Thursday, July 31, 2008

79. That Grey Area

I'm not sure whether this is Comment, Personal or Such is Life! What I DO know is that only parts of it are true and you can work-out which parts yourselves! I asked my husband, Malcolm, to pose for me so that I could put a picture on my Clickpicks Blog but he refused! So just lean back and imagine!


My husband's bought new underwear.
He looks a charming sight,
When he stands mid-way undressing
Going bedwards late at night.
And I'm dazzled by his manly charms,
At the breaking of the day.
For his singlet and his boxers
Are a tasteful shade of grey.
He's always been conservative
And liked to do what's right.
For forty years he's dazzled me
With undies snowy white!
But now he looks all manly,
Like a centrefold, no less,
And I really get a kick
Out of his stages of undress.
'But why' I say' This drastic change?
This modern deviation?'
And then he makes a not-too-subtle
Biting observation.
'Why buy white underwear?'
He says, in a meaningful sort of way,
'For when you do the washing
White always ends up grey?'

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What a Wonder!


Say Mr Mandelbrot, how can it be
You discovered a pattern that grows like a tree?
When we see your discovery, there on the screen,
There's a part that we see and a part that's unseen.
A bit like a beetle, it sits there quite still,
And there's not the least hint of its wonders until
With a click of our 'mouse' we move in and lo!
An invisible world comes to light! What a show!
We move in more closely and focus our gaze
On a newly-found country, all beaches and bays.
See, look! There's a headland and there is a lake,
And that blue part resembles the eye of a snake.
And, if this is the eastern shore, this must be west,
With the south and the north just the same as the rest.
With repeat and repeat going on evermore,
From hilltop to island and back to the shore.
Mountain and lowland and heartland designs,
Created from blending and curving of lines!
Move in! Undulations now rise up and meet us.
The first pattern's gone but these new patterns greet us.
This one is flower-shape, petals full-flare,
And see! There's another one, right over there!
Another one up and another one down,
All seemingly decked out like jewels in a crown.
Seek further! Whose fingers are these I see splayed?
They point and they part, childish fingers new-made!
With copies all round them that go on for ever!
Ah yes, Mr Mandelbrot, you've been so clever;
To discover a pattern and give it your name!
A pattern that changes and yet seems the same!
A pattern that fascinates; leaves us in awe,
For we are the first generation that saw
A Mandelbrot Set with its ravishing sights,
All there on our screen and all pricked out in lights.
Oh Mr Mandelbrot, how could it be
You discovered a pattern that grows like a tree?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

77. One Starfish


The beach lay littered with starfish
The tide was running out
Receding was the water
They could not live without.
A hundred thousand starfish
Like stars in the sky at night
Lay beached on terra firma
Unable to put up a fight.
Each one would die by the evening
When the sea came rushing in.
Theirs' was a hopeless battle,
One that they could not win.
Then I saw a stranger walking
Along the sandy beach,
Passing the dying starfish
Lying within his reach.
I saw him bend and take one
Hurling it into the sea.
I saw him bend and throw one,
And then throw two and three.
And still around him lying
Were the thousands still close to death.
What difference was he making?
He should have saved his breath.
'Why save a single starfish
When so many are left to die?'
I asked as the man drew nearer
And I managed to catch his eye.
'You can't make a bit of difference,
The dying will still go on!
You simply can't keep throwing
Until every one has gone!
There's not a chance that you'll prevent
The inevitable slaughter!'
Yet still he bent and still he threw
Starfish into the water!
I laughed unkindly at his deed
'Why don't you just ignore them!
Do think a single starfish here
Will know what you're doing for them?'
Then, he said, as he bent to a starfish
And readied himself for a throw
'The world wont know the difference,
But, believe me, THIS starfish will know!'

76. Buzzed

Humour Spot! 'Nuff said.


Love flies out the window
For lovers and affairs
When the footsteps of the husband
Are heard mounting up the stairs!
Take a faithless wife called Natalie
And her paramour called Fred,
And incriminating circumstances
And a double bed!
Husband John is not expected!
After all it's afternoon!
He normally comes home at night,
And this is far too soon!
Fred leaps out disconcerted
Wanting somewhere he can hide!
Luckily a wardrobe door
Is standing open wide.
He leaps into the wardrobe
And then pulls shut the door,
Feeling rather foolish
And wondering what's in store.
He stands as still as possible
As the husband says 'I'm back!
Move over, Natalie, my love,
While I jump in the sack!'
Just at that moment, there's a sneeze!
Fred gives the game away!
John rushes to the wardrobe!
There will be hell to pay!
But Natalie is crafty;
'It's the Pest Inspector, dear!
He's checking-out the wardrobe
Incase any moths appear.'
Fred stands there in the nuddy,
Looking rather out of sorts,
He madly thinks of things to say,
A million bright retorts.
John beats him to it! 'Pest Inspector!
Why are you in the nude?
For certain this behaviour
Can be quickly misconstrued!'
'Well' Fred replies 'It's moths, you see,
As everybody knows.
Moths have enormous appetites!
They've eaten all my clothes!'

Monday, July 28, 2008

75. Ladies in Lavender


'My favourite flowers? Well, I suppose........
Daisy, lavender and rose.'
Pamela speaking, and you deduce
That she's quaint and gentle, a quiet recluse.

But she's a feisty sort of dame,
A leading light, ahead of the game,
Very with-it and up-to-date.
She has arranged this special date.

Her cottage is such a romantic place
With wicker and pastel and cream and lace.
It seems she likes to set the stage
For an afternoon from a by-gone age.

An antique wash-stand, rose-trimmed pots
Blossoms from dainty garden plots.
A wedding photograph, sepia tinted,
That once was brilliant, newly-minted.

And round the corner another profusion,
Pale flowers in a tossed confusion,
Echoing the white of a clock nearby,
While creamy candles reach on high.

Seen through the window, the creek meanders
Past shady pathways and verandahs.
Hyacinths glow in the winter light
With the water beyond, a restful sight.

The feast is prepared, the table laid,
The cakes on dainty plates displayed.
Pam breathes a satisfied sort of sigh
'A tea-party! As in days gone by!'

