Tuesday, May 31, 2011

So Little Done


This week, we are asked to use the last words spoken by Cecil Rhodes before his death in 1902
'So little done, so much to do!'


'So little done!' the housewife cries
As all around her chaos lies.
'Beds to make and food to cook;
Where did you put your library book?
Lunches to pack, and hair to brush,
Homework to check! All I do is rush!'

'So much to do' Grandfather sighs
'The days zoom past before one dies.
So many flowers and pretty faces,
Scenery, enchanting places,
So many things to see and do
I wish  had the same time as you.'


                                        Mary Westring


The umbilical cord
That links us to Reality
Has no cord.
Odd that!
The Great Womb
Called cyberspace
Is on the end of
That non-existent cord.
The Mother who nurtures us,
Talks to us,
Compliments us,
Reminds us,
Bolsters our confidence
And is our greatest friend.
The world is terrifying.
We are surrounded by the Unknowns,
Strange people mill about us.
We can avoid contact
By retaining our link
To the Great Mother.
'Keep close' she says.
'I speak with a thousand voices
But have no fear
For I am with you.
To prove that you exist.



supplied the illustration

(An Acrostic)

Energy that zips and flashes,
Likely to singe us all to ashes!
Enter here at your own risk!
Consider your exit may be brisk!
The white-hot heat will surge right through you!
Radiant heat will quite undo you!
If you tamper with this lock
Consider the electric shock!
Idiots may think they're smart;
Tampering with locks their chosen art.
You and I are much too clever.
Disobey this notice? Never!



To be sung to the tune of 'That's Why the Lady is a Tramp'.

I get too hungry for dieting stuff!
Of things forbidden I can't get enough!
And deprivation can really be tough!
That's why I go ahead and eat!
My stomach rumbles when it is deprived!
It starts its purring when food has arrived.
That's why I'm healthy and why I've survived.
And why I go ahead and eat!
I love the smell of any old roast!
That is my boast.
I've grossed
The most!
I'm salivating from morning till night.
I'm in a frenzy to bite that first bite.
I lie and chew when I've turned down the light!
I think that food is hard to beat.
Be devils! Go ahead and eat!

Jane Eyre?


Is this Jane Eyre? No, surely not!
Red lips and finger-nails?
And the rose is red and passionate,
With all that that entails!
The Jane Eyre of my youthful days
Was grey, a little mouse,
Who crept around, unnoticed,
In the corners of the house.
Did she harbour thoughts of passion?
Quite certainly, it seems,
And Mr Rochester's virility
Inhabited her dreams.
But this was a tale of repression,
Of unrequited love.
Red finger-nails and pouting lips!
What are they thinking of?
No, here is my little heroine,
Just as she ought to be,
Suffering pangs of love, alone,
A picture of misery!



(An Acrostic)

Tip-top people all are we!
Our strength and great nobility
Gain us plaudits everywhere!
Enemies just stand and stare!
Think how all those lower folk
Have to slave beneath our yoke!
Everybody would like to be
Revered, and on our family tree!
When the peasants bow, perforce,
Eating humble pie, of course,
Sullen faces meet our gaze!
Turned from us! Where is the praise?
All we ask is they adore us;
Numbly genuflect before us!
Do not mock and do not scoff!

We're proud of the name of

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Storm



A leafless branch of silver rends the sky
And the darkness shudders.
Trumpeting, the elephants enter the arena.



They met at a cocktail party and a cursory glance revealed
That both were smart and wealthy and, in a word, well-heeled.
She was a blonde, with a chignon, and a very unlikely tan.
He was tall and courteous and just her sort of man.
Cora, for that was the lady's name, kept her eyes on Lance all night
And those eyes were heavy with make-up and very blue and bright.
Lance couldn't help but notice that, whichever way he turned,
Her eyes were fixed on him alone and with excitement burned.
At last, in exasperation, he went up to Cora and said
'Excuse me, have we met before?' (Oh he was so well-bred!)
''No we've never met before' she said, still as intently gazing,
'But you look like my third husband. The likeness is amazing!'
Not wishing to be impolite, making small-talk as you do
Said Lance 'So you've had three husbands?'
'Oh no!' she said 'Only two.'

