Water from last night’s storm chokes the gutters, rushing
like panic-stricken bulls at a Spanish event.
I’m sitting undisturbed, alone,
on my back steps in the dim light of a Brisbane dawn.
I glance around my garden.

My mind slips from one disembodied bush
to the next, like pale ghosts from a Henry Lawson
morning they stand, not registering on my booze-laden synapses.
I should know these fellows. My mind is not up to it.
I’m not good company, stuporous in fact.

My mouth is a gasping fish, and a yawn
recreates my face. A crushing pain behind my eyes … Read the rest

47 runs on the board, drag out all the drums and bells,
Let’s celebrate this mighty feat on hilltops and in dells,
Near thirty years to take the plunge and marry that young man
Another seventeen to wonder how the hell this life began.

Work and play, and kids to raise, her heart is throbbing sweetly
With uniforms and dancing comps and maths tuition weekly,
Her husband’s current’s arcing volts, he shows no sign of shorting
To default on mortgage payments would simply not be sporting.

But 47 years from now with walking stick and brolly,
With eyesight dim and … Read the rest

In winter when bleak nights are cold and frost embalms the place,
When all things brace against the snow and face the winds’ swift pace,
These winter winds are fierce at times and blow ferociously
through mountain passes, hills and flats, until they reach the tree.

The old Blue-gum has stood in place as long as I recall,
Its stolid roots have held the line though trees around it fall.
When gales ramp up their angry blasts with cruel ferocity,
The tree withstands the winds’ fierce bursts with real tenacity.

Midsummer’s unrelenting heat bears down upon the town,
The Blue-gum … Read the rest

I love to watch the shadows fall as cast by the sun,
Their dancing on a sunbeam is sinuously spun,
Silhouette or outline, full details or none,
Captivating moments obeying orders from the sun
I love to watch the shadows cast by the sun.

I love to look for footprints embedded in the sand,
Were they left to titillate with secrets we’d understand?
Or perhaps to tell the nation that nuclear war’s begun;
Or simply fall unnoticed by friends just having fun,
Traces carelessly laid down and captured by the sun.

I love to watch the shadows as I tidy … Read the rest

Dressed to the nines in its foliage of green
Sprightly, straight-stalked, keen to be seen,
Flaunting the glory of its capsicum flower,
Today is its story, its finest hour.

Safe in his nest in a tree nearby,
Relishing the sounds of eager passersby,
A possum rests, feeling safe from his foes,
Waking to shuffle-off his daylight repose.

Tidying the lounge-room preparing for bed,
Thinking of the capsicum down near the shed,
Drinking in the night air, plundering its chest
The garden, its nutrients, are shared with the best.

But a hungry possum is out on the prowl
Ignoring as friendly … Read the rest

Good morning to you, Mr Wagtail,
In your military black and white.
Hello to you, Willie Wagtail,
You’re a very impressive sight.

Why did your Mum call you ‘Willie’?
It’s an excellent name I am sure,
She could have said ‘Roger’ or ‘Billy’,
Both of those names will endure.

Why did she settle on Willie?
Because you’re a manly chap,
Romantic in lace from Chantilly
French pouring out of your trap.

Why did she call you Willie?
It’s puzzling me, you know.
Should you want to dally and dilly
Your dress brings the girls and so,

Why did your Mum … Read the rest

Please come to me in springtime when breezes dance in the sun
When flowers follow their leader in frolicking one by one,
When trees uplift their branches to welcome the sprite of life
and dance in celebration, to receive the warming light.

When humid heat descends on us and drives us to the shade,
When sticky bodies glow with sweat, it’s beer or lemonade,
When sleeping is a challenge, and we throw sheets from the bed,
Recall the days of springtime and in gladness raise our heads.

Goodbye! Goodbye! To dreariness, to cooling autumn rain,
Farewell to misted gullies I … Read the rest

The lioness yawns with gaping jaws, her teeth
blunted and decayed, no longer a tearer of flesh.
Her leg muscles liken to an overgrown kitten that has lost
the urge to play – fatigue lies in the line of her body
in place of stamina.
She descends from the rocks on which she has lain for
more hours than she can measure. Time has no meaning here,
her home a net of confinement, boredom a requirement.
She sniffs her prison and tests her fangs on the wire. She grunts
And slumps. There’s no hope here.
Her gaze at those who … Read the rest

With the grace of a seasoned performer
Who pirouettes on a stage every night,
She responds as the music informs her,
And does so with gifted insight.

Though she is no prima ballerina
With thousands of delirious fans,
She’s a girl who was always a dreamer
Who believes in the pulse of the dance.

Who ignores the sprains and the warnings,
that threaten to defeat her goal,
Her close friends observe the dawning
Of dance as part of her soul.

She doggedly overwhelms the torture,
And laughs off the pain of a blister,
For she has the blessed good fortune… Read the rest

They came together, and now they’ll stay
Linked by a shared ambition,
Each with a burning goal that they
in classrooms would earn admission.

From the back of beyond comes Sarah, a blonde
In a short striped top pulled tightly,
Wears a bold, flared skirt, could easily flirt
and that’s not at all unlikely.

