Monday, May 31, 2010

Petaled Pirouette


Right time! Right place! Co-incidental?
Hardly a shot that was accidental!
A lot of thought went into this pose!
Turning a flower into clothes!
The tulip had to bend just so;
The dancer had to tippy-toe!
She then had to stand as still as rock
While the clever photographer then took stock,
Looked through the view-finder, making sure
That he'd get what he was looking for.
But the result is full of charm;
The tilt of chin, the bend of arm;
The artistry that we always find
When grace and nature are combined.
A trick? No doubt! But it's sublime,
That dancing pose at tulip time.


James Busby was responsible, or so the legends tell,
For descriptions of the local grapes. He described them very well.
But it was reprehensible that all that flowery fuss
Was wasted on some greenery when it so-o-o-o applies to us!
No not to those still young and cute, for that would be absurd,
They should describe maturer fruit! Witness this old bird!

My glass is oh so roundly curved, so comforting to hold
And the wine that's flowing through my veins is made of liquid gold.
Yes, mine is a very fine vintage, circa nineteen-thirty-one!
And yes, that was 'a very good year', (though threatened by the Hun!)
Of course, I'm 'plump and generous', the years have seen to that,
And it's quite clear when I effervesce that they'll never find me flat!

Gentlemen who sample me may try to guess my date,
They'll remark on my maturity and that's absolutely great.
With my earthy taste and my zesty nose (!) I'm elegantly sleek.
There's just a whiff of last year's rose and a tiny hint of teak.
I'm refreshingly unpretentious and I linger on the tongue
I'm a collector's item for I'll never be described as young.

I'm a forward little drop with the depth of plum and even a little spice;
I may be slightly more tart than some, but good value at the price!
My colour is rich and splendid and my bubbles big and bright.
Imagine something syrup-sweet with a sexy, zingy bite!
So look for an ancient vintage when you're hell-bent on a spree.
For, if you are a connoisseur, you're certain to choose ME! 


                                                                        Gerald Gee

What a lovely word is 'Crick!'
One almost hears the neck-bones click!
'I've a crick in my neck!' we often say,
Hoping that it will go away!
Here's a cartoon by Gerald Gee,
Who always sees things differently.
His sense of humour is unique,
All his characters seem to speak!
This chap's in a trap of his own making!
No wonder that his neck is aching!
This Wide Screen is far too wide!
He scarcely fits from side to side!
His expression says it all!
Clearly he's very much too tall!
Gerald himself  has had challenges physical.
For weeks he hasn't been up to quizzical.
I've missed his blog! I've felt the lack!
I'm very glad he's coming back!



When Sadie stayed with Granny
Granny always did her best
To further her education
So she set a little test.
Sadie was only four years old
So very young and small
So Granny tested her colours
To see if she knew them all.
'What colour is grass?' she questioned
And 'Green' came the answer back.
'And what's the colour of Sootie cat?'
The child responded 'Black.'
'Tell me the colour of lipstick'
The kindly Granny said,
And quick as a flash the answer came...
'I know what it is. It's red!'
When asked the colour of the sky
The child piped up with 'Blue!'
And Granny was delighted
With the colours that she knew.
When Granny was saying her farewells
She said 'Please come again!'
And Sadie surprised her by saying
'You might know your colours by then!'

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Ode to Oats

Oh glory of the Winter months!
Though art its greatest boon!
See thy mistress lying back
In a warm, pre-porridge swoon!
While her servant goes below
To stir and microwave
Thy glorious mass of wickednes
For which, so much, I crave.
The minutes pass, the stomach groans,
I lie and lick my lips,
Impervious to thy subtle aim......
Thy substance on the hips!
I hear a footstep on the stair,
I rise from the supine
My servant is approaching
With the porridge! Ah divine!
Tenderly placed upon my lap
On a sort of cushion-tray
Is a dish of thy deliciousness!
What a way to start the day!
Brown sugar rings thy plenitude
Thick cream thy centre crowns,
In a mixture of cholesterol
Thy plain old oatness drowns!
It's winter! Let it rain and storm!
Let 'cardies' be habitual!
So long as there's porridge on Sundays
Winter brings my favourite ritual!



