Sunday, May 31, 2009

Unexpected Visitor

                                                                                                     Ilya Efimovich Efimovich Repin

suggested this topic.
I found such a wonderful illustration!


He stood there in his ragged clothes
Wearing a tangled beard,
Swarthy, unkempt and derelict,
A wild man to be feared.
'Why have you let this wretch inside?'
Mother cried out in dismay.
'He has no right to come in here!
Vagabond! Go away!'
The children watched with staring eyes
As the stranger stood his ground.
With an odd expression he gazed around,
But stood without a sound.
'Begone!' cried Mother, 'You have no right
To force your way in here!
You've frightened the children and scared the maid!
Now! Do I make myself clear?'
The more he stood, the more he gazed,
The more the Mother faltered.
'Who are you?' she said in a softer voice,
The timbre of it altered.
For, suddenly she recalled a boy, 
A brother just sixteen,
Who had left her side many moons ago,
And had nevermore been seen.
They had heard he had died on the battlefield,
In some far-distant place.
They had also heard that he broke the law,
And had ended in disgrace.
They had mourned a while and wept a while
But that was so long ago.
How could this poor wretch standing here
Be someone she used to know?
But then she saw the expression
In his deep and sunken eyes,
And she knew that, indeed, it was Ivan,
And that all they had heard was lies.
'Set another seat at the table'
She said weeping joyful tears,
For brother Ivan is home again,
After many, many years.'
More Victorian drama here:

Not-so-Small Talk

I read an article some time ago which reported on 'gossip', and I can now announce that female chatter has been discovered to be of far more worth than mere idle verbiage. Evidently, many of the topics discussed by women are very much the stuff of real life. So gab-fest to your hearts delight ladies!


Many men would like to say
That they don't small-talk the female way.
They say we gossip at this and that,
Talk inanity, having a chat.
Whereas,(this is their view), being men
They only discuss things now and again,
And, when they do, they cover ground
Which is always vital and profound.
Politics, they say's a must
So they go at it with stab and thrust.
Sport's another important item;
They chunter-on ad infinitum.
Sex is a topic that get's an airing;
Experience-swapping gets quite daring!
So there you have it, one, two, three,
The sum of men's verbosity.
Whereas we ladies, so I've heard tell,
Discuss a lot and do it well.
Gather together a female group,
Over a lunch of home-made soup,
And the conversation will surge and eddy,
Sometimes dazzling, sometimes steady,
Covering things of depth and meaning,
While, all the while, each one is gleaning
Good advice and information,
With sensitive anticipation.
World affairs, the price of cheese,
What to do should baby sneeze,
The latest title to be read,
How to make lovely home-made bread,
How to cover an antique stool,
How to help Johnny with work from school;
What we think of that young Obama;
How to make a suit of armour....
Well, maybe not that final one,
But the topic does sound rather fun!
On and on in a seamless way
We ladies small-talk our time away.
But scientists at last have found
That girl-talk makes the world go round!

A year old but still apt here:

My Anniversary


Last year, on May the thirty-first I tried my hand at Blogging!
I needed a new hobby! It was either that or jogging!
As I'm a sedentary dame, Blogging seemed appealing.
I thought I'd stick to poems, either silly or revealing.
The very day I started I knew that I was hooked!
In other words, I realised my poor old goose was cooked.
So I Blogged right through the Winter, I Blogged right through the Spring,
Through Summer and through Autumn I Blogged like anything!
Now May the thirty-first is here once more and, Allelujah!
Right through a whole darned year, my friends, I find I've socked it to ya!
Thank you to all who've been so kind as to read and follow me.
To my alter ego, Rinkly Rimes, Happy Anniversary!

(I'm going to kill-off poor old Rinkly! In future I'll add 'Bryantics' to the title and, eventually, delete the Rinkly bit!. Not only that but I intend to make my blog a little more of a diary, as I so enjoy other peoples' daily jottings. But I'll still write verse, of course.)

Minerva's Garden

We have friends who have created a delightful Bed and Breakfast in the wooded area at the rear of their house. It looks out across the expanse of Fegan's Bay, which is part of Brisbane Water (nothing to do with Brisbane except that it was named after the same man.) They found a statue of Minerva in the garden when they bought the property, hence the name.