Then twenty ageing 'girls' rush in!
What a cacophany! What a din!
Each with a bottle of wine held high.
'Where's the corkscrew?' hear them cry!
In a second they ruin the restful mood!
All they can think about is food! ………. (And drink!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

74. The Energetic Elephant.

Back to the phonics! This wasn't an easy nonsense rhyme to compose because so few animals' names start with an 'e' and children love things about Elephants. However, you'll note the 'e' sound in words such as 'pet' and these add to the all-over 'e' emphasis. There is a picture of an echidna on my Clickpicks page for those not aquainted with this fascinating Australian animal. Don't worry about hard words such as 'erudite'; the children quickly catch-on.
An elephant is elegant: echidna is not quite so.
No vet suggests
You pet the pests
Because they tend to fight so.
Nobody likes
Echidna's spikes,
From his tail up to his head!
And an energetic elephant can kick you out of bed!
An elephant is erudite: echidna not so brainy.
They lose their cool
When at the pool
And squabble when it's rainy.
Don't emphasise
Echidna's size;
Don't tell him that he's shrunk,
Or that energetic elephant will slap you with his trunk
An elephant is excellent: echidna is more lowly.
They fight and fuss
And miss the bus,
Because they walk so slowly.
Nobody heeds
Echidna's needs,
But echidna never cares!
And an energetic elephant can kick you down the stairs!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

73. Alton Towers

The name 'Alton Towers' will be familiar to all Brits and, no doubt, to quite a few Europeans. I lived in a house almost at the gates of Alton Towers during WW2. It is now one of the largest fun-fares in Europe. I passed its entrance some years ago but I had no desire to go in. This poem explains why.

On my Clickpicks page you will see the Alton Towers of my dreams and 'the other' one!


If you buy me a ticket to Alton Towers
You'll earn no gratitude!
I'll turn it down
With a withering frown,
Though I'll be considered rude.

Once, so long ago, my Alton Towers
Lay hidden among the trees,
Etched on the sky
With turrets high
Like the towers on some ancient frieze.

The barbed-wire, fashioned to keep us out
Was no match for our youthful zeal
We'd giggle and laugh
As we climbed the path
For 'The War' seemed quite unreal.

Though Armageddon had been unleashed,
We were free to roam, quite wild,
No lurking 'Stranger'
To threaten 'Danger',
A child could be a child.

Oh, yes, there were soldiers, so we heard,
In the buildings tucked away
And excitement grew
For we always knew
That they would not let us stay.

Covered in moss were neglected paths,
We watched where we put our feet.
Flowers, untamed,
By weeds now claimed,
Were neither pruned nor neat.

The gates had gone and the railings too
'For munitions' so they said,
We were free as air
As we wandered there
Wherever the wild paths led.

And acre on acre stretched out, it seemed,
To the very edge of time.
And our hearts beat fast
As we wandered past!
Trespassing was a crime!

The Chinese Pagoda! What a thrill
To climb up to the top.
No safety rail
If our hold should fail!
And below a dizzying drop.

The nineteen-forties, a time of Fear
Of bestial, warlike powers,
But not for me,
Because, you see,
I remember Alton Towers.

And so they advertise Alton Towers.
'Come for the Rides!' they say.
But there isn't a chance
That I'd waste a glance
On the place as it is today.

My Alton Towers was a place of dreams,
And something set apart.
It is gone, I fear,
But I hold it near
In a special place in my heart.

Friday, July 25, 2008

72. I'm By the Frozen Peas!

Herewith a little comment on one aspect of modern life which completely mystifies me!


How did we do our shopping before the mobile phone?
(Yes, 'you' call it something different, that I know.)
But, how did we do our shopping without a dialling-tone,
In those dark, dark ages not so long ago?
I pass them in the aisles with 'something' glued on to their ears,
A look of strain upon their youthful features,
And I hear them snarling ' Make your mind up! Lemonade or beers?'
And my heart goes out to these poor anguished creatures.

'They haven't got the small size!'

'No! It's quite another brand!'

'Well, how am to know your Mother hates it!'

'They've got tomato-flavour!'

'Hell's Teeth! Can't you understand?'

'Who cares how highly Uncle Freddy rates it!'

'The round one or the square one?'

' Well, you bought that sort last week!'

'Check in the kitchen cupboard, on the shelf!'

'Well, strawberry's my favourite'.

'Do you only want one leek?'

'To hell with that! You do the job yourself!'

In the days before technology we sort of worked it out.
When we shopped, there wasn't one thing that we missed.
Life was simpler, faster, neater, and more restful, without doubt,
In the days when Mother had a SHOPPING LIST!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

71. Smash and Grab

Raji published a photo of a 'bird-invasion' on her Blog, Raji's Ramblings. I return the 'compliment' by adding a picture of my own, taken earlier this year when I was on holday in Queensland. You can see it on my Clickpicks page. I've designated this little verse ' For Children' as I think they'd enjoy the idea.


Dear little Rosella,
You comical fellow,
Delighting us all on the coast.
You've been peeking and prying
And greedily eying
This Grandmother's buttery toast.
You're eyes are so beady,
Your beak is so greedy;
You've eyed-off her toast from the trees.
And, since it's your habit,
You swoop in and grab it,
And don't even pause to say please!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

70. Striking Gold!

Another well-known joke. Marriage seems to be fertile ground for humour!


A husband sat brooding while up at the bar.
You could see he was knee-deep in thought.
And a friend came and said to him 'Tell me what's up!
You look a bit worried, old sport!'
'Well, I have got a problem' the husband remarked.
There's a big anniversary due.
It'll be fifty years since I married our Peg
And I'm wondering what I should do!'
'Well, think what you did twenty-five years ago.'
Said the friend 'She'd like something the same.
And if you repeat a previous treat
You'll be way out ahead in the game.
She'll know that you've treasured the years in between,
And you feel just the same as before.
So think back to Silver, repeat it for Gold
And your Peg will be thrilled to the core.'
'Well, I took her to Paris all those years ago'
Said the husband 'It's hard to keep track.
But I'll take your advice! What a brilliant idea!
I'll fetch her!..... She'd like to come back!'