I thought it was only the world today that had gone right round the twist!
But here's the tale of a Gigolo no woman could resist.
No man could resist him, either, which made him a busy man.
It must have been an exciting case of 'Catch me if you can'!
Leslie Hutchinson, 'Hutch' to his friends, was born in a very small town
On the island of Granada, where boredom got him down.
In nineteen sixteen, as a boy, a piano prodigy,
He headed straight for Harlem to see what he could see.
His father cut off his allowance and so he was destitute,
Until the wealthy found him and the friendships with them bore fruit.
He knew the Vanderbilts very well and many players of jazz
And his sex-life began to flourish with lots of razzamatazz!
In '24, in Paris, Cole Porter fell for his charms
For he was equally cosy in male or female arms!
He moved on to Ivor Novello, a British musical writer
And then it was off to Merle Oberon, promising to delight her!
His voice, they say, was melodious, with a deep dark velvet tone;
Jessie Matthews taught him how to perform, using a microphone.
He soon became the toast of the town, the owner of a Rolls-Royce,
Earned, no doubt, with something more than his quite outstanding voice!
He bought a house in Mayfair, and many smart suits with tails,
And he was on very friendly terms with his Highness the Prince of Wales.
Yet still he was a black man, and, in those dark days of yore,
He had to enter buildings using the servants' door!
He had an affair with a debutante, who later bore a child,
When she told her husband 'It might be black' he went absolutely wild!
But Lady Edwina Mountbatten was the lover most well-known;
Her husband was Viceroy of India, as history has shown.
She showered 'Hutch' with expensive gifts like a ring with a royal crest!
And all he did for gifts like that was ....well.....just do his best!
But, finally, scandal dragged him down. By the middle of the century
He was overweight and bloated; not the god he used to be.
As years went by he had to accept the constraints of a penniless life.
The 'housekeeper' buried in a pauper's grave turned-out to be his wife!
Only forty came to his funeral; Mountbatten paid for his grave.
Gone was all the razzamatazz that the Gigolo used to crave.
So, when you hear of scandals every day, in the purple press.
Remember! Things haven't changed much!
Humans alway were a mess!


The Conservatory


(A cinquain)

Humid, enclosed, aromatic.
Sheltering, nurturing, propagating.
Reflecting the wider world.

Quasi is a robot who's able to converse!
(I wonder, can he also write silly things in verse?)
He's an anthropomorphic humanoid! How's that for a title?
Of course he has to be programmed! That's absolutely vital.
He's a lot cleverer than us because his googly eyes
Not only register pleasure, anger and surprise,
But they also change their colour according to his mood!
Compared to his our human eyes are really rather crude!
His eyes can swivel up and down, the lids can move as well,
So he can be quite expressive when he has a tale to tell!
His antennae have been programmed in the manner of dogs' ears;
He can wiggle them according to the various things he hears.
His speech has been recorded, so this aspect is slim;
We have to gauge expressions if we want to speak to him.
I think that he looks rather sweet, in a robotic way.
But 'Give me a real-life squeezy man!' that is what I say!

Optical Illusion

                                          Brenda Bryant


A pin-head moon in a great expanse of never-ending sky
Will later appear as a great balloon and we all wonder why.
Here the early morning moon swims in the azure air;
So small it seems we hardly notice that it's even there!
At other times an enormous globe seems to touch the earth,
Amazing us with its brilliance and its enormous girth.
The difference in its size is almost beyond believing
But the odd thing is that we ourselves are doing the deceiving.
When we see the moon with enormous space milling all around it 
It looks so very tiny it's amazing that we found it!
But see it on the horizon and we can't help comparing
With trees and buildings and other things at which we're also staring.

Here's an explanation, the Ebbinghaus Illusion.
(I don't know about you, but I find it adds to my general confusion!)
The upper green circle is the moon hemmed in on the horozon,
The lower circle the self-same moon with just sky to keep our eyes on.
Both 'moons' are an identical size, but our eyes make the mistake.
The 'pin-head moon' and the 'great balloon' ....... both of them are fake!

(An Acrostic)

Heaven must be blue and sunny
Except the evenings, which are pink.
All is sweet, as sweet as honey,
Very charming I should think.
Even though it's heavenly
No! Don't save a place for me!

