Friday 31 December 2010

Saturday 25 December 2010


I decided today to move my current account away from Mastercard in protest at its decision to stop dealing with Wikileaks. Reportedly, Mastercard was pressured by the US Administration, as was Amazon and others to cut ties with Wikileaks, despite no evidence it had broken any law in any jurisdiction.

I think it is outrageous that administrators of a constitution that guarantees freedom of speech, one that has been so loudly celebrating Nobel Laureate Liu Xianbin’s ‘leaking’ of Chinese ‘secrets’, should abandon its principles as soon as its own secrets begin to be revealed. Voltaire said it all and we cease to protect those principles of free speech at our peril.

As we are so often urged to, but rarely do, I am thinking globally and acting locally.

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Jingle Poetry. 'Reflections'.

Top spot.

So many dynamos.
We few,

I saw I was I,
never odd or even.


Pic borrowed (cropped) from here.
Prompt by
Jingle Poetry.

Monday 20 December 2010

Prologue to IXL’s little chill truck ad.

This looks nothing like IXl's little van. So, to the confused... go back a bit.

Henry of Inverell rang and declared he ‘must have that vehicle’ so I informed him of all the little faults and idiosyncrasies, but he insisted he wanted ‘it regardless’ and ‘the money’s in the bank!’

So apart from a final clean up today, I am ready to move on. Henry arrived on time to take delivery, so we marked the occasion with a little celebration as he took the wheel of the little Toyota and drove off into the rain, marking the end of our working life.

We invited the people we know.
To come to our “Transport Art Show”,
And so, out they came,
Despite teeming rain
And gathered to see the Van Go!

Sorry, I promise in future to behave no better!

Thursday 16 December 2010

I wish you a merry Christmas, I wish you...

Celestial Teapot Blessing.

May all in your world remain rosy
While into the future you mosey.
And where you take tea
May it stay tea-bag free,
And every tea pot have a cosy!

Tea cosy picture borrowed from Queen of the tea cosies, my fried Grand Purl Baa! (Take the scenic route via her amazing blog).

Prompt by Magpie Tales.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Kevy and Hillary are leaking.

Prompted by breathless reporting of Wikileaks revelations of what (Australian Foreign Minister) Kevin Rudd said to Hillary Clinton (in secret).

Psst! Your Gravitas is (Wiki)leaking!

Political bullies, nefarious
Find Wikileaks quite deleterious.
But verbal diarrhea
Has undone them I fear.
They now seem so Rudd-y Hillary-ous!

Glossary of terms:
• Red of face as in ‘ruddy complexion’.
• Mild expletive, substitute for more offensive swearword, ‘bloody’.
• Epithet used in Australia. Eg, Shane Warne = “Warnie”,
Alan Jones = “Jonsey”, Kevin Rudd = “Ruddy”, Silvio Berlusconi = “Shitbag”, etc.

PS. I mean no offence to Rudd nor Clinton. My personal view is, I think they are both dedicated to serving their countries and are doing better than most on the world stage.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Caught with their pants down.

While Julian Assange remains incarcerated in London awaiting extradition to a foreign jurisdiction, where there may be a law he might have broken, major newspapers publish (carefully chosen) diplomatic cables that are embarrassing diplomats, ministers and politicians around the world.
None of those newspapers have had injunctions placed on them nor has any editor or owner been arrested. But more to the point, officialdom is falling over itself to not face up to the fact that the leaked diplomatic cables are telling us what our governments are really saying and doing in secret in our name! What is really going on here? I leave that question hanging to tell you a true story.

Many years ago a person I know well was invited to help ferry a yacht to Sydney. It was owned by a teacher from his wife’s staff, so she came along with their two children. A few hours into the one-day voyage, the owner’s wife and the two children became sea sick and were put to bed.

For his two hour watch, he was alone at the helm and although he felt something was amiss, because the ship had no Autohelm, he had no choice but to continue hand steering until he was relieved. But she was a lovely old ship and he was enjoying himself alone with the wind, the sails and the sparkling sea surging by the gunwales, fully occupied at the wheel way past his allotted time.

Some days later, a mutual friend told him that his wife had boasted to her, that while he was busy steering, she was ‘downstairs fucking the captain’ ha ha ha!

So what did he do? The friend believed it was better all round for the truth to be known. So although we all knew she often put a ferret in a burrow to watch the rabbits scurry out as it were, he thanked the friend and confronted his wife. She was recovering from breast cancer, so he constructed reasons why she might be driven to test her attractiveness and although devastated, he was not angry and calmly asked her to decide what she wanted to do, to go or to stay and repair the damage.

But if he had taken his lead from shrill pronouncements coming from certain political mouths, that Wikileaks founder Assange ‘should be assassinated’, he would have killed the friend and ignored the infidelity! Your turn.

This came in this morning’s mail and I invite you to have a look.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Magpie 44

Practicing for the Winter Olympics.