The Passing Years

asks us to attempt an
Ottava Rima.
This is a poem with eight iambic lines with the pattern abababcc
I felt this deserved a poetic mood!


The passing years leave traces on the soul,
And some we do not realise are there,
Until we chance to think of some past role,
Some thought that makes us suddenly compare.
And then we realise Time takes its toll,
We realise our trees are gaunt and bare.
Our present days are calmer, milder, duller.
Our memories are rich and full of colour.




'You're a little imp!' we say of a child
Who may be rather rude and wild.
We say it rather tenderly,
To the 'little imp' in our family.
And yet, in Germany of yore,
Imps, appearing in old folk-lore
We're rather nasty little creatures,
With crafty minds and ugly features.
Admittedly they were lesser sprites
Than the evil Demons who gave men bites,
Stole their children and scared their wives,
And made a mess of the peoples' lives.
Imps were, in a way, depressed,
They even longed to be caressed;
To get attention they acted badly,
Jumping out and laughing madly;
Hiding in boxes and under beds,
Tearing the newly-washed sheets to shreds.
Like children they got up to pranks;
Knotting the Granny's knitting hanks,
Making the milk in the pail go sour,
Putting insects in the flour!
But these 'little ones' were not attractive,
Just wild and silly and hyperactive.
A toddler human is quite delicious;
These little imps could be malicious.
But it shows that people then understood,
That the needy aren't always the good;
That a cry for help can come from a soul
That seems to others as black as coal.
That the ugly, the wicked, the dispossessed
May need affection more than the rest.
The old-time Germans, it seems to me,
Knew a great deal of psychology!

Barking Mad

supplied the first line


A fellow was in a bad mood;
He had swallowed a fly with his food.
As he coughed and he spluttered
Those nearest him muttered
'Those noises are terribly rude!'



Blogging brings immortality, in a funny sort of way.
Here is a Gerald Gee cartoon to make you laugh today.
He was a fun cartoonist, but a serious artist too,
And his slant on things was always unpredictable and new.
I've enjoyed his English landscapes and his musical videos,
As well as his rather risque quips; there were plenty of those!
His wryly written comments were thoughtful and succint,
And his old, nostalgic photographs were good enough to print.
I thought he'd go on for ever, but, alas, that could not be.
I think he'd smile if he could see the tribute here, from me.

Road to Nowhere


We're all on a road to nowhere;
Step up and join the parade.
Get in line one behind the other
And do not be afraid.
What if the journey's pointless,
And ends in a hard brick wall?
What if that distant horizon
Isn't even there at all?
What if that sun in the heaven
Can never be made to shine?
What if we'll never find that place
Where the weather is always fine?
Set out on the journey
As though on a holiday.
You're sure to pick some flowers
That are growing by the way.



Now seems the time to make a mention
Of my once-avowed intention
To be a stately lady in old age!
I thought I'd see, with life enduring,
A very elegant maturing,
A graceful entry into life's last stage!
I knew I'd get a 'widow's hump'
But I thought I'd be all cuddly-plump,
With rosy cheeks and a twinkle in my eye.
I planned to sit in the ingle-nook
Reading pages from a Dickens book,
Merely watching the rest of life go by.
Embroidery? Yes, I'd try that,
Sewing some lacy table-mat,
And smiling to myself with modest charm.
My voice would grow all sweet and deep,
And often I would fall asleep
Like an old cushion, soft and warm and calm.
Needless to say, the times have changed;
My attitude is rearranged;
I'm hardly ever home, if truth were told.
I rush about with old 'girl' friends
In a social whirl that never ends!
So much for growing calm as I grow old!

Sunday, May 29, 2011


asks us to use the timely word 'Flock'.


Today was damp and draggly;
The rain came mizzling down.
Not much colour anywhere;
Nature wore a frown.
And then a flock of lorikeets
Came swooping down to feed!
Red and green and yellow too!
A welcome sight indeed!


(An Acrostic)

Problems of Law and Order are universal woes;
Often from a small dispute a local riot grows.
Left to sort it out themselves people may go berserk.
It seems the Police are needed, to make society work.
Creating a peaceful way of life is the duty of the Force;
Except that Policemen are human and frail themselves, of course!
Beatings, cruelties and deaths result in many cases;
Rioters become victims, with blood upon their faces.
Unhappily, there is torture; corruption rears its head;
Totally inappropriate actions fill us all with dread.
Although we can't be lawless and law-keepers must be there,
Looters must be managed and muggings made more rare,
It seems to me that Robert Peel must be turning in his grave
To think back to his high ideals, the example that he gave.
Yet not all is gloom and doom, my friends; when we're walking down the street
We often meet a good cop, the policeman on the beat.


