Saturday, July 31, 2010


Wingla Dada
An Aboriginal myth from Australia


Way back in the mists of time, before the world grew old,
Many wondrous stories of Australia's birds were told.
Australia was a land of birds, no animals were there,
And every bird was beautiful and quite beyond compare.
Migration still occurred, my friends, and birds would sally forth,
Returning to their nesting grounds and other places North.
They told the people that they met of the lovely land they'd spied,
That had trees and mountains, hills and vales, and rivers deep and wide.
'Let us journey to this wondrous place!' the people then declared,
But for such a mighty journey they were none of them prepared.
Only one creature had a boat, that creature was the Whale,
And the people asked to borrow it, but they could not prevail.
So a plan was made to steal the boat while the great Whale was distracted
And the wily little Starfish was for this task soon contracted.
The Starfish soon attacked the lice that swarmed on the great Whale's skin,
Picking them off around the tail, the large mouth and each fin.
So, while the Whale was thus relaxed, with the Starfish ministry,
The people stole the boat away, and set off on the sea.
The Whale at last saw through the trick and then became alert.
He whipped and lashed the Starfish and oh how the whipping hurt!
The Whale sped after the people but they traveled at great speed,
Reaching Australia and, for sure, it was wonderful, indeed.
The Brolga, such a regal bird, stamped repeatedly
Upon the boat and soon it sank into the raging Sea.
Ganman-Gang, the island, reveals where the Whale's boat sank,
And for that beautiful island it's the Brolga we must thank.
The Whale, meanwhile, left stranded, has to follow its destiny,
Swimming back and forth along the coast for all eternity,
Searching for its long-lost boat which will never sail again,
And viewing the coast of Australia, and its birds and beasts and men.
And still we see the great whales swim, returning every year,
And still we gather on the coast to watch when they appear.
And still the Starfish bears its scars, we see them to this day,
Reminding us that traitors always have a price to pay.


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.


Mrs Nesbitt has been kind enough to present me with an award! Visit her at


Thank you Mrs Nesbitt! Your award's appreciated !
I'm afraid I never give them but they're very highly rated.
I've been pondering on language, viewing this illustration,
Thinking of how times have changed just during my life's duration!
Take 'Brill', for 'brilliant', that's quite new, though easy to understand.
'Blog', in my youth? Quite meaningless, on the other hand.
And aren't I just the lucky one to have spanned the alterations!
From 'Excellent Essay' in my youth to today's communications!

Muted Mirror

Brenda Bryant


So little light and yet the gloom
Cannot blot out that palest gleam!
Figures, like Ophelias, lie there
Floating on a polished stream.


A husband stood 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 think celebrations are due!'
'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!'


Dappled Dear



There's a time when babyhood
Has upped and gone, and gone for good.
Childhood isn't here just yet,
He's half-person and half-pet.
In the dappled shadow see
The person who will, one day, be,
And the baby who's departed
Leaving us a bit downhearted.
How we love to see them grow!
But say goodbye to Baby? No!


(Before the Cataract Op!)

I stand on the balcony at night;
A moonlit night of a billion stars.
All things are crisp, outlined,
Solid and picturesque, neat and orderly;
Everything in its appointed place.
Houses, trees, pathways and the horizon beyond
Cut out in cardboard.
I am entranced.
Such beauty!
Suddenly a moth invades my hair!
I flurry my hand across my face!
My glasses fly off the balcony, to be lost in shrubs below!
I am, for a second, bewildered, disoriented,
Enmeshed in white light.
I cannot see!
Then, magically, I see!
My eyes become accustomed to glory.
I am a swimmer
Swimming through pale swathes of liquid luminosity.
Each star is a huge white chrysanthemum.
The multitudes fudge and fuzz and seem to fuse.
Below me, pale green billows
Disappear into the mist, dancing.
My eyes widen; my fingers splay with longing.
I feel bleached, like a skull.
Tendrils of hair are silvered against the immensity of sky,
So close that I can see them clearly.
I am drawn up
Toward the puff ball cloudiness of a new moon,
That is, indeed, a brand new moon,
One never seen before by these eyes.
Limpid lispings of light spiral down to me.
The light is like white wine, spilling over my face;
Sweet, exotic, tasting of starlight.
And I say a heathen prayer of gratitude
To that obscure goddess, Myopia.
She of the semi-sight has sent me a vision.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Red Sky at Morning.

