a century has passed. Interesting and thorough investigation.