Wednesday, November 30, 2011


chose the topic


A chair stands alone
Waiting as I am waiting.
Both feel your absence.

Gerald is no longer with us and, yes, I do feel his absence.

Another one from Gerald Gee, whose work I so admire.
He captures something in my past and builds a glowing fire
From a memory that has faded to a little flickering spark.
Somehow he lights on something and he always hits the mark.
I'd like to say I remember this very beachside scene;
I'd like to say the place-name and declare that's where I've been.
But it's not a concrete memory that Gerald paints for me;
It's a feeling...... of a memory........ of a place that used to be.
Somehow, somewhere, I saw that moon, and it was blue as blue;
And I saw that row of houses with the lamplights shining through.
I saw that lisping water and the little boats as well.
I saw my world in those colours, but where I cannot tell.
Gerald and I share memories, although we've never met.
 And I thank him for reviving dreams it's so easy to forget.

Lone Voyager


No surf today. The sea is flat.
I think I'll wear my little hat,
And a T-shirt for the breeze,
And shorts that reach down to my knees.
I'll take my board and paddle out
To where the great whales dive and spout.
Though other surfers love to boast
That they love rolling waves the most......
For giant breakers, mountain seas,
Walls of water always please......
I am one with skies and oceans.
I'm alone with my emotions.



The kitchen's neat and tidy
And I could take my ease,
But I see from the window
Some very untidy trees!


I wrote this bit of nonsense years ago for someone who was trying to persuade me to go camping!


If I were meant
To live in a tent
My head would be pointed that way,
My feet would splay out
Without any doubt
In a truly remarkable splay!
Consider the small garden snail,
Nobody who sees it could fail
To see it's designed
With camping in mind
For it even has room for a tail!
If I were meant
To live in a tent
I'd be a triangular  shape!
My body would be
An upsidedown 'V'
And I'd aways be dressed in a cape!
The turtle and tortoise as well
Are exactly the shape for a shell,
So, if I were meant
To live in a tent
Everyone would be able to tell!



His brains dropped out of sight!
They didn't put up a fight.
He once had brains that worked
But Fickle Fate just smirked.
I said 'If you wear your jeans slung low
There's only one place brains can go!'
'I'll wear what I like, you silly old Moo!
What's it got to do with you!'
He didn't care a bit!
His jeans still didn't fit!
The ever-downward force of gravity
Played a part in his depravity!
He once had a very high I.Q.!
Which shows what low-slung jeans can do!
For, sure enough, his brains dropped down,
As he bared his buttocks to the town.
As he displayed his great tanned hide
His brains began their downward slide!
One day we saw them disappear
Gone for ever up his rear!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


supplied the prompt


She accused me of being obsessed
With all the boys' toys in my shed.
When I wanted to tinker with this and that
Bernice wanted cuddles instead.
I suppose she expected a change
When I finally gave her a ring,
But I said 'I am what I am!
I'm not going to change, you sweet thing.'
We went on as before, for a while,
And I found it all most satisfying,
But, one night when I came from the shed,
I found Bernice sobbing and crying.
'Our marriage is off!' she exclaimed;
'The future does not look too bright.
I can see I'll be left all alone,
Night after night after night!'
'But the kids will be company then!
Come on,' I said 'Give me a kiss!'
She gave me a look and she said
'I just wont continue like this!'
She stormed out of the house and away;
But I didn't worry too much.
I knew she'd be back in a day or two,
For my smile and affectionate touch.
But days turned to weeks. And I feared
That our wonderful romance was dead!
I couldn't enjoy my old motor-bike,
I couldn't enjoy the shed.
I realised I had been selfish;
I'd reform! I made up my mind!
I would be the most doting of husbands,
Thoughtful, reliable, kind.
I was never one for half-measures,
Half-measures are only for fools,
So I cleared out the shed, every corner,
Yes! Even my old car and tools.
I felt that this needed a gesture.
I'd go back to our own special tree,
And I'd take bits and pieces of metal
To discard, ceremoniously.
I'd take her there, then, and I'd show her
That I was a changed sort of man
And we'd, there, set a date for our wedding;
I'd say 'Let's make it as soon as we can!'
But what did I see by the tree-trunk?
I'm sure you can easily guess......
The pieces of white lace material,
The remnants of 'our' wedding dress!
I knew that she had prepared one,
To wear when she walked down the aisle;
I'd imagined myself waiting for her
With great joy and a heart-warming smile.

