I Wonder if Spiders

I wonder if spiders

in their webs

at night

spin poems

‘bout me & you

nattering away in the moonlight

in neat little haiku

you with your cigs

me with my brew

of jasmine tea

spinning our memories


of how things might be

or would they instead

taking a jaundiced view

spin snarky little




you’d be

my rock,

he said,

upon which

I could build

my future;

but you turned

into a sharp-

edged reef,

now I’m all scarred

& sutured

*pic by Tengyart on Unsplash


Inherit the Day

You inherit another day.

So what are you going to do with it?

Melancholize ?

Rhapsodize ?


Sift through it for cigarette butts?

Scrambled messages on billboards?

What you gunna do?

Rehearse it like a song you’re going to record?

Look it straight in the eye?

Shoulder your way through it like an NRL star?

Squeeze the juice right out of it?

Hitch a ride on it?

Or lean against it like a lamp post and watch it amble by?

You inherit another day.

So what you gunna do?

On the Nose

You don’t see many poems celebrating the sense of smell.

Sight rules the roost, cock-a-doodles its pre-eminence

on every page; the nose rarely gets a look-in.

An anthology of ‘Smell’ poems would be very thin indeed

and would be ‘on the nose’ for most readers.

I haven’t had a whiff of a good smell poem for years.

  • I can’t think of a single poem celebrating the sense of smell, can you?
  • have you written a short poem, perhaps a funny one, on smells you could put in the comments column for the delight of readers?
  • have you a vivid memory of a particular smell?


I like to read calm sentences, she says.

No ugly exclamation marks that bully and harass.

No question marks that interrogate.

No dots or dashes.

Nothing jittery or jagged


Calm sentences.

Placid as a billabong.

Soothing as slumber,

Pachelbel’s  canon.

Even Then

I’ve always wanted to do stand-up

but never enough, never passionately.

And anyway I couldn’t be bothered

learning material by heart if that is what

stand-ups do. I was a lazy bugger.

My heroes were all stand-ups, not poets

like you might imagine: the two Jerries,

Lewis and Seinfeld, Bob Newhart,

and Billy Connoly who I saw

do a three –hour show in Adelaide with only

a fifteen minute break. That’s stamina.

That’s my kind of comedy: the Observational

kind, the sort that poets are good at with their

nifty little eyes and agile turns of phrase.

Is anyone still reading this?

Anyhow the page is my stage.

I never have to worry about stage fright

or ‘dying’ in front of an audience.

The comments and likes are my applause.

They keep me going. The occasional heckler

with a snide pen. Water off a duck’s back.

I love readings too,being guest poet.

But most of all, I love writing the stuff.

Nothing scatological. The fart is as far as I go.

And if you wondered, that’s me in the picture,

whistling along the lane, thinking up funny lines,

even then.  

Wouldn’t it be Nice?

Don and I were having a chat

about the magician’s rabbit,

the one my dog killed,

and the killer instincts dogs seem to have;

It’s in all animals, Don, I said.

‘Nature red in tooth and claw.’

Ahhh, that old Tennyson chestnut , he replied;

that would explain why ‘Cilla and Ralph [his cat and  dog]

are often at each other : ‘kill, kill.’

We’re no different, Don:

you ever felt like throttling someone?

Do I have to answer that? he said.

Of course, you’re right: but wouldn’t it be nice,

if we could take off our nasty ‘genes’

as easily as we take off our denim ‘jeans’?


It wasn’t an affliction

like polio

though it crippled you

just the same.

There were no calipers

for crippled speech.

You had to hobble around


as best you could

hoping no one would notice.

They did.

When things went badly

when you were teased

you put yourself into

the iron lung of shame —

& stayed for days.

*pic courtesy on Pinterest

Put a Moat Around it

I have a mote in my left eye

not the metaphoric one that Jesus

spoke of

but an actual one of grit.

I have amoat in my head too

which is metaphoric.

It cuts me off from needy people

which is kinda funny

coz I’m needy too.

Some people are overly guarded.

Too many moats to cross.

Australia has a moat,

a helluva big one

called the Pacific Ocean

on one side

& the Indian on the other

the one that boat people crossed

to get to Australia.

One family from Vietnam

lived across the road from us

for years.

I wrote about the man, the grandfather

in my first book.

[I’ll post it tomorrow]

A moat as big as the ocean

is hazardous.

Not everyone made it back then.

The Earth is surrounded

by a moat too

the vast star-studded ocean

of space.

I could go on but this poem

is starting to drift.

so I’m going to put a moat around it

and close it off.

* photo by juvnsky-enton-maksimor on Unsplash

Do Mirrors Go Rogue

mirrors never lie : sideshow mirrors only distort the truth

you can look a mirror in the eye but it won’t blink first

ceiling mirrors are up themselves

wall mirrors have hang ups

mirrors continually surprise us in the act of being ourselves

mirrors both give and receive   simultaneously

during the day when everyone’s out do mirrors contemplate their navel

do they get tired of looking at the same faces

does familiarity breed contempt

can mirrors go rogue like Hal, the computer in 2001

are one-way mirrors guilty of duplicity

do cracked mirrors have an image problem

do mirrors ever take a good hard look at themselves.

pic courtesy of wiki media