Out on the snow I'm hot-doggin’
My Flexible Flyer toboggan.
Downwards I hurtle
Until I turn turtle
And land upside down on my noggin!

Much more sensible contributions can be found at Magpie Tales.
Pic borrowed from

Saturday 4 December 2010

Ask for thousands, get millions!

Yesterday morning I took out an ad on line to sell IXL's refrigerated van. $15,950 (negotiable).

Response was quick. I know it is a rare little unit, being able to refrigertate as it goes along and has a second unit that runs on mains power so it can be used as a cool room, but the following e-mail was unexpected. So, I share it with you so you can join in the mirth and wonder that anyone would take it seriously. Some must or why would they bother!! It is educational too. Before today, I was unaware the US army had Panzer Divisions!

Here it is in its entirety.

'Capt, Matthew Crowe.


Thanks for the details and information about your vehicle history .It seems you are a sincere person. I want to inform you that i will buy your vehicle at your given price, but I have a business proposal for you.

I am Captain Matthew Crowe of United States of America Army, presently in Afghanistan as UN Intelligent and Instructor on peace mission, I served in the 1st Panzer Division in Kabul. I have been deployed to come and work in your country's military base soonest. Our mission is to help beef up terrorist targeted states, mostly the United States and Europe/Asia on the war against terrorism.

On the other hand I want to inform you that I have in my possession the sum of 9.6 million USD. Which I got from crude oil deal here in Afghanistan.I deposited this money with a Red Cross agent informing him that we are making contact for the real owner of the money. It is under my power to approve whoever comes forth for this money.

I want to invest the money in your country as soon as I am deployed into your country for a good business, you will advice me on that since I am not a business person. I cannot move this money to the United States because I will be in country for about 3years, so I need someone I could trust. If you accept, I will transfer the money to you where you will be the beneficiary because I am a uniformed person and I cannot be parading such an amount so I need to present someone as the beneficiary.

I am an American and an intelligence officer for that so I have a 100% authentic means of transferring the money through diplomatic courier service .I just need your acceptance. Please if you are interested in this transaction I will give to you the complete details you need for us to carry out this transaction successfully. I decided to find someone that is real and not imaginary and that is why I went to a secured vehicle site where I can be sure that the person is real.

I believe I can trust you. Where we are now we can only communicate through our military communication facilities which is secured so nobody can monitor our emails, then I can explain in details to you. I will only reach you through email, because our calls might be monitored, I just have to be sure whom I am dealing with.

If you are interested please send me your personal mobile number so I can call you for further enquiries when I am out of our military network. I am writing from a fresh email account so if you are not interested do not reply to this email and please delete this message, if no response after 3days I will then search for someone else.

I wait for your contact details so we can go on. In less than 7days the money should have been noted on your account and I will come over for my money. I will give to you 30% of the sum and 70% is for me. I hope I am been fair on this deal. Get back to me with your full information:

YOUR FULL ADDRESS.....................


Capt, Matthew Crowe'

(E-mail address available if it does not self-destruct in 7 days)

Friday 3 December 2010

Wikileaks. A few thoughts.

We rejoice that Iranian and other suppressed women are gathering power for change through the net. We applaud Chinese dissidents who expose human rights abuses and other ‘embarrassments’ through the net. It is now an irreversible fact that networks, independent of governments, nations, ethnicities, and religions are mushrooming all over, to the concern of all regimes and bringing (sometimes violent) reaction from some.

Just imagine the ‘good old boys’ of the diplomatic club remembering what they once wrote to a ‘person with shared opinions’ in confidence, and we must remember we are talking documents here, not two half pissed old blokes in a bar… “Haw, haw, haw! Wait til I tell you what Hillary said to me in the plane! Haw, haw, haw!” They must be shitting themselves!

Wikileaks is a threat to world order. But maybe we no longer want the old world order of secret deals and conspiracies, the guts of most ‘alliances’. Maybe we can embrace this opportunity for unprecedented transparency. It takes imagination, but complete transparency has the potential to put an end to clandestine plotting of real or imagined conspiracies, fear that has sown the seeds of so much distrust and violence. But there is something far more important happening here of which Wikileaks is merely a symptom. Ordinary people are feeling empowered to demand to know what is really going on.

But, and it is a big ‘but’, as things stand, unless someone cracks Chinese, Korean, Russian, Israeli, Saudi, Pakistani (etc) and Vatican secret files, it is lopsided and dangerous. However, having said that, there are several dangerous flash points awaiting a spark of insanity, so I am not sure this break with tradition isn’t better than nothing.

We are, for the first time in the history of Man, becoming privy to what really happens in the secret, manipulative world of domestic and international politics. At last we can be all grown up and be told the truth. It may be that our survival as a species depends on it!

Thursday 2 December 2010

Magpie 43

Empty nest.

In grey dawn,
snow smudged steps
that nobody uses.

Click here for more Magpie warbles.

Monday 29 November 2010

The Bus stops here.

Suffer the little children.