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yellow Rose

I trust Texas is no longer suffering drought!

To the Tune 'Yellow Rose of Texas.'

When it's raining down in Texas
They give three mighty cheers
But when there's drought in Texas
And not a cloud appears
They go to church on Sunday
And find there's been a change
The clergymen in Texas
Have been forced to rearrange.

The Baptists have to sprinkle,
Where once they would immerse,
And Methodists use wet-wipes!
I don't know which is worse!
And then the Presbyterians
Think rain-checks have to do,
And the Catholics want miracles.
Will wine-to-water do?

A drought's a drought all over,
Down-Under it's the same.
For years the grass has withered;
It really is a shame.
Let's keep our sense of humour
Through all our tears and pain.
Let's keep our spirits buoyant
Till we shout
'Here comes the rain!'

Monday, July 21, 2008

68. Wozzat?

During my Blurfing (my name for Blog Surfing!) I came upon an interesting page written by a cinematic lighting expert. In it he discussed LIGHT and I was reminded of an incident in my family life. I would like the gentleman to read this poem but I've 'lost' him! Can anyone help me find him again!

As you will see on my Clickpicks page, I managed to capture the exact moment when this 'poeticised' event occurred.


It slid quietly down the stairs
And settled itself on the carpet.

It was shaped like a lozenge,
Flat, throbbing with life,
And infinitely strange.

The boy looked at it fearfully.


'Don't be afraid!' I chortled.
'It's only sunlight!'

But the boy knew better than I did.
He knew that he was face to face with magic.
He knew he was right to be afraid.

I saw in him a man of ancient times
Trying to make sense of it all.
Positioning rocks to capture the sun
On Midsummer's Day.

I saw in him a man of the future
To whom Physics, Electricity, Magnetism,
Will be humdrum.
I saw him capturing the sunlight,
Taming it,
Turning it into a commodity.

The echo of my voice
Sounded banal.

'It's only sunlight!'

The echo of his voice
Sounded aware,


Sunday, July 20, 2008

67. Romance on the High Seas

This poem started-off as a song. I have a trilly little voice, but a very supportive guitarist, Suzie, and we sometimes present programs of my Newcastle folk-songs. There is a perennial joke that goes the rounds in Newcastle; 'I was born overseas.' Glance at my Clickpicks page and you will see that 'overseas' means 'in Stockton'. The ferry scuttles backwards and forwards all day over the Hunter River, slicing the journey between the suburb and the city by at least half an hour. The trip takes about five minutes, which doesn't leave much time for romance. But sometimes………..


Newcastle to Stockton? Five minutes!
We scarcely sit down but we're there!
The ferry goes backwards and forwards
And it's cheap with a Pensioners' fare.
But I'll tell you a story of romance
That blossomed on board.....only just!
Get a tissue if you're sentimental.
And remember! It's love and not lust!

She was riding one day on the ferry,
A totally humdrum event.
She didn't much care where she'd come from,
She didn't much care where she went.
She'd had a bad day at the office;
She really felt dead on her feet,
So she found an obscure little corner
And simply sagged down in her seat.
He was standing alone when she saw him,
Just staring out over the rail.
His shoulders were slumped and dejected
As though he were going to gaol.
He half-turned his head and he saw her.
Their eyes seemed to lock in the glance
And she suddenly found that her sad little heart
Was doing a spirited dance.
In a trice, they were over in Stockton,
But she simply stayed in her seat.
She just couldn't walk to the gang-plank!
Her heart was still missing a beat!
Then he came and sat down right beside her,
As the ferry-boat set off once more,
And they sat, without words, as the ship sailed
For the city they'd left just before.
It was backwards and forwards they travelled,
And, although you may think it absurd,
They went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,
And they never said one single word!
Then, just a they pulled into Stockton,
And she'd made up her mind she must land,
He drew in his breath with a sort of a gasp
And just made a grab for her hand!
Now they travel a lot on the ferry,
And the kids often come with their bikes,
And they walk and they swim and they picnic,
For that's what the family likes.
And, often, they share silent laughter,
As they think of that long-ago day,
And when they sail over from Stockton
He still holds her hand all the way.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

66. In Yer Dreams, Granny!

I was travelling home on the train recently and I started musing about how I'd react if a mugger pounced on me as I came out of the station! (Let me say that I've never been attacked in my life and that our city of Newcastle is definitely not a hotbed of crime!) The following reveals the difference between 'musing' and reality!

Today I've been rehearsing
All the words that I will say
If a mugger ever grabs me
As I'm on my homeward way!
I'm guessing he'll be looming up
All threatening in the gloom,
For it's certain that all muggers like to loom.

For a second I'll feel nervous!
After all I'm not too spry.
And he's sure to be a surly
And repulsive sort of guy.
But when he grabs my handbag
I'll lift my little chin
And this is how the sparring will begin......

'Give us yer ipod, Granny!'
He'll hiss into my ear!
And I'll reply 'An ipod?
Please make yourself more clear.'
(Note how I keep my wits about me,
Standing straight and tall!)
It really isn't difficult at all!

'Then how about yer mobile phone?'
He's getting quite persistent.
His hold upon my elbow
Is quite forceful and insistant.
'The only phone I have, my dear,
Is hanging on my wall!'
It really isn't difficult at all!

'Then turn out all yer credit cards!
And don't give me no lip!'
(I'm feeling quite elated now
And shooting from the hip!)
'I deal in cash and I'm afraid
I've spent that at the Mall.'
It really isn't difficult at all!

'Then how about yer house-keys?
And give us yer address!'
(I'm starting to enjoy it now,
Well sort of, more or less.)
'But you see, I've got dementia,
And I simply can't recall……..'.
It really isn't difficult at all!

He'll walk away, disgusted,
And just leave me standing there!
He'll look a bit dejected
But I can't say that I'll care!
I'll feel a wee bit shaken
But I'll know I've won the game!
You can tell I'm quite a feisty sort of dame.