Now she's married a boy from her school-days;
I think that his first name was Ted.
As for me, I spend night after night after night after night after night
In my shed.

A Simple Alphabet


There was a young lady from Welling,
Who, it seemed, was addicted to yelling.
Her neighbours, who knew it,
Said 'Why do you do it?'
But she simply yelled 'I'm not telling!'

Nothing Lasts



This photograph is reminding me
Of the sadness of mortality.
I'm not a gardener; I don't claim
To know this scarlet beauty's name.
It just took my fancy one fine day
When I was up Port Stephen's way.
Joan, my friend, showed it with pride,
But then, in the course of time, it died.
I took this shot five years ago,
When it put on a charming show.
Since then there have been hours and hours
And flowers and flowers and flowers and flowers.
This radiant bloom fell to the earth
So other flowers could have their birth.
It enriched the soil for another bloom,
Making way for it, making room.
And I know that I'll go that way too.
But I can't accept it!
Neither can you!

A Simple ABC

There was a young man from Uganda
Who saw a girl on a veranda.
He tried his technique
For more than a week,
But she wouldn't play goose to his gander.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boy Talk

provided the prompt for a VERY short story.


I think I am going to hover near them!
I am going to overhear them!
Then, I'll Facebook a little rumour!
I hope they have a sense of humour!
(140 characters)


A Simple ABC

There was a young lady called Mary
Who found shaven men rather scary.
When she saw whiskers waving
She said 'Don't start shaving!'
I just adore men who are hairy!'

Living in Hope

supplied the illustration


I'm having an operation!
After years of being loved,
Sat upon,
Bounced upon,
Lain upon.
Why! Reggie proposed to Gert
On me!
I was a 'focal point'.
In fact, and this still sustains me,
The colour-scheme of the whole room
Was built around me.
I can still remember that glow of pride
When I heard Mother say
'Of course,
The sofa's the focal point'.
I admit I felt somewhat hurt
When I was covered
With that hideous 'loose cover'!
I felt like a fat old lady
In a wide floral dress!
To add insult to injury,
It was blue, with brown splodges!
Me, with splodges!
And I was moved to the playroom!
I was still loved, though.
I remember Mary sobbing her heart out on me!
Silly girl!
Now I await the ambulance.
I'm to have an operation called
I expect I'll be as good as new when I recover!

A Simple ABC

There was a delightful young fella
Who had an enormous umbrella
If he met a nice girl
He would give it a twirl
And they'd both dance a wild tarantella!

Of the Deep


(An Acrostic)

Sliding through the watery wonder,
When the tide is fast and strong.
If a rip should drag me under,
Maybe that's where I belong!
Mind and body, heart and spirit.....
Involving every part of me!
Nautilus! Shall I inherit
Gardens underneath the sea?


Long ago, when we were monkeys,
We could soar! We could soar!
We could travel through the jungle trees
And not hit the jungle floor!
We could hang by tails as thin as string
And never lose our grip.
We could scuttle over dripping leaves
And never ever slip.
We could leap through open spaces
Far as the eye could see,
Between one tree and another
In the lofty canopy.
We could drop like stones from up above
And bounce on lower limbs.
We could skim across the greenery
As a stone over water skims.
You've seen them all on the TV,
The monkeys and their soaring.
They can leap and hang and swing all day
And never find it boring.
We had it once, in the dead, dead past,
That wild agility,
But we traded it in for upright stance
And verbal ability.
Yet, still, within us, way down deep,
There's a memory of it all;
A little comes back when we're dancing;
Then we really 'have a ball.'
But somewhere buried in our brians
Lies the feeling that we, too,
Should be able to leap up gracefully
And soar into the blue.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