Born into Genesis,
raised by the rod.
Threatened with Hellfire,
a cruel, jealous God.

A childhood of guilt
and mindless submission,
pleading with Jesus
for sweet intervention.

I argued my case.
I asked my god why?
He ne’er deigned to answer.
I wanted to die.

So, year after year,
after year of despair,
then realisation:
“There’s nobody there!”

Gods manufactured
by ancients to hold
their people in thrall
and under control,

The god of the cross,
the star and the crescent;
a god of extremists,
terrorists nascent.

So, believe what you want
and say what you must.
I’ve eyeballed your god
And left in disgust.

Poetry bus driven this week by Dana.
Pic borrowed from here.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Blatant Nepotism.

IXL's Gourmet Christmas Pudding.

Overheard at the check out, Gibsons in Noosaville yesterday.

Ist well dressed matron: "Did you pay almost fifty dollars for one pudding!
2nd well dressed matron: "Yes I did, why?"
1st WDM: "I got one yesterday at Colesworths for thirteen fifty!"
2nd WDM: 'Yes I know. But you have to send out a search party to find a currant!"


Noosa Farmers Market Sunday from 6 am.
Hams, puddings, cakes, tarts (also with non wheat flour).

Thursday 25 November 2010

His cup runneth over its use by date.

The great Will Shakespeare.

Remembered for his plays.

The great Rembrandt.

Remembered for his art.

The great Nellie Melba.

Remembered through her Edison recordings.

Great Grandpa.

Hey Alice! Do we really need to keep this cup old what’s-his-face won in some darts competition? It's not as if he was famous or anything!


I have my mother's Scrabble set, a few of my father's tools, one or two picture of my grandparents but no record of great-grandparents except names on the family tree! More would be good, even an old trophy would be better than nothing.

Pics from Wiki.
Prompt by Magpie Tales.

Tuesday 23 November 2010

'Sacred Activism'.

Andrew Harvey

On radio today,
I heard such wisdom,
and delusion,
it took my breath away.

He quoted Ghandi,
He quoted Jesus,
He made a call.
(Did not quote me).

‘We waste, we spoil.’
‘We judge, we hate.’
‘But God will save!’
(It's far too late).

'Think or extinct.'
The creator's voice?
'The time has come,
to make your choice!'

Thursday 18 November 2010

Vegas in the Sixties. Magpie 41.

Traminer on ice.

We liked it sweeter then.
Darkened room,
brilliant stage.
When entertainers wore suits.
Sinatra, tie loosened,
cigarette dangling,
in the wee small hours.
When romance
powered our world.

Read more magpie tales here.

Sunday 14 November 2010

Poetry Bus

The other man’s road is
always smoother.

In life I was taking my lumps,
When a fork in the road looked like trumps.
So I made the turn
And too late I learn;
From a distance you can’t see the bumps!

Poetry bus challenge. More poetry here.
Pic borrowed from

Saturday 13 November 2010

'Smokin’ out' Gog and Magog.

It is unimaginable to me that one hundred and fifty years after Charles Darwin, the communications explosion and the concept of one humanity inhabiting a global village, we have foreign policy driven by Biblical Prophesy.
'Bush said, when he looked at the Middle East, he saw "Gog and Magog at work" and the biblical prophecies unfolding.' (The Guardian).
Ronald Reagan believed that 'Gog was code for the USSR', but like all such prophesies, they are vague enough to be applied locally to almost any enemy at any given time.


Smokin’ out Gog and Magog.

Just now I saw George on TV
Promoting his memoir, you see.
Written by hand,
His own, understand…
But guided by Richard Che-ney.

When asked: ‘Why the war in Iraq?
Why were you so keen to attack?’
He said “Shock and Awe
That’s what we went for
We needed so bad to hit back!”

‘But surely the UN applied
Inspectors to help you decide.
But you went ahead
Despite what they said.
We know your Intelligence lied!’

“Angered and shocked, now I know.”
“But dang it, Hans Blix was too slow!”
“Then Daddy said ‘Son,
Let’s all have some fun.
Let Dick and Don put on a show’.”

So tell me George, what is your creed?
What inspires you? What do you read?
He said, “Nothing new.
The Financial Review
And the Bible is all that I need.”

Pic borrowded from Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Magpie 40


Legs of a skater
face of a rat
Crown of a king
and tail of a cat.

So was the god
of one ancient race
Now an adornment;
a stylish necklace.

Click here for More magpie tales.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Architecture of words.

Spelling bee Smartypants.

I have really had enough!
(Of spelling bees and sim’lar stough).

Some words simply flow, although
Why others don’t I‘ll never knough!

It’s as if a writer’s cough,
Was put there just to slough us ough!

Testing times they put us through;
And perfect scores are very fough.

Not for winners, horse and plough
Easy street for them and hough!

Sitting highest in the borough,
Laughing like a kookaborough.

But here am I, in life’s deep trough
Becoming to-tal-ly pissed ough

And wond’ring if I’ll get my wish
To ask them how they’d spell ‘swordphysche’!