                                                       Brenda Bryant


First light of dawn;  what sort of day?
Will we feel glad tonight?
Here comes the next act of the play
We hope it all comes right.
When I was young 'red sky at morning'
(A phrase I can't forget)
Sent to us an awful warning!
The day would turn out wet.
The dove-grey clouds presage the rain
Each flower lifts up its head
Rain will refresh them once again,
So welcome the morning red!


To the tune of 'Falling in Love Again'

(To be sung with a German accent!)

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!


The Lock


(An imaginary tale)

My Father locked me in a cupboard
When I was a child of three.
It was dark and I was terrified
But he would not set me free!
I screamed and beat upon the door,
I continued to cry and shout.
'Promise to be good' he cried
'And then I'll let you out!'
I promised, promised, promised,
And at last he turned the key.
I stood blinking in the sunlight,
Thankful he'd heard my plea.
Throughout a miserable childhood
He threatened me every day...
'Back into the cupboard you'll go
So make sure that you obey!'
So I obeyed, so meekly,
I never raised my voice.
Cowed, I lived under Daddy's thumb;
I felt I had no choice.
I grew up as a misfit,
An outcast and a fool,
Always hearing my Father's voice
And obeying my Father's rule.
They demolished the family home last week;
I went round to view the scene,
Gritting my teeth as I surveyed
The spot where my jail had been.
And there, on the ground, I saw it,
Rusting, the very same lock.
I picked it up and held it,
All the while in a state of shock.
Then I took the lock and hurled it
Hurled it with all my might
Away, away in the distance,
Away, away out of sight!
For a moment I stood there shaking,
I was still my Father's son,
Then I straightened my back and walked away
With my face to the blazing sun.


So what's the latest in the news?
Why! Ultraviolet tattoos!
When the light is black they're clearly seen!
(But what, exactly, does 'black light' mean?)
That mild young man you see in the park
May glow with violet after dark!
The hair above looks dark and neat
During the day, when in the street!
But wait till a black-light bulb is found!
He'll glow in the dark then, I'll be bound.
That sweet young thing looking so demure
Will glow with the best after-dark I'm sure!
Purple passion to the fore
But I really wonder what it's for!
One day Grandpa will be retired!
Will his grandkids be inspired
When Grandpa shines all violet!
They'll bury their heads and grin, I bet!
Grandpa will probably feel quite glum;
What a Shrinking Violet he'll become!

In Step



'Are you suited?' her mother said, with a note of  doubt in her voice;
'Are you sure, my darling, that you've made a really good choice?'
'I love him, Mother' the girl replied 'That's all I need to know!
And I'm absolutely certain that our love will grow and grow!'
'That's all very well' said Mother ' Romance doesn't always last!
Think carefully, my darling, before the die is cast.
You need to be in step as you traverse Life's stony ground!
It pays not to be hasty! At least that's what I've found!'
But they went ahead and married, with all the trimmings, too,
Feeling positively certain that their love was strong and true.
I passed them, jogging in Sydney, only the other day.
They showed the shot to Mother;
There was nothing she could say.

                            Pierre Edouard Frere


'I had a dream last night' she said;
'There was something called TV,
And millions and millions of people
Were watching little me!
I was showing them how to make a soup
From cabbage leaves and such.
And people copied my recipe
And liked it very much.
I even published books about
My ...... something called....... cuisine!
And I was paid for advertisements;
Whatever that might mean!
I became a millionaire!
Yes! Just like Royalty!
Just because I was good at cooking soup
Everyone worshiped me!
My picture, moving, was seen by all
On a sort of mirror thing
And all over the big wide world
I was treated like a King!
What do you think of that!' she cried!
Her companions said, subdued,
'Don't waste time on fairy-tales!
Hurry up with the food!'

Thursday, July 29, 2010


                                                   Brenda Bryant
Even without the heady blue,
The snow-white clouds in the sky,
The burgeoning grapes show luscious
Tempting us from on high.
And soon leaves will block-out the sky-scape
And grapes will grow greenly below.
Till then let us all be happy
With the Springtime Sky-Grape Show!

The Bunyip is the Australian equivalent of the Yeti or Bigfoot. No-one is sure what it looks like!


Baby met a Bunyip and said 'How do you do!
I never, never, never, saw a creature such as you!
You buzz just like a bumble bee; you're brown just like a bear;
You sit beneath a banyan tree and brush your bushy hair.
Your eyes are bright as buttons and you bark just like a bird!
Your nose is like a buttered bun! Now isn't that absurd!
You're made of lots of bits and bobs and none of them agree!
But let me tell you, Bunyip.... you look beautiful to me!

Rolling with the Punches!