I must conclude this poem
On a rather different note.
Although I'd like to be
The brave old dame of whom I wrote,
I have the awful feeling
I'd be miserably meek
And the only word I'd utter would be


Friday, July 18, 2008

65. Nan

Nan is a good friend of mine who is profoundly deaf. Although she struggles to communicate she is assisted by her charming personality. I wrote this poem for her after she had sat smiling throughout a concert, unable to hear any of it! Fred, her husband, tells me that she enjoys reading my Blogs, so I thought she'd like to see herself on the Internet.

(You can see how sweet she is, on my Clickpicks page.)


Some find their glass half-empty,
And some, of a happier kind,
Feel their glass is still half-full,
With some wine still left behind.
They concentrate on the colour,
The aroma of the wine,
And, even if life lets them down,
They still feel that it's fine.
They refuse to get too dreary,
They refuse to shed a tear,
Though they may miss half the music
Because they cannot hear.
Nan is the girl in question,
Nan of the smiling face.
She may not hear too clearly,
But she acts with charm and grace.
She joins in every party,
She smiles a cheerful smile,
She never let's things get her down
For that is not her style.
For her the wine still bubbles,
In a beautiful half-full glass,
For Nan is a lady we treasure,
Yes, Nan is a lady with class.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

64.Woo Woo!

I promised jocular but you're getting banal! I aim for variety. Once again, not my original story, just my versification. (As my friends know, I'm too much of a lady to imagine anything like this!)


An Irishman went out one day with Native Yanky mates.
He had travelled all the way from Cork to see the United States.
And as they were walking past a cave a voice called out 'Woo woo!'
And one American said 'Now watch! Here's what you have to do!'
He quickly stripped off all his clothes and into the cave he dived!
And joyous sounds soon heralded the fact that he'd arrived!
When he emerged, he wore a grin but the Irishman looked perplexed,
He couldn't wait to learn the facts. But look what happened next!
The trio arrived at another cave and a loud 'Woo woo!' rang out.
American number two stripped-off, giving a joyful shout!
He dived into the second cave with cries of jubilation!
When he emerged his Irish friend demanded an explanation.
'Well, it's like this' he was informed, 'The signal is 'Woo woo!'
It means a beautiful maiden's waiting in the cave for you.
It's a neat little local custom that all of us enjoy,
A little variation on that boring 'girl meets boy.
'Aha!' the Irishman declared, 'The next cave will be mine!
I rather like the United States. The customs suit me fine!'
Cave number three soon came in sight; the Irishman prepared,
Divesting himself of everything while his new-found friends just stared.
And, sure enough, 'Woo woo!' rang out and then once more 'Woo woo!'
And he dived into the darkness knowing he was right on cue.

In the next morning's paper the headline made it plain.....
'Naked Irishman in tunnel, killed by speeding train.'

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

63. Bella Sleeps

Two entries today! I'd already published my 'deep and meaningful' 'Froth" (62) when I received an email from someone I only know as KtJ52324 (maybe she's a spy!) asking for a poem about a new baby! I'll include her notes as there may be statistics that I've left-out (statistics rarely rhyme!). By the way, I didn't know what a 'gator' was! (Surely not an Alligator!)
Hollie is married to Ronen, they got married on March 23, 2007.Daddy is a University of Virginia Cavalier graduate (and big fan), and Mommy is University of Florida Gator! Bella isn't quite sure who she's going to be a fan of, though shes probably going to be a Gator!They live in Atlanta, GA.They have a newborn baby girl named Isabella (Bella for short) She was born on June 5, 2008She weighed 6lbs. 10.7oz & was 19" long!Nona, Peepaw, and Aunt Steph drove from Florida when Hollie got admitted to the hospital on June 4, 2008, it's an 8 hour drive...they were the only ones there with Hollie & Ronen when Bella was born.Peepaw never wants to put Bella down, and always thinks he needs to hold her. He hog's her!!Nona stayed a week with Ronen, Hollie, & Bella to help out.Peepaw drove back home to Florida with Aunt Steph that weekend, but Peepaw, Shane, Heidi, Averie & Harrison all drove up the next weekend so they could meet Bella, and so Peepaw could hold her again.Averie & Harrison are Bella's cousins, they're 6(averie, girl) & 5(Harrison, boy)..they weren't too sure about her! But, they held her and took pictures! They do love her for sure.She keeps Hollie up all night long now! (she sleeps an average of 2-3 hrs between feedings)Hollie tends to constantly ask Bella what Mommy is doing wrong! (because she doesn't want to sleep when it's nighttime for very long!)Bella loves her naps all day, so peaceful when she sleeps!Hollie's parent's are in Florida (they go by Nona & Peepaw *above they're mentioned already)Ronen's Mom passed away when he was young, but they know if she was here, she would just be amazed by Bella.She loves her swing, put prefers being held.Car rides put her right to sleepShe's already been on a car trip to Florida to meet everyone when she was 4 weeks old.
Bella means beautiful, Bella means fair.
No wonder that everyone's wanting a share!
There's Hollie, she's Mommy, there's Ronen, he's Dad,
And both have at one time been called 'undergrad'.
The folk of Atlanta all line-up to call.
And Bella sleeps peacefully right through it all!
Now Nona and Peepaw appear on the scene!
For Bella's a Princess and Hollie's a Queen,
As grandparents everywhere like to attest,
Of all the world's grandchildren their's is the best.
They hold her so carefully since she's so small
And Bella sleeps peacefully right through it all!
Here's Heidi and Averie come for a while!
The thought of a baby makes everyone smile!
While young Shane and Harrison beg for a hold
Of that dear little Bella, for she's good as gold.
Aunt Steph wants a cuddle when she comes to call,
And Bella sleeps peacefully right through it all!
She sleeps in her swing and she sleeps in her car
And everyone says 'Wow! That baby's a star!'
She's dandled and cuddled and passed all around
And still she sleeps peacefully, never a sound!
But Bella is clever, yes, Bella is bright,
She's thinking 'I won't sleep at all come tonight!'



Look on the soapsuds! You will see
A vision of all eternity!
See how each bubble blooms awhile
Then bursts with pyrotechnic style!
See how they follow, each on each,
Permanency out of reach;
Proud and rotund, a'gleam with light,
Each bubble floating ego-bright.

