Thursday 29 December 2011

Black and white Magpie

Tragic life
Role model
A generation.

Beyond blondness.

Written for Magpie Tales with compassion for all of us who live in a persona, tragically fearing judgement of our reality.

Saturday 24 December 2011

Magpie in a purple treehouse Haiku

To you I was a subject
To me you were a shadow
I wanted more

For Magpie Tales and The Purple Tree House Haiku Challenge.
And to my Christian friends, I send a wish for a Happy Christmas, to my Muslims friends, seasons greetings and to the Atheists, a year of human cooperation.

Monday 12 December 2011

Kidnapped for ransom.


I’m up to my nipples in sand,
The tide’s coming in again and
This time, I’m afraid
You win, Tess Kincaid
I’ll give you the five hundred grand!

Take the risk and visit Tess at Magpie Tales  but run if she's toting a shovel!

Wednesday 7 December 2011

Dart: Verb transitive, to move suddenly. Dart: Noun. 1. Pointy thing thrown in the general direction of a target to fill in time between drinks. 2. Sewing term meaning shortening by pleating and sewing together a triangular section.

The pattern did not work. Where the sections overlapped, there would be three layers of material. An experiment using a small off-cut revealed the flaw. Three layers fitted (only just) under the foot when it was lifted to its highest point. That raised a sweat and but I went ahead anyway.
When the machine hit three layers of vinyl at the seam it made a very unsettling noise and jammed with the needle down. So, remembering Sue J's advice, I opened the bobbin thingy and removed it. Apparently the machine could not pull the needle with thread back up through three layers, so I cleared the needle and had a rethink.

Here is the BBQ on its table, so you can see its complicated shape. Yes, I made the table from left over bits of seating and window polyglass. The curled up tube is the gas bottle connector and you can see its control on the right. The cover must go over the whole thing so it can be left attached to the rail and still be protected from sun and rain. On the right just visible under a towel is a bit of my old pirate ship wheel, covered to keep the sun off.

So as an experiment, the vinyl sheet was laid over the whole thing and the corner darts pinned from the underside until it fitted as well as a flat sheet can. Then the darts were sewn with straight stitching several times, each time making the darts tighter until it slipped over the BBQ and table neatly then the excess was removed. Next, a 3/4" hem to hold elastic was sewn all round using the widest zig-zag, stopping at each dart where the direction was reversed for an inch or so to prevent unravelling, then missing the dart and starting again on the other side.

SFX: Drum roll. Ta dah!

(There will be no close up shots of the hem stitching or the knee deep mess on the floor). When the elastic is threaded through, the plan is to hand sew the gaps (if necessary).
Sewing is now suspended. This morning I am off to Sydney by train to help IXL with her project (garments for the Canberra Hand Made Market Dec 17 and 18) where I am not allowed to sew. My principal function there is to run errands, mop brows, mutter soothing words and pour whiskey. Friday back here to get Heavy Metal ready for her move to Sydney for the festivities, including anchoring in the harbour for the excellent New Years Eve fire works display.
There will be photos if I can remember to take them.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Hey! A guy has to start somewhere!

When is a tailor a sewer?
So here I was home with my seven metres of duck, two reels of polyester thread I was assured was UV stable and a set of leather needles. But I was nowhere near confident that I was ready for the big jobs so I cast about for practice material and there hanging beside the hatchway was a bevy of holey shopping bags.

I reckon those green (black, blue, pink) bags are built to last about a week then degrade but hey, who cares if I stuff up! So I zigged and I zagged over rips and tears giving new life to half a dozen old bags. But there was one with an actual hole.

So, I cut a bit of old cloth and sewed it inside,

then zig-zagged over the raggedy edges.

As Ninotaziz pointed out, the term for a bloke who sews is a tailor. But after viewing this effort she may agree I am still a sewer; effective but messy.

Today, back to Spotlight for some marine vinyl. Why? I need more practice, so the next job is a cover for the BBQ. The pattern is almost done, so be patient.

Monday 5 December 2011

You had better be quick!

