Sunday, July 31, 2011


supplied the illustration


I am destined to rule the earth;
Evolution knows my worth.
I've cousins even more fierce than I,
With sharper claw and beadier eye.
We'll grow and grow and proliferate!
World domination is our fate!
Oops! I'm feeling a little strange.
Did someone mention Climate Change?



A rainy day in Sydney (see the dark clouds to the right);
The sky was clouding over where once it had been so bright.
And, as we entered the Museum, I saw this fractured scene;
The world broken up in fragments, with window frames between.
Like some giant jigsaw puzzle the Sydney sky-line seemed
And then we quickly rushed inside as the rain arrived ...... and teemed!

Help me Understand

asks us to use Scarlett O'Hara's final words in ;'Gone With The Wind'
'After all, tomorrow is another day'.

(A plea from a little old lady in Australia)

If you raise the credit threshold, does it mean you can borrow more?
Does it mean that greater indebtedness is what one has in store?
Does it mean that tomorrow, or another day, or further down the track,
There's even more that's been borrowed and has to be given back?
It's playing roulette with credit cards, juggling them about,
Hoping hard that none of them will ever catch you out.
It's robbing Peter to pay Paul and all that sort of thing;
It's playing that old 'adage' game of the roundabout and the swing.
I'm only an Aussie Granny, and quite ignorant, after all,
But it seems to me more borrowing will send you to the wall.
Those clever people in Washington all seem to have agreed
That further borrowing of some sort is what you badly need.
I find this quite perplexing, and horrifying too,
Because , if you go down the gurgler, we'll be following you!
'Live within your means' was something I was always taught;
'Cut your coat according to your cloth'.....another smart retort.
'Neither a borrower nor lender be' was pretty good advice.
Didn't your Mothers teach you that we have to pay the price
If we squander and we gamble and we just live for today.
I'd be happy if someone clever made this worry go away!
P.S. That nice Mr Obama is being pilloried for something he didn't cause! Leave him alone!


The liner twinkles in the dark.
Soon all the travellers will embark,
Not on a wild and stormy sea,
But on a night of revelry.

A Good Time was had by All!

provided the illustration

(Not written from experience!)

After a night of partying we all woke up at noon,
And somebody said 'Let's have breakfast at mid-day!'
So we crowded into the kitchen, most of us worse for wear,
And cobbled together a breakfast, on a tray.
'Let's take it out to the swimming pool' yelled Martin, on a high,
(Martin is known for being a silly fool!)
So we stripped off to the nuddy and bacon and eggs in hand
We all of us dived into the swimming pool.
We slept throughout the afternoon, all littered on the grass,
And we were sober when it came time for our tea.
We opened bleary eyes to face a really awful mess,
Bacon and eggs as far eye could see!
There were egg-shells, there were fried eggs, there were scraps of buttered toast!
And so we started singing a refrain......
'Life has got on top of us! It's more than we can bear!
Let's go inside and all get drunk again!'



The flood comes up from the river.
The flood of clear light.
The flood that will engulf us in sunshine


Malcolm spent a happy day with his Car Club yesterday. He tells me all the other cars are superior to his but he still looks very proud by his pride and joy!


Poor Workmanship




I feel the design of the human body
Is nothing more nor less than shoddy!
This must be what everyone feels,
Or else why did they invent high heels?
It's obvious sex-appeal is stronger
When the female leg is longer.
One feels a leg should be one and a half
Times what it now is from thigh to calf.
The little fat chappy I have shown
Is certainly not all on his own.
Now, when Nature considered mating,
And set about perfect-shape-creating,
Why did it miss this vital statistic?
Surely it was optimistic
To think that we'd all feel impassioned
By a leg severely rationed!
And then there's the psychology!
I am only five foot three
And yet I feel all tall and slinky
Till I view my legs, which are rather dinky!
I view this as a mean distortion.
Oh to be more in proportion!
We are taken-down several pegs
Whenever we view our stumpy legs!
Let us all, with one accord,
Order Nature back to the drawing-board!