The Wordle

asks us to use all the words in the Wordle


Smug, the spinning spider sits.
Watching, waiting with his wits.
In the sunshine, ruddy, mellow,
Looking such a harmless fellow.
Subliminal thoughts just flow and ebb
As he sits quite still in his web.
He is the living fulcrum of
The spider-web we've come to love.
Silence reigns. But a gullible fly
Has seen fit to flutter by!
Just a shudder, just a rustle.
The spider hardly moves a muscle.
Then suddenly, he breaks the hush
With a most untidy rush!
Soon he has fly-pie for dinner!
One's a loser, one's a winner!

A Simple Alphabet

A farmer from wild Albuquerque
Decided to pose as a turkey
But he took quite a chance
When he did the wrong dance
And his turkey-trot proved to be jerky!


chose the topic

(An Acrostic)

Intelligent beings, such as we,
Never accept the things we see.
Very soon we poke and pry,
Every moment asking 'Why?'
Some things are hidden from our view,
Those things we must discover too.
If the answer still is veiled,
Great scientists think that they have failed.
A human brain cannot accept
That, in any way, it is inept.
Every atom must be split.
Then we'll understand......a bit.

A Simple Alphabet

There was a young fellow called Randal
Who fell for a girl in one sandal.
He said 'If you had two
I would know what to do!
But a girl in just one I can't handle!'

La Nina

asks us to emulate Omar Khayyam, writing a piece rhyming
aaba bbcb  ccdc 

(Written about a land of 'drought and flooding rains')

And, lo, the rains have fallen on the earth!
Those rains which give our soil a second birth
The swords of grass are pointing to the skies.
The birds sing as though carolling with mirth.

We view the green around us with surprise!
The dams  are full, the rivers, daily, rise.
Blossoms, once seeming drab, with colour blaze.
The dazzle of it all assails our eyes.

Cicadas sing a song of joyful praise.
And daisies in the grass delight our gaze.
La Nina is a visitor of worth.
Hail, Little Girl, with all your watery ways!
*Australia  spent much of the last ten years being ruled by El Nino, a weather pattern which causes drought. Now we are in a La Nina cycle and the rain, although it can be a nuisance at times, is gratefully received. 'La Nina' is 'the little boy', a reference to the Christchild at Christmas time. 'La Nina' is 'the little girl.'

A Simple Alphabet

There once was an amorous rabbit
Who had an unfortunate habit.
He'd give one quick glance,
Do an impromptu dance,
Say 'Thanks for the chance' and just grab it!

Jumping Jackie


She had been away too long,
All in the name of sport.
'Nothing should take the place of me'....
That was what he thought.
'But, darling, this is special;
At High Jump I'm the tops.
I promise you, one more medal
And that's where competing stops.
If I win this medal in Japan
We'll get married right away.
Right there, as soon as the train gets in,
You can name the day.'
The time went by so slowly,
He felt sure that she'd forgotten;
He mooched around day after day,
Feeling absolutely rotten.
Then came the email message......
'Be sure to meet the train.'
Nothing else, but he was glad
To be seeing her again.
He stood there on the platform,
As the train drew in.
Was happiness or misery
Just about to begin?
Like a bullet out of a gun
She hurtled to his side
As he stood excitedly waiting
With his two arms open wide.
With just one simple gesture
That made his wild heart thump,
She proved she kept her promises.
And she proved that she could ........jump!


There was a young lady called Queenie
Who quite overflowed her bikini.
Being sturdily built,
When she flopped on a quilt
She was told to eat less tortellini!

It was quite a big day yesterday. Malcolm's Car Club had its Xmas Lunch at mid-day and then I was in a Gala Concert at night. It was a lovely program, mostly classical. Another lady and I were light relief.

This was a delightful group called 'Promise' from a local Religious College.

I just love this photograph Malcolm took of the pipe organist

And here's me, grimacing!

