Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Night Sea


Now has the sea no ending;
It was light and it now is dark.
And the sea with the sky is blending
With a smooth and seamless mark.
And a bird is into the darkness tossed.
The mist comes down and the bird is lost.
Smooth are the lamp's reflections
From the street lights far below.
They are whirligig-bound confections
In a misty cellophane glow.
But their lights reflect on the turning sea,
Like barmaids lost in a reverie.
Now is the night air folding
It's chill wings round the world.
And the sea is gently scolding
As the waves are backward furled.
Like moths that glide under darkened trees
Are the tufted waves on the cold black seas.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Star-Sign Unions Six

(Author on holiday and unable to respond to comments.)

Tidy drawers and cupboards; everything just so,
With Virgo saying 'Yes' to this, and Aries saying 'No!'
It doesn't look too promising; it's easy to see why.
Aries is impulsive; Virgo is quite shy.
Opposites attract each other when they're first aquainted,
But soon the 'first fine rapture' dies and what is left is tainted.
Their differences seemed quirky then and something to be treasured,
But Time has made them realise that true love can't be measured.
Then Virgo found the Aries spark something to brag about
But now Virgo is carping and all Aries does is shout.
Aries has quite a temper; Virgo is a scold.
I really think they should avoid the bit about 'have and hold'!
Virgo likes a schedule; Aries can't be on time
And every disagreement is treated as a crime!
Virgo likes to keep to rules; Aries can't abide them.
Could even Marriage Guidance be remotely sure to guide them?
Leo and Aries, have some fun; enjoy that initial 'Wow!'
Then turn around and walk away
Before you have a row!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour.

It wasn't quite this romantic!

Earth Hour came and Earth Hour went. 
As for us our time was spent 
Lounging in the candle glow
Listening to the radio
At least we did our little bit
When our candles were all lit.
Let's hope all the huddling masses
Cut back on the greenhouse gases!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


(Author on holiday and unable to respond to comments.)

When SUNDAY SCRIBBLINGS suggested the topic 'AGING' I don't suppose they had pure evil in mind!


When Jake was at the Supermarket looking round the place,
A certain grey-haired lady started gazing at his face.
Along each aisle he met her; he'd look-up, she'd be there.
She was such a dear old lady, with her curly silver hair.
If he paused beside the frozen peas, he'd find her at his side,
And, by the bread, he noticed how she mopped her eyes and cried.
Her gaze seemed fixed upon him in a way that was intense.
And Jake felt quite uncomfortable; it didn't make much sense.
Suddenly, she clutched his arm and began to whisper low,
'I must tell you why I look at you; I feel you ought to know.
You remind me of my son, you see. He died quite recently.
He was the apple of my eye and meant so much to me.'
Jake felt so very sorry that he listened for a while,
Although the other shoppers found them blocking up the aisle.
'I've got to catch my bus now' the little old lady said,
' But you've made me feel much better about my son who's dead.
One more thing, would thrill me, though,  if you felt that you could do it;
As I'm heading for the exit, you know, just as I get to it,
Could you call out 'Goodbye, Mum!' just as he used to do?
It would make me feel so happy to hear those words from you.'
Jake said that he would call out in the way that she recalled,
And he watched her reach the exit and 'Goodbye Mum!' he called.
Then he took up his one purchase and joined the line to pay,
Knowing that he'd only spent the minimum that day.
Imagine his surprise when'Fifty Dollars!' was the bill!
He very quickly questioned the young man behind the till.
' There's only one item here for you' he heard the assistant say;
'All the rest is for your Mother!

She said you'd be glad to pay!'

An Allegory of Painting

           Jean Restout

(Author on holiday and unable to respond to comments.)
SIMPLY SNICKERS has given us an 'allegorical' picture to discuss this weekend.The picture is called 
'The Allegory of Painting.'

My Dictionary says 'Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative itself. The underlying meaning has moral, social, religious, or political significance.'

I can't equate this description with this picture, I'm afraid!


Don't you think an allegory
Should really tell a sort of story,
And fill the canvas with some great ideas?
This is nice but it's a pity
That it looks so pretty-pretty!
It's just a little portrait it appears!
This one has the self-same title,
 But it's oh so wild and vital!
It's depicting art in such variety!
Everything is overflowing,
Moving, leaping, loving, growing,
Echoing the artist's own society.
                               van Musscher
Here's another! Unrestricted;
All the artist's thoughts depicted;
Posed, but with an eloquence and verve.
Angels, Romans, swooping, flying,
All romantic features vying
To produce the most artistic curve.
                                            du Fresnoy
The nude form plays a special part
In this allegory of art.
See the boyish model, hand held high.
Little children creep and caper
Making their own marks on paper!
Soon the boy will spread his wings and fly.
And, even here, though the location
Doesn't fire imagination,
And the girls are not inclined to smile,
There's a certain hidden meaning
Which the viewer may be gleaning,
If he sits and studies for a while.