This week's words......hatred, cramp and abuse


Ah! The innocence of childhood in those days so long ago!
All the simple pleasures when the pace of life was slow!
The charming little children being biddable and sweet
And playing with a rusty wheel with the neighbours in the street! 
But just consider Mr Punch and the 'Punch and Judy Show'!
Then you'll forget your sentimental backward-looking glow!
Mr Punch was evil, filled with hatred, a real brute
With his predatory long nose and his jolly clown-like suit!
He would abuse his family in a really awful way,
Bashing the Baby's head in to force it to obey!
And, when Mrs Punch objected he killed her in a trice!
Two deaths in as many minutes! No it wasn't very nice!
Then he hurled them from his window to complete his wicked spree!
Would this be fare for children now? It was plain brutality!
There were several versions of the 'Punch' tale but this was quite the worst!
And...... wait for it......the children always asked for this one first!
Children relish violence! We cannot cramp their style!
So don't look back on the old days with a dreamy gentle smile!

Typical versions of the Punch and Judy puppets. The baby takes after Dad!

"In the typical Punch and Judy plot, Mr Punch is left in charge of the baby. He becomes infuriated at its crying, and thumps its head against the stage in order to put it to sleep. When Judy arrives to see what the commotion is about, she attacks Punch for his cruelty. Punch flies into a rage, eventually beating her to death with his stick and throws the two bodies out of the window."



I've always longed to swear but been too scared to,
I've longed to spit and snarl but never dared to.
Though I've been consumed with wrath
Like some elemental Goth
To lose my gentle image I've not cared to.

But I've become a Blogger only lately,
I'm no longer calm and ladylike and stately.
If I'm bitten by a dog
I scream 'Blog! You Blogging Blog!'
My frustrations have all gone, quite consumately!

So, all you Bloggers, learn to swear unfettered
For BLOG's a word that simply can't be bettered;
It's explosive, it has punch
And I've got a kind of hunch
That it sounds like something worse to the unlettered!

Don't offer any grovelling apology
You haven't voiced some hint of rude biology.
And they'll never hear you utter
Those expletives from the gutter.
Now I'll close before I eat my own tautology!

Thirteen Places



I remember Margate, English summers on the sands
Where all  my cousins joined me in my play.
Then came Lichfield where I went when Hitler made his threats
And the children, to be safe, were sent away.
I lived in Stafford for a while with another family,
People who were very kind to me.
And Alton was where we settled when the world had settled-down,
A lovely village, full of history.
I traveled down to Brighton to a college by the sea
Where I studied subjects so that I could teach.
And back in Kent, at Chislehurst, I taught for quite a while
With the city life of London within reach.
London beckoned, so I went to enjoy the city lights
And sure enough, they glittered for a while.
But Gwanda, in Rhodesia, was a very different place;
A gold-mine town with a true colonial style.
Bulawayo was a city but more like a large town;
Still in Africa but more sophisticated.
Then back to Deal, in England, where my sister was so ill;
And an English winter, which I found I hated.
So I headed off to Cape Town, and that's where I settled-down;
Having a son and daughter was a pleasure.
Then to Australia, Gosford, a small town in New South Wales,
Where we ran a small motel, so not much leisure.
And, finally, to Newcastle, that's where I am today
Enjoying the delights of my old age.
And every single place has been a pleasant place to be
But this, I think, is the very nicest stage!



Here in Oz a shrimp's a prawn and cilantro's coriander
Keep that in mind when you cook this tasty dish!
The name's don't really matter for it's the taste that counts
And the taste of this is brilliant as you wish!
It's a perfect meal for summer nights (roll on Summertime!)
And the prawns look lovely laid out on the plate.
It's a quick and easy recipe that anyone can make
But your guests are sure to label it as 'Great!'
Marinate the prawns in the honey for a while,
Covering with cling-wrap helps a lot.
Then add the garlic, oil and soy and marinate some more,
The lovely flavour's sure to hit the spot.
Skin and chop the mushrooms, cut the onion into chunks,
Also the peppers, one size here 'fits all'.
Thread the lot on skewers, but watch out for the drips!
Some from the marinade are bound to fall!
Your kebabs are set for grilling, with some extra marinade;
Cook them till they curl up at the edges,
Then serve them any way you like, with bread or rice or plain,
With salads or with lots of crispy veggies.
The honey adds a yummy sticky surface to the prawns,
So be sure you have some napkins standing by!
There'll be lots of finger-licking when you serve these lovely treats!
And your reputation's bound to go sky-high!

