Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sign of the Times


My World. Your World. The whole World over!
Remember how we lived in clover?
Remember how the money flowed?
So much was spent! So much was owed!
Then came the dreadful Credit Crunch,
While all our brains were 'out to lunch'!
Enlarge this sign and you will see
A token of our economy!
This is a School Hall being erected;
Government money being directed
To worthy projects such as this
So we don't fall in the abyss!
Just down the road I saw this sight,
And so it is 'My World' alright.
Australia managed pretty well,
But still we feel we cannot tell
When history will be repeatd
And common-sense again defeated.
My World. Your World. The whole World over!
Remember how we lived in clover?



Percy the Poodle was crossing the street,
Attached, of course, to a lead.
'Thought Percy 'Goody! There's a tree!
Exactly what I need!
I'm bursting to cock my back leg
And that tree will be just great!
And, while I'm about it, I'll have a sniff!
It might lead me to a mate!'
But what is this? His mistress has veered
Way off towards the right!
Did you see a poodle with his legs crossed?
Not a pretty sight!

Linked to Lily

Lily Langtry


All they had was their sexuality,
The ladies of Lily Langtry's day.
Brought up to be breeders
And socialites,
Those with ambition
Must have struggled under the yoke
Of inequality.
Lily was my husband's grandmother's cousin.
She was never spoken of
In the family.
After all,
She was a fallen woman.
And she 'fell' several times.
She was 'no better than she ought to be',
In the parlance of another age.
But note her lovers!
Not for her the tumble in the hay
With the local squire.
She consorted with the Prince of Wales.
She ended up a Lady.
She had beauty and charm;
She could sing and act;
She was, probably, intelligent.
But she was a woman.
All she had was her beauty.
Who knows what she might have achieved,
Had she lived today?

(An Acrostic suggested by Acrostics Only)

Everybody needs to learn
Denial's something we should spurn.
Understanding is admired!
Careful study is required!
All the teachers back through time
Tell us ignorance is crime.
If you laze your time away
Obviously, you will pay!
No good jobs, and a lowly station,
If you ignore your education!


Advertising at it's best!
A petrol station teapot dressed!
Picture cars, vacation-bound;
Inside someone looks around!
Cries out 'Hey! Look over there!
A petrol-station that is rare!
Let's fill-up and look around!
The owner's colourful, I'll be bound!'
And so a customer is born
With slowing wheels and blaring horn.
Cups and saucers there are none,
But still it's just a bit of fun.
Now all we need for decoration
Is a teapot shaped like a petrol-station!


Tens, dozens, lines of ships,
Off the coast of New South Wales.
Ships full of coal.
Coal, the backbone of our region:
The Hunter Valley.
Making us rich:
Our inheritance.
Will I cheerfully forego the benefits
When the ships
No longer call?
Will I gladly be less warm,
Less pampered, less well-fed?
Will I be happy
When my grandsons inherit a life
Less comfortable and cushioned than mine?
Tens, dozens, lines of ships
Bound for the wider world.
Ships full of coal.
Will I be cheerful
When their cargoes pollute
Someone else's skies?
Will I shrug my shoulders
When their Greenhouse Gases
Clog someone else's lungs?
Will I be happy
When my grandsons can no longer enjoy
The Great Barrier Reef?
So I merely drift.........
Fiddling while Rome burns.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Circus Of Life

Here is this week's prompt:
'This week, give yourself permission to eavesdrop and steal.'
So I have stolen from the Blog's How-To-Join page!
Here is the original quote:
"You are a member of the circus the moment you discuss a prompt, post a poem (or a link to a poem), comment on an article or participate in an activity.  "


You, already, are a member of the circus,
For life is lived with sawdust and with paint,
Your ponies gallop round and round like crazy
As you pretend to be the things you aint!
You tackle great big lions in your dealings,
You juggle different balls up in the air,
You swing from high trapezes when you're happy
And do things that you never thought you'd dare.
But you're the Sad Clown when you lose your footing,
Although your nose may be a jolly red,
And it breaks your heart when people roar with laughter
Every time you fall and bang your stupid head!
Sometimes you chance to act as the Ringmaster,
In charge of everyone, top of your game!
At other times you're mucking-out the stables,
A thousand miles away from any fame.
Yes, Life's a Circus and we all are in it;
We live our lives beneath a huge Big Top.
We're dancing to the crazy blaring music
Hoping like mad that it will never stop.