Finally the cherubs enter
With a drawing at the centre;
Lots of dimpled flesh and baby wings.
This is a dainty allegory;
Nothing brutal, harsh or gory.
But at least it hints of other things.
But, let's return to Jean Restout!
I must say, in my honest view
He really cannot say he tells a story.
His girl is, doubtless, very sweet
But his art is incomplete,
Because it can't be called an allegory.

The Invisible Tree.

This week's SHADOW SHOT

(Author on holiday and unable to respond to comments.)


I'm sure you can see
The invisible tree!
It's not there at all
If you look at the wall.
And yet, you will find
You can 'see' in your mind
The tree that's close by
Shutting-out summer sky!
A shadow that falls
On the windows and walls
Paints a picture, bright green
Of a tree that's not seen!

Half the World

An unashamedly Feminist song that I wrote some years ago.


When Half of the World seeks for Justice,
When Half of the World seeks for Peace
It's absolutely certain that, given time,
The threat of War can cease.
When Half of the world seeks Compassion,
When Half of the world seeks for Light
It's absolutely certain that, given time,
Men will cease to fight.
Our Half of the World has the Numbers,
Our Half of the World has the Power
And it's absolutely certain that, given time
We can have our finest hour.
We can lead the way
Into a brand new day,
For we are
Half of the World.
Another aspect of the same subject here:

Road to Ruin

As Roosevelt said 'All we have to Fear is Fear itself'. A cautionary tale.

The same subject as yesterday; it's on my mind.


He was a simple peasant and his hearing wasn't good.
He could neither read nor write, but he did the best he could.
He set-up a stall by the roadside, selling this and that,
Tasty treats for passers-by who often stopped to chat.
He was always cheerful; his food was of the best;
His stall was decorated and the people were impressed.
He earned a steady income and all was going well.
People lined up for the tasty food that he was pleased to sell.
Now, his son was a modern fellow, and pretty brainy too.
He returned from University saying 'Dad, I've news for you.
You won't have heard about the banks and the awful state they're in.
It's all so very awful, Dad! Where can I begin?
The world is in a bad way; everyone's going broke.
There's something called a Credit Crunch that's affecting working folk.
I advise you to go slow on things, preparing for the worst.
If I were you'd I'd cut-back on your decorations first.
Then buy the cheaper cuts of meat to make your little pies,
Pull in your horns and save a bit, that's what I'd advise.'
Well, of course, he was convincing and the father took great heed.
He set about economising, following his lead.
He started on a saving spree and he grew almost mean!
He fed himself so sparingly he  grew quite pale and lean.
His stall began to look quite dull; his food grew tasteless too.
His face grew rather sad and drawn as he pondered what to do.
Bit by bit his customers began to search elsewhere
For a more cheerful seller and some better-quality fare.
Next time the son returned to him he found a sorry sight.
His father was dejected, quite distressing was his plight.
His little business was no more; his income was depleted.
He sat at home and mourned his fate, dejected and defeated.
'You warned me this would happen' he said to his visiting son.
'You said that I'd be ruined, along with everyone.
It's all come true the way you said. Now I'll be poor for ever.

But what a lucky man I am to have a son so clever!'

Friday, March 27, 2009

Low Finance


It seems to me, when somethings 'lost', unless it is destroyed,
It's still around! It hasn't swooped into some aching void.
If I 'lose' my car-keys (as I do) I know they still exist,
Under a cushion, down the drain or outside in the mist.
If someone else has found them and thrown them in a drawer,
They're still my keys; they haven't changed from how they were before.
And, if I never find them, and there are no guarantees,
They still exist, for keys are keys are keys are keys are keys!
They'll never be ghostly items, unable to perform,
A lost key's still a key, my friends; it hasn't changed its form!
So all these mislaid trillions that the world is searching for
Must still exist as trillions just as they were before!
For something 'lost' can't disappear; it must be hanging round
Waiting for someone clever to shout 'Whoopee! They're found!'
Unless, of course, they were never there, but just a great illusion,
And the thought of that just leaves me in a state of mad confusion!
Please write and tell me I'm not mad. I need an explanation!

Were they just a figment of collective imagination?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Clash of the Titans!

A photograph taken this week for SKYWATCH FRIDAY. I apologise for the anticlimax!