A few years ago I had a new sail cover made from duck at a cost of $500.
A sail cover is pretty basic. Just a more or less rectangular sheet, hemmed with a zipper on one end and an eyelet on the other, with a few clip-together straps in between.
As I now need two new sail covers plus new mattress covers plus new covers for the dining alcove cushions, plus (if I can handle it) sail repairs, I decided that I need a sewing machine and began to research them. I was advised I would need a machine that had a 'walking foot' for the thick stuff, a high lift foot and was powerful enough for vinyl and leather.
At Spotlight (FYO Spotlight sells mainly stuff for sewers. No, silly, not those smelly old pipes in the ground, I mean those old fashioned people who still make things with needle and thread), with IXL, who had developed a yen to compete with Beijing and sew clothes for sale, I saw what I wanted. It had all of the above.

How much? $249.
I thought that was a bit too cheap to be any good but was advised by Lynne that it came with a three year warranty. Then when I hesitated because I was still wondering if it was too cheap to be any good, Lynne advised me to 'wait until next week and it is on special for $75 off'.
So I told her to put my name on it and I would be back. Then, while IXL was busy choosing enough cloth to do a Christo and wrap Sydney Harbour Bridge, I filled out the application form and received a VIP Club card.

Two days later, in the paper there appeared an ad for Spotlight that offered 20% off all sewing machines. Also I was reminded that VIP membership entitled me to a further $40 off any purchase over $100!
Are you still with me?

The math is as follows:
20% off $249 (rounded) is $50, plus the VIP discount of $40 comes to a total discount of $90!

When I presented the ad and my VIP card to Lynne, she was surprised to say the least. But she agreed with my maths, so here is my brand new Toyota Jeans machine for $160! Howzat!
(This confluence of offers ends today).

Lunch time Magpie

Hey Fritz! Did you hear the one about the...
Shuddup  'n eat!

My reaction to this week's Magpie Tales prompt.
( I would hate to work there!)

Saturday 3 December 2011

Found this while surfing the web

Ode to boat people
Seeking dreams on foreign soil
The creak of salt soaked timbers
oil and diesel assail the nose
stretched upon the deck huddled
stench of fear uncertainty
Journey of months for some
Others years of labour hardships
All are equal on this boat on fear
Drift sleep sip water sleep again
The sailors cruel no compassion
Greed money unlawful desire
Pray to god land be near
Day and night nothing changes
Shift in mood the sailors scurry
Shadow of grey upon the horizon
Anticipation the journey end
Booming voice a new journey begins


In Australia the 'boat people' debate has been a political football for years causing so much unnecessary pain to the most vulnerable of people.
Most of Simyart's poetry is romantic and can be found at

Thursday 1 December 2011

Parallel Universes.

Newspaper headlines. (Often in same edition).

Oceans dying from CO2 acidification,
Newcastle Ports proposes new 2.7 billion coal loader.

Murray-Darling needs more flow to maintain system health.
Irrigators say cuts to water entitlements ‘irresponsible’.

Four trawlers mothballed at Mooloolaba for lack of fish.
Sign on fisherman’s ute: “Fix the fishery; shoot a greenie!”

How will we feed nine billion people in 2050?
Government pays baby bonus to increase birth rate.

AIDS epidemic in Africa. 40 million infected.
Pope bans use of condoms.

Add your own 'parallel universe couplet' as a comment!.

Maybe you got this in your inbox too.

Subject: Just a good example

George Orwell

When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
Is this man truly a genius? Checked out and this is DID happen!

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
It could not be any simpler than that.
Remember, there IS a test coming up. The 2012 elections.

These are possibly the 5 best sentences you'll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.
2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.
3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!
5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.


My comment:
Can you really believe that any university would really do that? Can you believe any group of students would all return a paper with an opinion opposite to that of their professor? Did Obama really say: 'no one will be rich and no one will be poor'?
In this society there is a such inequity because we do not value the work of people who clean hospital floors for $4 an hour but do value a director of Lehmann Brothers who gives himself a $30 million bonus for dreaming up yet another way to siphon off more wealth through dodgy accounting. Who is offering value for money? Do you really think the cleaning lady could ever become a director of Lehman Brothers because of the rewards that offers?