Waiting for the coffee; waiting for the cakes.
Waiting for the concert soon to start.
It takes place at the Opera House several times a year,
And it's partly gourmandising, partly art.
It's known as 'Tea and Symphony', a title I enjoy,
And the journey on the train is always fun.
Here we are just waiting, in the shadows, on the steps,
Lapping up the gentle Autumn sun.

(Inspired by the picture above!)

My Father had a mid-life crisis! And I remember it well,
For when it was all over what a tale we had to tell!
He found it hard having daughters; seven of us in a row,
Sitting around the house all day with nothing to do but sew!
The servants, too, were female, except for Jim in the stable
And three or four little serving maids used to wait on us at table.
Mother had the vapours at least once or twice a week
So the cause for dissatisfaction wasn't too hard to seek.
She'd lie back on the sofa, when she felt out of sorts,
Whispering to my Father 'Bring me the smelling salts!'
My sisters and I needed husbands, and I fear that wasn't all,
Each one must be 'presented' at a special coming-out ball.
We could only marry in order and Sophie was proving slow,
With a face like hers it was difficult to interest a beau!
We were chattering round the table one evening by candle-light,
Deciding which outfit we would wear at the next week's At Home night.
I favoured my pleated muslin and Felicity started to cry
Sobbing 'If I can't have a new dress I think that I shall die!'
Father suddenly sprang to his feet saying 'I have had enough
Of all this domestic friction and all this female stuff!
I'm off to climb a mountain! That's what I want to do!
I'll be truly masculine and get away from you!'
Though he was wearing his frock-coat, the one with the pleated back,
He took his stick and left us to find a mountain track.
We watched him go with horror, we longed for his return
But he never came back to his loved ones; we were left to yearn.
They say he climbed a mountain, one with a yawning drop,
Looked down at the mists below
And threw himself off the top!


supplied the illustration for this brief encounter


It's that Gladys Perkins, her from church!
I'd love to knock her off her perch!
She thinks that she's a better singer!
I'd love to put her through the wringer!
Nipping along on her motor-bike
While I have to catch the bus and hike!
Pretends she's young, without a care,
But look, there's a whisp of her grey hair!
When she gets near me, the old hag,
I'll hit her with my shopping bag!


Richard Dawkins, eat your heart out (him wot invented memes)!
For now your invention's being used in all sorts of harebrained schemes!
Take the Blogs for instance; every day a brand new one appears,
A little meme of some quirky sort to settle between my ears.
I feel a sort of compulsion to set to and do my  best!
I've simply got to write something. It's rather like a test!
I feel a strange attraction when I see a meme suggestion;
Letting one pass is, somehow, simply out of the question!
I was sane and normal till I met with blogging schemes.
I blame you, Richard Dawkins!
You and your wretched memes!


'Poor thing!' we think. 'She should be free
When she is swimming in the sea!!
How awful for her dressed up so
In solemn black from head to toe!
She must be sitting feeling sad,
Or boiling over, getting mad!'
But no! She's absolutely thrilled,
With utter, crazy joy she's filled!
She doesn't see a long black stocking
As something soul-destroying, shocking.
She doesn't see that clinging skirt
As something that's designed to hurt.
She doesn't mind that her little feet
Are covered too, and so discrete.
She only knows her generation
Can feel a lovely new sensation.
Past women folk, as she well knows,
Had to wear their normal clothes,
Merely dipping a timid toe
In the water's ebb and flow;
Hitching up their heavy dresses.....
Petticoats showing were excesses!
So this girl is quite elated,
Sensual and liberated.
Bikinis she can't visualise
And so she doesn't fantasise
About bare limbs and golden tans
And the same freedom as a man's.
So do not fret because she's clad
In garments that would drive you mad!
Let's leave her revelling, youthful, free
In her little heaven of sand and sea.