'How could they believe such rubbish?'
These are words I've often said,
Speaking of the ancient stories
Of gods living overhead.
Yet, these clouds seem almost human
As they face each other here;
One 'god' bearing-down all golden,
The black 'god' cowering in fear.
One feels gullible and simple
In the face of such great power,
Ancient legends feel quite normal
As two giant cloud-forms tower!
We expected clashing sword-fights,
Lightning strikes and anguished cries.
But a fickle wind came blowing;
We were left with sunny skies!

Happy Birthday Malcolm!


So, who is this handsome brute,
Decked out in a tie and suit,
Looking so firm-jawed and tough,
(Before men got tattooed and rough!)?
It's one of my very close relations!
Happy Birthday! Congratulations!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Common !!!!

HEADS OR TAILS requires something based on 'COMMON' this week. I'm pretty sure all of this is true, except, maybe, the last part!


Oh Common Prawn! How dare they say
That  thou art common?  'Fie!' I say!
Look at thy patterned camouflage!
Surely some Painter was in charge
To fashion curlicues and marks
In glorious verdant lights and darks!
Look at thy eye, so knowing, bright,
With watery wanderers in sight.
Look at thy whiskers! How they flaunt
Feeling each moist and murky haunt!
Look at thy tail! Thy jaunty steerage!
Common? Thou should'st be in the Peerage!
See how thou hoverest at a height
Which you have gauged exactly right!
How you tremble, how you dart!
What a work of art thou art!

(Though Aussies often say, it's true,
'Throw another prawn on the barbecue!')

Up To No Good!

My friend, Margaret  (we met over sixty years ago!) published this today at  http://gosden.blogspot.com/search/label/RINGLING.

And this is my response. I couldn't resist it! And it's true!

It has been my observation
And my due consideration
That the human body's best left well alone!
And I'd like to send a caution
To these experts at contortion!
Don't you think your act is somewhat overblown?
For, one day, you will be fifty,
And you won't look quite so nifty!
And you'll wonder why your back is feeling sore!
Later on you will be eighty,
(Maybe somewhat over-weighty!)
And you won't be doing press-ups any more!
Then along will come arthritis,
There may even be phlebitis,
All resulting from this foolish undertaking.
And you'll rub on embrocation
Just to ease the situation,
But I doubt if it will take-away the aching.
Now, take someone such as me,
Indolent as one can be...
In my youth I couldn't even catch a ball!
Couldn't run and couldn't jump;
I was even slightly plump!
And I haven't any aches and pains at all!
While those friends who were so sporty,
Sort of wildly tennis-courty,
Are chuntering away about their twinges,
And, in the illustration,
You see a situation
Which is doing awful damage to the hinges!
Now contortion may be fun
But it's not for everyone,
And most of us are better off in bed!
My message to all youth
Is the fact that it's the truth.....
No good will come from standing on your head!


Sometimes colour overwhelms us;
It dazzles and explodes!
Our senses reel with brilliance;
Colour  strains and overloads.
It's just like someone shouting
Or a clarion-call that's brash.
'Look at me!' it bellows,
'I can sparkle! I can flash!'
'I'm RED!' you'll hear it jangle;
'I'm ORANGE!' hear it yell.
Yet we sometimes yearn for shades
As soft as those inside a shell.
This beautiful mosaic
Is gentle on the mind.
We can quietly peruse it
And see what we can find.
It's very beige is soothing;
It's texture finger-felt.
We enjoy the shapes and shadings
That mix and meld and melt.
Can you find the pieces
Of the pottery and tile?
The oyster shells and pearls
That once grew closely for a while?
The crystal and the marble
Now so smoothly intertwined?
White turquoise? There's a wonder
That's very hard to find.
And there's something called a microbead
Nestling in this scene;
Something small and round and bright
And neat and beige and clean.
This is a tactile picture.
Were it in vivid hues
We might gain in intensity
But, oh, what we would lose!

Ode to Joy

 Joy is a very dear friend. I wrote this poem as a little bit of nonsense at her wedding some time ago.