With apologies to Jingle Poetry.
Pic borrowed from

Monday 8 November 2010

Hubris again.

This story exhumed to help Steve Capelin feel better.

Para Bowls in Eden

Sis dragged me there just in time to stop me going totally ga-ga. We had been nursing Mum twenty-four seven for over a year and were worn out. Most days I rode my ninety-nine cc two wheeler to Jen’s house to put in a full day of feeding, toileting, making tea and cooking, washing, making beds and entertaining our darling ninety-three year old stroke destroyed mother, then riding back to Tiziana to be rocked to sleep or battered into wakefulness by extremes of Eden weather.

To get me to meet people, Sis organized a sitter for Mum and booked us in to play indoor bowls at the Sports Club. Althouth I have always loved watching cricket and do appreciate the skill of a good lawn bowler, I had never played bowls. I was a cleanskin.

After introductions, the bustling good humoured woman in charge assigned us to teams. As a newie, I got to bowl second.

Of course, I did all the dumb things like releasing the bowl with the bias on the wrong side, seriously disrupting a game two rinks away, running off the mat and threatening the glass windows at the end of the room, but I did improve and by the third end was keeping the bowl on the mat.

By the fourth and fifth end I was outbowling the lead player in our team, a young woman of maybe forty, fit and confident-looking and began to congratulate myself on my emerging prowess.

At the point in the last end when the 'skip' plays for keeps, the young lady who had been providing the benchmark to which I had aspired, then surpassed, walked out of earshot.

Taking advantage of her absence, the skip leaned over and whispered,
‘She’s not bad for a blind person, is she!’

Pic borrowed from Lawn Bowls Dictionary by Keith Dunstan .

Saturday 6 November 2010

Magpie thirty-nine and a half.

Gang Rape Most Fowl.
(This piece was resurected and dusted off from Wollombi Tales of long ago).

We decided to raise some fowls and bought twenty mixed day-old chicks. But as they grew we realized the mix was nowhere near the fifty-fifty we expected. We had been conned.

Nineteen developed rooster-like features until it was clear we had only one pullet, a ratio of five percent. But we looked on the bright side and planned to dress one a week starting soon. Then our timetable was changed by events beyond our control.

Jim McBeath, my drummer mate and his wife Susan, bought a house at Tascott near Gosford, built a chook pen and populated it with four mature white leghorns hens. All went well until one day that summer, Sue screamed and Jim looked out the window. They were horrified to see a two metre tiger snake slithering across the yard uncomfortably close to their three year old infant. By the time Jim slowed from warp speed at the child’s side, the snake had disappeared under the chook house.

Eric Worrall was alive then, so Jim called him at the Reptile Park and asked what to do. Eric sent a big bearded guy with long hooked length of fencing wire and a chaff bag. After poking around under the shed for ten minutes he had the tiger by the tail, popped him into the bag and offered this advice:

‘You gotta get rid a th’chooks.’

Jim and Sue liked their fowls. Kitchen scraps, transformed into free range eggs, helped feed themselves and four growing boys and they all had names. Fluffy, Muffie, Scruffy and Lucky were loved.

‘Why’s that?’
‘Mate,’ says the expert. ‘Ya got chooks, ya got chook feed. When ya got chook feed ya got rats ‘n where ya got rats ya got snakes. OK?’

At the gig that Friday, Jim asked if I’d take his hens. Our one pullet hadn’t started to lay, so I happily accepted. And so it was that late Sunday night, four comatose birds were tipped gently from a potato sack onto the chook pen floor and I went to bed.

Monday morning, just as the sky was turning from black to streaky grey all hell broke loose. The cacophony of screeching, crowing and two dogs barking propelled me out of bed, heart hammering, to see who or what was being murdered.

It was a brothel in a goldfield. Lined up behind each of the four old virgins were four or five roosters, crowing, scratching, pecking and raping. The hens were terrified as they were spurred into submission, their genetic preconditioning forcing them to squat, wings out to accept their fate-worse-than-death.

The pullet, still too immature for her smell and antics to be attractive, was running around the fence in bewildered terror when I took a hand, grabbed the bag from where I had dropped it in the dark and stuffed the old girls back inside.

While Sal stoked the fire to boil water, I drove two nails into the chopping block to hold their necks still, rounded up all the cockerels except one and lopped off their heads. In ten minutes there were eighteen white rapists hanging by their toes Italian style from the clothes line. From there they were removed one by one, dipped into boiling water, plucking and dressed. All the good bits like hearts, kidneys and gizzards, collectively the giblets, were kept along with the legs for winter broth.

Laying hens live in a coop,
And peacefully sleep on a roost.
Roosters that raid them
Will soon feel the blade then
And end up as somebody’s soup!

Their criminal 'remains', after having been hung, drawn and frozen, were consumed with gusto and sweet revenge over the following months.

More fowl stories can be found at Magpie Tales.

Friday 5 November 2010

A Dooralong Gem. Vale Dot Wightman.