Memories are precious things. And some of the most poignant and precious are, in themselves, slight. This memory is slight, but it is always with me.

The play was over.
All the giggling and terrible acting were done.
We were young village girls
Performing at a neighbouring village hall.
Was it two miles from home or more?
The distance escapes me.
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.
Transport arrived to take us home.
Some would have to 'start walking'.
(In my memory we walked all the way.)
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.
Five of us linked arms
And started walking homewards.
We didn't speak;
We had done with laughter
And bad acting.
Were there five of us?
Does it matter?
All that matters is the stars.
That and the frost.
The memory of that night
And that walk
Is with me still.
'A Winter's Tale'
Demands snow and a full moon.
We had no moon, no snow,
No Christmas-cardy
Effulgence of night-time glory.
We had a dark blue sky,
A billion stars,
And a road fast-crisping
In the icy stillness.
The air was bitter.
Our breath billowed out,
Temporarily clouding the stars.
Branches, whitening before our eyes,
Stood stiffly,
Surely ready to snap.
We walked in unison,
Briskly, because of the cold.
One could almost say we marched.
No words were spoken,
Yet such a sense of companionship
Pervaded that night
That I remember the silence
As a meaningful conversation.
We spread out
Right across the vehicle-free road.
(This was 1947 remember!)
What a poor old 'Winter's Tale'!
Except for the
Sound of flinty feet
On the fast-frosting road.
And the vision of periwinkle stars.

Dark Horse


Such a perfect lady! So quiet and demure!
So modest and retiring! So absolutely pure!
But someone put a wig on her at some outlandish 'do'
And Mary turned to extrovert! She shouted out 'Yahoo!'
We saw another side of her! She almost danced a jig!
Such a transformation! What magic in a wig!

Stockton Ferry: Newcastle


Newcastle to Stockton? Five minutes!
We scarcely sit down but we're there!
The ferry goes backwards and forwards
And it's cheap with a Pensioners' fare.
But I'll tell you a story of romance
That blossomed on board.....only just!
Get a tissue if you're sentimental.
And remember! It's love and not lust!
She was riding one day on the ferry,
A totally humdrum event.
She didn't much care where she'd come from,
She didn't much care where she went.
She'd had a bad day at the office;
She really felt dead on her feet,
So she found an obscure little corner
And simply sagged down in her seat.
He was standing alone when she saw him,
Just staring out over the rail.
His shoulders were slumped and dejected
As though he were going to gaol.
He half-turned his head and he saw her.
Their eyes seemed to lock in the glance
And she suddenly found that her sad little heart
Was doing a spirited dance.
In a trice, they were over in Stockton,
But she simply stayed in her seat.
She just couldn't walk to the gang-plank!
Her heart was still missing a beat!
Then he came and sat down right beside her,
As the ferry-boat set off once more,
And they sat, without words, as the ship sailed
For the city they'd left just before.
It was backwards and forwards they travelled,
And, although you may think it absurd,
They went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth,
And they never said one single word!
Then, just a they pulled into Stockton,
And she'd made up her mind she must land,
He drew in his breath with a sort of a gasp
And just made a grab for her hand!
Now they travel a lot on the ferry,
And the kids often come with their bikes,
And they walk and they swim and they picnic,
For that's what the family likes.
And, often, they share silent laughter,
As they think of that long-ago day,
And when they sail over from Stockton
He still holds her hand all the way.


(Someone gave me permission to use this photo and I can't remember who it was!)


Yes! Of course you can watch me take my bath!
I'm not one to be shy!
But you must promise not to laugh
At my beard as you go by!
I know the rest of me is brown,
And the beard is quite a shock,
But you'll find that my relations
Look the same in our little flock.
The yellow is remarkable,
Bright as the rising sun,
And of all the beards on all the birds,
Mine is he brightest one.
I've a little bit of Easter
Tucked underneath my chin!
I'm just about to wash my beard!
Please stay while I dunk it in!
                          Not me!


My Dad had rheumy eyes; the tears kept dropping.
The winter winds caused many bouts of mopping.
But he was old; that's how it had to be.
And what had rheumy eyes to do with me?

My Mum had folds of loose and crinkly skin
That hung and quivered underneath her chin.
But she was old; that's how it had to be.
And what had turkey-necks to do with me?