What a charming spot to come,
Far away from the city's hum!
Minerva's Garden is the place
To just relax and lose all trace
Of worldy care and stress and strain,
And push and pull and greed and gain.
A Bed and Breakfast destination
Designed for pure felicitation.
Wake to the sound of birds around you!
Maybe a cockatoo has found you!
Gaze out upon a brand new day
With all the delights of Fegan's Bay.
Wander down and what do you know!
Breakfast on the patio!
So much old-world charm is there;
Rock awhile in the rocking chair.
Now's the time you must depart.
But 'Minerva' will linger in your heart.

Another place to relax here:

Silver in Spring

                                            Carl Larsson



A silver birch,
Queen of Trees.
So delicate
One wonders if it can bear
The heaviness of snow
That has fallen on its branches!
So stark, you've been.
So fragile, so colourless,
Throughout winter.
Your silver has faded
Into the background music.
The white of snow,
The weight of snow
Has overwhelmed your silver
With brilliance.
You have seemed grey.
Yet not just grey;
You have seemed wispy, untidy, bedraggled
And shapeless.
The pines have dominated you.
Yesterday we perceived green.
It was not really seeing.
When we tried to focus
The colour faded.
Had we really seen it?
It could have been a mirage
In the desert.
But this is no desert.
Today we see reality.
The shoots are real,
Tiny tendrils reaching upward.
The leaves are real,
Little plates ready to receive
The meal;
The meal of heat, sun, splendour.
Tomorrow you will be a tree,
Full of green,
Etched against the blue.
Your silver will sparkle.
You will take your place as
Queen of Trees.

Spring in another place here:

Late Arrivals

We were waiting in the theatre.
Hushed was the eager hall
When late arrivals pierced the gloom,
Painting shadows on the wall.
A shaft of light from the doorway
Lit up the silent rows
And the shadow-puppets revealed themselves
In a dark and threatening pose.

Accidental theatre here:

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Covert Operation!


printed this charming true story on her blog some time ago. I hope she likes this version of it. 


I tell the tale of two naughty girls! We were ten or eleven years old.
We were into secrets in a big way, secrets not to be told.
We whispered to each other that we badly needed mice.
Although we both had cats and dogs and all of them were nice,
We wanted tiny little pets we could hide inside the house.
And what better for a secret pet than a harmless little mouse?
We prepared with the utmost caution so everything was fine.
I even stole a little piece of my brother's railway line!
This was to make a sort of frame for my mouse to run around;
And I put it inside a cardboard box that, luckily, I'd found.
I made little air-holes in the box, and put in a tiny dish
For my mouse to use for food and drink, whatever it might wish.
We saved-up our pocket-money  and on the appointed day
We set off for the pet-shop, which was quite a way away.
We very quickly discovered there were only two mice left.
Bella bagged the white one; I felt cross and bereft
For I had to have the brown one and I really wanted white.
But Bella always got her way so I didn't put up a fight.
The two mice stayed the night in a spare room at Bella's house
And I went home and dreamed about my purchase of a mouse.
But our dream was rudely shattered, as soon as morning came!
Bella's cat went ballistic and it was normally so tame.
It scratched to get inside the room and once it saw its prey
It gobbled up my brown mouse! The white one got away!
But the white one jumped inside a drawer and peed on laundry there!
And visitors were expected! The room had been cleaned with care!
When my mother heard the story she really blew her top!
I was called a 'bad influence' ! Our adventure was a flop!
The mouse had cost me a shilling, and I hadn't wanted the brown!
I felt that life was most unfair. It really got me down!
Bella bought a proper mouse-house for her wretched little creature!
It had a window made of glass as a very special feature!
We're no longer 'naughty girls, well, not little ones at least,
And Bella lives in America, far away to the East.
But I've never quite forgiven her, let her never doubt it!

If only we could meet again and have a good laugh about it!