Those Days Are Gone

My ideal at the time.

asks us to use the opening lines of the song
 'All By Myself'.

'When I was young, I never needed anyone, And making love was just for  fun, Those days are gone.'


When I was young, say, in my teens,
Young girls were still just in-betweens;
Children one minute, wives the next;
'Marry early' was the text.
Ideally, just a year or two
Separated childhood from 'I do'.
And making love for fun was not
Part of the British social plot.
I never needed anyone
To say 'Stop that! Stop having fun!'
Because it all seemed very normal
To be a little stiff and formal,
And parents kept an eagle-eye.
(Later on I discovered why!)
That was just how the mating game
Was played back then. All rather tame!
Of course, 'that tarty Peg', with Fred,
Carried on behind the shed,
But they were just an awful warning....
'Would he still love her in the morning'?
How times have changed; those days are gone.
The world has a way of travelling on.
The pendulum has swung, I fear
Too far away from yesteryear.
'Anything goes' is the clarion call......
And that means anything at all!
A happy medium's what is needed.....
(I bet my words will not be heeded!)

A Simple Alphabet

There was a young lady from Putney
Who loved to eat pies laced with chutney!
She ate pies by the score
And then bleated for more
And the people accused her of glutney.

Faery Folk



On the table in the house of a friend
I spied these faery creatures.
Decked in all their finery,
With their oh-so-perfect features.
The little ones at the front
Were pixie-like and childish;
With an air of naughtiness
That was verging on the wildish.
The ones at the back were regal,
Yet with a rustic air;
Just like Gypsy Princesses
They were standing there.
Though not the least bit 'crafty',
I can admire the skill
That went to make these china dolls,
And each ribbon and each frill.
How good it is that we vary
In our interests, every one;
Hobbies add so much to life
And life is made for fun.


Oh Chantcleer! Oh Chanticleer!
Thy name means simply this....'sing clear'.
Thy penchant, with the sun in view,
Is to shout a 'Cockadoodle doo!'
When I hear thy raucous note
Emitting from thy feathery throat,
I don't consider thou art 'singing';
Thy screeching sets my poor ears ringing!
Now take the gentle little hen,
She simply 'Clucks' now and again.
Her peck-peck-peck on seed-sown ground
And her pleasant crooning sound
Are more appealing to my ears!
Thy racket brings me close to tears!
And all thy nonsense with thy comb!
Fanning it out above thy dome!
And all thy silly wattle-waving!
That's not what thy wives are craving!
Now I'm a rampant feminist;
(Though I never minded being kissed!).
To me thou art a typical male!
Making a noise! Fanning a tale!
Strutting about on two skinny legs!
But no good at all at laying eggs!
Oh Chantcleer! Oh Chanticleer!
Thou art even worse when you've had a beer!

Saturday, November 26, 2011



Six letters, six words, six lines.

(An Acrostic)

To all who help me out
Here I say thanks to you.
And those who smile at me
Now I must thank them too.
Kind words and sweet, kind ways
Shine warm beams on my days.

A Simple Alphabet

I once wrote an ode to a dahlia,
Admiring its lovely regalia,
But my poor little ode
Wasn't quite a la mode
And it ended up being a failure.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Elevant The Hideous

suggests the book-cover.

Will this blurb persuade you to buy this book?

Smartkin Tetcliffe 

Another in the 'Amazing Adventure' series.
Have you read
'Taste My Beastburger'

Once again our intrepid adventurer
Byron Bywater
Dons his pith helmet 
And sets off into the unknown.
His purpose?
To discover the haunt of the famous
Elephant Clone,
known as
The Hideous Elevant.
He has been employed by
'The World of the News'
To bring back details
Of the creature.
His ambition is to capture the Elevant
And have it stuffed.
Unbeknown to him
His jealous Editor
Plans his death!
Read of Byron's amazing adventures
In Paridoxica,
And in the mighty Hades Mountains!
Learn how he defeats his enemy........almost.
And marvel at the proportions of the Elevant.
His 9000 feet are only the beginning!
'Unusual Holiday Destinations' ; Having read this account we are adding 'Hunt the Elevant' to our list of don't-miss destinations. (The Editor.)

