The Martian Inside Me

Comes out every now and then

When I lose the thread of an argument and desperately try to sew it up

When I chat with Tiff in her tank at night when there’s nothing on TV

When I slapstick my way across the mall just for the hell of it

In the bath on Sundays when I sing ‘Deep Water’ backwards, inside out and upside down to give my vocal chords a workout

At the hairdressers when I talk to Simon with the harelip about his dad’s imminent retirement as Lord Mayor of Mars

And lastly when we all stand together in Alex’s Salon and sing the Mars National Anthem on International Mars Day





  • when do you speak Martian?

Nursery Crimes

Waddle waddle

toil and twaddle

the cat’s in its cradle

the boy’s in the bubble





The king’s in the counting house

counting out his money

the red back’s on the toilet seat

in the outdoor dunny





Old Mother Hubbard’s

in lockdown at home

 the poor little dog

still hasn’t a bone





but the cow’s over the moon

the sun’s in the stubble

and Basho’s feisty frog

plops in the puddle

There Must be Some Nice Things I Can Say about You

Let me see.

There must be some nice things

I can say about you.

I get to hang out with my inner hermit again.

Where you been? he asks sullenly.

Busy, I say, busy. But hey! It’s good to see you.

Can we, you know, have a beer together? Bring in a Pizza? Watch ‘The Farmer Wants a Wife?’

Sure, I say, sure.

We hug each other. It’s like old times. There’s a tear in his rheumy eyes.

I got time now.

I go to the old bookshelf. It’s pretty dusty. Don’t get much reading done when you’re out and about.

And I grab one, that big Collected Graham Greene

and we settle into ‘The Quiet American’.

There are some stories you can’t read enough.

You could do with a shower, I say. So could you, says hermit.

We give each other a playful punch. It’s like old times.

I watch his hands, his fingers twitching. He pulls back the curtain, peers outside.

Do you reckon we could ,,,,?.

Why not? I say. It’s the season for it.

We stoke up the fire, sit side by side, writing our shivery little three liners, haiku on wind, frost, ice, hailstones.

Winter, you’re not all bad.

The Black Glove


My laptop has a mind of its own
Has decided due to its senior years
To take ‘nana naps’ in the afternoon,
To nod off during the ‘quiet times’
its screen dark and sinister as a black glove.
If I upbraid it, it turns to me saying,
What’s good for the goose is good
for the gander!
Where does it even get this stuff?
The ‘nana naps’ sometimes drift into sleep,
in which case a sharp rap over the knuckles
of the keyboard seem to do ‘the trick’

Are You Lost?

Are you lost? he asks.

I don’t know, I say. I think so.

What’s that bracelet around your ankle?

Oh that, it’s a monitoring device in case I get lost.

So are you?

I guess so. I was wandering like Wordsworth. Only he saw daffodils.

So what do you see?

I was just looking at the windy lake, how the waves arch like dolphins through the water and i thought of that song

What song?

The one that goes: ‘I wish I could swim like dolphins can swim’

You see that?

Yes, don’t you? Excuse me, that’s my phone ringing. I really have to take this. Alright, alright, don’t get your knickers in a twist. I’m coming right now. I have to go, I say.

So you’re okay then?

Yes, Someone’s waiting for me, waiting out the front.

That’s good. Anyone you know?

Yes, someone I know very well. But it’s okay.. He found me. We lose each other from time to time.

Pardon?

Soon as I get home, I’ll lock myself in. for the night. That’s when my mother used to wander too. It’s for my own good.

Bring Out the Sultanas

Whenever the bowl

is boring, bland, stale , stodgy.

I bring out

the sultanas,

those frisky little pellets

of goodness,

that add

zest and zing

to cereal

that put the sing

in snap, crackle, ‘n’ pop

nifty little metaphors for writing

that needs an uplift

a whiff of lightness.

that needs to find its funny bone.

open up its Id,

roll like a dog

in

the muck and merriment

of language

Green: a Prompt Poem

Green is gentle. Green is kind.

Green brings colour to the cheeks

of leaves and blades of grass.

In times of drought paddocks

dream of green.

Green is found in the fluoro vests

of rainbow lorikeets

and the glistening jade skins

of tree frogs.

Green is patient. Green is humble.

When colours line up for a group photograph

green is not pushy.

Green is content to stand in the middle.

You can always spot her

between flashy yellow and sombre blue

quietly smiling

fourth from the top.

  • what is your favorite color? can you write some lines on it, say a miniature of 3 to 5 lines and post your poem in the comment section? would really love to see what you come up with;
  • or if you prefer just leave a comment

In Which the Dog Loses His Cool

I’ve got a bone to pick

with you,

says the dog to Mrs. Hubbard.

How come when I go

to look

there’s no food in the cupboard?





No meat, no cans, no biscuits.

Why there’s not

even a single bone.

And you have the cheek,

the temerity

to call this place a home!





It’s not as though you’re

the old woman

who lives downstreet in the shoe.

Look around. You haven’t

any kids to feed.

There’s just me and you!





Whatever can be the cause

of this

outlandish state of affairs?

Why if I was goosey goosey gander

I’d kick you

right down these stairs!

the Well-Read Salmon

I was idling by the brook fishing for tranquility

when the phrase leapt into my head.

What was I to do with it?

Toss it back?

Nah.

It had me hooked. It wriggled and flashed.

What texts would the well-read salmon have tackled?

Isaac Walton’s ‘The Compleat Angler’, of course.

that old chestnut, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’

and ‘Cloudstreet’ where poor old Fish Lamb almost drowned

& was revived but ‘not all of Fish had come back’,

‘Moby Dick, perhaps though as everyone knows a whale is a mammal

not a fish

though the well-read salmon would have known that.

He would have been well-versed in sea poems too,

knowing by heart ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ being one up

on me.

& a hearty singer of sea shanties going up and down

the scales

Nanette

Nanette ‘winked’ me again last night.

I have not been on an internet dating site for years.

Nevertheless, Nanette has been constant.

A wink is as good as a nod ….

One day I’m going to weaken.

I will go down the rabbit hole of curiosity,

the labyrinth of love

and leave no note.

I may never return.