Three Boys

Jack Wightman died about fifteen years ago and the dairy died too. Not that Jack being there was pivotal. On the contrary, in a way, it survived despite him. It was the halving of the price of bulk milk that killed that dairy and hundreds like it.
But the timing was right for Dot. All her children had left home except Kevin, the youngest so she became semi retired and lived off her ‘shop’. Beef cattle replaced the diary herd but she could never stop farming. Odd, considering how progressive she had been as a young woman, she reverted to methods used by her parents and grandparents. I suspect she understood about carbon footprints long before anyone uttered that phrase. She was smart and she was wise and she walked the walk

Around the house, that had no hot water, no kitchen sink and no water supply except one old steel tank, she grew her veggies and bred her ducks, chooks and the occasional turkey. Duck eggs and fowl eggs were placed under bantam mothers to hatch, because ‘bantams make the best mothers’ so around the yard wandered a motley mixture of species that seemed happily unaware they were being manipulated by the wily old woman who fed them. She was a true farmer who understood her animals and plants like nobody I knew.

Born in the farmhouse, she grew up there and took over the main role when her father died, buying a Grey Ferguson tractor in 1947, probably the first in the valley. When she went to high school, Jack was the school bus driver and Dot was his passenger. Some in the community never fully forgave him for marrying Dot, much younger, pretty as a picture and heir to the property. They said the roles were reversed when he moved in. He became the passenger.
But Jack, whatever some thought of him, helped her to the end. I say helped, because Dot was always the boss.

Her children, all five were bright and some super bright like Heather who studied mathematics and became a computer whiz and trouble shooter for BHP. But before she became too busy, she worked for me.
I met Dot at a community meeting where in those days she seemed to be the secretary of everything and asked if she knew any kids interested in zucchini picking, so she sent me Heather. Heather was not only a top student, she was a top worker as were all Dot’s children and every one of them worked for me at one time or another except John the eldest who I didn’t meet until his mother’s funeral a few weeks ago.

A couple of acres of zucchinis is easy to plant but takes a lot of picking and needs picking every day, so I asked the kids to see if they could find some more pickers. Next day, Kevin, Dot’s youngest turned up with two mates so I put each newcomer with an older person to learn the ropes and we got on with it.

After a while, I sensed something was wrong and looked up to see one lad throw a zucchini at another, so I warned him. All seemed to go well for a while until I found another of the three hiding in the vines and lobbing some big ones at another kid then all three started an all out war with my precious Zucchinis as ammunition.

I had no option but to send them home. Just as they walked off Jack and Dot strolled onto the paddock. They stopped for a minute to watch Kevin leaving with the other kids then came on to where I was working.
‘Nearly finished?’ asked Jack.
I looked across the paddock at the acres yet to be picked.
‘No mate, nowhere near finished, but I had to send the boys home.’
‘What happened?’ asked Dot.
‘They were throwing fruit at each other. I warned them a couple of times, but they kept buggerisin' around, so I had to send them home. Sorry.’

Jack was silent for a moment. He took a long look at the departing boys, still pushing each other, laughing and playing as they went, then turned back and offered me this little gem.

‘You know, if yer get a boy, yer got a boy. If yer get two boys, yer got half a boy and if yer get three boys, yer got no boys at all!’

Pic borrowed from here.

Thursday 4 November 2010

Magpie Rooster 39

Manners Maketh the Chook.

Chanticleer, the rooster tall
Saw some spiders on the wall.
Said he, “Bonjour
Nice day for sure!”
Gave me a wink, then ate them all!

See more sensible contributions at Magpie tales.

Monday 1 November 2010


Writers Scilly Island.

‘Eek!’ Said the beautiful maid
‘By eye make-up, I’ve been betrayed!
I must confess
My face is a mess!’
So I gave her my Mascara-aid.

Can I start again?

See some better Writer's Island posts here.
Pic borrowed from here.

Sunday 31 October 2010

Live export trade.

IXL tried all week to source Halal turkeys for Christmas on behalf of a corporate client.
The mind boggles, right? Why anyone would think it’s appropriate to give Muslims Christmas hampers I don’t know unless we subscribe to the philosophy: ‘in Rome do as the Romans do’.

However, business is business, so she eventually found a farm where turkeys were butchered in the Halal tradition. It seems a mullah is hired to stand in the shed facing Mecca where he chants as the turkeys are beheaded and that’s it. Apparently they are quite ecumenical, it being usually OK for animals to be slaughtered by Jewish and Christian butchers (not Atheists) so long as Halal methods are used. The rules are worth reading and make a lot of sense, starting with ‘thou shalt not eat road kill’ and the like.

One Halal directive states that the animal should be killed with as little pain as possible, but as far as I can gather, they must be moving all the while they are bleeding out to be sure all blood is removed. The two do not seem compatible, but let’s accept there are good reasons and look at the meat export business.