Saturday, May 29, 2010



The small boats come, the small boats go;
Day after day, now to, now fro.
The children leap and prance and play,
Here in the shallows every day.
The fish, unseen, swim slow and fast;
The pelicans float proudly past.
The birds swoop swiftly through the sky;
The clouds go scudding way up high.
Only the tree, impassive, grand,
Stands still, locked fast into the land.


Madge was driving much too fast and a policeman flagged her down,
Sternly fixing her with his eye and a terribly  harrowing frown.
'Is this your car' the policeman said. 'Well, no' Madge then replied;
'I saw it parked outside a house and took it for a ride!'
'Indeed!' said the Officer ' Fancy that! What's that parcel on the seat?
Madge began to cry! It was very clear she was starting to feel the heat.
'I confess!' she wept and wailed ' In that bag are human remains!
 I'm afraid I killed my mother-in-law! In there you'll find her brains!'
The Policeman phoned the station....... 'Assistance needed here!
I've apprehended a criminal; a vicious one, it's clear!'
Reinforcements then roared up and Madge was interrogated.
The Officer in Charge soon found that her driving licence stated
That she was the owner of the car! She saw the Policeman wince!
As for the package it was found to be some sausages and mince!
'What the hell are you playing at?' cried the Officer in Charge, bright red,
Accusing the first Policeman of not being right in the head!
And Madge chimed in 'Don't trust him! The next thing that he'll do
Is try to try to tell another lie and say I was speeding too!'

Newcastle's Famous Tram


Famous locally, that is! There is no world-wide fame
But that great word 'famous' is included in the name!
Its claim to fame is simply that it isn't a tram you see!
It's simply a bus in fancy dress, deceiving the peasantry!
When visitors come to our fair town they like to book a ride
Not realising they're on a bus until they get inside!
Newcastle was once a tram-town, but the old trams bit the dust
And now we ride on buses, simply because we must.
The tram-lines are still visible as we travel on certain roads,
Reminding us of the days gone by and departed human loads.
Only the 'Famous Tram' is found, with sightseers galore.
This tram that isn't a tram lives on while the real ones are no more.


I wonder whether the chart above reflects reality.
I must say, thinking it over, that I'm inclined to agree.
The prison population certainly bears this out;
The prisons are over-run with men, of that there is no doubt.
And Ignoramuses abound among the men I know!
Pass some drunk men in the street and you will find it's so.
And, certainly, nearly all the Saints have been well-and-truly male;
The female ones, by comparison, seem lower down the scale.
As for Genius, undoubtedly the men can claim the most.
Nearly all the names are masculine; no wonder that they boast.
So the males inhabit the high ground, but they also grovel low.
Women are more average; this graphic tells us so.
But let us not feel too ashamed even though this fact is real;
It's the women of the world, my dears, who keep life on an even keel.

Not Myself!



When we say that good old phrase 'I'm not myself today'
It often means we're feeling rather down.
A little vague, a little drab, a little old and grey,
A little like a kitten we should drown.
 So what we're really saying is 'My normal self is pert,
Beautiful and vibrant  and erect;
Normally I'm comical, creative and alert
Good company and very circumspect!'
Only Maxine is quite honest; her imperfections rule;
She doesn't give a damn about pretense!
The Maxine who says she's 'herself' isn't anybody's fool.
Once again, Maxine, you speak a lot of sense!