Perhaps if George Bush's tax break billionaires paid their fair share of tax, she might be paid enough to not need food stamps and maybe put her kids through university and surely a million or two for sitting around a board table is enough, and like her, only if he performs.

Nobody is suggesting everyone gets the same rewards, just that the extremes are pulled in a bit so more of the pie can be shared. That seems to me what Obama wants, but propaganda like the above with it dishonest and simplistic message is paid for by the very rich to influence voters and it works. I wonder how many cleaning ladies can pay a PR company to flood the internet with such crap!

How about we send this quote out to Republicans and Tea Party members?
H.L. Mencken said: "For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple--and wrong."

Tuesday 29 November 2011



at a place
that is shunned;
even by the homeless
and other street litter

Written for Magpie Talesafter a visit with a mentally ill relative who has lost hope.

Monday 21 November 2011

Oo la-la!

We tried it for all we was worf
To kiss, but no way on this earf!
His outsize proboscis
At first really stopped us,
Until we found bliss soixante-neuf!

Note: You will be relieved to learn there is no second verse.
More Magpie Tales can be found here.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Mission Impossible.


I told you I'd done it with pairs
Of cows, horses, even with hares.
But what you are asking
Is past multi-tasking.
Have you ever tried herding chairs?!


Latin version.
Chairs upon chairs upon chairs infinitum,
Mystery milieu, a ghostly conundrum.
What is this miss
Doing here in the mist?
She’s looking for people to join her and sitonum!


There's always a somebody who
Will write something better than you.
So click on the link,
You'll be tickled pink
At what clever poets can do!

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Moore's more-more Maw!

Enormous Johnny Trencherman,
With gluttony was cursed
His rotund middle section
Ever threatening to burst.

And so it did one fateful day
When at a barbecue.
His innards just exploded out
And Johnny’s life was through.

So bits of steak flew all about,
With chops and shish kebab
Mixed up with toxic juices that were
Mainly Coke and Tab.

Some took cover under chairs
While others weren’t so blessed
And some were blown right off their feet,
But all of them were messed.

An eerie silence overwhelmed
The women, kids and men.
As pairs of eyes looked at each other,
Blinked and looked again.

And then the screams and cries began
As people voiced their fright,
And one old dear was heard to mutter;
“Not at all polite!”

So all as one, they scurried off
To shower, scrub and clean,
The hosts were left to gather up
His stomach, bowels and spleen.

They raked and swept and tidied up
For days on end until,
They’d found about enough of him
His casket, to just fill.

Then came deliberations
On what words could be said
Too mark poor Johnny’s passing
While respectful of the dead.

They came up with an epitaph
To best describe his flaw,
But stonemasons are sometimes cursed
With spelling, very poor.

So on his stone, a homophone
Appears forevermore,
The one word that he uttered most:
He’d always asked for ‘More’.


Sir Thomas Moore
He used to snore
With volume quite prepost-er-ous
And some would swear;
“I do declare,
He’s like a hippopotamus!”

Disclaimer: Any similarity to any person living or dead is absolutely intentional.
More Moores can be found at Magpie Tales.

Monday 31 October 2011

Magpie colours

Old technology.

I take such pains to make it right,
Avoiding mundane and the trite,
Seeking hues
Just right to use,
But out it comes in black and white!

PS. All the writers in my family were girls except the electric typewriter which was a Brother.

More writers' blues can be read about at Magpie Tales.

Monday 24 October 2011

Where does a magpie park?

Standing on a tram ticket, tomorrow a postage stamp.

He made for us, Venus and Mars
The sun and the moon and the stars.
But God made a boo-boo
That haunts me and you too,
With no parking space for our cars.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Chaos for Poetry Jam.

Sifting through the chaos.

Like blind men inspecting the elephant,
Finding the clues that are relevant
Can be tricky, I know
So we need to show
Much more than the subjective element.