Another celebration of friendship here:



Just a voice in the night
On the radio.
The accent homely and very British.
The voice elderly and uncertain.
'There are seven hundred and fifty of us'
He said;
'All that's left.'
He was speaking from Zimbabwe
He was speaking from
The Rhodesia
Of his youth;
My youth.
I could hear the echoes
Of my own past
In his voice.
Maybe I knew him.
Once upon a time.
And as he spoke
I was back there,
A Brit
In Africa.
Overwhelmed by the sun
And the altitude
And the beauty
And the fun
And the friendship
And the happy people
Of every colour.
Fifty years ago.
Now he is leaving.
Britain has offered asylum.
He and the others like him
Are penniless,
No longer golden boys and girls.
Only a very small tragedy
In the larger picture.
But a tragedy even so.
Only the echoes remain.

The Severed Head!


An unremarkable picture of an old man cooling-off.
'Why blog that?' I hear you say. But wait! You shouldn't scoff!
Glance a little to the left and you'll see a severed head!
Not given any reverence! Thrown in the bin instead!

That was heat; see cold here:

Friday, May 29, 2009

'Dr John sent me'

I think this is Dr John. (You never can tell, on-line!)
I missed a competition of his with this title! When my daughter, Rebecca, drew my attention to this oversight, I thought I'd better catch-up.


Dr John sent me a letter,
An email to be quite precise.
I looked at the name on the letter
And I thought to myself 'This is nice!'
He said that he's not a harsh critic,
In fact he is kind, through and through.
But when he reads this bit of nonsense
I wonder what Doctor will do!
He can't rip up this poem entirely
For it isn't the rippable sort,
But I fancy he'll quickly delete it
And give an old-man type of snort!
'Silly doggeral, woman!' .....I'll hear him,
As though he were only next door,
Then he'll throw off his wig in a temper
And throw it right down on the floor!
Then his wife, who is, no doubt, long suffering,
Will lay a cool hand on his brow
And she'll say 'Darling! See! She's upset you!
I'll get you a whiskey right now!'
It's strange how I see the whole picture
As though I were actually there!
'Rinkly Rimes sent you a letter!'
Send one back then! And see if I care!

I wonder if Dr John ever says this:

The Jury's Out

has jogged my memory again!

The topic?


I've never been called to Jury Duty, though I'm quite an age,
But I was once a jury member in a play upon a stage.
The play was 'Trial by Jury', which was rather apt, I guess;
It was one of the Light Operas written by G. and S.
(Gilbert and Sullivan, of course; I'm sure that's understood.)
I remember thinking, at the time, that it was rather good.
We were an all-female jury and we wore extravagant hats,
While the gentlemen, who were lawyers, wore shiny shoes and spats.
We only had to sit there, giving a frown or smile,
And often bursting into song, in true light opera style.
I can't remember the numbers; it's all so long ago,
But I'm sure today's musicians would find the whole thing slow.
Now, I'm a so-so singer, but dancing's not my thing;
I find it hard to remember words while I hop and prance and spring!
So I remember 'Jury' as a show that fitted my bill,
For I could act my heart out while I was sitting still!

An even earlier venture on the stage here:


suggests this topic.

I'm in Acrostic mood!

Girls and boys come out to play!
Rules are broken for today!
All those years of gruesome studies,
Dictated by old fuddy-duddies!
Up till now I've had to learn,
Aiming for the time to earn,
Time to earn that lovely money.
I found learning far from funny!
Out into the world I go
Now to get that lovely dough!

More on studying here:

The Golden Key

            Rafal Oblinski

The Acrostic this week is 


My mind requires a golden key
If I'd relive each memory.
Nothing remains of some past joys!
Deleted! How that fact annoys!
Lazy days on far-flung beaches
Orange-orchards, sun-warmed peaches,
Crazy exploits when a girl.
Kisses that put me in a whirl.
I half-remember,  not too clearly;
Names have gone, or very nearly.
Give me that key and I'll recall, in detail, how I had a ball!

The Spot



Does X' mark the spot, I wonder.
This arrow is pointing the way.
One is drawn to the house on the top of the hill
As though one must obey.
Is it there we'd find hidden treasure?
Is it there that a secret lies?
Sea and sky making geometry
Right before my eyes.