1. Australia has a substantial live cattle and sheep trade with the Middle East. Live animals are shipped by sea so they can be butchered at the destination in the Halal tradition, part of which is to eat the meat as soon as possible after slaughter. So the animals suffer for weeks squashed into holds of ships where a high proportion die in transit, negating the minimum pain ideal, then are carted home in car boots and on roof racks to be killled in the bathroom!
2. But that aside, it seems to me there is more fuss made over how an animal is butchered in that part of the world than there is concern for suffering inflicted on fellow human beings.

Now for something from the Irish tribal tradition.

Sunni V Shia.
The Prophet is quoted to suit
Each tribe, from Iran to Beirut.
They fight kill and die
And clearly, here’s why:
They each want control of the loot!

PS. Comments and points of view from Muslim readers are not only welcome but respected here. We could have substituted Catholic V Protestant or Serb V Croat and any number of other contemporary feuding tribal pairs. To learn more about live exports click here.

Thursday 28 October 2010

Magpie 38


One day to breathe
the scent of earth,
One eternity to be it.

Sadly prompted byMagpie Tales.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

Jingle's loverly poetry.

Literary Lovers Lane.

Together we’d drive to the dance,
Then park and read books of romance.
But when we read Chaucer
A gruff law enforcer
Said, ‘Keep your romance in your pants!’

Less bawdy poetrycan be found at Jingle Poetry Challenge.
Pic borrowed from

Sunday 24 October 2010

Would the real Mary McKillop be allowed to stand up… please!

Mary McKillop, a genuine hero, deserves a posthumous Order of Australia at least. She was an activist and whistle blower, earning herself excommunication for a time. She was an educator and battler for indigenous rights long before it became fashionable.

To me, smothering her achievements in mythical hocus-pocus draws attention away from her real contribution. She died in 1905 but her work continues, not by magic, but through the efforts of the dedicated women of the order she created and the schools she and her supporters, not all Catholic, established. Now, St Joseph’s schools are a major contributor to Catholic Education throughout Australia. She was a real person in real time who made a real difference, despite interference from her superiors and should be honoured as such by all Australians.

To elevate her to sainthood, our Catholic brethren needed to convince the Pope she had pleaded to God (in an amateur capacity), to extend two women’s lives. Both 'miracles’ happened in the hundred and five years since her death.

But now that she has the badge, there will be no RIP for her. It will be full on listening to prayers, millions of them a day and then sifting through to find, once in fifty years or so, the one or two most worthy. I mean, we can’t be wasting His time with millions of pleas when we know He is so busy.

“All right Mary! All right already! (He is Jewish) Just leave it with me. I’ll have a look at Ethel’s cancer when I get a minute. Look! I’ve got Pat Robertson in my ear demanding I deliver on his latest disaster prediction and poor old Benedict pleading for me to stop making paedophile priests, when he knows it’s been an institution for thousands of years! Sodom wasn’t built in a day you know! “

“And I have to take care of all that while I keep up my smiting quota! It’s all right for you. All you do is listen but I have to do stuff!”

“Mary, do you realise how many saints there are? There are millions and I have to listen to them all!... Look, you can do something for me. See if you can rustle up a few more virgins. Damn suicide bombers!”

“No Mary, there are Muslim saints and Hindu saints, Buddhist saints and, and can you imagine how many saints were created since the Druids? My goodness! And you expect me to jump when you want a favour? Mary, you were a very naughty girl at times, so why should your lot get preference! Now get out of here and come back in fifty years or so.”

We’re told that McKillop’s a saint,
Who listens to every complaint.
But only a dill
Would pray when they’re ill,
And wait fifty years if she ain’t!

Picture borrowed from here was her first school, established 1867. By 1869 her order has attracted 70 new recruits and opened 20 schools. Modern Educators would need more time than that to put together a report! Take the detour and read the facts about this amazing woman.

Friday 22 October 2010

Magpie 37

Love Bird’s Companion

Your bride gift mirror, placed with care
On the covers, close to where
Your pillowed head
Was once in bed
And I imagine you’re still there.

Take a peep into the Magpie's Nest for more stories and poems.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Jingle's sinful Potluck Poetry

Gecko’s Sin List.

Pride is good but anger better,
Sloth and Gluttony, bad together
Envy and lust
Are really a must
And greed is essential for any go-getter!


I was so terrified after learning what happens to the slothful, I had to gather the energy to post with Jingle before I was cast into the snake pit!

More fun at Jingle Poetry.
Picture borrowed from here.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Magpie thirty-sicks.

Q: Why do we love knockers?
A: Because they are something to a-door!
Boom boom!

And now for something completely silly.

A one armed, one leg’d man I saw,
one eyebrow gone, but there was more;
one eye, one ear
and worse I fear;
His house had only half a door!


Join the fun at Magpie Tales

Writers Island "Envisions"

“Every time it rains it rains pennies from heaven
Don’tcha know each cloud contains pennies from heaven.”
Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston wrote that when I was one year old.