Here is the poem Helen referred to in her comment about the six blind men and the elephant.

More slices of Poetry Jam on toast can be found at here.

Monday 17 October 2011

The Vicar's Duck is now a Magpie.

The Vicar’s Duck
‘I do need my duck to be pure and untouched;
Not one up behind which, the sneaky drake snucked!’
“No way!”, said Wang-Ling.
“This virginal duckling,
Has never been ravished; it's only been plucked!”

More fowl stories at Magpie Tales.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Magpie's Minute Monarch

Size matters.

Attracting both brunettes and blondes,
This minute mon-arch, so rotund,
Has under his suit
A large attribute;
Ten billion in bullion and bonds!

King Cupsize courtesy Crazy Tess at Magpie Tales.

PS. Tiz in dry dock, We are so busy sanding and painting, no time for posts. Photos and stories to come.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Love under the Gooseberry Bush.

"Forbidden Love in the Age of  Chivalry"
Worth a re-run?

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in her 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.
First posted for Jingle, Sept 2010.
FOI: Next week, the adventure starts. The love of my life and I are starting out on our big adventure; living aboard an old yacht and sailing off, two kids in our mid seventies. We intend to document our adventures with photos and tales of cowardice as we rock hop along the coast of Eastern Australia, destination for now, Sydney, to see our kids and grand kids (new one due November) over Christmas and New Year. 

Monday 3 October 2011

Magpie Tales of airborne pachyderms.


No matter how much you might try
To launch yourself into the sky.
You share the name ‘Jumbo’
With jets, silly Dumbo;
But they need four engines to fly!

Q: What does one do when an elephant is flying overhead?
A: Raise your umbrella.
Wait! There's more. 
Q: What has twenty-two legs, two wings and eleven arseholes?
A: Arsenal!
And... and... apropos of nothing, but to balance that weak effort,
Q: What has one eye, three legs and half an arsehole.
A: Lobster thermidor.
I will stop now before I offend myself. (Or feel inclined to react to the suggestion of climate change: coal fired power stations and sea level rise and the plight of elephants whose million year history will end because they cannot fly away.)

More classy contributions can be sighted at Magpie Tales.

Sunday 2 October 2011

'Genesis' for Bluebell Books


First there was the word
And the word was God.
Planets and stars bursting
From His mouth

Coated with saliva,
Alive with microbes.
Destined to evolve
Into Man and beyond.

More bubbles at Bluebell Books.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Gaza gazing.

Me and you and Netanyahu,
What, oh what are we to do?
Say we let the hate abate,
And let them have a separate state?

Me and you, Mahmood Abbas
Help us make it come to pass.
Accept the presence of the Jew,
Most native born, the same as you.


We all hoped for peace for this tortured piece real estate many times and every time we are disappointed.
This poem, first published in Poetry 24 is hopeful but the reality is far from it.
On the radio yesterday, a current affairs program pointed out that the Israeli voting demographic was moving away from the possibility of a sensible solution for the same reason as Palestinians were, ie, large religious families.
Secular Jews, who work, serve in Defence, pay taxes, grow stuff and make things, have an average of two children per couple. Hasidic Jews, who study only the Talmud and other Holy Scripture, are never trained to work, produce children at about eight per couple and increasingly control Government policy. 
Project that ahead a generation and we can see a compelling reason for a solution NOW! 

Pic. stolen from Business Week.  

Monday 26 September 2011

Magpie 84, Numerology 3. Faith, Hope and... whatever happened to Charity?

Why did you cause the rain to fall?
Right now? Dear God, do you recall?
We prayed to thee,
Magpie and me;
“A full moon for the Willow Ball!?”

Pic of bedraggled woman and bird courtesy of Tess at Willow Manor.

An afterthought:
(In the bilge of my steel yacht, while scraping away at corrosion)
“In God we rust”.

Monday 19 September 2011

Magpie joins snake week!

Music in the pit.