Now I've discovered I have reached the stage
Of realising I'm 'a certain age'.
The eyes from Dad, the turkey-neck from Mammy!
It isn't fair! I got a double whammy

Blue Blowers

                                         Local Press

(And a clasher)

I ask myself a question...
What music do they choose?
Surely that must be obvious!
They're going to play The Blues!


(Thinking of Pakistan.)

The frequency of disaster! The anguish is too much!
The people have to cope with hunger, mourning, pain and such.
But homelessness is something that can surely be put right;
Though even with housing such as this, nothing works overnight!
This eco-friendly design looks great, though I don't know much about it.
But for certain living in such a 'tent' is better than living without it.
Any survivor would be glad to reside in here awhile,
Until they were able to dry their tears......
And smile.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wind Chill



A place to park the car when the breeze has got a bite,
And Winter can give way to Spring, at least through the power of sight!
Looking at the ocean which is temptingly in reach,
Looking at the waves that break upon the golden beach,
One could think it that was summer but we would be quite wrong!
Still the warmth will soon be with us; we just hope it wont be long!


In the dimness of antiquity, there lived a handsome Prince,
Whose name has been revered and praised by all men, ever since.
Bladud was the young man's name; he knew his destiny
Was to rule his nation; to this end he studied constantly.
In search of learning he went forth and finally came to Greece,
Where he hoped to learn the ways of truth and dignity and peace.
But, sad to say, in Athens, he contracted leprosy
And a sad, disfigured Prince returned to face his family.
'You cannot rule' his father said 'You'd bring our family shame!
Flee somewhere far away, my son! Don't besmirch our regal name!'
His mother wept at her poor son's plight, and handed him a ring.
'Keep this safe as a gift from me while you are wandering.'
So the sad Prince left as a peasant, with neither hearth nor home,
Disfigured by his leprosy and destined the earth to roam.
'I must work to live' said Bladud 'Since no royal crown is mine.
I'll live as so many peasants do, herding the humble swine.'
So, for many years, he herded pigs across the countryside
Until, at last, they sickened too and many of them died.
He must have been a sorry sight, his remaining pigs were few,
And he was covered in lesions! What was a man to do?
But suddenly a pig went wild and galloped off until
It came to a pond of thick black mud, at the bottom of the hill.
It jumped right in and almost sank; it was in it to the snout!
So Bladud clambered in as well. He must get the creature out!
The rescue took a while, of course, as the animal thrashed and squealed,
But when it staggered to the bank, its leprosy was healed!
So Bladud wallowed in the mud, constantly, day by day,
Till his leprosy finally disappeared in a miraculous way.
Then back to his parents he returned, an older man, it's true,
But he showed his mother's golden ring, so everybody knew
That he was the rightful future king. And he quickly made it known
That his saviour had been a humble pig, one animal, on its own.
So Bladud founded a city, where healing waters run,
And he ruled in Bath for twenty years as his father's rightful son.
He governed with honesty and wit; his edicts all were sound
But he never forgot the lowly pig who'd turned his fortunes round.

Oh Me Of Little Faith

Topic: Faith.


I am living without faith. Does that sound depressing?
I don't believe in anything, that's what I'm confessing.
When, in my teens, I sat, one day, all dutiful, in church,
Faith flew out the window! But I'm not left in the lurch!
My problem with religious faith is that human beings preach it!
If God were utterly obvious no-one would need to teach it!
I made up my mind, in those early days, that I would pay no heed
To what came from a human source, whatever might be the creed.
I would just believe what I can hear and see and smell and touch!
And, honestly, I've got along just fine. Does that shock you too much?
For one thing, take Eternal Life! I think that's horrifying.
I'll have no expectations at the moment of my dying.
I will never be 'rewarded' so I'm not wracked by guilt.
I am very far from perfect but it's only 'milk that's spilt'.
But I worship LIFE for that's all there is! At least, that's my belief.
Religions seem to add to the toll of pain and woe and grief!
Take the state of the world right now! How much better it would be
If the world cut-out religion and just lived faithlessly.

(Written in response to my friend, Margaret's, artwork.)

The ocean floor was shattered
By an earthquake beneath the sea,
And a miracle island surfaced
Where no island ought to be.
And a passing puffin saw it
And rejoiced in new-born land,
Which came to life in an instant
As if by a magician's hand.

Criminal Intent

The words in blue are from the Frank Sinatra song 'Something Stupid'
'I know I stand in line....'


I stand in line at the check-out in the old time-honoured way,
With money at the ready, which I'm prepared to pay.
I'm an upright citizen so I read all the signs,
And I always act accordingly, especially in lines.
I know society depends on customers like me
'Toeing-the-line' in every sense, when on a spending spree.
I know my little trolly is half-empty so I'm sure
I've only a few items, maybe eight or nine, no more.
I idly start to count them as the check-out hoves in sight
And I find out to my horror that my estimate wasn't right!
There are actually twelve items and the sign says 'Only ten!'
Inexorably I move on as the shoppers shift again!
Now I'm faced with a dilemma, should I now quit my spot,
Returning to the shelves the extra items I have got?
No! I'm going to be quite brazen! I'm a pensioner, foresooth!
Old people should have leeway (we can't count as well as youth!)
As I'm emptying my trolly I feel the gimlet eyes
Focussed on my purcheses! Have I been unwise?
A gentleman behind me clears his throat as if to say
'Just my luck to meet a crazy woman here today!'
The young person at the check-out, as she fiddles with the till,
Doesn't say a single word but, oh, if looks could kill!
I leave the store with head bowed, a blush upon my cheek.
I suppose I'll be forced to buy my things from another store next week!
Oh, you may laugh, and you may sneer! You may think my tale's a farce!
But after a blameless life I find I'm one of the criminal class!

(A Cinquain)


Deliciously brown.

Enticing, dripping, luxuriating.

Posing as a rose.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflecting on Netball.

                                 Press Photograph


Blatently stolen from the paper!
A rainy day and a netball caper!
It's Netball Day and, what a pain,
The heavens have opened! We've got rain!
Parents huddled from the storm,
Keeping dry and keeping warm.
Little girls in skirts of red
Tossing the netball overhead.
Looking at this scene I thought
'What a price they pay for sport!'
Then I looked and I had found
Reflections in the puddled ground.
Blogging came, at once, to mind!
'My' Reflections! What a find!


Sarsparilla's been a word that's always fascinated!
Although I hear that, now, the concept's really rather dated.
Growing up in England, I heard this Yanky word,
And I thought it was the most romantic name I'd ever heard!
I was drinking lemon juice or something else quite boring,
While, over in America, the populace was pouring
This wildly stimulating drink down each and every throat!
Oh how I longed to pack my bags and get on the next boat!
The very word rolls off the tongue in a manner so exotic!
Surely it held ingredients quite dangerously hypnotic!
Picture a grey mid-winter's day in a little British town
There's 'Rinkly' thinking of the drink, longing to gulp it down;
To be whisked away to join the Sarsparilla devotees,
Lounging in gay abandon underneath strange foreign trees!
With President Roosevelt looking manly standing at the tiller
Easing his tension with a handy glass of Sarsparilla!
With a young girl on a skyscraper wrestling a gorilla,
And winning easily every time she sipped some Sarsparilla!
With Raymond Chandler writing books, possibly a thriller,
Getting inspiration from a glass of Sarsparilla!
With Al Capone, a Mafia lad, but an efficient killer,
Demanding his favourite pick-me-up, gin and Sarsparilla!
What an exciting life they led on the other side of the ocean!
Merely thinking of it now fills me with deep emotion!
I want 'Pure Blood'! I want to feel as though I'm Phyllis Diller!
Transform my oh so humdrum life with a glass of Sarsparilla!


                                        Brenda Bryant


If you scrape the sky in Sydney
You end up with a mass of blue,
With one or two little white bits
Gently passing through.
'Hurry up!' my friends all told me,
'We really cannot wait
For you to take a photograph!
Already we're quite late!
What's so special, anyway?
Just a great glassy sheet!
No need for you to stop and click
In the middle of the street!'
And so the others surged away
In a great big friendly bunch,
Off to a favourite restaurant
To have a bite of lunch.
While I stood taking photographs
With 'reflections' on my mind.
And then I had to rush like mad
For I had been left behind!
If you scrape the sky in Sydney
You end up with a mass of blue,
With one or two little white bits
Gently passing through



So you see a bird!
I aways knew we were incompatible!
How dull you are;
Seeing what you think you have to see.
Doing as you're told!
Your horizon limited by what you think you should see.
A mere human in a world of angels!
So bland, so conventional, so boring!
I'll give you the horizon;
That I also see.
But a bird?
Don't be absurd!
I see a grey, blotched wall
And an oddly-shaped window.
The top swoops down like a twister;
The left-hand side bears a startling resemblance
To a chimp begging for a kiss;
And, on the right, there's a hill
With an interesting cave.
I long to squeeze through that jagged window
And hover in that blue sky,
Like a bird.
But my own bird, not yours.
I'll pack my bags in the morning.

Charity Begins....

T'was the day of The Vote
(Hardly worthy of note!)
And these ladies were outside the school
In their warm winter coats,
With scarves at their throats
Because winter weather was cool.
They had set-up a stall,
For folk who might call,
On their way to tick boxes (election),
We were urged to put in
To their charity tin!
So we certainly made an inspection!


Einstein was a clever man, it's true.
We should listen when tells us what to do!
'Don't ever feel you must
Rid your windscreen of that dust.
Look what a touch of genius can do!
If you let the dust increase until it's thick,
You can do this quite astounding little trick!
You can brush and you can scrape
Any quite amazing shape
Re-creating any character you pick.
Now, I'm a man with quite a lot of brain!
A hose would send the dust right down the drain!
Much better you conserve it!
You must know I deserve it!
I shall last until the next downpour of rain!'

Lewd Limerick (not very)

(Assigned first line in red.)


A fellow who liked doing tricks
Would take off his clothes just for kicks.
People said he was rude
When he danced in the nude
And he didn't impress any chicks!



The Rooster rules the farmyard,
Perched high upon a rail.
Feathers ruffle,
Chickens scuffle,
When the Rooster spreads his tail.
The Rooster rules the farmyard;
He raises his voice on high.
But, one fine day,
That rooster may
End up in a pie!

The Rooster rules the farmyard.
He lifts his royal head.
Running rabbits
Know his habits;
See his comb is glowing red!
The Rooster rules the farmyard
with a 'Cock-a-doodle-doo!'
But, one fine night,
That rooster might
End up in a stew!

Proof Positive



Freddy saw a tasty blonde on his way home one night.
And humanity persuaded him to ascertain her plight!!
She was standing on the pavement watching traffic passing by,
And as he slowed down near her she looked him in the eye.
'Hop in!’ he said; and so she did without a why or wherefore,
And Freddy never thought to ask what she was standing there for!
Although he had a feeling that the evening would be great
He thought it wise to chat a bit and didn't hesitate.
'So what do you do for a living?' he asked her most politely,
He knew it must be something that she had to work at nightly.
'I work as a magician' said the blonde with a little smile.
So Freddy thought he'd take a chance; give her magic tricks a trial.
It was then she proved her ability; she could do magic well.
For, when she touched him on the knee, he turned into a motel!


(An Acrostic)

Tensely waiting behind the tree.
Immaculate, and ever free.
Great, wild, powerful creature,
Energy in every feature.
Respect is something you deserve.
I must simply keep my nerve!

High Sailing



Glass above and sails below
Shadow and sun combining.
Gentle movement, soft and slow
And a bright sun shining.
We were in Perth away to the west;
This was a bright Casino,
But we were happily having a rest
And drinking a Cappuccino.


How did we do our shopping before the mobile phone?
(Yes, 'you' call it something different, that I know.)
But, how did we do our shopping without a dialling-tone,
In those dark, dark ages not so long ago?
I pass them in the aisles with 'something' glued on to their ears,
A look of strain upon their youthful features,
And I hear them snarling ' Make your mind up! Lemonade or beers?'
And my heart goes out to these poor anguished creatures.
'They haven't got the small size!'
'No! It's quite another brand!'
'Well, how am I to know your Mother hates it!'
'They've got tomato-flavour!'
'Hell's Teeth! Can't you understand?'
'Who cares how highly Uncle Freddy rates it!'
'The round one or the square one?'
' Well, you bought that sort last week!'
'Check in the kitchen cupboard, on the shelf!'
'Well, strawberry's my favourite'.
'Do you only want one leek?'
'To hell with that! You do the job yourself!'
In the days before technology we sort of worked it out.
When we shopped, there wasn't one thing that we missed.
Life was simpler, faster, neater, and more restful, without doubt,
In the days when Mother had a SHOPPING LIST!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wither Weather?


Wither, oh weather-bird, streaking on by,
Swooping down south fast as weather-birds fly?
Pointing your beak to the distant South Pole
Where an island of ice is your terminal goal.
As you fly you are scattering chill in your wake;
And we, who are so used to sun, start to shake!
The flock flies beneath you, all huddled together.
Wither, oh weather-bird? We've winter weather!



He walked into the hotel; having parked his highpowered car,
And straight away he saw her as she sat up at the bar.
She was blonde (of course you knew that!), she was luscious, she was slim,
And he hoped, against all hope perhaps, that she had noticed him.
He smiled his usual gung-ho smile, the one that worked so well,
The smile that had demolished girls in every smart hotel.
She looked quite blankly at him, like he was made of glass,
Though he'd always been successful with this easy opening pass.
He chose a bar-stool near her and he gave a lingering glance,
It wasn't in his nature to admit he'd missed a chance.
She turned her head away from him and gazed up at the ceiling,
A gesture that resulted in a very sinking feeling.
He cleared his throat and then he said that awful time-worn phrase
'Do you come here often?'…… He was silenced with a gaze,
A gaze of such disinterest that it chilled him to the bone.
Could it be he'd leave the bar tonight unwanted and alone?
In desperation he moved up till he was near her ear
And he bellowed 'Ten Fat Penguins!' very loud and very clear.
At last she was alerted, she spun round, 'What did you say?'
And so he thought that it was time to give the game away.
He gave an explanation that was brief and so concise!
'I needed Ten Fat Penguins to help me break the ice!'


Yesterday was a 'Max' day. All three of us, Auntie Becca, Grandpa and I, are already feeling sad because he will have an extra day at pre-school next year and we'll all miss our 'fix'. We've had little boys in our lives for twelve years and now time is moving on.

It was a very cold day so we had lunch at the club. Here is Rebecca teaching Max to take a photo.

And here he is playing on one of the ornamental lions at the entrance.

And here I am smooching our other 'little boy'. Banjo is nine years old but he's an eternal puppy. Sorry about the 'blue eye'; my camera will only remove the red type!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


chose the illustration


It was the last thing I saw
As the paddy-wagon drove away,
With me in the back!
The red vase.
The trees were smaller then.
We had picked roses together
Only that morning.
Both of us knew
We were on borrowed time.
She had known of my criminal past
From the start.
But she had loved me in spite of it.
We thought we were safe.
The radio shattered our lives.
'The authorities
Hope to apprehend the criminal
Any day now'.
We knew we were on borrowed time.
So we picked roses.
They looked splendid in the red vase
On the window-sill.
They were the last thing I saw.
Now I have returned.
The stucco has faded to a paler pink.
The trees have grown to surround the house.
The bright red vase
Still stands on the window-sill.
But the roses have gone.
 And so has she.


(An acrostic suggestion from Acrostics Only.)

Nights are bleak with scarce a light;
Owls are frozen in their flight.
Reindeer roam on the open plain;
The snow is simply frozen rain;
Humans dare not sally forth.
Life is hard in the frozen North.

Thirteen Questions



Has the universe a beginning; has the universe an end?
How many people in the world consider me a friend?
Does garlic taste the same to me as it does to other folk?
Why do I feel uncomfortable when someone tells a joke?
How long am I going to live? (Do I really want to know?)
How tall are Max and Blake and Harry (grandsons) going to grow?
Would boredom be a problem if they shot me into space?
Will atomic warfare bring the end of the human race?
Is it hot inside a burqua and underneath a veil?
Would I enjoy life quite as much if I'd been born a male?
Will there be bush-fires this summer? I'm rather hoping not!
Would it hurt less to be hung or hurt less to be shot?
Was it really so dreadful in the days when kids got the cane?
I'd ask a lot more questions but thirteen have 'crashed' my brain!


Say Mr Mandelbrot, how can it be
You discovered a pattern that grows like a tree?
When we see your discovery, there on the screen,
There's a part that we see and a part that's unseen.
A bit like a beetle, it sits there quite still,
And there's not the least hint of its wonders until
With a click of our 'mouse' we move in and lo!
An invisible world comes to light! What a show!
We move in more closely and focus our gaze
On a newly-found country, all beaches and bays.
See, look! There's a headland and there is a lake,
And that blue part resembles the eye of a snake.
And, if this is the eastern shore, this must be west,
With the south and the north just the same as the rest.
With repeat and repeat going on evermore,
From hilltop to island and back to the shore.
Mountain and lowland and heartland designs,
Created from blending and curving of lines!
Move in! Undulations now rise up and meet us.
The first pattern's gone but these new patterns greet us.
This one is flower-shape, petals full-flare,
And see! There's another one, right over there!
Another one up and another one down,
All seemingly decked out like jewels in a crown.
Seek further! Whose fingers are these I see splayed?
They point and they part, childish fingers new-made!
With copies all round them that go on for ever!
Ah yes, Mr Mandelbrot, you've been so clever;
To discover a pattern and give it your name!
A pattern that changes and yet seems the same!
A pattern that fascinates; leaves us in awe,
For we are the first generation that saw
A Mandelbrot Set with its ravishing sights,
All there on our screen and all pricked out in lights.
Oh Mr Mandelbrot, how could it be
You discovered a pattern that grows like a tree?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


'abstain, prayer, halo'.


I'll abstain from prayer for a while.
This halo is not my style!
I prayed for one
(Something rarely done
By the human rank and file)!
It arrived at once in the post
But, before I could even boast,
I found my prize
Wasn't quite my size
So I wrote to the Holy Ghost.....
And I said 'The halo you sent
Has filled me with discontent;
It slips over my ears!
How odd it appears!
It's not quite the type I meant!'
I knew that I couldn't win,
So I chucked the whole thing in.
I stopped being good
(Well, you knew that I would)
And went back to a life of sin!



I saw her coming up the hill,
Mature but still attractive.
Not young, not old, just in between,
Healthy, strong and active.
I guessed she wanted work round here
And I'd plenty on the farm.
Taking on another hand
Wouldn't do me any harm.
But first I asked some questions.
Had she picked lemons before?
I knew that it was hard work
And her hands might get quite sore.
She answered 'I'm not very good
With oranges or limes,
But I'm great at picking lemons!
I've been divorced three times!

The Blowhole

My Photo


It blows with a great big 'Oomph!' that startles all who hear it!
And its plume of water drenches anyone who may get near it.
The Blow Hole at Kiama is quite a tourist draw,
And when we were on the South Coast it was something that we saw.
The Aboriginal people knew about it from the start.
Though the Europeans 'discovered' it and thought themselves so smart.
In 1797 George Bass, of Bass Strait fame,
Made a note of the Blow Hole and registered its name.
Charles Jackson made a crossing, in 1889,
On a tightrope! And the Tourists thought this was pretty fine.
Since then it's been a focal point for visitors' satisfaction.
And still the great resounding 'Oomph!' is the Blow Hole's great attraction.

A much more impressive publicity shot!



Thinking of the poor and needy,
I offer you Tomato Bredie.
South Africans originated
This dish, so very highly rated.
My version's simple to a fault,
Add things to make it more your sort.
(Garlic may appeal to you.
Add anything to this simple stew.)
Cook it slowly, that's the trick,
It wont be 'yum' if you're too quick.
Slice 'some' onions, that's the plan,
Then chopped tomatoes from a can.
Add lamb chops, the cheapest kind;
Fatty ones taste good you'll find.
Trim the fat but not the lot;
Fat adds flavour to this pot.
(This last, no doubt, will horrify you;
But wait! A plan; I'll run it by you.)
Pepper, salt, but liquid no;
Wait till the juices start to flow.
Have you a crockpot? Why not use it?
I have one and I always choose it.
Lots of time but not much heat
Makes a Bredie divine to eat.
You will earn a flash diploma
When the house fills with aroma.
Cooked? Then now's the time to chill it.
Put it in the fridge. Don't spill it!
When it's settled, overnight,
The fat will give you quite a fright.
It will lie on top like a sheet of plastic!
Take it off! Underneath's fantastic!
Fat free, ready for the greedy,
A glorious Tomato Bredie!
But, as the adverts say, 'There's More!'
A further tip from my kitchen lore....
After the family's meal is done
Won't you be the clever one!
So much liquid will be remaining!
Don't make the mistake of straining.
Buy a chunky can of soup,
Mix all together to feed your troop.
Cordon Bleu? Well, not precisely.
Fits the bill? Yes, very nicely.