The hills dance away to the left.
The road ahead beckons; my companion is outlined.
The view has collaged itself!

Last Friday was a very busy day. I had a poetry session at a local club in the morning. There was a large crowd and everything went well. Loretta gave me a lift there as I'm hopeless finding new venues. I took my camera, but I only took one shot out of the clubroom window  and then I forgot to take any more! However I do think it's a particularly lovely shot of Australia in mid-winter! As you can see, we have greenery all year. There was quite a chilly breeze blowing, though.

Loretta and I were unable to stay for lunch as we had a rehearsal in the afternoon. We had it at Carole's house so that we could sing to her piano. We rehearsed this year's main play 'Tiddly Pom' which we hadn't done for some time. We need to brush up on our words! I managed to remember to take one photo before we started work.
Here we see Betty, Loretta, Pam B., Dave, Malcolm, Maureen, Yvonne and Joy but the others were all behind me.

This is a special photo. It's good of Yvonne, in the forefront, but I've published it for Pam, at the rear, because she has just got on-line and I  think she might like it.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Health and Beauty

This is just a poster from many years ago,
A Germanic-looking poster, you'll agree.
A very sprightly lady is riding on a wave
And looking liberated and so free.
But I see something sentimental, something from my past;
It's my Mother who comes back into my mind;
And, as I'm growing older, I tend to reminisce,
And I think of her quite frequently, I find.
The lady in the poster represents a certain time
Before the German people turned to War;
The Depression was all over and life was really good,
And no-one knew the hell that was in store.
In Germany the Hitler Youth became predominant
And the accent was on healthy living then;
The bronzed, attractive teenagers were always in the news,
And the women were involved as well as men .
And in Britain the same movement started-up for, don't forget,
The Germans weren't our enemies, but friends,
And The League of Health and Beauty came to be as a result.
(Even then I guess that there were global trends.)
My mother joined the movement and I can see her now,
In a satin shirt and sporty little shorts.
How liberating for her to escape, just for a while,
To a world of music, exercise and sports!
I was only a toddler but I can see her now,
In her outlandish outfit, standing tall,
And that is why this poster says so very much to me;
It's more than just a poster on a wall.


Not Germany!
Members of the British League of Health and Beauty
Mid nineteen-thirties.



On holiday in Sydney, at the Harbour-side,
Two old fogey tourists thought to have a ride
On a Little Red Engine parked there in the sun.
Our legs were getting tired and we thought it would be fun.
So we clattered round the wide Domain, past all the flowers and trees
Having a really lovely time. We're easy folk to please!
When we arrived at the farthest gates we were quite delighted!
The Art Gallery was close at hand! And so we both alighted.
A roam around the gallery, coffee at the cafe
And then we clattered back again!
What a lovely day

The Nape





There's the beauty of the roses,
The charm of the silken gown,
The hidden glory of the face
As the lady is glancing down.
But the reason for this painting,
Which I cannot escape,
Is the utter charm and perfection 
Of a lovely woman's nape.
Now wouldn't you think a wordsmith
Would conjur up a word
More suited to this attribute!
'Nape' is almost absurd!
It should be described in lilting terms
That flow right off the tongue;
A word like 'serendipity'
That, when spoken, sounds as sung.
'The nape!' How coldly clinical!
Almost like a medical text!
Please come-up with something beautiful1
I'm  feeling rather vexed!




How I love the style and grace
Of this house feature......Paddington Lace!
It's an old Victorian decoration
Still revered throughout the nation.
San Francisco has the same
Though there it must have a different name.
'Paddington's' part of Sydney City.
But wherever it's found, it's very pretty.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Six words to a line, six lines to a verse.

(An Acrostic)

Some desserts are known as sweets.
We love those tasty sugar treats.
Eating them is so much fun
Every bite is a sinful one.
Toppings made of cream and icing
Seem to make them more enticing.