Marinade: 3tbsp honey 2tbsp soy sauce 1tsp of sesame seed oil 1 clove of garlic, crushed
175g prawns, cooked and peeled
125g mushrooms
1/2 onion
1 red pepper



My group was asked to supply the entertainment at a Xmas in July gathering last night.

The restaurant looked very charming and orderly when we arrived.

But the photographer seemed to get a shaky hand later in the proceedings!!!!!

We had a very exotic meal, many courses from round the world, and we were presented with four bottles of wine and unexpected payment! So it was an extremely successful evening on all fronts.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ruined by Rubix

Work-of-the-poet requested suggestions! Here's mine!
Read her blog to learn more about her problem!


If you're hit by a Rubix Cube (and many people are)
Rush home quickly as you can and create a lurid scar!
You can do it easily with a little purple paint
And then paint your face all ashen, as though you're just about to faint!
When you look suitably gruesome, visit your local press,
Pointing out the reason why you're looking such a mess!
Next day you'll find you're front-page news, maybe nation-wide!
Then say you can't stand publicity and run away and hide.
By the time you emerge you'll be 'scarred' no more! You'll be beautiful again,
But wince a bit and shudder like someone in mortal pain!
The store will pay compensation; you may not need to sue them!
They'll be overwhelmed with thoughts of the great harm you can do them!
With the money take some time off work! You must write your memoirs now!
Of course, you'll exaggerate a bit; authors do it anyhow.
Make out it was a shower of Cubes, with a pimply teenage thrower!
Throw in some psychology and your book will be a 'goer'!
And when you're rolling in money send some of it this way!
Give three cheers! For Rinkly Rimes has gone and saved the day!


I'm rehearsing this for my 'last words'. I hope I have enough breath!

Dear one and all,
Don't stand and bawl
Because I'm on my way.
Dear treasured friend,
Life has to end;
Night always follows day.
Remember Mum,
In days to come,
As one who did her best.
I'm nackered now!
I'll take a bow.
I deserve a damn good rest

Singing in the Rain

(Parody to the well-known tune)

I'm singing in the rain,
Just singing in the rain
I've Daddy's umbrella as shelter again!
The rain plips and plops
I laugh at the drops.
I'm singing and laughing in the rain.
Let the stormy clouds fly
All over the sky
I laugh and I giggle until they blow by!
For I'm only three
And life is a spree!
I'm laughing and singing in the rain!

Once upon a time there was Camelot.
Once upon a time there was Rhodesia.
I am looking through the wrong end of a telescope.
And there, far away,
In a country that no longer exists,
I see a group of young girls
Whose youth no longer exists.
We are teachers.
The children we teach are white…..of course.

We are sitting on the stoep
Drinking Sundowners.
Life is good in Rhodesia……
On the surface at least.
And the surface is where we live.

This Breadbasket of Africa
Is abundant in everything;
Sunshine, soil, rains, manpower,
And goodwill.
Yes, goodwill.

But even the name is an insult
Named after a white man,
Cecil John Rhodes.

Do we care about that?
For we are apolitical,
Careless, unimaginative
And wrapped up in ourselves.

Are we aloof?
The black men with whom we come into contact
Are friendly and so are we.
We laugh together
We joke together.
But we never eat together.
For they are servants.

Heady stuff for silly little white girls
From the lower middle class.

'Here in Rhodesia, Mum, I'm waited on hand and foot'.

It is all so intoxicating.
The wide, wide African skies, the baobabs,
The chongololos, the flame trees, the kopjes.
And the possibilities of romance are thrilling;
Romance with a white man…….. of course.

So here we sit on the stoep
Drinking our Sundowners,
A handsome servant in a snow-white uniform
Hovering near.

But hey!
There's a young African standing in the dusty road,
Looking at us!
Could his name be Robert Mugabe?


Blue Baggage

Seen at Sydney Art Gallery


Letter 'B'


The carousel, the baggage, the labels, the ennui,
The waiting at the airport..... where else could this scene be?
Then I saw the people, waiting to depart
And I was really taken with this quirky work of art.
The travelers are baggage, just objects, nothing more,
Strewn around at the airport, on the seats and on the floor!
How long have they been waiting, and what might their 'contents' be?
Are they trapped for ever in some still eternity?
It's certain that I'll never know, but I lingered for a while,
Then I turned upon my heel and left, with a rueful little smile.

