Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just Walking Around

asks us to use words from John Astbery


I enjoy myself just walking around
For I have very frequently found
That serendipity starts to kick-in,
And little miracles often begin.
Shopping-centres are ideal places
For suddenly meeting friendly faces,
People I once knew and then 'mislaid',
Are standing by a balustrade.
'It's you!' I  cry, darting across,
Ready to salvage gain from loss.
And, before you know it, we're at a table,
Chattering fast as we are able.
An aimless walk, an idle drift
Can sometimes bring one a precious gift.


I've filled-in the form, but not sent it off.
All it needs is the final click.
Is it a chance of an income
Or is it a nasty trick?
The indecision is killing me!
The Internet is so scary,
So full of sneaky criminals,
Setting traps for the unwary!
I've taken the sensible option,
Checking out on BBB.
But maybe that's a scam as well!
Oh insecurity!
I want to be mistress of my fate!
I want to be calm and strong.
I want to know all the ins and outs!
I want to know right from wrong!
But journalists invade phone-calls,
Thieves steal identities
'Snake-oil' salesmen are out there
In all our societies.
So, like a wimp, I'll cancel,
I'll click-off the fatal page!
Oh to be a decisive vivid red
Instead of this nervous beige!

Monday, July 30, 2012


chose the topic


I'm confused about a lot of things although I'm not 'confused';
(It's equated with senility when that's the way it's used.
'The elderly confused' they say, labelling the old
As people who've lost their marbles, and who're straying from the fold.)
But one thing has always confused me, right from my earliest days,
Though I haven't wandered around the place with a permanent vacant gaze.
I'm confused about the Universe.....astronomers declare
That they'll soon be at the edge of it, but where will that be, where?
If there's something out beyond it, how is that 'something' made?
If there's nothing, what is nothing, and how is it displayed?
I believe both ideas at the same time! No wonder I'm confused!
One answer must be right, one wrong, two opposites can't be fused.
There's a battle in my inner mind and I'm the one that's losing!
Is it a left brain, right brain thing? It really is confusing.
So all you clever-clogs out there, who know which answer's right
Please un-confuse me quickly!
Please switch-on the light!


'For there is something there
That sounds so square.
It's a grand old name.'!
In my youth an old song about 'Mary'
Was sung by a fellow called Bing!
But fashions in song tend to vary
And it's not one a modern would sing.
In those days the word square meant 'faithful'
And 'solid', 'trustworthy' and 'good',
And the girl in the song, name of Mary,
Lived life in the best way she could.
Now 'square' is a word that's been altered,
A poor little waif of a word,
Meaning 'dull', 'rather boring' and 'studious',
Like that other descriptive word, 'nerd'.
Like 'cool' and like 'gay' and some others,
The word 'square' has seen better days.
So progress progresses regardless,
But some of us miss the old ways.


chose the illustration


Maybe she will, maybe she won't.
Don't look at me my friend!
Like you, I've been deserted,
And I think this is the end.
You're missing licking her morning cheek
And jumping on the bed.
You're missing the running for the ball
The begging and playing dead!
You're missing the dish of tasty treats,
The tickle behind the ear,
The leaning up against her knee,
And just knowing that she's near.
You're missing her voice, that pealing laugh,
That joyful shout of 'Rover!',
You're missing the sweet, sweet scent of her.
Now I tell you it's all over.
We have to make a change, my friend,
We've lost our friend and wife.
Don't make such an awful fuss!
Can't you see I've lost my life?


Sun-scorched, wave dampened,
Poised, ready for more play.
A moment in time in the blessed shade
And then........up and away!



Well I never! What do I see?
A Volkswagen covered in filigree!
A mechanical object in disguise
Right before my very eyes!
One so dainty, one that's tough;
But is the filigree strong enough?
What will happen in a storm?
What will keep the driver warm?
Will the 'lace' keep out the rain?
A lot of loss for a little gain.

(A plea from a little old lady in Australia)

Greece and Italy and Ireland have to borrow to keep afloat,
But surely all this borrowing is, still more, rocking the boat!
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 financial people 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, I'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!

Saved By The Sign!

asks us to write a story in 140 characters.


Ned had planned to push Tess off the top.
Beyond was an enormous drop.
But, annoyingly, upon arrival,
He saw she'd ensured her own survival!

                                 Merewether Beach NSW


A rock is pounded by the sea, over and over again.
But a rock is a rock is a rock....... it knows no pain.
But the human 'rocks' are the carers, those who give up their lives
To nurse disabled children. How frequently one arrives!
One sees them at the market, with a precious burden in tow,
The child who is now an adult, for little children grow.
And the years go on and on and on, and the tide goes in and out,
Each tide bringing aching sleepless hours and loneliness and doubt.
And the rock stands firm as the surges wash over it and recede,
And the human 'rocks' are equally firm, tending to every need.
A rock is pounded by the sea, over and over again.
But a rock is a rock is a rock....... it knows no pain.