Our house is facing to the East; I wish that it faced West,
For there is not the slightest doubt that sunset shots are best.
I known this means that I'm well-placed to take shots in the morning
And it is true the sky can be spectacular at dawning.
But then my mind is not in gear; I languish in the shower;
I'm simply not hyped-up enough at that ungodly hour.
The upstairs windows at the back are all high-up and small,
And so it seems I hardly see the evening sky at all!
But..... on this one occasion I was coming down the stairs
When I chanced upon a setting sun that was giving itself airs!
I rushed to get my camera to catch the fading splendour,
Before, to the darkness of the night our bright sky would surrender.
So I present a photograph that's rather thin and slitty.
Our house is facing to the East. Now isn't that a pity!


supplied this book cover.

Will the following blurb encourage you to buy the book?

by Arnold Mackenburger.
(The Sequel to his much-loved novel 'The Works!')

The headless waxwork figure lay on the ground.
The head had rolled to one side.
But the eyes! The eyes!
Chantelle had been known as 'The Brown-Eyed Bombshell'!
Who had smashed the figure?
Who had altered the colour of the eyes?
Who had hated Chantelle so much?
Visit the seedy world of back-stage!
Will you discover the criminal before he discovers YOU?

The Wax-Workers' Herald: I thought I knew wax but this novel gave greater insight!



Last summer, in the meadow, we lay beneath a tree
Softly speaking, saying words of love.
And all of Nature seemed to share in our felicity
And understand what we were dreaming of.
Our love would last forever, yes, that was what we said;
We were such perfect partners, you and I.
So we lay and planned our future, looking many years ahead,
As hour by hour the blissful time went by.
We kissed, we hugged, we even slept, the sun began to set;
I rose then to return to daily life,
Still in my magic bubble, one I would not forget.
I walked home knowing I would be your wife.
But, before we left, I looked down at the shape of you and me
In the meadow grass among the meadow flowers,
There was the perfect outline underneath the arching tree,
The flattened shape of Romance, that was ours
Later on you phoned ...... ' I didn't mean the words I said!
I'm just not ready! It was a mistake!'
The next day, on the grapevine, I learned that you had fled!
Leaving my heart as one great burning ache.
I went back to the meadow; I went back to the tree;
I gazed down at the grasses, standing tall.
Not a sign of passion and no trace of you and me!
Who could have guessed that driving rain would fall!
Summer rain! Erase the picture! Summer tears! Erase the pain!
Summer dreams be seen as merely Summer dross!
Goodbye to the meadow where I'll never walk again!
The line is fine dividing Love and Loss.


asks us to write about addiction.

Please forgive my light-hearted approach if this subject is no laughing matter to you!


I had an addiction lurking for years and years and years;
But I didn't know it existed until now.
I saw other folk addicted but I never caught the bug;
My psyche simply didn't quite know how.
I tried to smoke a cigarette when I was just sixteen
But I spat it from my lips! That was enough!
So in all my many decades I've never ever smoked;
I've never ever had another puff.
A little later I tried alcohol, a white wine I recall;
I reeled back from the most unpleasant taste.
I'd never be a drunkard, that was very clear;
Though symptoms in my ancestors were traced.
I was never ever offered drugs, in any shape or form;
They weren't around in 1954.
I'm still completely innocent about Ecstasy and such;
I really can't imagine what it's for.
I hear that there are Sex-addicts; well I wasn't one of those!
It was just a pleasant pastime, now and again.
I can't imagine addicts, female ones I mean,
Who simply cannot get enough of men!
As for a gambling addiction; that also passed me by;
Just five dollars on the Melbourne Cup for me.
No, it must be admitted that I was squeaky-clean;
I was a nasty little prig, addiction-free.
Blogging came and found me and I wallowed in its charms;
And I never will get free, that's my prediction.
It took me until eighty to discover that I'm weak.
I'm confessing to a cyberspace addiction!



Once I needed training wheels,
But now I know just how it feels.
Whizzing round and round the track,
Whizzing there and coming back.
This shot was taken years ago
When I was rather young and slow.
Now you should see me riding past,
All grown-up and very fast!
Soon I'll ride way out of sight
Maybe at the speed of light!
Bye-bye Grandma! I can't stay!
Boys move on.
Grandmas just stay.