Remember Boris Yeltsin? Russian boss?
Part hero, part buffoon as I recall.
Born at Yekaterinberg, so I have heard,
And destined first to rise and then to fall.
When he was baptised, so the history goes,
The priest was very, very, very drunk.
He dropped poor Boris right into the font,
Giving him a much more-than-usual dunk!
Throughout the winters in Siberia,
He was lucky if he even had a coat!
The children would be huddled round, not flames,
But the body of the family pet goat!
As a rebellious youngster he once stole
A hand-grenade from a nearby army store!
As he held it, it exploded in his hand
And his thumb and a single finger were no more!
He worked as a construction-worker first;
He had the strength, he also had the build.
But he was ambitious for much greater things,
Being determined, gruff and quite strong-willed.
Communism was his chosen creed,
He rose to status working in the Party.
He was part politicians' man,
And partly boozer, always rough and hearty.
In time he worked his way to power,
And became the chosen ruler of his land,
Though his mix of politician and buffoon
Was something very hard to understand.
He's remembered for the good and for the bad,
But his bravery was seen by everyone
When, in the thick of riots he spoke up,
Balanced on a tank and near a gun.
Towards the end he was drinking to excess
And he sang and danced his way upon life's stage;
One minute telling very silly jokes;
The next exploding in a mighty rage.
Boris Yeltsin, let me tell you, was my twin!
Old England's daughter and Old Russia's son.
For both of us were born on the same day,
On the 1st of February 1931!
Aquarius was ruling at the time;
It should have influenced all our deeds and words!
I have a sneaky feeling that that proves
That Astrology is really for the birds!
I don't drink and I'll never rise to positions of great power!
I'll never make a population praise or maybe cower!
Moreover, I'm a female and not Russian that's for sure!
(I don't think I'll bother with horoscopes any more!)

Me And My Shadow


(To the old tune of the same name.)

Me and my shadow
Strolling by the lake one day.
Me and my shadow.
Which will be the one to break away?
Yes, I can see you there
We are a pair
If you were lost I know that I'd care.
Yes, me and my shadow
On a walking holiday.

There's lots of it!

The great idea.


If I were a Millionaire. I'm not, and more's the pity,
I wouldn't invest in buildings in the heart of any city.
I'd put millions into Hot Rocks, because I'm fascinated
By the endless possibilities that soon may be created.
If I were a Scientist. I'm not; I'm really somewhat dim,
My chances of solving 'everything' would be extremely slim!
I'd concentrate on  Hot Rocks, because it seems to me
That Hot Rocks will enable us to prevent calamity.
Way, way down and down and down, and way, way down some more
Hot rocks can be located and the energy that they store.
In very simple terms, it seems that pipes can be injected,
Then water poured down to the rocks and, when it's hot, collected.
When the boiling water's up again it will convert to steam,
Creating the pristine energy that is everybody's dream.
If I were a Millionaire Scientist I'd give all I was worth
To the people who're Hot-Rocking, the saviours of the earth.
Geo-thermal plant.

Australian hot-spots.

Friday, May 28, 2010



Throughout the ages men have yearned to fly just like the birds.
The dream seemed something way beyond their ken.
They'd imagine how a man would feel if floating in the sky
And some of them would try it now and then.
But it had to end in failure and they thought it always would
For materials had such enormous weight.
Engines assisted flying but it wasn't quite the same,
And being earth-bound seemed to be their fate.
But now light-weight materials have transformed human flight
And human birds skim over land and sea.
If I were young would I be brave and try to fly myself
Or would I be chained by my timidity?
It doesn't really matter for imagination soars;
I watch the young men fly and know the feeling.
I may be trapped by gravity right down here on the floor,
But my spirit flies with them up to the ceiling!


How good to be a gargoyle!
Oh what gigantic fun
To grace a giant edifice
And glower in the sun!
I'd rather be a gargoyle
Than a goblin or a ghost.
Yes, a gorgeous grinning gargoyle!
That would please me most!
I'd stick my ghastly tongue out
And gargle through my teeth
Spitting at gazing gentry
Gambolling underneath.
I'd guzzle drips from rain-drops
And gulp the gnats ands flies
I'd never suffer giddiness
In my great gargoylish guise.
My giant ears would stick-out
Quite gross and like a geckos
And I'd greet each day with guffaws
That would glance off all the echoes.
I'd look quite geriatric
In a way that gargoyles do.
Not glittering or glamorous,
But looking down on YOU!