Man-made geometry can be as beautiful; see here:

Thursday, May 28, 2009



I recall as clear as day...
It seems like only yesterday.....
My open suitcase lying in wait
For a most stupendous date.
I was off to college, all alone,
An adult, free and on my own!
The idea was heady, promising much,
New friends, new places, love and such.
Our 'front room' was the ideal place
To store a young adventurer's case.
It was rarely used, so the case stood there,
Open, and seemingly, aware
Of the place it held in a young girl's dreams.
Imbued with magic, now, it seems.
Every time something new was bought.....
A hairbrush or something of the sort;
New stockings or a bar of soap,
All became symbols of wild hope
That life was going to be so exciting!
The suitcase itself became inviting!
And the smell is something I can't forget!
The scent of newness! It's with me yet!
Every item a novelty.
Each one created just for me.
I'd creep to the room and merely sniff,
As if, as if, as if, as if ......
I could breathe in future days of glory
And write an ending to my story,
An ending involving eternal bliss!
Only the very young think like this!
The scent wore off as all scents do,
Now everything is old, not new.
But still a smile comes to my face
When I recall my first suitcase.

An even earlier memory here:

Shimmer Shot

My friend Margaret Gosden
published this atmospheric shot.

It called-for a haiku.


sun-shattered water dancing
ball bobbing
summer captured in a shot.

And my blogging friend, Jinsky, felt inspired too!

striped beach-ball sun sinks
to concrete pool horizon 
water-sky sparkles

Another pool, another era here:

That'll Be the Day!

Shades of Buddy Holly! Or is it?


That'll be the day!
That glimmer of light,
Creeping through the curtain
Though it's still night.
That'll be the day!
With all it's cares,
Creeping up on me
To catch me unawares!
That'll be the day
For paying bills,
Being late for buses,
Catching chills!
That'll be the day
For unblocking drains,
Forgetting things
And scrubbing stains!
That'll be the day!
If I bury my head
Can I pretend 
It's night instead?

It was even worse here:

Northern Lights


Way up North where Santa lives
And magic is everywhere;
Where snow and ice
Have to suffice
And frigidity fills the air,
There's a little machine
That few have seen
It works on winter nights.
It rolls and churns
And spins and turns
And creates the Northern Lights!
And here is an illustration
That captures this wondrous thing.
Can't you see the swirls
And ripples and curls
Of the manufacturing?
From the heart of this wondrous motor
See the ribbons of light go forth!
Soon they will fly
Up to the sky
And entrance the folk up North.
Like magic they'll flow and flutter,
Like magic they'll swoop and spread,
And the rich dark night
Will be filled with light
Dancing up overhead!

Another piece of sky-whimsy here:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


One-Minute Writing suggested 
and I already had this written so I've snuck it in!


See the mighty river flowing past the mountain peaks,
Flowing to the ocean which each mighty river seeks!
See the craggy mountains and the caverns way below!
From up here in the aircraft we can see the river's flow!
We're much too high to see the river traffic floating past!
Surely there I spy a swimmer! And, maybe there, a mast!
The river's flowing strongly till it meets the open sea
Where it will merge with other rivers, wild and rough and free!
Sorry to disappoint you! This is just a little stream!
Sometimes, with photography things aren't quite what they seem!
This is just the overflow from my local swimming pool,
Running back into the sea, salty, fresh and cool.
With one step I'd get across it! It's so shallow I could stride,
Barely up to my ankles, across to the other side!
Sometimes, even on our own., playing games is fun;
'Let's Pretend' for adults! Good for everyone!

A more useful piece of pretense here:

Elbows to the Rescue!

This very apt illustration refers to Upper Sleeve; I have called it Elbow.


With Swine Flu on the rise, here's a very vital hint:
Some of you may heed it if I get it out in print.
Cough into your ELBOW and not into your hand.
Cough into your SLEEVE! Remember hands are banned!
If you cough into your elbow the germs will simply lie there;
With no access to a body they will wither up and die there.
If you cough into your hand the germs will live for quite a time
And passing on the germs these days is almost like a crime.
You may transfer these germs to a handle or a book,
Into the food you're serving, into the food you cook!
Your germs may not be Swine Flu, they may just be something mild,
But who wants to take a risk with some susceptible small child?
Help stop the spread of Swine Flu in this very easy way
And then we all will live to tell the tale another day.