(On being asked to write about the word 'kernel'.)

I was feeling rather confident that I was up-to-date!
Really rather 'with it' though my decades number eight!
But I have just been dumped as someone really out of touch
And it pains me, yes, it pains me, it pains me very much!
When I saw that old word 'kernel' I thought, no ifs or buts,
I'll write some little verses on the beauty of some nuts!
I was just about to launch myself on a harmless little ditty
About a grove of nut trees; it was going to be quite pretty.
So, according to my normal way, I Googled illustrations;
Not expecting any other little complications!
My comeuppance was abrupt, I fear, for no nuts did I see,
Just rows and rows of diagrams of great complexity!
The 'kernel' of computing links the different kinds of 'wares',
The 'software' and the 'hardware'! And I'd been unawares!
'The lowest level abstraction-layer' ........ now I'm sounding clever!
The knowledge gleaned from Google! Will it go on for ever?
Now how to wield my new-found power with the general population?
How can I drop this 'kernel' stuff into general conversation?
Let's hope someone offers me a nut! I'll say, just off the cuff,
'Does this nut have a kernel made of out-of-date old stuff?
I'm only used to the modern kind, the lowest-level abstraction.'
And I'll enjoy the resulting bit of human interaction!
The ladies from the Probus Club will really be impressed
And I'll be truly happy that I've got it off my chest.
They say we learn for ever! I'm living proof! Ah, but
It always helps with things like this if one starts life as a nut!

Passing By




I did but see them, passing by,
Almost weed-like, almost shy.
Growing in unlikely places
With their little orange faces.
Nasturtiums, they grow everywhere;
Rocky, sandy, the don't care.
Casting shadows that are small;
On pavement and on garden wall.
Gardeners search for something rare;
Gardeners tinker and compare,
Using Latin names with pride,
Hoping we'll be mystified.
A gardener hopes to find a rarity
He can nurture for posterity.
He studies every catalogue;
Even every gardening blog,
In the hope that soon he'll claim
A plant to carry-on his name.
But I dedicate this ballad
To leaves that we use in a salad,
And to little orange faces
Spied in unexpected places.



'No smoke without fire' you say,
Well, here I prove you wrong.
Judging by the 'smoke' we see,
The fire should be hot and strong!


asks us to take the following words and pair them in unrelated stanzas

 gathering   oak   color   membrane   voice   limb


There was a gathering of people,
Meeting to rejoice,
And when they sang it seemed to me
That they sang with one mighty voice.
The great limb of the oak tree
Swayed perilously in the gale.
As I sheltered beneath it,
I feared that it would fail.
The scientist made a membrane
To facilitate separation.
It was the colour of human flesh
In my imagination.
I was gathering fallen leaves
Under the oak one day,
When, suddenly, a gust of wind
Blew all my leaves away.
Her singing was so glorious
Her voice had such a tone
That every note the singer sang
Had a colour of its own.



So, yesterday we met, my love, and I could kick myself,
Thinking of all the things I could have said!
I wanted to speak like a poet, with words that flew on wings,
But I just muttered 'Hi!' and hung my head!
I wanted to say 'My angel girl! I've been waiting all my life!'
And yet I let my only chance go by!
I wanted to say 'I'm crazy with the glory of your face!'
And yet the only thing I said was 'Hi'!
And do you remember me at all? That skinny bloke with Tom?
And are you even aware that we have met?
And, when you think of yesterday, am I just the vaguest blur,
A person who's so easy to forget?
You couldn't guess what was in my mind! The turmoil I was in!
We met so briefly, then we said goodbye.
You didn't know how my life was changed forever by your face
And how I've promised to love you till I die.
Although the only word I said was 'Hi'!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Glimmer on Glass