Each liquid universe is bound
In on itself, a gleaming round!
Look in each bubble as it rides;
Make out its delicate insides.
See every fleck and every spot.
Discern each whirling twirling dot.
Thus are we riding, fleck on fleck,
On some unimportant tiny speck

What was the Big Bang? Just a 'Pop!'
In a process that will never stop.
Time had no start. That's sure enough.
Time is peculiarly human stuff.
Time is a concept we invented.
Endlessness cannot be prevented.
The ticking of clocks is pure delusion;
The hours and minutes an illusion.

To the edge of Space we'll peer and pry.
'We'll see it someday!' that’s the cry.
But the edge is only of this sphere;
Reach it and other globes appear,
Each one a universe with stars,
Each with its Jupiter and Mars!
Each with its Earth and puny Genes,
Striving to find their ways and means.

Now, as we gaze upon the suds,
Bubbles are growing! Tiny buds,
Reaching maturity, bright full-blown,
Each bubble thinking it’s all alone.
Yet, as it bursts, another grows,
In a process that neither stops nor slows.
Consider the soapsuds' wild inanity!
Bubble and burst!
There goes humanity!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

61. Feisty Finale

Olive Riley, the World's Oldest Blogger, has died at the age of 108. I have just read her last Blog, no doubt dictated, but in Olive's authentic voice. In it she speaks of enjoying a singsong with the nurses. That really appealed to me and this little poem is dedicated to her.
What were you singing, Olive,
As you lay there in your bed?
What were the little choruses
Revolving in your head?
A little of 'Daisy Daisy'
Or 'Two Little Girls in Blue';
The songs of your long-lost childhood
When the world was sparkling new?
We marvel at your staying-power,
The fact that you lived so long,
But the chief thing I'll remember
Is that you left life with a song.

Monday, July 14, 2008



Tens, dozens, lines of ships,
Off the coast of New South Wales.
Ships full of coal.

Coal, the backbone of our region:
The Hunter Valley.
Making us rich:
Our inheritance.

Will I cheerfully forego the benefits
When the ships
No longer call?
Will I gladly be less warm,
Less pampered, less well-fed?

Will I be happy
When my grandsons inherit a life
Less comfortable and cushioned than mine?



Tens, dozens, lines of ships
Bound for the wider world.
Ships full of coal.

Will I be cheerful
When their cargoes pollute
Someone else's skies?
Will I shrug my shoulders
When their Greenhouse Gases
Clog someone else's lungs?

Will I be happy
When my grandsons can no longer enjoy
The Great Barrier Reef?


So I merely drift.........

Fiddling while Rome burns.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tattered Teddy.


I wish I were a tattered bear
With not a single stitch to wear,
With paws all worn and velvet scuffed
And fur a single mangey tuft.
I wish my eyes were not quite there
Giving a sort of anguished stare.
I wish my nose hung by a thread,
Not central, but side-on instead.
I wish my mouth had come askew,
As mouths of old bears often do.
I wish my ears had lost their lift,
Doing a sad and downward shift.
I wish I were lying by myself
On someone's high neglected shelf!

Why do I wish for this sad fate?
Because, I know if I only wait.....
That Someone will rescue me one day
In a delightful sort of way.
She'll make me paw-pads out of suede!
No finer paws, I think, are made.
With finest wool and thread she'll sew
A mouth like a perfect Cupid's Bow.
And then she'll add a nose as well,
So real it almost seems to smell!
And now the best part, button eyes,
Widening with new-found surprise!
She'll add a jacket, brilliant red,
And a little hat for my furry head.
Two holes where both my ears will go
So that they'll know which way to grow.
Then a gift tag round my neck will say
'A brand new bear for Christmas Day!'

But. alas, I'm human, not a bear
And my increasing wear and tear
Can't be put right with a handy thread,
A loving needle and coat of red.
I'll have to strive and play my part
To preserve the youth of my inmost heart,
So that, though age I cannot hide,
I'll still declare with joyful pride
'The outside's not too debonaire
But INSIDE I'm a brand new Bear!'

Saturday, July 12, 2008


A segment from another of my melodramas, 'Jewelled Jeopardy'. Maisie is a lady who can only be described as a Gold-Digger. She has recently married a rich man, but she has no intention of being a dutiful wife, in any way whatsoever! In fact, she is planning her husband's death! The melody, if used, is Post-1923.
Maisie Speaking.
Spoken introduction.

My duty, you say! Well that's a surprise!
I shall do what I like so you just get wise!
I may have been eager in Teneriffe,
But that fling, my dearest, was, luckily, brief!
I may have caressed you in Barcelona,
But, from now on, you will be a loner!
I may have looked lively when in Westminster,
But, in future, you'll treat me as a Spinster!
I may have been passionate on the cruise,
But now, my dear, I win, you lose!

Song: to the tune of 'I'm Gonna Wash that Man right Outa My Hair'.
I couldn't quite believe how silly you were!/ And how you handed over diamonds and fur!/ While all I had to do was cuddle and purr/ And hope for your demise!/ I've had a lot of practice with other men,/ That's why I always know just when to say when./ And this is'when', my friend. Don't ask me again!/ We'll never harmonise./ Don't try to pamper me!/ That'll just hamper me./ Don't try exciting me,/ Even delighting me./ On your bike and hit the road!/ Hey mister!/ I've won the jackpot and I won't do without!/ I'm a material girl, without any doubt./ So go to bed, my dear. I fear youre locked out!/ Forget domestic ties!/

From the start my eyes were popping/ At your wallet's bulging size!/ But, my dear,/ Now I'm here / It's the time to make things clear!/ You are yesterday's fellow!/ You've been cut down to size!/ I'll be off to do some shopping/ I refuse to compromise!/ Cut out charm!/ Grease my palm!/ I view you with some alarm!/ Learn the flute or the cello!/ I've been telling you lies!/ Oh yes! Oh yes!/

