Recommendations Roundup #2: Down Under Edition, Part 2 (Articles, Book, & Poem)

Vaccination Deaths Nearly TRIPLE the Number of COVID Deaths in Australia; Book by a New Zealand National Treasure; a Poem for Our Time

This continues the Down Under Edition of Recommendations Roundup. See Part 1 for video recommendations if you missed it.

Article Recs

In my first Recommendations Roundup, I cited OffGuardian and The Burning Platform as two of my favorite sources for their fact-based, high-caliber writing. This time, I would like to shout out the Swiss Policy Research Group as an exceptional source for scientific, well-researched articles on COVID-19, including several pertinent to Down Under.

1) From the Swiss Policy Research Group:

2) From OffGuardian:

3) From The Burning Platform:

4) The following articles are courtesy of Allan Cox, one of my steadfast Australian subscribers, who was also kind enough to excerpt and link to my second article in his recent missive to Alan Jones and a murder (that is what you call a flock of politicians, right? no offense to crows ;-) of Australian MPs:

As a sidenote, if you’re interested in viewing a report of Australia’s adverse reactions, you can enter “COVID” to select the vaccines (3 total) and set the timeframe for 2021 at the Database of Adverse Event Notifications. Funnily enough, they have disabled the ability to generate PDFs of these reports “to improve performance” (uh-huh).

When I ran the report the other evening (included reports from 1/1/21–9/4/21), I got the following tallies:

  • Number of reports (cases): 54,737 (incidentally, 136 were added in a single day as I had just run the test through 9/3 a few hours earlier)

  • Number of cases with a single suspected medicine: 53,931 (this one, oddly decreased by 134)

  • Number of cases where death was a reported outcome: 509

Here’s the kicker: The number of deaths reported following injection (509) is NEARLY TRIPLE the reported deaths from COVID (193) during the same time period—and that is with COVID death rates being vastly inflated due to comorbidities, administration of lethal medications like Remdesivir, the use of fatal practices such as intubation and ventilators, and the denial of lifesaving medications like ivermectin (which, incidentally, the TGA—Australia’s equivalent of the FDA—recently banned for use in COVID patients, having already done so for hydroxychloroquine, in a stratagem to force people to submit to injection).

Book Rec

When it came to recommending a book for my Down Under edition, the first author who came to mind was New Zealand treasure Janet Frame. I originally learned about her from another New Zealand treasure, Jane Campion, in her 1990 tribute to Janet Frame, An Angel at My Table.

The problem is, I hadn’t read any of Janet Frame’s work! So I started listening to the audiobook of Towards Another Summer (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audiobook), a novel that, although purportedly fiction, she considered too personal to be published until after her death.

Clearly on the autistic spectrum, Frame inhabits a spectacularly rich inner world, which spills onto the page in such beauteous prose dripping with sensory details, I was frequently tempted to rewind and savor the lines.

She also captures the agony of social anxiety with excruciating verisimilitude, making you squirm as you suffer the discomfort of her awkwardness while simultaneously laughing, along with her, in retrospect at the embarrassing moments she so desperately wished she could erase and rewrite.

Although the novel is set in England, New Zealand is more present for its absence as the protagonist, Grace (self-identified as a migratory bird), revisits memories of her homeland through the bittersweet nostalgia of exile.

Here are some of the lovely quotes I gleaned along the way:

“Now journeys were not simple matters for Grace; nothing is simple if your mind is a fetch-and-carry wanderer from sliced perilous outer world to secret safe inner world; if when night comes your thought creeps out like a furred animal concealed in the dark, to find, seize, and kill its food and drag it back to the secret house in the secret world, only to discover that the secret world has disappeared or has so enlarged that it’s a public nightmare; if then strange beasts walk upside down like flies on the ceiling; crimson wings flap, the curtains fly; a sad man wearing a blue waistcoat with green buttons sits in the centre of the room, crying because he has swallowed the mirror and it hurts and he burps in flashes of glass and light; if crakes move and cry; the world is flipped, unrolled down the vast marble stair; a stained threadbare carpet; the hollow silver dancing shoes, hunting-horns …”

“She said goodbye, shut the door, locked the Chubb lock, murmured Oh God, Oh God, returned to the sitting room, rearranged the cushions, took the sherry glasses into the kitchen.