A wealthy Sheik was a generous man; he treated employees well,
Although he was rich and powerful, with lots of oil to sell.
When it was the Christmas season, whatever their faith might be
He almost overpowered them with his generosity.
His Secretary's name was June; she did all that he might require
And the Sheik said 'I want to reward you. What do you desire?'
Now June was very keen on golf; so she answered in a trice
'I know what I want. A set of golf clubs! That would be very nice!'
On Xmas Eve she received a call .... the Sheik sounding almost sad.
'I've bought you a set of golf clubs, but I'm feeling rather bad.
So far I've bought you five clubs and I hope that they will do.
But only four have swimming pools! Is that all right with you?'

Saturday, May 28, 2011


provided the visual prompt.


Though the waves may threaten beneath our feet
And the coming day may be hard to meet,
We all have wings to make life sweet.
So fly.
Some may fly on the wings of song;
Their voices may ring out clear and strong
On bell-like  tones they may fly along.
So fly.
Some may fly on the power of word
Imagined, spoken, written, heard.
Every syllable like a bird.
So fly.
Others may swoop on wings of art.
A simple line may be the start;
A splash of colour may reach the heart.
So fly
Others may seek the notes of strings;
A violin says many things.
An orchestra has gossamer wings.
So fly.
All these things can make us fly
Way up into a clear, blue sky.
Never seek to ask 'But why?
Just fly.




I came down the aisle in my veil of white
Hoping that everything would be all right.
I'd been having doubts for a week or two;
Hadn't been sure of what I should do.
A hint of aggression had marred his tone;
He'd been brusque when we were all alone.
It was as though I belonged to him!
Thoughts of the future became more grim.
His kisses still promised the same old passion,
But marred in an almost cruel fashion!
I tossed and turned, gnawing on my choices,
Hearing in my mind a dozen voices....
My mother ' But, darling, the dress is made!'
My Father 'Look at what I've already paid!'
My friends ' You're going to be filthy rich!'
My Aunt 'It's really too late to switch'.
My own voice added to the chorus
'Maybe things will work out for us.'
He turned and smiled as I came up the aisle,
But was it just a 'mouth-only' smile?
I went through the motions, trembling, shaking.
Was this an awful risk I was taking?
He'd insisted on that 'obedient' clause,
And I'd given-in to him because
After all, as a business man of standing,
He was bound to be quite demanding.
But, goaded, when it came to that word
(And I know that this will sound absurd)
I suddenly let-out a heartfelt cry!
From the depths of my heart I yelled out 'Why?'
The congregation, stiffened and stirred;
He blanched when he heard my daring word,
Blanched and clenched his teeth as well.
I picked up my skirts and ran like hell!

Off To Market



I don't want to be a meanie,
But I think a Pink Pig beanie
Is a little overdone,
Though it may be lots of fun!
It has a sideways smirk
That says 'This man's a jerk!'
And he must have lots of hassles
With people pulling tassles.
The model looks quite male
But, quite honestly, I fail
To understand a wig
Masquerading as a pig.
It must be a mass of hair
That he has stuffed in there!
For the part that is Pink Pig
Looks bulbous and quite big!
I'd like to know the history
Of this sartorial mystery.



The world is full of hobbies. Have you noticed?  Mine is verse!
And I think that we human-beings could do a great deal worse
Than having a fixation, a passion, a desire!
It could be breeding budgerigars or singing in a choir;
Collecting butterflies, maybe, or learning about Crete;
Taking lots of photographs of people in the street!
The list goes on! It's never-ending. We are so diverse.
Some people are into acting and happily rehearse!
I saw the local print-makers had organised a stall
Where they could show their efforts and try to sell them all.
I saw it at the market and I stopped there, passing by
Because the great variety had really caught my eye.
For the fact that we have hobbies we all should give great thanks.
After all if we were 'idle hands' we might start robbing banks!

Dual Dazzle


Dazzle still and dazzle dancing,
Dazzle off hot metal glancing,
Dazzle wet and dazzle dry,
Dazzle calm or dazzle spry.
Unseen, above, the dazzling sun
Razzle-dazzles everyone.