                                           Gerald Gee



Painted on glass, which makes reflections,
This scene shimmers in all directions.
The way the water is reflective
Makes this painting so effective.
Sadly, Gerald Gee has died.
His family views his work with pride.
As for me I'll always treasure
His paintings. They gave me such pleasure.
Here's another of Gerald Gee's
Lovely visual symphonies!
The sky is wild, the water still;
It isn't raining but we know it will
Soon be drenching from that black sky
Which hovers, threatening, up on high.
The calm before the storm! That sun
Will disappear till the storm is done.
But, for a moment, it flickers, white,
Before the dark snuffs out its light.
As for people.... the lamps are lit;
Round dinner tables they meet and sit.
Knowing that soon they will hear a 'Crack!'
And all the world will be wet and black.
Painted on glass, which makes reflections,
This scene shimmers in all directions.


A charming portrait; a charming face; such feminine perfection!
A dear sweet child of former days, from a miniature collection.
But no, this is no dainty doll, dressed up in frills and lace!
Look at the firmness of the chin and see an heroic face!
Eliza Pinckney, though so young, appears to know her fate;
That she will be a heroine and even save a State!
Born in the West Indies in seventeen-twenty-two,
And educated in Britain, when girls' chances were few,
She moved to Carolina, with all her family,
Where her father owned plantations, and his future seemed to be.
Sadly, her mother died quite soon and her father had to leave,
Being recalled to Antigua, and she was left to grieve.
At the tender age of sixteen, Eliza was left in charge
Of three plantations, siblings, slaves! Her burden was so large!
Remember she was just a child, and a female one at that!
What a responsibility that girl was looking at!
But  Eliza did not wring her hands and ask the sky 'Why me?'
She simply did the best she could to fulfill her destiny.
She rose at five, attending to the work she had to do;
She taught her siblings how to read, and her slaves were tutored too!
She read her books on botany, a constant fascination,
And even took music lessons as a form of relaxation.
Rice had been the main crop on nearly every farm,
But now the rice was failing, causing worry and alarm.
The Carolina farmers simply could not contemplate
A decline in all their fortunes, a decline in their great state.
Considering another crop, she thought of indigo,
Carolina was like Italy, where it was known to grow.
Indigo was a useful dye in the burgeoning textile trade,
So at seventeen she sent for seeds and all her plans were laid.
In spite of several set-backs, she firmly stood her ground,
And her indigo soon flourished and was famous all around.
She encouraged local farmers to plant more indigo,
And the state of Carolina went on to grow and grow.
And when she died at seventy-one her legacy lived on.
Her contribution to her state was great though she had gone.
Indeed, George Washington himself was pall-bearer when she died,
For she was a doughty heroine and Carolina's pride.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Four Sisters

supplied the words in blue.


'How stoical!' my companion said
As we stood beside the grave,
'How filial and how honourable;
How noble and how brave!'
The sisters, Maude and Verity,
Agnes and Veronique,
Had nursed their father for fifteen years,
When he was frail and weak.
He was an evil-tempered man;
Watching them like a hawk;
Telling them what to eat and drink,
Telling them how to talk.
They stood, the picture of misery,
Beside the shallow grave,
And many a fellow mourner
Echoed the words 'How brave!'
Maude had spoken in the church,
As though their father were a king.
Was I the only person there
Who heard a voice with a hollow ring?
Of course, as an apothecary,
Things were plain as they could be;
After all, Miss Agnes
Had bought the poison from me.
She's a handsome woman, Miss Agnes,
And now she's rich as well.
It's lucky that I know secrets
 That I shall never tell.
Tomorrow I'll court Miss Agnes;
How happy we will be!
But I'll be keeping the poisons
Under lock and key!


Value...... a variable word.
For decades Aboriginal art was valueless.
It was stumbled across by intrepid travellers
Who deemed it worthless,
And inconsequential.
Then it was discovered!
Now it fetches millions
In trumped-up Art Galleries worldwide!
It is copied.
But no forger can ever imbue the art
With stories,
Family references,
A feeling of 'place'.
No copy 'sings'.
It belongs to the Aborigines.
I hope