A suff’rer of herpetophilia
Kept all sorts of dang’rous reptilia.
For them she would play
On her fife ev’ry day.
Have you ever heard anything sillier!?

This stupidity was prompted by Tess Kincaid at Willow Manor.


Saturday 17 September 2011

Mouse in the House for Bluebell Books.

Here are two of a series of vocabulary extension plays for classroom use.
(Copyright Stafford Ray).

Mouse in the House (furniture and animals).

Manfred/Millicent Mouse
Gertrude Grouch
Gerald Grouch
Ceefer Cat
Deefer Dog
Peter/Patricia Python
Mr/Ms Snake Catcher.

Act 1. Mouse in the house.

Storyteller: Manfred Mouse is playing hide and seek with Ceefer Cat when Gertrude Grouch comes in and sees Manfred. She screams for Gerald Grouch to come and catch the mouse. He doesn’t think a mouse in the house is as serious as Gertrude thinks it is.

He thinks it would be far more serious if there was a rat in the refrigerator. He thinks a good idea to keep the house free of rats and mice would be to have a pet python, so he brings one home.

Scene: a kitchen/dining room with a table and several chairs.
There are cupboards labelled Pantry, Crockery, Sideboard and one labelled Refrigerator.

Action: Manfred Mouse and Ceefer Cat are playing cat and mouse (hide and seek). Manfred enters and hides under the table. Ceefer looks for him.

Manfred  : (runs across the kitchen to hide under the table) You can’t find me! You can’t find me!
Ceefer       : (looking into a cupboard labelled ‘Pantry’) Are you in the pantry?
Manfred  : No, I am not in the pantry!
Ceefer       : (looking into a cupboard labelled ‘Crockery’) Are you in the crockery cupboard?
Manfred  : No, I am not in the crockery cupboard!
Ceefer       : (looking under a cupboard labelled ‘Sideboard’) Are you under the sideboard?
Manfred : No, I am not under the sideboard!
Ceefer       : (looks under the table, sees Manfred) Is that you under the table?
Manfred  : Yes! (Scampers out and holds a chair between himself and Ceefer) You can’t catch me! (Leaves chair, runs off) You can’t catch me!

Manfred, closely pursued by Ceefer runs off as Gertrude enters. Manfred runs past her as she screams in terror but Ceefer collides with her and they both fall down.

Gertrude       : (screams in terror) Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! (calls loudly to Gerald) Gerald! (Ceefer runs into her) Ceefer! Be careful! (still on the floor, calls again to Gerald) Gerald! Come here!
Ceefer    : (scrambling to his feet) I almost had him then! (complains to Gertrude) If you hadn’t been in the way I would have caught him!
Gerald    : (running on) What are you screaming about, Gertrude?
Gertrude       : (stands and points to where Manfred went) There’s a mouse in the house!
Gerald    : (laughing) Ha ha! A mouse! (points at her in fun) Are you afraid of a little mouse! Ha ha ha!
Ceefer    : (complains to Gerald) If she hadn’t been in the way I would have caught him then!
Gerald    : (points to Ceefer) You couldn’t catch a mouse! (laughs) You couldn’t even catch a cold! (points off) get out if here, useless!
Ceefer    :  Meowwwwwww! (leaves unhappily).
Gertrude       : (angrily) Gerald Grouch! (points to Ceefer) There is no need to be disrespectful to my cat!
Gerald    : Disrespectful! (looks at Ceefer retreating) There is nothing to respect! Your cat is as useless as a two legged stool!

Mouse looks around the door cheekily and is seen by Gertrude.

