My Letters are Crap


that’s what I picked up in a game of scrabble.

what could you do with a rack like that?

throw it away, pick up new letters.

no, too easy.

I thought of a better way though I’m not up to it.

I thought I’d throw it open to you to see what you could do with it.

write a short story, a piece of flash fiction: horror, comedy,; a poem , a snippet.

go ahead, use this as a photo prompt, see what you come up with.

post it here.

I hope you all come out to play

Waiting Up for Rosco


I’m out the back waiting for the cat

to come home.

It’s Bev’s cat. She’s gone to bed.

Left me in charge.

Somebody has to do the dirty work.

I rattle the biscuit tin.

Rosco, Rosco, I call out

but Rosco doesn’t come.

Rosco will come when he’s good

and ready.

The stars have come out. The moon’s gone down.

I rattle the tin a little more vigorously.

Rosco, Rosco ,,,, a little more loudly.

A plump shadow shuffles around the back.

O there you are, I say. Nice of you to drop by.

Where have you been?

Out, he says .

It’s like talking to a teenager.

Well, I hope you practised social distancing,

I say.

Show me the food, he says, then we can talk,

What sort of name’s ‘Rosco’ for a cat, anyway?.


Looking for Silver Linings


Ever since the Corona virus took hold,

I’ve been trying to write this poem about silver linings,

about looking for them in the darkest of days,

and I know there’s a name for this condition,

for someone who’s insistently optimistic: Pollyanna —

& I think of Haley Mills who played the part

in her film debut for Disney, only she was thirteen,

female and wore pigtails, while I’m a senior,

white male and insistently balding; but Optimism,

like Corona, does not recognize age, ethnicity or gender;

we’re all in this together and can find silver linings

in the darkest of storm clouds


  • what silver linings have you found during the past few weeks?
  • is there cause for optimism?

the Laughing Kookaburra


Why aren’t you laughing? I ask the laughing kookaburra.

What’s there to laugh about? he says.

Well, I begin, there’s the …. and the ….

Exactly, he says. Nothing. Zero, Zippo. Zilch. Where will I begin? Lockdown? Coronavirus? visitors with hang-dog faces? zoo keepers worried about their jobs? and the Bad News Bears blathering on TV in the office next door.

Well, you’re supposed to be ‘the laughing kookaburra’.

Maybe, he snaps, but I’m no ninny. I’m allowed to be morose if I want to.

Okay, Okay, I get it, I say as I shuffle on, shoulders slumped, head on my chest, rummaging in my pocket for the Lifeline number.



The Sad Shopping Centre


I read about the sad shopping centre, the one that’s going to close in Surrey Hills and turf out all the shoppers who like to hang out in the down-at-heel coffee shop where even broken light bulbs are not replaced, all the lonely people.

I read about how it’s going to close anytime soon, maybe tomorrow, next week, how it’s going to be replaced by shiny new apartments purchased by a Chinese business conglomerate, that there’s going to be flashy new shops to replace the deadbeat ones, the shuttered ones. Only the liquor store is thriving, all the lonely people.

I think of a world that’s closing down. Hotels, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, stadiums, places where people congregate. The city is emptying. People are retreating, even the parks have fewer people, the beaches and winter is closing in. It’s like a city that a neutron bomb has hit, all the lonely people.

People shuffle back to their homes from the seedy shopping centre, the old, the destitute, the disabled, the friendless, not knowing if they’ll have somewhere to go next week, somewhere to meet up.  Winter is closing in. And the Fear. And now the churches and libraries are closing too. All the lonely people.




I like a guy with sandals.

Jesus wore them.

Buddha too.

I bet Mahatma did as well.

All the good guys wore sandals.

Allan Ginsberg did when he delivered ‘Howl’

on that memorable day

and The Archies when they sang ‘Sugar Sugar’ on the cartoon channel.

They’re not exactly power dressing

but you can trust a man who wears sandals.

or Woman.

My yoga teacher wore sandals.

She taught me the value of non attachment

though we were both attached to our sandals.

Socrates too.

He died in his sandals like cowboys with their boots on.

And so it goes.

I don’t know about celebs.

I think Clint Eastwood did in ‘A Few Dollars More’.

and Justin Bieber in his clip ‘Love Yourself’

Our Prime Minister wears sandals when he goes to the beach.

There’s a picture of Jesus walking on water in his sandals.

I tried it.

It doesn’t work

but I still wear my sandals.


Literature for Lockdown


Being a lazy shopper and wanting some books to read in lock-down, I wandered to a bookstore which had a sidewalk sale. I found a section of broad interests that could offer some joy to me and my partner and purchased them all.

I don’t know who Jo Wood is but it’s a catchy title —‘Hey Jo’ — and it’s a story of a ‘Rock and Roll Fairy Tale’ so it sounds promising.  Don’t know about ‘The Rum Cock Guide’ though. That sounds a little priapic. As for ‘Adelaide’, well, that’s my home town Still, there may be some hidden spots we don’t know about.

Have a glance over the titles. Which do you reckon you’d go to first? Do you think it’s a healthy selection?

Which book/s will you take with you during lock-down?


They Say I Shouldn’t Read


They say I shouldn’t read anymore.

That I read between the lines.

What isn’t there.

They say I shouldn’t read anymore.

That I read the writing on the wall.

That I scare residents.

I scare visitors.

They say I shouldn’t read anymore

because I read the fine print

the little white-gilled toadstools hidden

in the mushroom fields of the text.

They say

they say

they will revoke my privileges.

Talking to You


Talking to you was great.

I felt the weight

lift off me right away.

Going to you was like

passing from night to day.

You gave me validation.

Said what I was feeling

was okay.

You were the genie that took

my anxiety away.

No more heft, no more gloom.

I floated out of that room.

* have you got someone to talk to who can lift the weight right off your shoulders?