Axle: a children’s poem

There’s a miniature submarine lurking

at the bottom of the aquarium .

It is smooth and black with feathery gills .

It is an axolotyly .

We call him Axle , of course .

Most of the time he just hangs around

amongst the water weeds .

Perhaps he’s lonely and depressed .

But every now and then

he rouses himself

and cruises around as if on patrol .

The other fish give him right of way .

Perhaps he thinks he really is a submarine

on an important mission ,

keeping the waters safe for democracy ,

for instance .

Sometimes when he cruises past the sides

of the tank

I give him the thumbs up .

It seems to give him a lift .

  • pic courtesy of wikipedia

My Genetic Flaw

Your canal’s very narrow, he says.

Narrow?

Yes, like the Thai tunnel cave divers had to negotiate to get those boys out. Not  much sound can get through. There are no cave divers small enough to help it along.

Like that film in the sixties? I say.

Which film is that?

‘Fantastic Voyage’, where a submarine crew are shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the bloodstream of a scientist to repair his brain.

Can’t help you there, he says.

Is it hereditary then?

Quite possible. The left auditory canal is quite large. Can carry a lot of sound.

Maybe that’s why I lean a little to the left, I say.

Politically? he asks.

No, doc. When I walk.

  • pic courtesy of Pinterest

Mingling with the Miniatures

I saw it advertised in the local rag.

‘Bonsai Show’, it said.

It was a tiny notice. I had to squint to read the details.

The hall was rather tiny.

I squeezed through the entrance almost knocking my head

against several light fittings on my way in.

It looked like a huddle of hobbits around the bonsai which

were unusually tiny.

“They’re not fully grown yet,” a volunteer offered.

Like many of you, I felt like saying but bit my tongue.

The Club President gave a haiku-sized speech for which

we were all grateful.

I mingled for half an hour indulging in the small talk until

refreshments were served.

There were pies, pasties and muffins from the ovens of Lilliput.

“Would you like a short black?” the serving lady asked.

“Any chance of some wine ?” I said.

“Sorry,” she answered, “It’s in very short supply.”

I had had about enough of pint-sized jokes,

and headed out into the big, wide world.

*pic by backyard boss on pinterest

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