“Another encounter with people successfully concluded without screams or tears or too much confusion.

“I’m doing fine, she said to herself, as if she were one or two days old and had finally mastered the art of breathing.”

“Grace said to herself, I found my first place when I was three. It is a memory that is so deep in my mind that it is always and never changing. I went by myself into the dusty road. It was late summer, the gorse flowers in the hedge were turning brown at the tips of their petals, crumpling and dropping. The sky was grey with a few white clouds hurried along by the wind. There were no people anywhere, not up or down the dusty road. I looked up and down and along and over and there was no one. This is my place, I thought, standing still, listening. The wind moaned in the telegraph wires and the white dust whirled along the road and I stood in my place feeling more and more lonely because the gorse hedge and its flowers were mine, the dusty road was mine, and the wind and the moaning it made through the telegraph wires. I cannot describe the sense of loneliness I felt when I knew that I was in my place; it was early to learn the burden of possession, to own something that couldn’t be given away or disowned, that had to be kept for ever. I remember that I didn’t stay long in my place: I cried and I ran home, but my place followed me like a shadow and it is always near me, even here in Winchley, and I do not even need to close my eyes or call for silence before I am there, and once there wanting to escape from the message of the wind for there is no one up or down along and over and it is dust, not people, that whirls its busy life along the road.”

“I told no one of my new possession. I did not visit the place ever again, for the new chosen possession brought its own burden — had I chosen something which would stay, or would it disappear; could I take it with me and shed it when I wished; what was it that I had chosen? I still remember the pleasure of finding it and owning it; it seemed then like a little birch-tree house; it seems now like layers of years that sink deep, like leaves, into rich fertile decay.

“And now what confusion I feel when I sit here and read these poems. All the poets are writing about my place. Even if they were not writing of New Zealand they would be writing of my place. How can I ever contain within me so much of one land? Was it given to me or have I looked for it, found it, and have I been afraid to return to it?”

“Grace tried not to think of her failure to communicate by speech; she traced her part in the evening’s conversation. If only she had said this, if only she had said that! Why did she always seem to stop in midsentence and not know how to continue because her words and ideas had vanished? She began to cry, quietly, and cried herself to sleep.”

“I like reading. Once the words are on the page they never change; when you open the book the print never falls out.”

Poem Rec

I’ll close with this poem by New Zealand poet Jenny Bornholdt about facing the possibility of an impending plane crash, which feels like an apt metaphor for our time.


by Jenny Bornholdt

It came to pass

that I boarded a plane

and as I edged past the man

in the aisle seat he said

My name is Dov. I knew

you would come.


So Dov came to pass

and then the next thing

came to pass which was

the plane, which fell through the air

so that all felt and understood

the word “slew.”


We held the hands of those

next to us. Dov’s hand. Dov

who knew I would come.

The hand of my son, who said

Hang on, I’ll just finish listening

to this song.


And it came to pass

that in those seconds of fall

we entered the deluge zone

which was dark and dangerous

and it came to pass

that we thought things

we hadn’t thought before

and understood things

that couldn’t be said out

loud or even in our quiet

pulpy insides.


We understood

that children sucked life

from their mothers

then led it back in

in mysterious ways.


We understood

that men damaged children

in shocking unspeakable

ways and in quiet

secretive ways and in silence

and murk.



dandelions marjoram

thistle and thrush

came to pass.

And a bank teller

named “Snow.”


And then it came to pass

that we turned away

from where we were headed

because the wind there

was too strong

to land safely on one engine.

We turned away

from the wind bothering the trees,

flaying pansies, knocking lemons

one against another;

away from hymns ancient and

modern, from the holes

dug in the garden for kitchen scraps

that resemble graves

prepared for a succession

of small animals.


Away we turned, back

to a runway on which waited

emergency vehicles

and so it came to pass

that we touched ground

whole, feeling lucky

and afraid.


Being out of danger

it came to pass

that we broke the chain of hands

that held us, though not the chain

of thoughts — that held.

And held. And led us

to the tightly fenced park

where bodies lie, decomposing,

terrifying yet natural,

faces slurred into earth,

and to the deer who come

and delicately nuzzle bone.

For the other recommendations in this four-part Down Under series, click below:

© Margaret Anna Alice, LLC

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