When a baby girl is born there are bridges to be crossed.
And one of them's the choosing of a name.
For if it doesn't fit, in future years there's hell to pay
And the parents, then, are bound to get the blame.
Angela is no angel;
Charity is plain mean;
Grace lacks co-ordination
And Virginia is far from green!
Dawn is in bed till mid-day;
Eve greets the early light;
Constance is always changing
And Mercy loves a good fight.
Patience flies off the handle;
Fay is heavy and fat;
Felicity never looks happy
And Melody always sings flat.
Faith holds no hope for the future;
Prudence takes risks all the time;
Hope looks dejected and hopeless
And Honour's committed a crime!
But, as everybody knows, there are exceptions to all rules,
And one lady has a name that fits just right.
She is joyous, she is joyful. and we all enjoy her joy;
When she smiles it's just like switching-on a light!
And her joy has been increasing; that's been plain to see,
Since that happy day of lucky girl-meets-boy.
So, Joy, we wish you all the best that life can have in store.
And, Dave ....... just have a life that's

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wot's Water?



Back-yard science to the fore.
Fun to splash and fun to pour.
Fun to feel and to submerge.
Fun to give-in to the urge
To throw water at your Dad!
Look! He isn't even mad!
This is where we'll learn about
Cup and measure, bowl and spout.
This is where the toys of plastic
Really are a boon fantasic.
Fun to give the flowers a drink,
Fun to see if teddies sink!
Make it bubble! Make it fizz!
Find out just what water IS!
Splishing, sploshing, keeping cool.
What a delightful back-yard school!

Little Nippers

An entry for  MYWORLD

My grandson is somewhere in this picture. Little Nippers play on the beach, all the time learning to be future Life-Savers. Even if they never continue on to saving lives, they learn important skills from the dedicated young people who teach them. This beach, a short way from us, is called Redhead.


In Australia, in the Summer,
'All the world's a beach' they say.
Here are Little Nippers for you,
'Surfing' in a special way.
In the future we may find them
Saving lives, but, just for now,
They are having fun together.
Little Nippers!
Take a bow!


                   Ridgway Knight


I daydream nearly all the time!
But is that really such a crime?
When in the shower a thought appears,
Just as I'm washing behind my ears,
Cleanliness takes second place;
I shower at a slower pace;
I end up only half-way clean
But feeling hopeful and serene,
For I have cured so many ills,
And I've 'danced among the daffodils'.
Going shopping, I'm inefficient,
My attitude is quite deficient!
I toddle along with my little trolly,
Sometimes, maybe, I'm melancholy;
But in the very nicest way,
Maybe humming 'Yesterday'.
Instead of working out a plan
Concerning a pie or tomorrow's flan,
I am, instead, engrossed in thought
But not of a simple shopping sort!
I'm dreaming dreams and writing stuff!
Who cares if the meat I buy is tough?
I've cured the ills of the world, you know,
Merely toddling to and fro!
I've written novels in my mind,
Of a very deep and cryptic kind.
I've daydreamed about each passer-by;
Is this one brash? Is that one shy?
I'm writing, analysing, scheming.
Never call it 'just daydreaming!'

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Magic Paintbrush

A Chinese Folktale


Now Ma Liang was a kindly boy; he helped his fellow-man.
He said 'If anyone's in need I'll do the best I can.
I'll tend your goats; I'll plant your rice; I'll sow your springtime seeds.
For I love helping people and tending to their needs.' 
The people clapped and cheered Ma Liang; they thought he was a gem,
And, sure enough, he did his best to bring good cheer to them.
One night he had the strangest dream, that was hard to understand;
He dreamed a ghost came up to him with a paintbrush in his hand
Saying 'Take this brush and paint with it! Try it and you will see
That you have been rewarded for your generosity'.
When Ma Liang woke he found the brush was lying by his side.
He looked at it in terror; his eyes were opened wide.
That very day a neighbour came; he was carrying a cup
He'd come to borrow water for his wells had all dried up.
Ma Liang took his magic brush,  and painted him a stream!
It tumbled over the dusty ground like the paintings in his dream!
The neighbour was delighted as his stream ran through the ground
And all the other villagers came up and stood around.
'I need a cow' a man cried out; 'Please paint a cow for me!'
And straightaway a cow appeared as fast as one, two, three.
'My child needs food' another said ' He's in a feeble state!'
And Ma Liang painted dinner, in a moment, on a plate.
The villagers were happy; they had all that they desired
And Ma Liang painted for them till his painting hand was tired.
Now a certain wealthy merchant heard about the magic trick
And he sent a band of robbers to Ma Liang's house double-quick.
They stole away the paint brush and gave it to their master,
Who set about him with a will, painting faster, ever faster.
He painted this, he painted that, he hoped that things would thrive
But though he painted madly nothing ever came alive!
He stormed across to Ma Liang's house and cried 'Why should I fail?
You're nothing but a trickster and I'll have you thrown in jail!'
He went to Ma Liang's prison and said 'Now! Paint for me!
I promise if you do your trick I'll see that you're set free!'
'Very well' said Ma Liang, though he recognised a liar,
'I'll paint the pictures you request, whatever you desire.'
'I want a Golden Mountain' the wealthy merchant cried.
'Paint me a Golden Mountain filled with gold inside!'
To his surprise Ma Liang agreed , with some alacrity,
But he didn't paint a mountain; he painted a bright blue sea!
The sea was wide, the sea was deep, it stretched far, far away.
The merchant then was furious, shouting   'I will make you pay!
I'll have you clapped in jail again, where you were once before!' 
 But then he saw the magic brush was painting something more!
On the far horizon, a glory to behold,
Ma Liang painted a mountain, a mountain of solid gold!
A mighty stretch of water, Ma Liang's painted sea,
Lay between the merchant and the mountain he could see.
'Paint me a boat!' he ordered 'And then I can set sail!
If I don't reach my mountain you'll be back again in jail!'
So Ma Liang painted a sailing ship and the merchant leapt aboard,
Heading for his mountain and its precious golden hoard.
When he had sailed a certain way Ma Liang took up his brush
And painted a quite enormous wave that rose up with a rush!
The wave engulfed the merchant; he very quickly drowned
And not one trace of the wicked man was ever to be found.
Ma Liang went back to helping folk, which is what he liked to do,
And if you ask him nicely I'm sure he'll paint for you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In the Red.