Thursday, May 27, 2010




I am my Mother's daughter; that's how it always feels.
But this is not my mother; this is Caroline Eales.
This is my grandmother and yet I scarcely knew her,
So it would be so easy for me to misconstrue her.
I am my Mother's daughter; I am her replacement.
And yet I'm always pondering on exactly what this face meant.
This lady was my Father's mother; I only met her twice
And, when I did I seem to remember she wasn't very nice!
I suppose I was being noisy and she merely shook her head!
 'I only like quiet children' ! Yes! That was what she said!
They're the only words I remember from a lady I rarely met
But her words have always lingered in a way I can't forget.
In my mind she became a dragon  and a distant one at that!
My mother didn't care for her; I became her copy-cat.
Caroline was bombed-out and she died within the year.
I heard about it vaguely but I never shed a tear!
Caroline Eales! A person I never gave much thought to,
But now that I'm a blogger I really think I ought to!
Because her features resemble mine, as shown in this picture here,
Much more so than my Mother's  or so it would appear.
And I am brusque with children, though I never mean them harm!
(Maybe I frighten my grandsons and fill them with alarm!)
Caroline Eales! A mystery but less so since I met Jean,
A cousin on my father's side whom I had rarely seen.
"She was always known as 'Kitty'. People remember her well.
She loved to entertain them and had many a tale to tell.
She was a member of the church and loved to get up and speak.
They say she was rather bossy; very far from meek"
And isn't that me? My Mother's daughter? Maybe not completely.
Maybe a bit of Caroline lingers there discretely!
I remember my Mother saying "Her house is full of dust!
I think she only cleans it when she absolutely must!
She sits there with her cronies, holding forth without a care,
While anyone can see the dust that's underneath her chair!"
Oh Kitty, Kitty, Caroline, we're related after all!
I bet if we got together we would really have a ball!

(As far away as possible!)

If I were back in England and I ever said 'maroon'
I would always have to say the word as rhyming with 'baboon',
But, as I'm in Australia, I have become quite prone
To say 'maroon' as rhyming with 'alone'!
Maroon is a sporting colour, to do with rugby games,
Where grown men fight like tigers and call each other names.
I've never seen a rugby game, I'd find it very rough,
But others simply cannot get enough!
Maroon's the colour of Queensland (our New South Wales is blue)
And when it's State of Origin there's a lot of ballyhoo!
My son-in-law played Rugby and he thinks I'm rather strange
Disliking it, but I know I wont change!
I'm asked which team I follow and I always answer 'none',
And then I'm thought of as a person others ought to shun!
So I sometimes wish I weren't so out of touch because
It's hard to be unsporty when in Oz.

A Twirl and a Grimace



Not a violent movement,
Only a little twirl,
With eyes half-closed and slitty
And lips with a grotesque curl.
I was telling an anecdote
Obviously with emotion,
When Malcolm took this photograph
Of spectacle-twirling motion!

It really is one of the greatest  put-downs of all Cinematic Time!


'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!'
That's Clark Gable of course,
Before he's turning on his heel
And leaping on his horse!
There's never been a closing line
More positively crushing!
Poor Vivien! She went quite pale,
When, before, she'd been sweetly blushing!
I've always longed to use those words,
With a flourish,  all devil-may-care,
And the other day friend Margie
Presented me with a dare.
'I dare you' she said 'To say those words
To the very first person you meet!
The very first one who speaks to you
In the shops or on the street!'
Well, I'm not one to turn my back
On a harmless bit of fun
So I said 'You're on! I'll use those words
Today! To the very first one!'
So off I set walking to the store
And who should I meet but Herb,
And, as he approached, he suddenly fell,
Tripping over the kerb.
'Help! Help!' he cried; an anguished cry!
I heard him plead and beg,
As he lay in the gutter at my feet
Nursing his broken leg.
It was all bent up beneath him,
It looked decidedly queer,
But I simply couldn't resist the chance
Of saying 'Frankly, my dear....'
'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!'
I said with my head in the air.
It did look rather nasty,
But a dare is still a dare.
The ambulance siren was blazing;
He just lay there and bled!
Margie will be so pleased to hear
How well I kept my head!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Too Much!

                                           Brenda Bryant


Wasn't it enough that you were beautiful;
That the air was warm, the sea was cool and the sand crisp beneath your feet?
Why gild the lily with such a rainbow board!

To the tune of "Let the Rest of the World Go By."