Is It Stained Glass?



Is it stained glass? Not it's not.
Is it a holy relic?
No! It's not even 'modern art'
And slightly psychedelic.
It's a comical piece of advertising
At which many people look,
Placed there by my friend Peter,
Who's recently published a book.
It's in the library window,
Looking rather smart
Advertising his recent book
Called ....of course.... 'But Is it Art?'
Peter is a cartoonist,
Well-known on the local scene,
And he published a book of his cartoons,
Many of which we'd seen
In the local paper,
Over a number of years.
Everyone takes interest
When a new cartoon appears.
The little dog is 'Romeo';
The real one's no longer alive,
But in Peter's daily cartoons
He still continues to thrive.
At the moment we're attempting
A book about Romeo.
Getting published is problematic....
We'll just see how we go.


'Before the war'; a phrase that's dead.
But there was a time when people said
'Before the war' and others knew
Which war was alluded to.
Since then there have been wars and wars,
Some, seemingly, without a cause,
But I belong to a generation
Which knows, without any hesitation,
That the Second World War was the one that mattered,
Because so many lives were shattered.
Here we are, my cousins and I 
Under an English summer sky,
On the beach so long ago.
(I'm the one with the ribbon bow!)
My cousins meant the world to me.
We had a tent down by the sea
And every summer we used to play
Down on the beach nearly every day.
(The English climate may be disdained
But in my youth it never rained!)
But then there came  The Declaration,
Nation was at war with nation.
Hurriedly we all departed,
Because the Second World War had started.
Children were soon evacuated;
Chaos for everyone created.
My cousins went I knew not where!
We were scattered everywhere.
We thought it would be 'just for a while';
We even went off with a happy smile!
But things had changed for evermore.
Somehow life had slammed a door.
We were never all together again;
Too great a change had been put in train.
Families moved to different places
And soon there weren't the smallest traces
Of the golden children on the beach.
Past lives had moved beyond our reach.
We 'lost touch', went abroad, or died.
Washed out to sea by a thoughtless tide.
Now those who are left are very old,
Their ancient stories rarely told.
An 'oldie' frequently regales
Listeners with old-time tales
And sees the boredom in younger eyes;
And we sit musing .....'How time flies!'
And will the young look back this way
With misty eyes of their own one day,
When the past is out of reach,
Along with cousins on the beach?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Teddy Bear

supplied the illustration


Fleur called her lover 'Teddy Bear';
He was so nice to cuddle.
It was a nickname that backfired
And caused an awful muddle!
Edward was tall and handsome
And cuddly to boot,
And Edward was clean-shaven
And not at all hirsute.
Fleur loved to stroke his smooth, smooth skin
Which was utterly without blemish.
He had a very Caucasian look;
Maybe he was Flemish.
'Oh Teddy Bear!' she'd murmur low,
You're my masculine ideal!
I am completely overwhelmed
By the smoothness of your feel!'
One day he was enchanted,
As young men often are,
And was carried off to Fairyland
Where the Little People are.
Poor Fleur's heart was broken,
In fact I'd say it shattered;
Her passionate love for Edward
Was all that really mattered.
Her heartfelt sobs were heard on high
Where the Little People dwelt
And they were really horrified
To learn just how she felt.
' Your faithful love has moved us'
The little people said,
'And now, whatever you wish for
Will be deposited on your bed.'
'All I want is my Teddy Bear!'
Cried Fleur with great abandon,
Waiting patiently on the bed
Which she knew her love would land on.
The moral of the drama
That I am writing of
Is 'Don't make up silly pet-names
Next time you fall in love.'