                                                                         Sir John Lavery

My contribution to SIMPLY SNICKERS this week.


Even the aristocracy have times when funds run short!
Well, I think it happened to Sir John, though he was such an 'old sport'.
He woke one summer morning with a mad desire to paint;
In fact the urge was so intense it made him feel quite faint.
He hurled himself out of his bed in a mad artistic rush
Eager to do his magic with a paint-pot and a brush.
But when he reached his studio, and opened wide the door,
He found it had been invaded by his favourite Labrador!
The dog had been locked-in at night and had really gone berserk!
Of course, Sir John's first instinct was to check on all his work.
Nothing had been spoiled at all! Oh what a great relief!
But he viewed his store of paint-pots with a wide-eyed disbelief!
The dog had knocked them over! They were running on the floor!
Being a toff he merely said 'You naughty Labrador!'
(It's likely you and I'd have said some words much more expressive,
Because the lower-classes are inclined to get aggressive!)
The paints ran like a river of multicoloured hues,
A sort of muddy mishmash of reds and blacks and blues.
A flunky soon was summoned to clear-up all the mess
And soon the studio was clean, well, fairly, more or less.
Once more the urge to paint came on, but could Sir John begin?
Without the paints to paint with he simply could not win!
He felt down in his pocket; to buy more was his plan.
But he found his funds would only stretch to just one single can!
'Now that's damned inconvenient' the luckless painter said;
'What a day to realise that I am 'in the red'!'
His heart was very heavy; he felt life was unkind,
So he strolled into the garden to try to ease his mind.
And there, upon a rose-bush, he spied the reddest bloom,
And, suddenly he said 'Whacko!', relieved of all his gloom.
'I'll send Jeeves to the paint-shop to buy a can of red!
This rose is an inspiration!' That's what the artist said.
By the time the hurrying Jeeves returned, Bertha, the scullery-maid,
Had been dressed-up as a lady, in finery arrayed!
One of Milady's dresses, a dark red, rich and deep,
Had been pilfered from her wardrobe. (Milady was asleep!)
'See! I've the ideal canvas, a new one, clean and fresh!
I'll leave that bare when painting the naked bits of flesh!'
So Bertha sat serenely in Milady's favourite chair,
And she really looked quite elegant as she languidly sat there.
'One final touch!' the artist cried ' To complete the perfect pose!
Jeeves! Go into the garden and pick me the perfect rose!'
And here you see the finished work, considered rather fine,
Painted in all its redness, like a glass of good port wine.
'That was a stroke of luck! What, what!' Sir John was heard to say,
The day that I got 'in the red' became my lucky day!'

(Dear artist friends, don't write and say  'He needed black and yellow!'
Don't forget, he was a toff, and a very clever fellow!)

The Three Sisters


I took this photograph in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales some time ago.Though the 'Three Sisters' don't show as clearly as in some shots I was pleased with the diagonal.


Meehni, Wimlah and Gunnedoo were three sisters, led astray,
For they fell in love with three forbidden men.
This caused a fearful battle between warring tribes, they say,
For such battles seemed to happen now and then.
The three girls were in danger so at last they were transformed
By a witchdoctor! He turned them into stone!
And now you know the way in which these pinnacles were formed.
(And that's a fact that isn't widely known!)