You must be aware/ That I have a stair,/ That leads up to the rooms above,/ And that is where/ We'll grow more fond / And form a bond./ You'd be foolish to abscond./ If I lead the way, / I know you'll obey, / And learn the little rules of love./ With me as a guide,/ And nowhere to hide,/ You'll soon find out what I'm dreaming of./

For now is the time/ For we two to climb,/ And find our special paradise./ It's so sublime./ You're only young / And highly strung,/ But you'll see my etchings hung./ So come take my hand. / I've got it all planned./ Yes, now's the time to pay the price./ So, don't hesitate./ I'm your ideal mate./ You'll discover I'm awfully nice./

The Downside


It's hard to be poetic all the time!
To focus on the upbeat in each rhyme!
To keep looking on the bright side
Concentrating on the light side
Ignoring all unhappiness and crime!
I set-out just to photograph the sea,
Which was blue and lovely as a sea can be!
But this vision of a trolley 
Didn't make me feel too jolly!
No! I didn't dance and leap about with glee!
Someone had paid a visit to the store.
And the trolley had been loaded more and more.
Then they'd pushed it to the car
Which was probably not far
But returning it was really just a bore!
So they simply pushed the trolley in the sea!
Quite a sin against their own community!
And they stood and laughed, I think,
As they saw the trolley sink,
And just went home and had a cup of tea!
And here's a man who has a kinder heart;
A man who knows we all should play a part
In being neat and clean
And clearing up the scene
When other folk 'upset the apple cart'.
Forgive this watery view that's rather sad.
The message isn't beautiful, it's bad.
I'm hoping that, next week,
I'll find the view I seek....
A water view to make this old heart glad.


Just last week an Italian went to a Priest for his Confession;
The Priest expected many sins and a very lengthy session.
But the man said without preamble 'Well, it's like this, see.....
When the Second World War was on I sheltered a refugee.'
'What a very noble action!' the Priest exclaimed with joy;
'You must have had the kindest heart, even when a boy!'
'Yes' said the man 'I started off with every good intent
But then I gave-in to avarice and started charging rent!'
The Priest responded 'That's not good but I've heard worse sins before
And many men are tempted in the dreadful trials of war.
Go in peace and still rejoice! There was someone you befriended!'
'Right!' said the man 'But when do you think I should tell him the war has ended?'


                                         Briton Riviere


(Letter 'S')

An Acrostic suggested by Acrostics Only.

Sympathy takes many forms.
 Yours may be the touch that warms.
aybe you'll mend a heart that's broken,
Perhaps with words that remain unspoken.
A simple touch on someone's hand,
To show you really understand,
Has the power of empathy.
 You may set a sad heart free.


Imagine it!
There you are,
Mooching along in Space,
When you suddenly start to
Too late you realise that
Like a piece of string,
Being sucked down a plug-hole,
You are entering
A Black Hole!
You are reaching
The Event Horizon!
You start to disintegrate!
This is it!
The Singularity!
'The Point of no Return!'
'Abandon hope
All ye who enter here!'
Nothing can escape
A Black Hole!
Not even Light!
(That's why it's Black!)
Once upon a time,
Your Black Hole was a Star!
It had a gravitational pull,
Like our Earth.
Then it collapsed!
It's gravity turned on it!
It sucked in and in and in,
Until nothing was left
But a dot!
But a dot with the gravitational pull
Of a Star!
And now it's gotcha!
This is the stuff of nightmares!
'Sucked In!'
You've heard that cry?
This is it!
But, fear not.
Our Sun is too minor
To behave this way.
Earth is safe too.
Looked at it that way
It's good fun!
Isn't it?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Flame Tree



Among the tones of paler trees
Glow flaring features such as these.
The Flame Trees punctuate the scene,
Proving that nature is more than green.
Becoming one with the summer air,
Preening, with their russet hair.
Adding fuel to the fire
Of temperatures set to climb higher.
Their time will pass; they cannot last.
But oh what a blessed shade they cast!


Of all the folk you meet today
Ninety percent will forget you.
They'll wander on their merry way
Not recalling that they've met you.
Which merely leaves you ten percent,
That's not an awful lot.
They hardly make the slightest dent;
They hardly hit the spot.
Half of ten percent, my dears,
Will find you overbearing;
Your chat will leave them close to tears
And they'll hate the clothes you're wearing.
If you tell a joke they'll quickly go
With that look that's called 'askance'
While your cheerful chirruping 'Hello!'
Won't rate a second glance.
Half of ten is only five
Our numbers look quite slim.
Only five percent to like you!
The future's looking grim.
For of those five percent, I fear,
Half are luke-warm at best.
'Oh, she's O.K.' you'll often hear,
So what about the rest?
It's only two-and-a-half percent
Will think you're really great.
With that you'll have to be content,
For that's how well you'll rate!.
But those few will show affection,
And be close as a hand in glove,
So keep looking in their direction;
They bring a special brand of love.
But make sure you love yourself, my friends,
For there's no-one just like you,
Treasure a love that never ends,
And stick to yourself like glue.
Every day you must try to savour
A love that has no end.
Be One Hundred Percent in favour
Of yourself, your one Best Friend.