           Gerald Gee


Sometimes, I imagine an era, way before our own;
The eighteen-hundreds I am thinking of.
And, as somebody of the time, I find a picture on the ground,
A picture like the one you see above.
To our modern eye this cartoon is as plain as it can be;
'A man with a mobile sends an SOS'.
Two centuries ago it wouldn't make a bit of sense
And I would only make a puzzled guess.
Whatever would I make of it? What's the purpose of the dots?
It simply wouldn't mean a thing to me.
If we could see a cartoon from the future, way ahead,
Just think how truly flummoxed we would be!

Friday, May 27, 2011


supplied the illustration


I dreamed I was a sky-writer
Who wrote up in the blue,
Creating cloud-like scribblings.....
Sky-writers often do.
I let rip in my aeroplane
And let the mist spill out
And then I looked both sides of me
And gave a mighty shout!
I wasn't on my own up there!
When did four planes arrive?
For now I had companions!
I was one of five!
We set-about writing music....
We even drew a clef,
We drew five lines to be the stave!
We drew the notes of music,
Crotchets and minims too;
All fashioned by our cleverness
Up there in the shining blue.
And people on the ground looked up
Expecting suns and moons
And all they saw was music,
All they saw were tunes.
And everyone began to sing
With one almighty voice.
Our music in the heavens
Made everyone rejoice.
Yes! I had helped to save the world
With a universal theme.
It was great while it lasted.
But it was just a dream.


A jungle shot? No, not at all; a shot in Melbourne zoo,
Where a gentle baby hippo browses, as all hippos do.
I wonder if some species-memory persists in such a case.
Does he have a longing for a very different place?
Does some instinct linger, that he can never smother?
Some sense of where 'the right place is' inherited from Mother?
I wonder if he lifts his head and breathes the morning air,
And aches with a terrible yearning, for somewhere 'over there'.
The bushes and the trees create a sort-of jungle scene,
And the water tries to be a very real Limpopo green.
The Keepers tend him carefully; his diet is just right,
But does he dream of Africa in the darkness of the night?

Oh Chocolate!

asks for a limerick on the subject of Chocolate.


chooses the same theme!


Oh choc'late, you wonderful bean!
With your taste and incredible sheen,
Just like doughnuts and chips
You've gone straight for my hips
And the whole world can see where you've been!
After publishing this I received an unsolicited piece of advice which may interest my readers.

Treat yourself and those you love to the “Healthy Chocolate!"
"Xocai Healthy Chocolate”, which is "70% Cocoa", is a "guilt free" alternative to the traditional chocolate consumed which are low in the "antioxidant rich"
unprocessed cocoa powder and "high in sugar."


So how do Strangers react when you take a photograph?'.
Do they frown or sneer or turn their backs on you and laugh?
Well, my problem isn't strangers; they're usually quite O.K.
In fact, the very worst they do is quickly turn away.
But family! That's another thing. My camera is taboo!
'Not again!' they gasp and mutter when I look for something new.
This was supposed to be my son, Greg, with his Harry on his knee,
I pictured a family portrait saved for eternity.
I imagined seraphic expressions, or a warm and friendly smile,
But I soon learned co-operation isn't the family style.
Harry made a sort of attempt at a really cherubic face,
But Greg was past pretending; he really fell from grace.
So, is blood thicker than water! It seems to me it's not!
Oh well, there's always tomorrow to try for the perfect shot!




You, of a younger generation, will simply see a cloud,
Careering across a wild and woolly sky.
You'll see a natural phenomenon, nothing remarkable,
Nothing to make one stop and look on high.
But I saw this through a window, as I travelled by train one day,
And I was spirited back across the years,
To the long-ago time of my childhood, a time of a great World War,
A time of danger, and a time of fears.
I was travelling with my mother, when a V1 attack occurred;
The train stopped in its tracks, no doubt by law,
And a cluster of V1 bombers came throbbing across the sky,
A parade of them was what the passengers saw.
They were all of them heading for London, unmanned bombs up in the sky,
With their cute little motor-bike engines  on full-purr,
And we all of us sat and listened as they burbled overhead,
Waiting for something awful to occur.
What we waited for was silence, for when the purring ceased,
We knew that the bomb would fall down like a stone.
It was one of the eeriest non-sounds that one could ever hear,
Certainly the worst I'd ever known.
One or two bombs fell near us, but we remained quite safe,
And continued on our journey with a smile.
But that period of waiting was etched into my brain,
Though I hadn't thought about it for a while;
Till I looked out of that window and saw that harmless cloud,
 And wondered why I felt a sudden chill.
Memory plays funny tricks and some memories never fade,
And I suspect they never, never will.