It was a simple ruse to get at your dough/ And, now it's mine, you'll find I always say 'No!'/ And, even though you'll say it's rather a blow,/ It's quite within the law./ Although your heart will bleed, I won't give a hoot/ For I would like to give this marriage the boot/ So long as I'm awarded half of the loot!/ You're just a man of straw!/ Don't try to wheedle me!/ That'll just needle me!/ Don't try extolling me,/ Even cajoling me!/ Just back off and leave me be!/ Hey mister!/ Now I've a house and home as grand as can be/ And I have servants who'll be working for me,/ I'm just as pleased as Punch for I am quite free/ To lock my bedroom door!/

Friday, July 11, 2008

57.Barrington Snow

From the typically English to the typically Australian. Our winters are brief and, by the standards of other countries, merely cool. But we do get Cold Spells and, today, we're enduring one. The trouble is that Australia isn't geared to cold weather, and we're not acclimatised to it, so we're moaning like mad today, when the temperature is about 16 C / 62 F. In my teaching days the words on everyones' lips were 'It must be snowing on Barrington Tops'. The children, in a barely heated classroom, used to have to blow on their fingers before work could begin! So I wrote this little song about the weather. I hope it works as a lighthearted poem too. My remark about 'the Snowy' refers to the snowfields of the Snowy Mountains; these are favourite venues for the school holidays.

(Find out more about the beauties of Barrington Tops on my Clickpicks page.)


Here, in the 'Promised Land', we dont get too much snow,
And none at all, here, by the sea, where the land is low.
But there's a place not far away where snow quite often drops,
And then we shiver and we say 'There's snow on Barrington Tops!'

When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And the sky is all covered with grey,
Then we feel how the temperature drops
And we're in for a cold winter's day.
With jumper on jumper
We look a bit plumper,
But that doesn't matter at all.
We find life is sweeter
Up close to the heater
When Jack Frost is coming to call.

When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And the wind is as sharp as a knife,
Then we find that the sunbaking stops
And we look for a cosier life.
With sweater on sweater
We feel a lot better!
They keep all the chillies away.
With wooly on wooly,
We understand, fully,
That padding keeps Jack Frost at bay.

Rosy rosy;
Little red nosy!
Maybe a sniff or a sneeze.
Cosy cosy;
Little warm toesy!
Sharp, stinging raindrops, that fly on the breeze.
Cuddle cuddle;
All of a huddle!
Under the doona we go!
Blowy blowy;
Off to the Snowy;
All of a'glitter and all of a'glow.

When it's snowing on Barrington Tops
And our breath seems to hang on the air,
We'll be found in the well-heated shops,
For we know that there's cosiness there.
With mittens on mittens,
We're warmer than kittens,
And winter is not here to stay.
Spring, you remember,
Arrives in September,
And Jack Frost will vanish away.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Wondrous Ways.



I've never been to Lincolnshire
And the time to go is past.
But the lovely lanes of Lincolnshire
Have caught me and held fast.
The dreamy curves all overhung
With shades of vivid green.
The gate-posts and the fences
And the tufted grass between.
The wondrous ways of England
That I didn't know I'd missed.
And the lovely lanes of Lincolnshire
Leading on into the mist.
The land I've chosen spreads so wide
It's greens are muted, soft.
The gums shine silver overhead
And hold their leaves aloft.
The brilliant blue of summer skies
Arcs daily overhead
And the heart of this great country
Is like blood, a brilliant red.
But a lingering love of England
Is still with me, so it seems
And the lovely lanes of Lincolnshire
Lead on into my dreams.
The cottages, the village greens,
The cricketers in white
The 'chintzy chintzy cheeriness'
The misty moisty light.
They tell me life has undergone
Some sorry alterations
They tell me mine's the biased view
Of older generations.
They tell me nothing's permanent
And dreams aren't made to last.
But the lovely lanes of Lincolnshire
Lead back into my past.

55. Breaking the Ice!

Back to the banal today, but I hope you'll enjoy this bit of nonsense!


He walked into the hotel; having parked his highpowered car,
And straight away he saw her as she sat up at the bar.
She was blonde (of course you knew that!), she was luscious, she was slim,
And he hoped, against all hope perhaps, that she had noticed him.
He smiled his usual gung-ho smile, the one that worked so well,
The smile that had demolished girls in every smart hotel.
She looked quite blankly at him, like he was made of glass,
Though he'd always been successful with this easy opening pass.
He chose a bar-stool near her and he gave a lingering glance,
It wasn't in his nature to admit he'd missed a chance.
She turned her head away from him and gazed up at the ceiling,
A gesture that resulted in a very sinking feeling.
He cleared his throat and then he said that awful time-worn phrase
'Do you come here often?'…… He was silenced with a gaze,
A gaze of such disinterest that it chilled him to the bone.
Could it be he'd leave the bar tonight unwanted and alone?
In desperation he moved up till he was near her ear
And he bellowed 'Ten Fat Penguins!' very loud and very clear.
At last she was alerted, she spun round, 'What did you say?'
And so he thought that it was time to give the game away.
He gave an explanation that was brief and so concise!
'I needed Ten Fat Penguins to help me break the ice!'

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

54. Legs' Labours Lost!

Whenever I watch an old black-and-white film from the Astair years ( and I watch them frequently because my husband is addicted!) I am mesmerised by the Chorus Line. I scarcely look at Ginger Rogers. I gaze intently into the faces of the Bright Young Things, who are bright and young no more and I empathise. Their ambition was as great as Ginger's; their disappointment doubled by it being unimportant.There must be few of them left alive, but I'd love to be able to tell even one remaining that she still has an audience ......of one.

(See the subjects of my poem on my Clickpicks Blog.)


Long lissom legs;
Luscious lips, half parted.
Corrugated hair, blonde, bottle blonde.

The Beauty Spot.
The Widow's Peak.
The Kiss Curl.
The Cupid's Bow.
All gone.

Eyes wide! But not with innocence.
Fixed smiles,
With nerves chattering at the corners of the mouths.
Bountiful thighs, no longer fashionable.
Eager faces.
Oh so eager....

For Fame.

'Please let him notice me!'
'I kick higher than she does!'
'Is my lipstick smudged?'
'This is my last chance.'

We see them, time and time again, in the background of old movies.
Fred and Ginger take centre-stage.
And, behind them the girls line-up.
This could be IT!