Seasonal Change


Nearly forty years in Australia yet still I find it strange
That the changing of the seasons is such a minor change.
When I was young, in England, the Winters were severe;
Utterly different from Summer! But it's very different here.
These are municipal gardens, just along the way.
They'd been planted out for Winter when I passed the other day!
In June, July and August, when winter's at its height,
These flower-beds will cheer us with colours warm and bright.
Oh, of course, the wind will whistle, and the raindrops will be chill,
But I miss the varied seasons, and I think I always will.
However, that's quite pointless! I migrated to the sun,
And I love my sunny comfort, when all is said and done.
But sometimes, only sometimes, for silly little reasons,
I miss a world where nature brought great drama to the seasons.

I wrote this little verse when I was teaching my young children to differentiate between the 'i' in 'igloo' and the 'i' in 'island.'

(A poem for children)

I've an ice-cream island in my mind
Piled with ice-creams, every kind.
High and wide and shiny bright!
Ice-creams, ice-creams pink and white
An ice-cream island in the sea
With all the ice-cream meant for me!
What a vision of delight!
Ice-cream, ice-cream, pink and white.
On my bike I'd like to ride
Round and round and side to side;
Here a lick and here a bite!
Ice-cream, ice-cream pink and white.
An ice-cream island! Oh what fun!
But what would happen in the sun?
My ice-cream island then I guess, 
Would dribble away in a gooey mes!

Monday, May 24, 2010




Scarcely a day goes by but I think of Cecil John Rhodes,
A towering figure now considered flawed.
I'm reminded of sixty years ago and a very much younger me
Way back in the time when I went to live abroad.
I moved out to Rhodesia, which is Zimbabwe today,
From England, to a very different life.
Not to the present-day country with problems by the score
And a history that's full of grief and strife.
I moved to a sunny country, full of sunny people as well,
A land of wide open spaces and rich brown soil,
A land where two different races seemed to live in harmony,
With a future for which all were prepared to toil.
Cecil John Rhodes named Rhodesia, after himself, of course,
At a time when the British Empire reigned supreme.
He imagined the British ruling from Cairo to the Cape,
Though he never lived to see his shattered dream.
Yes, I lived in Rhodesia, now just a memory,
In the days before the sweetness turned to sour
And whenever we saw plumbago someone was sure to say
'Plumbago! That was the favourite flower of Cecil Rhodes!'
But what I thought was happiness was simply a mirage.
Resentment lurked, and bitterness and hate.
Those smiling faces were just masks; we were not loved at all.
Something that Europeans learned too late.
And the strange idea of Empire, which seemed normal in my youth,
Was an aberration, seen through eyes today,
And Cecil John Rhodes was a monster, a megalomaniac,
Though, way back then, he didn't seem that way.
But still I have a yearning for that old-time Africa,
Wicked and despotic though it now seems,
And it saddens me that all the good (and there was good, I know)
Has been consigned to the hopeless land of dreams.
And when I see a plumbago bush, which I very frequently do,
 I'm sorry that the sweetness has turned sour
And it seems I still hear voices saying with reverence
 'Plumbago! That was the favourite flower of Cecil Rhodes!'

Here is a quote from May 3rd 1902 describing Rhodes' funeral
'On leaving the house the visitors crossed the broad stoep which was a favourite resort of Mr. Rhodes, and thence passed up the wide terraces between masses of  blue plumbago in the full glory of bloom, and so reached the lovely green lawns which stretch far up the slope of the Devil’s Peak. Here, in the welcome shade of the trees, many rested, surveying the restful beauty of the scene, and sadly indulging in reminiscences of the great man now gone for ever.'


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!