Monty had an awful cold, and he thought it might be flu,
So he visited his Doctor to see what he could do.
The Doctor gave him several pills and suggested time in bed.
'You should be right as rain quite soon' the cheerful Doctor said.
Monty did as he was told, obeying to the letter,
But, sad to say, as time went by, he felt not one whit better.
Once more he sought the Doctor's help to battle his infection;
The doctor thought a bit and then he gave him an injection.
'Go home and rest and it will work in no time you will see.'
So Monty did as he was told, exactly, to a T.
Again the dreadful cold persisted; the worst he'd ever caught!.
Back to the surgery he went, quite feverish and distraught.
He pleaded with the Doctor 'For Pete's sake find a cure!
This snuffling and this hacking cough I really can't endure!'
'There's only one thing for it' said the Doctor 'Take a shower.
Then stand in front of an open window naked for an hour.'
'Are you crazy?' blurted Monty. 'It's winter-time and freezing!
I think you're making fun of me; you surely must be teasing!'
Then the Doctor said 'I'm serious! And this will work for sure!
Because then you'll catch pneumonia! And that's something I can cure!'!



Yesterday three-year-old Max had a cough so he stayed with us all day. Here he is 'magic' painting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


                             From the local press

A flamenco dancer and she's four!
She'll go a long long way for sure!
Already she can twirl and swirl
Though she is such a little girl.
I can hear the dance shoes tapping;
I can hear the rhythmic clapping.
And the expression! Oh what poise!
She'll be a danger to the boys!
No doubt she'll realise her dream!
(The red skirt suits the Ruby theme.)


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!'

Life Without Love


Life without love is like a tree
With dead wood where the green should be.
Though it may reach up to the sky
No bluebird that is passing by
Will ever settle and make a nest
In a tree so woefully un-dressed.
But there are loves and loves and loves;
It's not all hearts and turtle-doves.
There's love of family, for a start;
In every life that plays a part.
There's love of country; how that swells
On festive days! The flags! The bells!
There's love of life, that, every day
Delights us all in every way.
There's love of self, a healthy passion
That nurtures us in a modest fashion.
Of course, the love known as 'amour'
Is pretty high on the list for sure!
But it need not be our main pursuit!
Our tree can blossom, still bear fruit
Without the help of Cupid's dart!
All we need is an open heart.



(Written on a poster for children)

Family Trees are enormous plants,
Sprouting with parents and uncles and aunts;
With brothers and sisters in every cranny
And, here and there, a special Granny.
Small baby cousins soon appear
For there's someone new almost every year,
And weddings may bring us new relations
Who may even come from different nations!
The roots are down in the sweet, rich earth
Of a faraway land or the land of our birth,
And the future branches will sweep the sky,
Ever more leafy and ever more high.
Someone in the future will bear my name
And maybe their features will look the same!
Oh how lucky we are to be
Part of a beautiful Family Tree!


Yesterday was the birthday of our Probus Club. Here Carole, the President, cuts the cake.

We then had a talk about the regeneration of our water-front. South African bitou bush has over-run it.

Millions are about to be spent on the beautification of Merewether Beach so we were all very interested.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Desmond Tutu




So Desmond Tutu is standing down, retiring from public life!
After all the years of humour and the trials of South African strife.
It seems he's been there for ever, with his warm and winning style;
Standing-up for African rights, but always with a smile.
To me he's been an icon, a cleric but human too.
And now years of peaceful retirement are very certainly due.
You wont know of my good wishes; but sent they most certainly are.
This humble, gentle, laughing man was always a shining star.


Foxie Foxie, fine and fat
Must you feed your face like that?
When the farmyard hens go by
Fur and feathers are sure to fly.
Foxie Foxie face the fact
Eating friends shows lack of tact!
You find fowl a filling feast
But they don't like it in the least!
Foxie Foxie, fierce and fast,
Your good fortune may not last!
If the farmer finds his gun,
That will finish all your fun!
Foxie Foxie, no, no. no!
Don't eat friend and don't eat foe!
Have some sense and use your head;
Try to eat fresh fruit instead.

Throwing Light on a Letter!


Two memes arrive, almost in conjunction,
And I find  have not the least compunction,
Blending the two in one brief verse;
So brief it may be almost terse!
You ask for 'Light' well here's Vermeer!
Master of Light! We see it here
Lighting up the shadowy gloom
Of the letter-recipient's room.
You ask for 'Letter' well it's in her hand!
(Memes delivered on demand!)
And something else I'll add for fun;
This lady is clearly not a nun!
Vermeer adds a broom for good measure,
Not because a broom's a treasure,
But because it's a symbol of illicit love!
Good heavens! What am I thinking of!
A case of historic immorality!
A lady 'no better than she ought to be'!
'Light' and 'Letter' my conjoined themes,
Brought to you by two little memes!


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.