Kick! Kick! Kick!
Higher! Higher! Higher!
Arms around another's waist,
But not out of affection.
More like hatred.

'Surely Busby Berkely looked my way!'

The Tin Pan Alley music is full of hope.
And so are they.

But we know something they don't know:
That they will never make it.

Time will defeat them.
They will join us at the kitchen sink.

And a new crop of dewy-eyed babes will come along.

These are not great tragedies, as tragedies go.
At least, one day, they will be able to say to their grandchildren
'I was in a film once'

That will be their only reward.

Maybe now they're high-kicking on a cloud!

Maybe now they're looking down at us thinking

'I bet you never danced with Fred Astair.'

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

53. Cobwebs!

This is definitely Hot Off the Press! (Look at the clock on my Clickpicks page and you'll see what I mean!) All of this is true. (Except maybe I 'diminished' the number of cobwebs!)
We love the high ceilings
We've got in this place.
They give us such feelings
Of bountiful space.
And when I've done dusting
And sweeping around
I'm certainly trusting
No dirt will be found.
But Blake's eyes are youthful
(Our grandson, he's ten)
And Blake's very truthful,
At least, now and then!
"A cobweb!' he's saying,
Just looking around,
And I start in praying
Just one will be found!
So armed with a long broom
He's on Cobweb Duty!
The kitchen, the lounge-room;
And I'm looking snooty!
But he's been successful
Wherever he's been!
(I'm finding this stressful!)
He's found SEVENTEEN!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Move Over Marlene!


This parody should spoken and sung in the unmistakable tones of the great Marlene Dietrich. The song 'Falling in Love Again' are well-known.

(Spoken Introduction)I used to be a little mouse,
Scurrying round my dirty house,
Looking for fluff beneath the double bed.
I'd scuttle up and down the stairs
Searching for those stray grey hairs,
And viewing every speck of dust with dread.
And then, like a lightning flash,
I learned how to be more rash.
The answer simply could not have been plainer!
I'd don a suspender belt!
In fishnets I'd look so svelte!
I'd dress up as that legendary Marlene!

To the tune of 'Falling in Love Again'

Washing the floors again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Windows unt doors again, till they look like new.
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Cobwebs unt mildew keep coming! What a shame!
And, if they linger, I'm really not to blame.
Washing the floors again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!

Scouring the pans again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Cleaning the cans again! Rubbish stuck like glue!
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Gravy unt custard keep clinging for dear life!
Though I attack them with wire-wool unt a knife!
Scouring the pans again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!

Washing the socks again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Pajamas unt frocks again, till they look like new!
What am I to do? I can't help it!
Undies unt shirt tails, a never-ending flow!
Stains by the dozen, above and down below!
Washing the socks again, never wanted to!
What am I to do? I can't help it!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

51. White Socks

I have written this for a lady whom I only know as Marmot Mom. She lives in what she describes as one of America's outer islands, which I find intriguing. Anyway, in my early forays into Blogging (and, even now, I've been at it only a few weeks) I read her account of her puppy and asked her if I could 'versify' it. This is the result. I love being 'commissioned' for poems.

(for Marmot Mom)

His outside self was very small, puppy-sized, no less.
But inside he was mountain-large, and we didn't even guess.
We fed him little scraps of food in a dainty plastic dish.
We held him gently in our hands, docile as one could wish.

But Rosco fooled the lot of us; we very quickly gleaned
That Rosco was a force of nature: Rosco was a fiend,
He chewed the chairs, he chewed the robes, he chewed the onions too!
He even chewed the flipflops and the laces from each shoe!

He piddled in the corners, he piddled on the mat,
And he never seemed to hear us shouting 'Stop it Rosco! Scat!'
But we discovered something that he loved all else above
And it wasn't Mother Marmot and it wasn't Mother Love.

He found White Socks enthralling, they thrilled him to excess,
He yipped and yipped on seeing them as part of someone's dress.
He paid no heed to feet inside, he merely grabbed and chewed,
He jumped and yapped around them in a quite obsessive mood.

When he saw a foot in white socks he'd forget he was a dog,
And he'd leap up high, extended, like some strange demented frog!
In the end we changed to grey socks, blue socks, yellow socks and red,
And we hid all white ones right away on the topmost shelf instead.

But now we're feeling rather sad for Rosco's growing up.
No longer does he chew white socks as he did when just a pup.
We wear white socks at any time and noone turns a hair
For Rosco doesn't even see, or he doesn't even care.

But, somehow, something's missing, now he's learning to obey.
For puppy antics please us all. They're a very small price to pay

Saturday, July 5, 2008

50. Grandmother's Diary

Yesterday's Spree was very successful.
(There are photos of it on my Clickpicks page)
I actually wrote the following rather cynical poem years before I had grandchildren At that time I was only viewing other peoples' 'brats'! Now I have my own, I realise the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.

(Tongue in cheek)

Entry May 15th 2001

My daughter is coming to visit today with HIM!
At the thought of that beautiful baby my eyes grow dim.
He'll be tenderly placed in my lap
And I'll cuddle the dear little chap
And my cup will be flowing with happiness, up to the brim.

In the garden we've set-up a miniature jungle-gym
And we've put in a pool, for he'll certainly learn to swim.
We've bought him a full set of drums;
He can play them whenever he comes:
And a leather-bound book of the tales of the Brothers Grimm.

It's foolish, I know, but I'll bow to his every whim,
And I'll call him his silly old Granny's own Tiny Tim.
Today we'll be forging a bond
That will last us through life and beyond.
My daughter is coming to visit today with HIM!

Entry May 15th 2008

My daughter is coming to visit today with HIM!
And I know that the outlook is more than a little grim.
He'll race around shouting 'Yippee!'
While his mother pretends not to see
That he's tearing my baby-doll ornaments limb from limb!

He's already ruined the beautiful jungle-gym
And the swimming pool's battered and broken around the rim!
Our pekingese hides in the shed
And our cockatoo tries to play dead,
And our goldfish are so out of sorts they can hardly swim!