Right now, we ‘down under’ are drowning in an excess of heavenly wealth after ten years of drought. But unlike most flood times there are no Hanrahans shouting ‘We’ll all be rooned!’ because we know a new cycle of drought will come soon enough!

We’ve been through some times that are lean;
Droughts, floods and fires between.
To some it is tragic
To others it’s magic.
The difference is how it is seen!


Now, since I referred to Hanrahan, it is only fair you get to read John O'Brien's best known Australian bush ballad, probably set in the depression of 1898:

Said Hanrahan

"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
In accents most forlorn,
Outside the church, ere Mass began,
One frosty Sunday morn.

The congregation stood about,
Coat-collars to the ears,
And talked of stock, and crops, and drought,
As it had done for years.

"It's looking crook," said Daniel Croke;
"Bedad, it's cruke, me lad,
For never since the banks went broke
Has seasons been so bad."

"It's dry, all right," said young O'Neil,
With which astute remark
He squatted down upon his heel
And chewed a piece of bark.

And so around the chorus ran
"It's keepin' dry, no doubt."
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

"The crops are done; ye'll have your work
To save one bag of grain;
From here way out to Back-o'-Bourke
They're singin' out for rain.

"They're singin' out for rain," he said,
"And all the tanks are dry."
The congregation scratched its head,
And gazed around the sky.

"There won't be grass, in any case,
Enough to feed an ass;
There's not a blade on Casey's place
As I came down to Mass."

"If rain don't come this month," said Dan,
And cleared his throat to speak -
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If rain don't come this week."

A heavy silence seemed to steal
On all at this remark;
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed a piece of bark.

"We want an inch of rain, we do,"
O'Neil observed at last;
But Croke "maintained" we wanted two
To put the danger past.

"If we don't get three inches, man,
Or four to break this drought,
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

In God's good time down came the rain;
And all the afternoon
On iron roof and window-pane
It drummed a homely tune.

And through the night it pattered still,
And lightsome, gladsome elves
On dripping spout and window-sill
Kept talking to themselves.

It pelted, pelted all day long,
A-singing at its work,
Till every heart took up the song
Way out to Back-o'-Bourke.

And every creek a banker ran,
And dams filled overtop;
"We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"If this rain doesn't stop."

And stop it did, in God's good time;
And spring came in to fold
A mantle o'er the hills sublime
Of green and pink and gold.

And days went by on dancing feet,
With harvest-hopes immense,
And laughing eyes beheld the wheat
Nid-nodding o'er the fence.

And, oh, the smiles on every face,
As happy lad and lass
Through grass knee-deep on Casey's place
Went riding down to Mass.

While round the church in clothes genteel
Discoursed the men of mark,
And each man squatted on his heel,
And chewed his piece of bark.

"There'll be bush-fires for sure, me man,
There will, without a doubt;
We'll all be rooned," said Hanrahan,
"Before the year is out."

From: Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921.


I can see them sitting on a log at Boree, near where my ‘Wollombi Tales' were set. If anyone is interested, click on the link and enjoy a few stories from way back.
Note also, the only comment on that first post of the set was from my wonderful supporter Gabrielle Bryden, poet and fighter for children suffering autism.

Prompt and image from Writers Island.

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Pot luck poetry

Living in the view

From the mountain top
I feast on blues
of sea and sky

From the plain
my heart is lifted
by the sight of hills

So I come down
to wet my toes
and feel the cool

Then return to where
crisp mountain air
is warmed by fire.

Join in and read more mountian and beach poetry at Pot Luck Poetry
Image borrowed from

Saturday 9 October 2010

Lysistrata in Hijab.

Light Bulb Moments.

This light-bulb moment popped into my consciousness yesterday.

Watching rallies in the US for “American values”, expressed by people understandably uneasy with change, I wondered if Osama Bin Laden was winning in his quest to destabilise America.

Then the light-bulb moment. Even at the peak of racial injustice, black America still saw itself as American first and coloured second, so their dissatisfaction offered scant opportunity for exploitation from outside America. The ‘Black Muslim’ movement was too soon to tap into terrorist networks. It made its point and supported Black Pride but faded as coloured Americans claimed their place through education and involvement in the political process. Powell, Rice, then Obama carried the baton in that final leg to what appeared impossible a generation earlier.

Now we cannot afford to alienate citizens to the point they shift allegiance from our nation to those who desire its destruction. Here I am speaking to the Terry Joneses of the world as strongly as any Muslim offended by him. Criminals who kill under the banner of Islam must be publicly denounced and identified by Muslims. Long term peace, not only in America but worldwide, depends on people rejecting violence in their own. But they too must be supported by everyone being absolutely committed to supporting laws that guarantee equality regardless of gender, religion and sexual orientation. Nothing is to be gained by blaming a whole religious or racial group for a nation's woes.