Wandering round the Domain (mentioned recently)
We chanced upon this perfect glimpse of the shimmering sea.
The harbour and the fountain seemed in perfect harmony
Set-off by the lushness of each bush and flower and tree.
I have an enormous liking for hints of symmetry
And so this pleasant city scene was paradise for me.


supplied the illustration

(An old-fashioned rhyme for old-fashioned children)

Betty Blue and Rosy Red
Toss a shuttlecock overhead.
Pansy Pink and Willy White
Slowly wander out of sight.
Betty and Rosy play and play;
The others are wandering on their way.
Playtime ends and evening comes.
Here are Betty and Rosy's Mums.
'Where are the little ones' they cry.
' The gate is open! Me oh my!'
Betty and Rosy feel ashamed;
They know they are going to be blamed.
But Pansy and Willy are just outside;
They'd decided that they would hide.
They were hiding in the trees.
The Mothers found them there with ease.
Betty and Rosy tell their Mothers
'Now we'll always watch the others!
Older children always must
Be people everyone can trust.
(I think it's called a homily!)

Taken on a recent cruise


No other colour would do,
For the main tint of this view!
When the sun is so hot,
Such a bright turquoise spot
Complements the wide ocean of blue!
It's not always my favourite hue.
I rather like bright yellow too.
But, when put to the test,
I'll say turquoise is best.
Though, tomorrow, that might not be true!


asks us to consider the horrendous age of Sixty-seven!


Thirteen years ago, when I was sixty-seven
I felt that I was very near to death.
Seventy was looming and that felt like a sentence;
I anticipated, soon, my final breath.
Thirty years ago, when I was just a chicken,
I felt that being fifty was just hell;
I remember feeling 'finished', all washed-up and past my 'use-by'
 I thought, quite soon, I'd hear the funeral knell.
Fifty years ago, when I became just thirty,
The thought of being thirty blew my mind.
Leaving the lovely twenties, with their romance and their passion
Made me feel I'd left my very self behind!
Yet seventy years  ago, when I was ten years old, a baby,
I looked forward to 'real life' with ecstasy.
I woke up every morning with a feeling of excitement,
Wondering what the day would mean to me.
Well, I've reached the age of eighty and life's once more delicious;
A new day comes, sad thoughts are for the birds!
Look at SIXTY, look at SEVEN and tell me what you see there.
I can tell you what you see, you see just words.


I went to a birthday party; this little girl was there
She didn't know me from Adam but she didn't seem to care.
'Do you like my hat?' she said to me with a cheeky little laugh;
Do I look pretty? Would you like to take my photograph?'
The hat was clearly an adult's so she had to hold it on.
'See you later!' Another grin. And, suddenly, she was gone!

Spare a Thought

'glance, banter, fumble'


Spare a thought for the stand-up comic who doesn't make the grade,
Who doesn't make the people laugh and who hasn't learned his trade!
He strides with confidence on the stage, looking smart and debonaire,
Full of bright bonhomie and a dash of savoir faire.
His head is full of anecdotes, and other tasty stuff;
He's practised in front of the mirror. And now it's 'off the cuff'.
He starts off with a roguish glance to win the peoples' hearts;
He's studied other comics and has seen their clever starts.
He pulls a few funny faces that make the people grin
And then he thinks 'I'll tell a joke to pull the audience in'.
But the audience starts to fidget as the joke goes on for ever;
It seems they've heard it all before, furthermore it's not too clever.
He decides on a little banter with a man in the front row,
But he soon runs out of witticisms and the pace begins to slow.
By now our comedian's sweating, and looking a little pale;
He knows he's on a downward path! He knows he's going to fail!
He does a silly pirouette that ends in a stupid stumble;
He's looking for some funny words, but all he does is fumble.
He's hanging on to the microphone as though it's for dear life!
He remembers the jokes went down so well when he told them to his wife!
There's a murmur in the audience and a shuffling of feet;
And he suddenly realises this joke is a repeat!
Someone stands and leaves the hall, slamming the door on his way!
Lots of other people think they really don't need to stay.
Our comedian sidles off the stage; he knows his performance stank.
Why, oh, why had he handed in his notice at the bank?