Time Traveller


Next time you go to London,
Make sure that you're aware
Of this celebrated gentleman;
You'll find him everywhere.
He's lived before; he's living now;
He'll be living when you're gone.
His immortal life-span 
Goes on and on and on!

The plaques look very authentic,
But that is just a rumour.
They're here to show you that the Brits
Still have a sense of humour.
But wait! There's more! Why, here he is!
On the cover of a book!
That proves the gentleman exists.
Go to London! Take a look!



'When I am old' said Daisy,
'I'll sit beneath a tree
And I'll be wise and clever;
People will visit me.
I'll sit there in my rocking-chair
With a shawl around my shoulder
And everyone will look-up to me
Because I'm so much older.
The tree will be big and shady
To shelter me from the sun,
And I'll be a sweet old lady,
Welcoming everyone.'
' But' said Mother, 'How do you know
The right tree will be growing?
There may not be a handy tree.
There's just no way of knowing.'
'Then I'll plant a tree!' said Daisy,
'A big tree of my own!
When I am old, the tree will be big!
Both of us will have grown!'

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Avalanche

The Wordle

asks us to use all the words in the Wordle


It just seemed like a snowball falling,
That first intimation of attack.
Just the first boulder rolling
With a frenzy of snow on its back.
Then the white hill cracked with a loud roar
And a channel split open wide.
It was strange, the way it grew monstrous;
Sublime how it seemed to glide.
There was nothing wayward nor wilful;
Nothing rough or robust.
The great white shape settled gently
In a cloud of silvery dust.
Then all was still in the valley
On a blue and glittering day.
It was only then I discovered
It had taken your life away.


Up I go! And up and over!
Floating up in space.
A creature of another world, 
Exhibiting  airy grace.
I stretch myself along the ceiling, 
Gazing at the floor!
Normal standing, normal sitting?
 Nothing but a bore.
A nudge and I float down again,
With my arms out wide.
I twist, I twirl, I writhe, I squirm;
I push from side to side.
Normal standing, normal sitting?
Nothing but a drag.
But oops! Here comes motion sickness!
Where's that paper bag?

A Question


And the question is......
(To be answered as an acrostic!)

What an unusual question?
Horribly tricky, I'd say.
Oh dear! I'd better get started.....
Don't want to sit here all day!
Often I've asked the same question
Yet never received a reply.
Only vague hints at an answer,
Usually just a bit wry.
The fact is, I haven't a notion;
How can I have any idea?
I'm too close to the subject, for certain.
Near, and yes, more than just near.
Knowing oneself isn't easy
Yearning for truth wastes my day.
Outward appearances don't help;
Useless to say yea or nay.
Am I good, am I bad, am I middling?
Reality says I'm all three.
Each one of us is such a mixture!
Besides, I'm too near me to see.
Regarding myself in the mirror
Each day is a bit of a bore
Now you ask me this difficult question!
Don't think I can take any more.
And, with that, she refused an encore!


On his death-bed Arthur lay, all still and white
And they doubted if he'd even last the night.
Neighbour, Family and Friend
Said 'Poor Arthur! It's the end!'
For his chances of recovery were slight.

Then he smelt a quite familar kitchen-smell!
It was something he remembered very well!
A cookie smell for sure!
It came wafting through the door!
A smell that all through life had rung a bell!

Arthur stirred himself and rose up in his bed;
'I must eat a final cookie!' Arthur said,
And he shuffled down the hall
Keeping steady by the wall,
Hanging on to life by just the merest thread!

In the kitchen, though his hand began to shake,
He decided which hot cookie he would take;
But his wife's voice rent the air.....
'Arthur Hudson! Don't you dare!
Don't you think of touching those! They're for the wake!'

Please Remit Your Payment Promptly!

chose a very unusual prompt

(This became a rather ambitious Acrostic and a Victorian homily at the same time!)

People like to pay their bills
Late or not at all
Easy come and easy go
And they don't heed this call!
Several days or weeks may pass
Even months before they pay!
Retailers get mad as hell
Expecting cash each day!
'Money doesn't grow on trees',
I have heard this said;
Tardy payments must annoy
You can give joy instead!
On the appointed payment day
Undo your purse in haste!
Regular payments are the thing!
Poor payers have no taste.
All those 'must have' things you've bought
You didn't really need
Misery comes from being in debt,
Even giving-in to greed.
No good will come of it, my friend,
Take heed of what I say.
Penury is the end result;
Regret is on its way.
Only the foolish get in debt,
Make sure you pay your bills!
Putting-off the evil day......
That leads to other ills.
Learn to budget! You will see
You can live more happily.