Gosford Japanese Garden: Brenda Bryant


A circular window! What an attraction!
Encircling the peace, or a piece of the action!
Framing the picture, enticing the eye,
Making a link between garden and sky.
An extension of vision, completing the scene,
Rounding the whole where 'unfinished' had been.
Like a droplet of water, reflecting the light,
And adding to our Oriental delight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Aunt Edie's Wedding

How I'd love to read the thoughts of the people in this group.
Antie Edie, she's the one in white, is about to fly the coop.
She was my Father's sister, but it seems he wasn't there!
Was he unavoidably detained or didn't he even care?
The groom was in the navy, so uniforms abound.
What were the sailors thinking as they dutifully stood around?
Reg, the husband was older than Edie, by at least a dozen years;
Is she feeling nervous? Her face displays some fears.
My grandfather is on the right, sporting a button-hole;
But my grandmother is absent; didn't she play a role?
Olive, the bride's sister, is standing by her father;
It seems she wasn't a bridesmaid! Did that annoy her, rather?
Carrie, the other sister, is to the right of the bride;
She looks much more cheerful, standing by her side.
How well did the nervous little bride really know the groom?
Had they ever been alone together in a private room?
The lady back row, third from the right, looks a bit like me,
But I don't know if we're related; do we share a family tree?
I'll never know the answers, the emotions are a mystery.
But I'm intrigued by the private thoughts in this little slice of history.


(More secret thoughts!)

I can see them..... little thoughts,
Starting-points, but no retorts!
Sharp internal conversations;
Private ones! No reservations.
Everything they'd love to say
Did polite convention not hold sway.
Forget the words that you may hear,
If you chance to wander near.
Forget the pleasantries and smiles
And different conversation styles.
Forget the jovial bonhomie,
The forced familiarity.
Forget the laughter echoing round
With such a very jolly sound.
Concentrate, instead, on thoughts,
Those potent things no-one reports.
'I'm sure she wore that dress last year.'
'I cannot stand the stench of beer!'
'I see she's getting laughter lines!'
'Bert is dressed-up to the nines.'
'I hope no-one sees my bra-strap showing'
'The whiskers in his ears keep growing!'
'Oh, for a snooze in my arm-chair!'
Fred and Sue! What a ghastly pair!'
'Bertie's son has been imprisoned!'
'Margie's looking really wizened!'
'I think Arthur fancies me!'
'Polly's such a misery!'

Sometimes I feel I see them there,
Thoughts, just floating in mid-air!

Canine Corner

It's good to know that there's a place
Where dogs can bark and sniff and race,
And yap and roll each other over,
And answer if someone shouts 'Rover!'
It's good to know they can get up speed
Released from that all-constraining lead.
It's good to see them running free,
In and out of the splashy sea.
And, should one chance to meet a mate
Of either sex, it must be great
To show that interest. Simply spiffing!
All that nuzzling, all that sniffing!
As for the humans hanging round,
Their agenda is also sound.
'Get yourself a dog' ..... that's what they say
'If you're hoping love will come your way'.
Many a really great romance
Has started with a sidelong glance
And a timid question 'What's the breed?'
Sometimes that is all you need.
Love is never out of reach
When you're romping on a doggy beach.


I have painted my life
On a tiny canvas.
It has been brightly coloured
With pretty little patterns
All over it.
And a few
Black smudges.
But it hasn't amounted to much.
No-one ever wanted to frame it!
No-one ever asked me to give
An Exhibition.
No-one ever 'wrote me up'
In the local press.
No-one ever discussed
My picture.
No-one ever analysed
The emotions and technique
That lay behind my work.
I wanted to use broad strokes
And create a masterpiece.
But I never found the right canvas
And I lost the brush.
After a while
The paints dried up.
I'll throw them away.
My life is displayed
On a Post-It note.
With a sticky back.
So that it can be removed
And tossed away,
With ease.
Post-It notes
Don't survive for long.
Maybe I am less than a Post-It note.
Maybe I am just a pixel.
Maybe most of us are pixels.
It is only when pixels are seen en masse
That they amount to anything.
But one missing pixel
Isn't missed.