I lived part of my life near Cape Town,
Where the mountains were high and wide,
Pointy in their perfection,
Rising on every side.
The Hottentots Holland Mountains
Towered near at hand,
Covered in beautiful vineyards,
Growing on fertile land.
And then we came to Australia
And found it very flat.
It's hilly, but nothing's soaring,
Nothing to marvel at.
But the beautiful lakes of Australia
Have taken the place of the peaks,
Where we live is surrounded by water....
Oceans, rivers and creeks.
And the lakes are the most resplendent,
Wide and deep and blue.
(And here's my eldest grandson, Blake,
Getting a better view.)

Royal Carpet



Interval time at the Opera House
And I went for a little stroll,
( I think looking for the toilet
Was my immediate goal!)
And I found myself on purple,
Rather like Royalty,
I felt it was too sumptuous
For little old plebian me.
And it crossed my mind
That I'm fortunate,
To live in a modern age,
In which luxury is everyday,
When my ancestors walked on beige.
By that I mean that they were 'working class'
Through most of history,
Doffing their caps to 'the masters'
With due humility.
Signing their names with 'crosses'
And always 'knowing their place',
For I fear there's not one speck of grandeur
That I am able to trace!
Yet I can 'walk on purple'
And live (almost!) like a King!
No wonder this day at the Opera House,
Made my middle-class heart start to sing!



Though I admire the elegant moth
In the coffee-art above,
I really hate the awful froth
That others seem to love!
Bubble-baths I also hate
(I'd rather have a shower)
The froth I cannot contemplate;
It really makes me cower!
When coffee-drinking is my aim
I want the rich brown brew!
That pallid stuff is rather lame
And cold and floppy too!
It lingers round my upper lip
And wetly hits my nose.
The lingering traces start to drip,
Unattractive, I suppose!
Likewise at bath-time it's the same
The bubbles grow all chilly,
The body-parts I dare not name
Start freezing, willy-nilly!
Give me clear water, deep and hot,
With a uniform immersion!
And coffee will not hit the spot
Unless it's the froth-less version!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Behind Bosch

                                                   Hieronymus Bosch



How I'd love to enter in your mind,
And get your motives straight,
Hieronymus Bosch, the mystery-man,
Whose pictures we contemplate!
Some think he painted the pangs of Hell
To warn folk against sin,
To show the dreadful consequences
If we let the Devil in.
They think he was good and holy;
They think that, among his goals,
Was the desire to educate
Evil men and save their souls.
Others think, and I'm in tune with this,
That he got a terrific kick
Out of painting the wildly wierd,
Scenes that were lewd and sick.
What better way to indulge oneself
In the gruesome and obscene
Than to paint as a dreadful warning,
A sign to the unclean?
'I show you these sights for your own good'.....
I can hear him saying it now!
'This is your future existence
With the Devil in Hell, I vow!' !
He'd have licked his lips as he said it,
A passionate light in his eyes,
And the peasants to whom he was speaking
Would have thought him wondrous wise.
Today he'd have turned to pornography;
He'd have been on the internet
Swapping repulsive photographs
With other sick minds, I bet.
But I really cannot enter
In a fifteenth century mind,
So do forgive me, Heironymus,
If I'm being a bit unkind.


Have you ever noticed, when a visitor's expected,
Your normally neat and tidy home suddenly looks neglected?
There! Around the handles! Surely that's a smudge!
And over there I see a stain that nothing's going to budge!
Why didn't I buy new cushions? Why didn't I clear the drawers?
Why didn't I throw out that old mat and polish all the floors?
Those plain white cups and saucers suddenly look too plain.
Oh no! Behind the standard lamp! Not another stain!
It seems I'm normally half-blind, deluding myself as well.
I thought my home was Heaven! Now I find that it's just Hell!
I'm trying to shrug my shoulders and pretend that it's all right.
'They must take me as they find me. I will not get uptight!
I won't be judged by my stupid house, but by my cheerful ways.
In any case they're only here for a certain number of days.
And once they're gone I can return to my previous attitude.'
Oh no! I'd almost forgotten! I've got to give them FOOD!