                         People of Chilmark; Benton


The people of Chilmark were called together
(Because of the beautiful summer weather)
To demonstrate how they passed their time,
In an ideal place in an ideal clime.
'All look joyful!' the artist said.......
But they all look terribly grim, instead!
'Your oar is sticking into my breast!'
Yelled Mavis, who had quite a big chest!
'Let me out!' cried Fred, who was clutching a ball;
'You wont let me do the Australian Crawl!'
Timmy, the little boy in brown
Shouted 'Let me on! I'm going to drown!'
Not one of the crowd could raise a smile;
They kept on scowling all the while;
Writhing, bumping, churning, splashing,
Shouting, snarling, seething, crashing.
'Have fun!' cried the painter, 'Demonstrate
The ideal summer-holiday state!
Simply take off most of your clothes
And wallow about in a carefree pose!
My picture will be so free and active
That Chilmark will appear attractive!
Folk will flock to holiday
In your delightful sandy bay!'
But it will come as no surprise
That it didn't pay to advertise!

The Little Ice Age


About five hundred years ago Climate Change was rife.
Very chilling temperatures dislocated life.
Skating on the local pond may have been great fun
But people went for weeks and weeks without a sign of sun.
This Climate Change continued for over two hundred years
But, in 1800, the climate warmed, or so it now appears.
What we consider 'normal' has never really been so,
Although we are so used to things it's forgiveable that it's seen so.
Below you'll read of the miseries caused by too much ice,
And let me tell you in advance, life wasn't very nice.
Now, I am not a scientist, my views just vaguely forming,
And I do believe humanity is part-cause of Global Warming,
But it seems to me, taking a long view, that a bit of extra heat
Might be a very good antidote to the perils we may meet
From another Little Ice Age, which may be on its way!
The people of the future may look back to us today
And thank us for the extra heat that's there in the atmosphere!
Maybe we're being really kind to our little twirling sphere.

From the studies of Prof. Scott Mandia

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating affect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea. Due to the cooler climate, snow covered the ground deep into spring. A parasite which thrives under snow cover, devastated crops. Additionally, due to the increased number of days of snow cover, the stocks of hay for the animals ran out so livestock were fed on straw and pine branches. Many cows had to be slaughtered.The cooler climate during had a huge impact on the health of Europeans. Famine killed millions and poor nutrition decreased the stature of the Vikings in Greenland and Iceland. Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of an illness called St. Anthony's Fire. Whole villages would suffer convulsions, hallucinations, gangrenous rotting of the extremities, and even death.
And a personal quote from the time........ "The crops that had been sown were all completely destroyed.... Most of the hens had died of cold, as had the beasts in the stables. When any poultry did survive the cold, their combs were seen to freeze and fall off. Many birds, ducks, partidges, woodcock, and blackbirds died and were found on the roads and on the thick ice and frequent snow. Oaks, ashes, and other valley trees split with cold. Two thirds of the vines died.... No grape harvest was gathered at all .... I myself did not get enough wine from my vineyard to fill a nutshell." 

(From a Mad Kane first line)

A gal who was lovely and fair
Went around with her top half all bare.
She was grabbed by police
Who said 'This stunt must cease!
You really should grow longer hair.'


At The Crossroads


The words in blue are from the Eric Clapton song 'Let It Grow'


Standing at the crossroads
I look to left and right.
Is the one road shadowy,
The other bathed in light?
Is the one road pitted
And do rocks bar the way,
While the other is as smooth as silk
Not hinting at delay?
Choosing the easiest of roads
May not always be right;
Sometimes an easy highway
Can lead into the night.
Sometimes, when there are obstacles
Triumph lies ahead;
Think of the ending of the road
Not just the start instead.


Before the dinner-party
It looked all a-la-carty,
 Everything smart and neat
Placed before each seat.
Not a splash or drip
From any careless lip,
Not a  smudge of gravy,
Or a napkin gone all wavy.
Not a lipstick smear
On a glass that once was clear.
I thought I'd better plan,
Before the meal began,
To take a speedy shot
Before we messed the lot!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


 alabaster shadow apples aloof symmetry immense jade falling intrinsic


Asks us to use all the words.


A vase, before it's decorated
Is not , by me, appreciated.
Its lines, though pleasing they may be
Expressing perfect symmetry,
And having an intrinsic worth,
Casting a shadow on the earth
That is both pleasing and unique,
Are not revealed quite at their peak.
The patterns of apples and falling stars
Don't stand-out on unfinished jars.
Alabaster and glorious jade
May shine when they are just half-made,
But pottery requires more proof
That it's not cold and quite aloof.
The difference colour makes is immense!
Suddenly it all makes sense!
Having been colourless and quiet
The vases now are a noisy riot
Of flowers and faces and fantasy!
Yes! A colourful vase for me!



Little I ask, my wants are few,
Just a Cadillac or two,
Just a pad at Malibu.
That's all I need.

I'm quite abstemious as you know,
I don't need a lot of dough.
Just a trip to Jericho.
And that's not greed.

Of course a heated swimming-pool,
Children at a top-notch school,
All to make the neighbours drool.
Why not, I say.

Outfits coming from Dior
Persian carpets on my floor,
Why shouldn't I have more and more,
When I can pay?

The proletariat may whine
About these luxuries of mine,
But I continue doing fine
I make a splash.

Let them whinge and let them bleat,
Let them sleep out in the street;
Luxury is hard to beat.
And I've got cash!