Gertrude       : (pointing at Manfred) Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! There it is!
Gerald           : (looks around but Manfred has gone) I can’t see any mouse. (hands on hips) I think you imagined it!
Gertrude       : (pleading) Please Gerald, please catch the mouse for me.
Gerald           : (shaking his head) You are making a lot of fuss over one little mouse! (points to the refrigerator) What would you say if you found a rat in the refrigerator?
Gertrude       : (worried look) A rat in the refrigerator? (hands on hips) How would a rat get into the refrigerator?
Gerald           : (points to the refrigerator, nodding and smiling) There’s one in there.
Gertrude       : (indignantly) There is not! (she opens the refrigerator door, jumps back and screams) Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee! There is a rat in the refrigerator! (slams the refrigerator door) What is that rat doing in my refrigerator?
Gerald           : (laughs) Ha ha! It’s sleeping!
Gertrude       : (crossly) Don’t be silly Gerald Grouch, I am serious!
Gerald           : (Beckons Peter Python who enters as he speaks) The rat in the refrigerator is food for Peter (leads Peter on stage, arm around Peter’s shoulders) Peter is my pet python!
Gertrude       : (screams again) Eeeeeeee! Snake! (runs off) Eeeeeeeeee! It’s a snake!
Peter              : (watches Gertrude run off, turns to Gerald) What’s wrong with her?
Gerald           : I have no idea! (shakes his head) She is a strange woman!
Peter              : Yes, she is. I can’t imagine why she was so frightened!
Gerald           : Me neither!

They walk off arm in arm.


Act 2. Python in the Pantry.

Storyteller: Gertrude objects to Gerald’s pet python slithering around the house and calls Snake Catcher to take  Peter Python away. 

Gertrude       : (opens the door labelled Pantry, jumps back in fright) Eeeeeeeek! Gerald! That python is in the pantry!
Gerald           : (calls from off) I know! I put it there.
Gertrude       : (angrily) Gerald! I don’t want a python in my pantry!
Gerald           : (enters and pulls Peter from the pantry) Look, it’s only Peter.
Peter              : (smiles and holds arms out to her) Look! It’s only Peter!
Gertrude       : (jump back and cringes in horror) Only Peter? (terrified) Gerald! Peter is an enormous snake!
Gerald           : (pats Peter’s head proudly) Yes he is a very big snake, isn’t he!
Gertrude       : (angrily) Gerald! (stomps out) I’m calling the Snake Catcher to take it away!
Peter              : (sadly) But I like it here!
Gerald           : (strokes his back) Don’t worry buddy, I won’t let them take you away!

Deefer runs on barking at Peter, bites him.

Deefer           : (running on barking) Bark! Bark! Bark! Don’t worry Gerald. I’ll save you from the snake. Bark! Bark!!
Peter              : Help! (jumps into the pantry as Deefer bites him) Owwwwwww!
Gerald           : (pulling Deefer off) Deefer! Let go of my Python! (closes the pantry door with Peter inside)
Deefer           : But, (panting) Huh! Huh! Huh! Bark! Bark! I thought he was going to eat you!
Gerald           : (laughs) Ha ha! Diamond pythons don’t eat people!
Deefer           : (panting happily) Huh huh huh! That’s all right then.
Gerald           : (laughs) They only eat dogs, hahaha!
Deefer           : (terrified yelp) Yow! They eat dogs? (runs off whimpering) Owwwww Owwwwww!
Peter              : (from inside the pantry) Can I come out now?

Gerald opens the pantry door as Gertrude enters with Snake Catcher who is carrying a huge sack.

Gertrude       : (points to Peter) There he is, the big brute!

Gerald slams the door shut on Peter and stands in front of the door to keep Snake Catcher away.

Gerald           : There has been a misunderstanding.
Snake Catcher: (sympathetically) I know pythons are harmless, but (shrugs) if they frighten people and dogs, perhaps they are better off in the zoo.

There is scuffling and thumping sounds, then a squeak from inside the pantry. Thumping continues for some time. They all move back, watching until the noise stops.
Gerald then opens the door and Peter staggers out with a pillow stuffed down his front. Deefer sneaks on and watches from a safe distance.

Gerald           : (horrified) Peter! Poor Peter! (holds Peter  to steady him) What happened to you?
Peter              : (burps, pats stomach) Mouse!
Gertrude       : (amazed) You ate the mouse?
Peter              : Delicious!
Snake Catcher : (taking Peter’s arm to drag him off) Come on Peter, there are lots of nice friendly pythons down at the zoo!
Gertrude       : (grabs Pete’s other arm and drags him away from Snake Catcher) Wait a minute! I think I want to keep him after all!