A cautionary tale here:

Thankyou Dr!

Woke up feeling pale and wan,*
Then, courtesey of 'Dr John',
A flurry of new 'blends' arrived!**
I cheered up! And I've survived!
This network business spurs me on!
Thankyou, thankyou 'Dr John'.

* Not really, but it rhymed!
** BLog frENDS.

Find Dr John here:

King Goblin.

A cobalt vase.
Modern cobalt miners in Africa.


It happened in old Germany centuries ago
When miners dug for silver in the earth.
Silver was a precious metal everyone desired
And it was treasured for its certain worth.
Now the miners had some problems as they worked there underground;
There was something there that seemed to cause a block,
And they named the problem 'kobold', meaning goblin, evil sprite,
And they said this 'kobold' lived within the rock.
The mines were way deep underground, where air was hard to find,
Men were working in unpleasant airless tombs,
And the 'kobold' causing trouble added greatly to their pain,
As it gave off evil gases, noxious fumes.
Then, in the eighteenth century a chemist called George Brandt
Said 'kobold' was a metal coloured blue,
And he christened it 'King Cobalt' for he found it coloured glass
With a deep and almost indigo-dark hue.
So now we see 'King Goblin' in delightful ornaments;
In vases, bottles, every kind of glass.
No doubt the King of Goblins has a chuckle to himself
To think such magic ever came to pass.

A tragic poem about colour here:




What message are you sending, Indian Brave?
Is it about a world that we should save?
Do you see us squandering all our wealth?
Do you see us taking the world by stealth?
Do you mourn the death of native crops?
Are you thirsty when the river stops?
Do subdivisions decimate your land?
Are White Men all too slow to understand?
Your messages, unseen, hang on the air,
Smoke signals that should make us all aware.

Another North American monument here:

Watery Wonder!

Lake Eyre from the air.
The birds arrive!

You can't get a bigger water-event than this!

I'm sure I'll never go there; it's much too far away,
Isolated, desert-dry, remote.
And, surely, if I went there, which I know I never will,
I wouldn't think to take along a boat!
But this year Lake Eyre's flooding! It's been bone-dry for years!
Four times in a century it floods!
And suddenly the desert's come alive with living things
And the sand is sporting grass and sprouting buds.
And somehow, all the bird-life from a thousand miles away
Has heard of the phenomenon and flown
To enjoy the precious water and to breed along the banks
And to claim a part of Lake Eyre as is own.
It really is a miracle! It's here and then it's gone.
It's so wonderful and yet so very rare.
It gives hope to Australia at this time of great drought.
It's a symbol of deliverance.....Lake Eyre.
The Lake Eyre basin. 
"As drought keeps a vice-like hold on areas of south eastern Australia, the rivers are running strong through the arid centre of the continent, transforming the region. Water is now steadily spreading across Lake Eyre, for the first time in decades. Where ever the water has flowed it has triggered enormous pasture growth and bird breeding events."

A mythological view of Australia's waters here:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I must stop looking at

I find them all irresistible! 


With what meticulous care
She had coiffed her lovely hair!
And brushed her lashes, till they framed her eyes!
She'd worked for hours on lips
And delicate finger-tips,
And her dress had been right colour and right size.
She had brooded over shoes;
Which ones should she choose?
Flat shoes, maybe, to make her look petite?.
She had chosen her perfume
So it's fragrance rocked the room;
It managed to be passionate but sweet.
The matter of  bouquets
Had taken several days
For Mother had opinions of her own,
And the little bridesmaids dresses,
(So they both looked like Princesses,)
Had been made to set exactly the right tone.
They all said, when she arrived,
That she'd certainly contrived
To make herself a picture of perfection,
And her bridegroom felt so proud
When they turned round to the crowd,
And she smiled a painted smile in their direction.
But then, a fickle breeze
Came cavorting through the trees
And tossed her veil and hair in disarray.
And everybody said
As the wind whirled round her head
That she'd never looked so lovely the whole day.

A romance that ended less happily here: