Monday, February 28, 2011

Eucalytpus Haze


The gum tree has painted Australia
In shades of glorious blue.
Wherever the eucalyptus grows
The colour of the sky breaks through.
This is the Hunter Valley,
Which is very near where I live.
It's an area of natural beauty,
But with something more to give.
Under these spreading vineyards,
In sight of the gum-tree blue,
Coal-mines spread their fingers
Sometimes spoiling the view.
Newcastle, my home city
Exports much more coal
Than any other port on earth,
But, of course, it takes its toll,
Not only on our countryside
But on the Earth at large;
We're adding to Global Warming....
That's the oft-heard charge.
I long for the day when Energy
Is something we can renew,
And the Hunter Valley is only known
For its vines and its gum-tree blue.

                   Margaret Gosden 


The red sun sinks as the white moon rises.
I stand ankle-deep in the silvered water
That washes over the paling-pierced sand.

Shoo Shoe!

A short, short story


Pretty little Fairy Fay
Found a human shoe one day.
It smelt so bad, she thought it wiser
To doctor it with deodoriser.


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


They're lost in the jungle and getting in a flap!
Isn't it lucky that Daddy's got a map!
Little Billy Bunny says 'I hear a thunder clap!
Isn't it lucky that Daddy's got a map!'
Leonardo Lizard says 'I think this is a trap!
Isn't it lucky that Daddy's got a map!'
Katarina Kitty says 'A monster's teeth might snap!
Isn't it lucky that Daddy's got a map!'
But Daddy's got a problem...........................
 'What a terrible mishap!
I mustn't let the children know
 I can't read a map!'



Mummy, why is water wet?
Why isn't water dry?
Mummy, why do fishes swim?
Why don't fishes fly?
Mummy, why are clouds up there?
And not down in the sea?
Mummy! When I'm old as you
Will you be as old as me?

Me and My Friend


Me and my friend, yellow hats to the fore,
Play in the water down by the shore.
The Lake is calm, not rough like the sea,
And Mummy says it's perfect for my friend and me.
Mummy and Daddy are very nearby
And the sun is hot and high in the sky.
Our yellow hats give us protection.
Sun and water and play!


In Canberra's Lake Burley Griffin, a water-spout arises
In an arc of sunlit water! One of life's great surprises!
But the original of this could be seen in Switzerland,
Where snow-capped mountains reached the sky, snow-capped on every hand.
In the centre of Lake Geneva was the famous Jet de 'L'eau,
As any citizen of that place is very sure to know.
The Diplomats worked long and hard to have permission granted
To copy the famous Water Jet, where Canberra was planted.
So now there are two fountains, but they're very far apart,
But both of them have proved themselves eye-catching works of art.
Yesterday we spent up at Nelson Bay, where our friend, Joan, lives. Unfortunately the weather was rather dull, although it was very warm with a lovely cooling breeze coming off the water. We had a delicious lunch with Joan, and then Malcolm sat reading English newspapers, Mike went for a solo walk along the shore and Joan and I had a good game of Scrabble, as we usually do when we meet. Earlier in the day we strolled around the boat harbour and took a couple of photos. We couldn't get shots of the dolphins; they were too quick for us. But they were very close in-shore.

I like this unusual shot of Mike.

But Joan and I were caught off-guard among the yachts.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tickling Lesson

Our prompt  is 'vellication'.


Be gentle when you tickle me! Don't make me shriek and squirm!
Don't make me writhe and gasp and plead like some unholy worm!
I may be laughing great big tears and appearing to enjoy,
But, believe me, boistrous tickling does nothing but annoy.
Though I may throw myself about it's not with ecstasy!
I'm trying to get away from you, so listen to my plea.
No, tickle me very gently, with a tickle feather-light.
Tickle with a touch that's very tentative and slight.
A finger on the nape of neck, or the  ankle or the wrist
Can have the same effect as being passionately kissed.
Practise vellication! You'll find it always works
Much better than rough tickling, with all it's physical jerks!
I write, of course, from memory, but I know that it's true.
Let someone that you care for practise vellication on YOU!


I begged him not to paint my profile; I know it's quite severe!
I've only one good feature, and that is my left ear!
He drew the hair around it so it wasn't even seen!
He said it was a hairstyle that was favoured by the Queen!
I really look quite pretty from the front! I really do!
Though my nose is not my strongest point; I must admit that's true.
My neck is rather lovely, though; you must have noticed that,
And the way my hair is organised in a sort of curly plait.
My eye-brows have been shaped quite well; they arch quite pleasantly
And notice my jewels! How they show I'm from high society.
My mouth looks grim! Well, wouldn't yours, if you were in my shoes!
Nobody pays the slightest heed to the youngest daughter's views!
Mother chose the outfit. She said embroidery was 'in',
And when Mother makes her mind up I know she's bound to win!
Well, I only hope 'he' likes it, whoever 'he' may be.
They're sending him this picture so 'he' can study me!
And if he likes the look of me I'll travel to his side
And whether I care for him or not I'll have to be his bride!
They tell me in several hundred years women will have a say
In whom they have to marry! They won't have to obey!
And there will be an invention called 'plastic surgery'.
Oh well, that information isn't much help to me!


We have been asked to use the well-known phrase featured in blue.


At first life was divine; she was all I could have desired;
I felt elated, overwhelmed, delirious and inspired.
Of course, I asked her to marry me; she was really a prize,
With her ruby lips, her generous curves and the bluest of blue eyes.
But we started planning the wedding and then the doubts crept in;
I found myself fighting a battle I couldn't hope to win!
The wedding itself took-over; gone were our moonlit strolls;
She was too busy composing lists of the various roles!
There were umpteen bridesmaids to think of, and that not counting the page,
And then the problem of venue..... she really wanted a stage!
We had to visit hotels galore; the reception had to be planned,
And she wanted all the trimmings, something remarkably grand.
Her dress was of vital importance; she scanned all the magazines
For something I'd only imagined was for Princesses or Queens!
Discussions about the menu went on for hours and hours!
And then there were the speeches, the alcohol, the flowers!
The rings she chose were magnificent; even the one for me!
'I've got excellent taste, dear' she said 'Just wait and see!
Our home will be utter perfection; all 'interior design'.
We'll have a heavenly love-nest. I know it will be divine!'
I knew I was in too deeply; invitations had been sent-out;
I simply had to wrestle with my great unspoken doubt.
But I am still a single man! And thereby hangs a tale.
I thought I was a gonner, a poor misguided male.
But the Vicar sent a message 'The bellringers are on strike.
I'm afraid all I can offer is something you may not like.........
I can ring one bell myself and I hope that that will do;
I can't give you the peal you asked for, because I have no crew.
Come up to the church and listen and then make up your minds.
No difference; one bell or six; it's still a tie that binds.'
So we went to the church to listen; we heard the one bell toll;
It was a deep and solemn sound that entered my very soul.
'She'  stamped her foot and pouted and said 'That'll ruin the whole affair!
It sounds just like a funeral! I want a peal of bells! So there!'
And, suddenly, that word 'funeral' started echoing in my brain!
I'd be bidding farewell to my freedom! I'd never be free again!
I yelled 'Goodbye!' and then turned tail, breaking every spell!
And dashed out of the churchyard, like a bat straight out of hell!
It truly was a case, my friends, of being
'Saved by the bell'



Squeals of joy
From this little boy!
No lamb to the slaughter!
He loves the water!
Next year he'll leap
Into the deep!
Wet eyes! Wet ears!
And yet no fears!
This Mum, maybe,
Has a Water Baby!

What a Contraption!

asks us to consider 'improvisation'.


A 'Heath-Robinson contraption'; a phrase not heard any more;
Yet one that's firmly embedded in my early-childhood lore.
Heath-Robinson was an artist who created crazy scenes,
With improvisation looming large and 'elastic-band' machines.
If anyone did a botched-up job, with safety-pins and such,
Someone was sure to comment 'That's a Heath-Robinson touch!'
Say it to someone modern and they wouldn't have a clue
About the zany pictures that an ancient artist drew.
Things go in and out of fashion, often with the speed of light;
Things that once loomed very large have faded out of sight.
Take the scene below, a cartoon which was valid in the past,
But full of little aspects that were destined not to last.
The converted bath was the comic touch when this little scene was drawn;
'Sexism' wasn't heard of in the days when I was born.
But improvisation still exists, and it can be good or bad,
And not, as with Heath-Robinson, verging on the mad.




In a little country town, in a little dusty room
That called itself 'Museum', just for show,
I found this ancient artifact among the aged junk
And it brought back days of very long ago.
I can see them gathering round when the miracle arrived,
All shiny and so modern and so bright!
I can picture eyes wide open at the new technology;
They'd see Washing Day in quite a different light!
'Mum! It'll do the wringing!' Little Tommy is amazed
At the clever things that grown-up people do!
'It looks a trifle difficult!' That's Mother looking shy
For she's always rather scared when things are new.
'You'll get the hang of it, my dear!' That's father, looking proud,
For the gadget is from Dad to Mum, a gift;
'The children need not help you when you do the weekly wash!
You'll find the sheets are easier to lift!'
Mum tries to turn the handle but it's heavy and it's stiff;
She views her new contraption with dismay.
So now she'll have to manage without any help at all.
She just can't wait until it's Washing Day!

Saturday, February 26, 2011



We have been asked for an early memory.


My first memory is of cold hands.
I am a tiny child
Lying in bed
In a cold, cold room.
Nearly eighty years ago.
My hands,
Tiny petrified starfish,
Lie on top of the blankets.
I cannot sleep
For the discomfort of them.
I place them,
One after the other,
Under the covers.
I remember the thought.
This is how to keep warm!'
I recall the newness of the thought.
I recall the triumph
Of doing something for myself.
I recall the bliss
Of the warmth of my own body.
Such a tiny memory!
So insignificant!
Yet I believe
This was the precise moment
I became a person.


Newton Rajah


What a way they have with colour! Our friends of the Indian race!
It's as though they take a paint-pot and splash it about the place!
We see it in documentaries which delight us on TV,
And friends who've been there all declare it's the same in reality.
I here present my good friend Kat, (we meet in cyberspace)
And you'll see there's a solemn expression on everybody's face.
Kat and his wife have just built a house and here it is being blessed.
He sent photos of the ceremony and I was quite impressed!
But look at Kat's wife's sari! The colours simply glow!
She bought it for the occasion! It's better than a show!
And though Kat's wearing snowy white the silk picks up the hues;
And we can see oranges and pinks, yellows and golds and blues.
The house is not yet finished, hence it's dull and grey,
But soon it will glow with colour in a truly Indian way.

Predominantly Pictures


I'm not entirely certain
But I'm pretty sure it's true
That graphic fiction aims
To make life easier for you.
Should Tolstoy prove too taxing,
Should Shakespeare numb your brain,
You can read the tale in picture-form
And thus escape the pain.
Now a comic is a comic;
That I can quite accept,
But why should a novel be 'comicised'
Just because you're inept?
(The 'you' I refer to isn't you ........
I'm sure you're literate!
I'm sure you'd never take 'King Lear'
And try to 'Twitter' it!)
Great writing is much more than plots;
The language is paramount,
And Graphic Fiction, it seems to me,
Says language doesn't count.
I think it must be very rare
For someone to start with pictures
And then turn to the literature
With its academic strictures!
If we asked 'Will you now read it?'
They'd respond  'No I will NOT!
Why should I plough through all that stuff
When I already know the plot?'
So it's a case of 'either/or'
And, though my understanding's hazy,
I feel that Graphic Fiction's
Just a way of being lazy.


Sally answered her phone one day and heard the voice of a man.
Without the slightest preamble his rigmarole began.....
'Darling! I haven't slept a wink! I love you to distraction!
I know I was out of line last night! I regret each foolish action!
You're the only girl in the world for me! I'm speaking on my knees!
If I agree to your demands will you marry me please!
I agree to the triple-diamond ring, the one with the highest price.
And yes, your mother can live with us! I think that would be nice!
And yes, we'll buy that penthouse on the Gold Coast right away!
And yes, I'll even say those words, 'I promise to obey'!
Of course we'll have the reception on an ocean-going yacht!
And of course I'll be signing over half of everything I've got!
You know I love you madly. Please, please, please say 'Yes!'
And Sally replied 'Of course I will!...... Can I have your name and address?'

Friday, February 25, 2011

Suck It And See

Lemon, hanging on the tree,
You are much too sour for me.
Though your peel's a perfect yellow,
Your juice is very far from mellow.
Though your shape is pure delight,
We aren't rewarded when we bite
Into your flesh, and take a suck!
We find that we are out of luck!
See that shrivelled-up grimace
Spreading over the sucker's face!
Pursed-up lips and slitty eyes
Prove a suck was not too wise!
Added to food and splashed about
You're something we can't live without.
 Your flavour's zingy and full of pep;
It puts a spring in every step.
Squeezed, you add a dash of pleasure,
That makes a lemon seem a treasure.
Disregarding our cuisine......
Before we ventured on the scene.....
What did Nature have in mind
When you were so stupidly designed?
You were no good to man or beast!
I don't understand you in the least!


This bronzed and beautiful creature
With the very unlikely proportions,
Who looks to be ready for anything,
Involving unusual contortions,
Is displayed on the wall of our local club,
The Games Room, in actual fact;
A room which, on occasional mornings,
Is absolutely packed.
It's packed with Bingo players
All of a certain age,
Who come for a little diversion,
Bingo being the rage.
Imagine each grey head bending
Over the winning card,
And old ears listening for numbers,
When listening's rather hard.
Imagine the wistful glances
From a little wizened dame;
She looks at the yellow bikini,
Thinking 'I was just the same'.
Imagine too the old gaffer
Looking up with his one good eye
And returning to the Bingo
With a very audible sigh.
Of course, the same room in the evening
Is brim-full of lively youth,
Intent on a game of snooker
And jokes that are quite uncouth.
They can look up at the bikini
And hardly miss a beat,
Because she's in their here-and-now
And life is remarkably sweet.
But I think it would be kinder,
When the Pensioners use the hall,
To turn Miss Yellow Bikini
Discretely to the wall!

The Long Holiday

Not us, but the mood is identical!


I'm well-aware Old Age can be
A time of great adversity,
And I don't want to make a joke
Out of the pain of other folk.
However, I am here to say
Retirement can be a holiday
For those of us who've had the luck
To age, yet not become unstuck.
Creaks? We've got them everywhere;
Also thinning or greying hair;
Replacement hips? Replacement knees?
Of course! For items such as these
Are part of the general wear and tear.
Perfect specimens are rare.
Comparing 'symptoms' is quite fun......
'Have you got one?' ......'Yes, I've got one.'
Now, if you're under thirty-five,
You'll think 'Why bother to survive
In such a state of sad decay?
These dogs have certainly had their day.
I'd simply take a little pill
If I were heading-off downhill!
Youth is passion, youth is vigour!
I'd hate my stomach to get bigger!'
Now, chickadees, turn your tiny brains
To all the many obvious gains!
I've been retired for twenty years
And every year I've raised three cheers!
Imagine a life in which you're free
To turn each day into a spree!
Wake when you like, and keep pursuing
All the things you most like doing!
When your turn comes I know you'll say
'Life's an unending holiday!'



A placid scene of sea and sky.
But surely a giant shark floats by!
Surely I see a monstrous fin!
Against such a creature we cannot win!
In such terrible situations
Concentrate on the cloud formations!
It almost becomes your bounden duty
To fill your mind with surrounding beauty!

Municipal Magic


All praise to the Municipal Gardener
Who pretties-up the town,
Who makes a splash of colour
In earth so rich and brown.
Who takes a plot on the corner
Outside The Junction Fair,
And digs and hoes
And then plants rows
Of flowers for me to share.
All praise to the Municipal gardener,
Whose back must sometimes ache;
Who gets blisters on his fingers
From spade and trowel and rake.
This verse is just to thank him;
I appreciate his role!
The vibrant hues,
The reds and blues
Splash colour on my soul.



Elsie and her husband were golfing on the course.
They couldn't stand each other; they were heading for divorce!
Elsie wasn't bad at golf; at times she was the goods.
But, this day, she hit her golf-ball into the darkest woods.
While fumbling in the grass she found a frog caught in a trap,
It seemed so sad to see the creature suffering this mishap!
'Poor little frog!' cried Elsie, 'Come! I will set you free!
With the spring released the little frog soon hopped about with glee.
'I am no ordinary frog!' he said ' I look quite tragic
But now I'm free I'll prove to you that I am really magic!
Three wishes I will grant to you, health, wealth, long life and such,
But, you see, your husband's going to get exactly ten times as much.'
Elsie considered for a while then said 'I understand.
I have a generous spirit. Proceed as you have planned!'
'Then wish!' the frog exhorted her ' For soon I must be gone!'
'I wish for glorious beauty!' cried Elsie, 'Bring it on!'
Immediately she was lovely as any flower in spring!
Well' said the frog 'You husband's pleased! In the handsome stakes he's King!'
'Now I wish for great wealth' cried Elsie, ' I want money bags galore!'
'Remember!' once more said the frog,'Your husband gets ten times more!'
Soon Elsie was surrounded by enormous bags of gold!
'What a lucky husband!' said frog 'He's wealth untold!'
'Now, finally' said Elsie,' Since you have this clever knack,
For my final wish, please give me a very small heart-attack!'*


P.S. Please visit
for something extra!


Yesterday we drove to Murray's Beach, an area which was new to me, for lunch. The weather was sunny but delightfully cool, only 25 degrees C. so we had a pleasant time strolling around the footpaths of this relatively new lakeside area, admiring the distant water views.

I snapped Mike and Malcolm from above.

And Mike awaiting a tasty lunch in the Murray's Beach cafe.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On Guard


As regular readers of my blog must already understand,
I am against religion; I think it should be banned.
Individuals find solace, but I feel society
Would be better-off without it, in perpetuity.
So the idea of Guardian Angels is something I find strange.
For one thing the organisation must be tricky to arrange!
Is there one Angel per person? Or do we have to share?
Do the Angels have a choice regarding the person in their care?
If a very saintly Angel were allocated a crim,
Would she still guard him carefully and do her best for him?
Are Angels normal people who, after they have died,
Move up the ladder of success and are finally Angelfied?
Or did they start out as Fairies and graduate over time
Beginning as merely magical and ending-up sublime?
I know I'll lose some Followers with this caustic little rhyme!


A thousand-year-old poem.
References I couldn't really comprehend.
A translation
That may or may not
Have reflected
The views of the poet, entirely.
And yet it spoke to me.
Steeped, as I was, in biblical references,
Through my family's intense involvement,
In Christianity,
It was like a gale
Sweeping through my life.
As it has swept through the lives
Of so many others.
It was
The Rubaiyat
of Omar Khayyam.
Speak of poets...
Quote him.
Speak of philosophy....
Refer to his teachings.
Consider astronomy....
He mapped the stars.
Talk of algebra.....
He dissected the topic!
What a man!
And his message?
To live life to the full,
Without any inducements;
To embrace the present
And accept oblivion.
Now I learn that he is barely known in Iran,
Which once was his Persia!
What would he make of that?
My copy of the Rubaiyat
Is thumbed and faded now.
In a good cause.

The Fishing Bridge


One feels that life's a gentle thing
When the Powers That Be take the trouble
To build an extra little bridge,
Making the crossing double.
The higher bridge is for traffic,
The lower one for fishing!
Would that all of life were as civilised!
Oh well! Only wishing.


She lost her head over Billy Best!
I always said he was a pest!
But no! She couldn't see his faults!
She kept on turning somersaults!
Showing-off and being silly
Every time that she saw Billy.
Just because he had a tan
She felt he was her chosen man!
Just because his muscles bulged
She felt that he should be indulged!
Just because his hair was curly
She phoned him late, she phoned him early.
Just because his teeth were flashing
She thought him debonaire and dashing!
Just because he was so tall
She felt that they should have a ball!
Just because his voice was mellow
She thought he was her sort of fellow!
View this picture and realise
Going overboard isn't wise.
Give affection with discretion
And never give the wrong impression.
Never lose your head, my love,
Or you'll end up like her above!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Today's words: stress, juicy and figure


Why, oh, why does the gutter press
Add to all the strain and stress
By emphasising all that's cheap
And every nasty crim and creep?
Don't they know that copy-cats
(Sometimes well-known diplomats!)
Read the headlines and decide
That they will read them as a guide
To evermore increasing 'grot'!
Papers not only print the lot
But emphasise the juicy bits,
And fill our heads with bums and tits!
(Well, not me; I'm past all that!
But you know what I'm getting at!)
So long as profits are getting bigger,
And the total's a nice round figure,
Morality is quite forgotten
And all the news gets simply rotten.
They act disgusted. That's pretence.
I cannot write in their defence.
Why, oh, why does the gutter press
Fill our minds with ugliness?



Children in the dark
Like to scare each other,
So long as they're not too far
From the comfort of their mother!
"They mostly come at night
And it'll be dark soon,
And tonight there are no stars
And no light from the moon.
Their eyes will shine like lamps
While their talons claw the air
And a million writhing snakes
Will frame their faces just like hair!
Their jaws will be dripping blood,
Their tongues will be oozing slime!
Their hideous hairy faces
Will be covered with venomous grime!
Their voices will shriek with vengeance
And they'll chase us down the track............."
Mum's made soup for supper!
I think we'd better get back!



(A cinquain)

Immobile, transfixed.
Precariously perched presence.
Should I cry out?

*Unfortunately this is a 'popular suicide spot'. Not this time.



Friend Barbara knows a myriad tricks;
The latest one's concerned with Vicks....
The VapoRub that stops congestion
(But doesn't do much for indigestion!)
As my picture above suggests,
Mothers have rubbed it on the chests
Of wheezing children for years and years,
Lulling to sleep the little dears.
The vaporous fumes have cleared the nose
And brought about a night's repose.
Little Delias and Dominics
Have gone to sleep to the smell of Vicks.
Now Barbara's made a discovery
And she has passed it on to me.
When you're gripped by a cough that's hacking,
And dreamless sleep is entirely lacking
Smother Vicks on the soles of your FEET
And find out that it works a treat!
Wear your bedsocks! Yes, you must!
Sorry, we can't mix Vicks and Lust!
Wait a few moments and you'll find
You're seduced by warmth of a different kind.
Creeping up along your frame
A langorous heat that knows no shame!
Soon you'll find you're nodding off
Without a cough! Without a cough!
Barbara tells me it feels sublime
What's more it works each and every time!
One hundred percent is what she quoted.
( Scientific data that should be noted.)
Undisturbed you'll sleep all night,
Waking to feel relaxed and bright.
I'm waiting to host a passing germ,
One that may make me feel infirm
So that I can test this credo.
Though it wont do much for my libido!


Letter 'F'


The turbulence was frightful, the plane was in a spin!
The roaring wind was lashing with a truly ghastly din.
The passengers were seated, they were belted, they were grim
For they felt their chances of relief were very very slim.
One woman in the front aisle suddenly stood upright,
An expression on her face of the most soul-destroying fright.
'I'm going to die! I'm going to die!' she yelled for all to hear.
'I tell you, everybody, that, for us, the end is near!
But before I die won't some man make me feel that life's worthwhile.
Come and make me feel like a woman! Right here, on the aisle!'
For a second nothing happened then a handsome man arose!
He strolled towards her down the aisle unbuttoning his clothes!
He was wonderfully handsome, very tanned, with thick black hair
And his muscles rippled as he walked! All she could do was stare!
'Yes! Yes!' she gasped as he neared her, forgetting all her fears,
The sound of the storm around her was no longer in her ears.
He strolled down, quite unhurried, aware of his manly grace,
Conscious of the great desire painted on her face.
He moved till he almost touched her and whispered in her ear.....
'I'll make you feel like a woman!
 Iron my shirts! Get me a beer!'


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.

P.S. Please visit
for something extra!

Mike was lucky enough to have great weather during the first part of his trip, but he's returned from Adelaide to Newcastle to find it rather grey and blustery. Anyway, we decided to spend the morning at Honeysuckle, along by the river. We first of all had a fish lunch down near the Fisherman's Co-op, at Mangrove Jack's, where we were able to admire all the boats, and enjoy a meal of freshly-caught leatherjacket, and then we walked to the ferry-boat harbour where we had icecreams to round-off the excursion.

Few people were lunching by the water today.
Braving the breeze.

The ferry was just coming in under leaden skies.
The little boys came round to see Mike after school.
I managed to take this gorgeous shot of them together.
In the evening we had a delightful time at friend Joy's where the Book Group met to discuss the latest book, to eat tasty refreshments and to put the world to rights. Unfortunately I took my camera but forgot to use it.
But.......'There is no joy unmixed with woe'
Everyone at the Book Club meeting was devastated by the news from NZ. We really do feel like cousins here and almost every one of us has visited the 'pretty' city of Christchurch. Now to see such devastation is heart-rending. It wasn't a big quake, but it hit the city-centre at mid-day so it's results are awful.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Sad Case

supplied the prompt


Dear kind and friendly Bloggers, please listen to my plight!
I suffer from terrible catarrh, morning noon and night!
You must have heard me snuffling and snoring all the time.
The squashing of my poor old nose is tantamount to crime.
Can you believe my ancestors were wolves, both wild and free?
That's almost unbelievable when you take a look at me!
I know my name is Churchill, to remind folk of the fact
That Winston was a 'bulldog' until Hitler's power was cracked.
But I don't look heroic, with short legs and splayed-out toes;
And then, of course, there's the little matter of my poor old squashy nose.
'The squashier the better!' the breeders always cry;
'The nose becomes more squashy; the value grows more high.'
But breathing is an effort, even more now I am old;
It's rather like a human having an ever-present cold!
Dogs are such faithful creatures! But look at this malformed face.
He isn't 'best in breed' at all; he's just a very sad case.


(An acrostic and an even sadder case)

No-one wants me; no-one cares!
Every night as I climb the stairs,
Ghosts from days gone by assail me,
Laughing at me as they fail me.
Everyone I loved has gone.
Children, too, have all moved on.
Thoughts of joys that used to be;
Etched upon my memory.
Daughters leave us as they grow
Even sons get up and go!
Love was such a part of life;
Desire, for husband as a wife.
Eagerly I braved each day;
Romance, would always find a way.
Still I remain, alone, bereft.
Why go on when nothing's left?


supplied the prompt


You took pride-of-place in every picture.
You were the subject of my every scene.
Now, though I scrabble through the box of pieces,
I cannot find a trace of where you've been.
And what is the point of life without a focus;
A photograph without a centre-point?
The emptiness will stretch into the future
For everything in life is out of joint.

(A Victorian grieving.)

For a year and a day I will mourn him, the father of my child,
As the winds of grief blow round my heart, ever more chill and wild.
He was taken to live with the angels; he looks down on us from above!
Baby dear, kiss your own Papa, who gazes down with love.
I remember his face, so waxen, as he breathed his final breath
In life, my dear, he was lovely. He was lovely even in death.
They laid out my mourning costume, the thick black bombazine.
It breaks my heart to remember that he loved me best in green.
We'll stay fast in the house, my lovely, till our mourning days are done.
The shadowy house becomes us much more than the blazing sun.
I'll draw back the curtains one moment; you must kiss Papa on the face.
But to leave them open for longer would be a dreadful disgrace.
The clocks were all stopped at three, love, the time that the angels came;
To let them sound out the hours since then would bring this house great shame.
When a year and a day have passed, dear, I'll walk out in a dress of grey.
Am I really so terribly wicked to long for that distant day?
We'll visit the graveyard on Sunday; you'll wear your little black dress,
And passers-by will doff their hats to acknowledge our great distress.
Little children have to be taught, love, what a family death can mean.
I'm only just learning myself, you know, and I am all of sixteen.