Peter takes Gertrude and Gerald’s arms and they dance. Deefer takes one look at Peter, yelps and follows Snake Catcher off.


Plays for classroom use are available for purchase. Want to know more? E-mail me.
Age range is from kindies to year 10, many with educational themes and most with music recorded on CD for teaching and performance. Free samples.

Prompt from Bluebell Books,

Python pic borrowed from

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Aura Dior. A Magpie tale.

Clothes maketh the ghost.

It just shows that we are such prudes,
depicting our Revenant dudes
in white flowing garments
when really, the varmints 
would most likely come back as nudes!

More revenant revelations at Magpie Tales.

Monday 12 September 2011


Yesterday I heard,
‘A 10c can and bottle deposit system would do little to improve recycling.’
Source: Coca Cola -Amatil.

Last week I heard,
‘There is no credible evidence that mobile phones usage raises the risk of brain tumours.’
Source: Eriksson, Nokia etc.

Last month I heard,
‘Coal seam gas fracking was safe and would not harm groundwater.’
Source: Arrow Energy.

A year ago I heard,
‘A price on carbon would cripple the economy.’
Source: ‘Climate change is bunkum” Abbott.

Two years ago I heard,
‘Big miners will cease operations in Australia if their profits are taxed.’
Source: Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton.

Twenty years ago I heard,
‘Lead in petrol is essential to prevent engine wear.’
Source: GM, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, etc.

Thirty years ago I heard,
‘You cannot build brake pads, linings and clutches without asbestos.’
Source: Hardy-Ferodo.

Forty years ago I heard,
‘There is no evidence that tobacco smoking is harmful.’
Source: Philip Morris and British Tobacco.

Fifty years ago I heard,
‘A self abuser very often goes out of his mind and becomes an idiot.’
Source: Lord Baden Powell.

Sixty years ago I heard,
‘Wanking causes blindness.’
Source: Some kids at school.

Saturday 10 September 2011

Poetry Jam

She bought them to bring her some pleasure
But now were too many to measure.
Her hamsters so fecund
Bred more every secund
And now overran the enclosure!

So, out of this terrible mess,
That caused such emotional stress, 
She thought of a plan
To make hamster jam
As a way to relieve the excess.

With hamsters and sugar she toiled
And hundreds of thousands she boiled
So nothing was wasted.
But when it was tasted
‘Twas clear all the jam had been spoiled

So out of the window she threw
Her gallons of hamster jam brew.
But to her surprise
Before her old eyes,
A garden of tulips soon grew!

So lovely and tall they had grown
With colours she rarely had known.
‘But why did they grow
Outside her window?’
She asked her friend Sam on the phone.

She told him her hamster jam plan
And Sam said “It’s no myst'ry, Maam.
I’m sure I’m not wrong,
Like it says in the song;
They’re 'Tulips from Hamster Jam'!”

Tulip photo from the fabulous Keukenhof Gardens in Amsterdam.
Note: The joke is old. Only the setting is new. :-)

Tuesday 6 September 2011

A Parallel Reality.

Tresses enhanced with fine oils from Iran,
Violin turned out of wood from Japan.
Dressed in an outfit of best Chinese silk,
Shoes of fine leather, Canadian elk.

Scores on white paper from Norway and there,
A bow of white strings, from goodness knows where.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, our food interalia,
Wheaties and crumpets from far off Australia.

Opera house sound, so rich and inviting.
Comfortable seats and indirect lighting.
Music and art, the magnificent whole,
Brought here together to nourish the soul.

Photo is of Mairead Nesbitt.

Monday 5 September 2011

Magpie's lost habitat.


The only people
on this earth
who create wealth
are fishermen, farmers
and manufacturers.

The rest of us,
from presidents
to professors,
from bankers to brokers
are hired help.


See more stories of broken dreams and broken hearts at Magpie Tales.

Sunday 4 September 2011