I always thought the invasion of Iraq 'to impose regime change' was wrong and was uneasy when we went into Afghanistan to ‘smoke out’ Bin Laden. I was uneasy because Democracy is so difficult to impose. Almost everywhere it exists, it was home grown. Even the original Tea Party movement, the turning point to American independance, when British rule was rejected and America created its own democratic government, came from inside.

But how? How can people find peaceful solutions with so much violence breeding even deeper distrust as nation after nation is torn by militant religious fanaticism?

Then came the second light-bulb moment, as I thought of the Peloponnesian Wars. Twenty eight years of hatred and slaughter was ended in a week when the women of Ancient Greece took control. Women are the key to this one too, as expressed in this poem, ‘channelled’ through thousands of years to me from the heroic Lysistrata.

Lysistrata in Hijab.

Children of Islam, virgins all.
Unrequited, stunted, tragic.
Educated in ignorance
to worship death.

Mothers of Islam, virgins no more.
Prisoners of your own making.
Only you can set them free,
your children and your men.

Pics borrowed from here and here.

Thursday 7 October 2010

Magpie 35

Start of the fall.

'Those Autumn leaves'- Daah-dum
'Drift by your window'- Daah-dum...

After the harvest
a winding down.
Get out your fiddle
and play with me.

Time for celebration,
time for gathering,
time for friends.

But this year,
time for reflection
and time for truth.


(Have a look at the next poem on this blog... please.)

Every week, great poetry at Magpie Tales

Wednesday 6 October 2010

Other Tea Parties.

Making a difference.

Offence you feel,
the invisible man.

This sinful land,
deaf to your anger
and The Truth

handed down through
a thousand years
from father to son.

Disrespect is sin
and those around
seem not to care.

So, find a place
where others of race,
or faith gather

And there you hear
from familiar mouths
your thoughts reflect

Words of hate then
escalate until…
A plan is formed

To right the wrongs,
is yours and then…

You have a choice. To
vote for change
or bomb Times Square.

Pictures borrowed from here and here.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Pot luck poetry

Julia. My Hero.

Air, fire, wa-ter,
Earth, my daughter
Grounded, loving, cool.

Female wisdom-
Her genetic pool.

Originally written for Magpie Tales, maybe worth a second outing in Potluck Poetry
My daughters are both amazing individuals and I really do call this one 'my hero'. Brave, wise and a self made success, despite some who tried, but failed to discourage her ever!
The other one, I simply call gorgeous.

Monday 4 October 2010

Poetry Bus

Happiness is a Butterfly.

Happiness, many suppose,
Is owning chateaux and condos.
But if you just sit
And be still for a bit,
It might come land on your nose!

Picture borrowed from here.

Get over to see the driver of the Poetry Bus and join in!

Thursday 30 September 2010

Willow Manor Ball 2010

Stop Press!
Social Butterfly Helen Chooses man over myth!

Of all Valentino's and rakes,
She first chose Jude Law! Goodness sakes!
But someones said; "Woonie!
Don't be a loonie!
He just doesn't have what it takes!"

Now that has been decided guys, take look at my partner and weep!

We must agree that Woonie looks absolutely gorgeous in her lovely aqua, er murky, er red dresses.
That means three dances I must have with Helen, Blogland's top supporter of poets. But I would love to dance with anyone else who likes Count Basie.

But, What the... ! Oh dear! That damned Jude law must have been so miffed, he stole my clothes!

How could I possibly lose
My ball suit and tie, I accuse,
Jude Law, sneaky dude.
Now I'll have to come nude
'Cause all I can find are my shoes!

This a recent photo.
Well, I acquired it recently from here

I just hope I do not offend anyone but let's face it.
With a body like mine who'd want to hide it!

Get your dance card filled now at the Willow Manor Ball

Magpie 34

Choosing the light of your life.

Don’t decide which one to pick,
Until you know what makes them tick.
This one will fail.
Just like your male,
It can’t perform with no wick!

Pic and prompt at Magpie Tales

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Chivalry is not dead, just sick.

Escape from Chivalry.

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.

The Princess in her pink boudoir
Was trying on her dresses
When in came brother Ced-er-ic,
Full lips and blonded tresses.

He slipped his clothes off quick-er-ly
And ‘fore she could resist
Her newest lacy bodice was
Adorning Cedric’s chest.

Next, he took her flowing gown
And slipped it o’er his head.
Then her rich embroidered cape.
“It’s just not fair!” He said.

A silver tear escaped his eye,
While slipping on her pumps
“The leather, tin and mail we wear
Reduces us to frumps!”

Next he donned her feathered hat
While gazing at the glass.
And smiled in satisfaction
As he whispered, “You’ve got class!”

Then, turning on his patent heel
He called down for a horse.
“Side saddle, silver stirrups
And it must be grey, of course!”

So off they rode into the sun
The stable boy and he,
Holding hands so tenderly
In love, for all to see.

So over hill and dale they rode
Until Kings Cross they spied
And there they lived in happiness
Until the day they died.

Note: Kings Cross is the Gay Haven of 'Sinney', Australia.

Jingle's serious Poetry Challenge can be found