And Millie the one with a smile laid bare,
Unsure but open to incitement,
Her flaxen hair pinned behind her ear,
Eyes aglow with an inner excitement.

There’s Jenny the one with her chin tucked in,
Who peers through her specs as we scan ‘er,
We’d … Read the rest

Let us go there you and I.
Up where the sunset kisses the sky.
In your old wagon on Mt Gravatt hill,
And watch the lights of the city twist and curl
Like a tapestry woven in diamonds and pearl
Following the river, silent water at night.
While we sit alone on top of the world,
Companions together, a boy and a girl.

I pinch myself and wonder if by some devious ill,
Some god is mocking me, here on the hill.
A beautiful woman drinking wine, who seems
Contented, beside me, watching the moon
Tempting thoughts of romance…a man … Read the rest

Dressed to the nines his eyes on a swivel
Sprightly, laid-back, prince of the drivel,
Flaunting the glory of his UK doin’,
Preening his down, Eagle faces Bruin.

Wrenching the bark from a giant ash,
Only his teeth, his hands in his sash,
A Bruin sly, charged ready for disputin’,
Settle for an eagle, will Vladimir Putin.

Blaming Barack for his bad election rap
Eagle has plans for this Russian bear chap,
Slip a Mickey Finn in his vodka slivovitz
He’s a Smoky Bear if his loose lip slips.

The eyes of the world on a Finland splendour,
A talkfest, … Read the rest

No mansions lie within my house,
No matters give concern,
Just windows to assist the light
and doors within the walls.

No sharp thoughts sear the lining
the crust of vacant soul,
a simple thought, a breath, a laugh
a cling-wrap surface whole.

A simple house unchallenged,
with new ideas unknown,
A house where no man thinks afresh
just shares with himself alone.

But oh! how tedious, how empty
a vase with hollow sound,
where whispers exit windows,
and doors let through all found.

Thinking is for the hardy,
who hear the struggle bells,
and pearl-like, push aside the grit… Read the rest

I hear your voice when winds blow hard, and howl around sheds we built in the yard,
I search each time in hope that tonight, I’ll find and know that you’re really alright.
The bitter years have come and gone, and memories remain and linger on
The dog and I know you’re here somewhere, and we search and search, but you’re not there.

We wed in Spring in the pale yellow light of a gibbous moon moving low out of sight,
A lad and lass, a bed and love, and a future to build, not a cloud above.
A life … Read the rest

From my window looking west there’s not a lot to cheer,
For the countryside in deep distress wilts slowly year by year,
Year by year a drought holds fast, the land is all bone-dry,
And graziers bleeding in their souls must watch their cattle die.
 
Few had raise the issue of the scourge that drought can be,
For many decades end on end they’d cursed the rains they’d see
drawn boldly on the weather maps predicting naught but flood,
but time went by and river pools succumbed to encroaching mud.
 
The rainfall stopped, the crops grew tall, the … Read the rest

When the fog rolls in covering the trees out the back,
When the murk is so thick he can’t see his old shack
that’s stood for years through the Summer’s harsh stare
creaking in the heat while the temperatures flare.
When his mind sees the world through a blanket of mist,
When visibility falters, he gets his tail in a twist.
Then he wonders if she still leaves home for a jog
down by the school yard in the deepening fog.
He remembers the day they met near his shack
when he gave her some water from the tap out … Read the rest

The grass is green upon the land, my lawn is clothed in blossoms,
The gum trees dotted on hill and flat are home to crafty possums,
It’s Autumn, lawns and trees and shrubs still fresh, invigorated,
For plants like bees and ants and birds pursue romance elated.

A possum sits near my back fence his loins are agitated,
A female lives not far from here she’s willing to be mated,
Alas! for him she’s made a rule he must agree politely,
Requited love now costs the sum of four gum nuts precisely.

The possum knows that’s just not fair, his … Read the rest

It’s early in the morning before the world has woken
Darkness rules the landscape, while light has yet not spoken
Day slumbers in fitful sleep as night turns its eyes to bed
And in the trees a lone kookaburra announces what’s ahead.
The faintest hint of dawn, a blushing in the east
Soft glow of peach and orange upon the world released
A stirring in the air, a flutter, no more than merest whisper
Sleep claims a night owl, its wise old face bewhiskered
Light winds quiver the tree tops, their message a clarion shimmer
Warning bandicoot and bush rat … Read the rest

Don’t wait for me at the crossing, bro, there is no need for sorrow,
The waters flow quite strongly there and you have your course to follow.
The path you tread on your journey may not be mine to see
For the road laid out in front of me is the only road for me.

We’ve covered so many miles together under bleak and stormy skies
We’ve brushed the snow from off our brows and thrilled to eagle cries,
And watched them ride the thermal waves and hover still and steady
Then arrow down and rise again relaxed but ever … Read the rest

I have heard the doleful howling of the dingoes in the night
and have thrilled to the whistling of an eagle at great height,
I have heard the warning call when a plover guards its nest,
I have marvelled at the creaking of the gums that line the crest
of the hills where the kookaburra laughs majestically,
and enjoins the forest creatures to be glad that they are free.

My dull heart lifts with joy when I witness the peace
of the bush where the songs of the birds never cease.
When the growl of the storm and the flash … Read the rest