He bashes those drums with an over-abundance of vim
And I know that my chances of taking a nap are slim!
They tell me it's all just a phase,
But today will be 'one of those days!'
My daughter is coming to visit today with HIM.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

49. My Inheritance

An extra today as I'm off on another 'spree' this-evening. (Let's hope it's more successful than the last!) I'm attending a Farewell Dinner and there will be a lot of people there that I haven't seen for 17 years! Hence the long look in the mirror resulting in this little offering! My parents weren't in the least grotesque (though they sound so here!) but there were physical signs of ageing that I was going to avoid like the plague! Nuff said!


My Dad had rheumy eyes; the tears kept dropping.
The winter winds caused many bouts of mopping.
But he was old; that's how it had to be.
And what had rheumy eyes to do with me?

My Mum had folds of loose and crinkly skin
That hung and waved about beneath her chin.
But she was old; that's how it had to be.
And what had turkey-necks to do with me?

Now I've discovered I have reached the stage
Of realising I'm 'a certain age'.
The eyes from Dad, the turkey-neck from Mammy!
It isn't fair! I got a double whammy!

Buttercups and Daisies


Buttercups and Daisies.
Could a phrase be more English?
Or is it just my old Englishness making it feel that way?

I am transported to a wonderland
In which a mother
Can hold a buttercup under one's chin
And say 'Yes! You like butter!'

How magic was that!

My mother holds my hand.
Does she say 'It's Fairyland!'
Or does the thought come unbidden into my mind.
I only know that I stand there and believe.

Only Fairyland would have a little railing round it.
Inside the railing is a little park.
It must have been very little
To appear so
To six year old eyes.

Beyond is a wall……
I think.

But 'beyond' is immaterial.
Everything begins and ends in this small
Self-contained world

The yellow-white-white-yellow
Spreads like a tiny forest.
It hides small fairy creatures.

But I can't see them because I've been a 'naughty girl'.
How odd that I should only now
Remember that!

'Why can't I see the Fairies?'

'Because you've been a Naughty Girl'.

I must have continued on my naughty way
Because I never saw Santa Claus either.
And I never saw any other Venerable Mystic Personage, for that matter.
I have grown up
A comprehensive

But when, in this so-different land,
I see paddocks, far away, vaguely resembling
Fields of
Buttercups and Daisies,
'My heart leaps up'.

For a brief moment,
I feel those half-forgotten emotions.

I remember what it feels like to believe.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

47. Hanging On!

A Purloined Poem! Someone else's joke! But the jokes that 'go the rounds' have no copyright so that leaves me free to embroider. Don't read this if you're a prude!


After an evening's passion I was lying in her bed
Letting some romantic thoughts circle in my head.
I felt completely satisfied and quite relaxed as well,
When Lulu shot bolt upright and loudly whispered 'Hell!
I can hear the front gate opening! It's my husband at the door!
He'll soon be coming up the stairs! What are you waiting for?'
I was waiting for my trousers, but she didn't seem to care.
Her husband's footsteps could be heard, now coming up the stair!
Now, I'm a skinny fellow with a rather concave chest
And when I'm seen without my clothes I just don't look my best.
In the wee hours of the morning I felt utterly exposed,
But I hopped up to the window which was, thankfully, not closed.
The early morning air was chill, the sky still black with night.
I cocked my leg across the sill, descended and held tight.
I let my body unfold down and clung with my finger tips,
As the scratchy bricks that made the wall collided with my hips.
I clung there like some maggot clinging to a piece of meat.
All white and flat and stretched out from my head down to my feet.
I heard the husband enter. I heard Lulu's cries of joy.
Was it only half an hour ago she called me her 'Lovely Boy'?
His bed had been kept warm for him, oh lucky, lucky him.
But from where I clung my future was quite definitely grim!
It began to rain; along my back the rivulets ran down,
I hadn't got a big red nose but I knew I was a clown.
I longed to jump down to the earth, and make a quick escape.
I cared not that the populace would stand around and gape.
I'd brave their jeers and cat-calls and, as fast as I was able,
I'd streak back to my own address and hide beneath a table.
But, in my haste to bed the girl who'd got me in this mess,
I hadn't even noticed much when we got to her address.
How many flights had I run up to achieve this-evening's goal?
I'd no idea and now I found myself in this dire hole.
Was it three flights, or was it four? Was it, maybe, thirteen?
One doesn't count the flights of stairs when feeling really keen.
I dared not let my fingers ease, I dared not just let go,
For sure I'd smash myself to bits on the concrete ground below!
And so I hung on doggedly as minute followed minute.
I couldn't end this episode. Why the hell did I begin it?
At last the vaguest touch of dawn came creeping up the sky,
And an early-morning milkman saw me there as he passed by.
'Hey you! he said 'For Goodness sake! What are you playing at!
You're only inches from the ground!
Lulu lives in a groundfloor flat!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

46. hktlkc

This is a shocking bit of nonsense! 'Bear Naked' (who or what that is I've no idea) challenged me to write a poem about the code letters she had to fill in to reach me! These were
Don't send me any more! It interrupts my writing The Great Australian Novel
(I wish!)
Here I am, simply doing my best,
Knowing I'll write and you'll do the rest!
Though Bears when they're Naked can make me feel shy,
Lines such as these mean I'll give it a try.
Kangaroo Country's where I am at.
Come and see me some time.
(And that's that!)
By the way, BearNaked, I have put a Teddy on my Clickpicks page. But don't get too excited!

45. Dino the Dinosaur

Back to the classroom. Once again, emphasise the letter-sound and let increasing vocabulary take care of itself. I'd love someone to illustrate these for me!


The dinosaur did dreadful deeds in the days of old.
His dinners were enormous feeds, for he was big and bold.
A dozen dentists were dessert and still he'd ask for more!
That double-daring
Dino the Dinosaur.

He didn't care for daisies when his dinnertimes came round.,
He fancied eating doughnuts, all spread out upon the ground.
Then he looked around for dentists and I think we know what for!
That double-daring
Dino the Dinosaur.

The dolphins and the donkeys and the ducklings all agree
That this dinosaur was dangerous on land and in the sea.
And the dentists are delighted that he's gone for evermore!
That double-daring
Dino the Dinosaur.