Yr Fizz

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I opened up a soft drink —

You know how it is —

One already opened

but it had lost its fizz.

 

It had lost its zest.

It had lost its tang.

It had lost its bite

& worse, had lost its bang!

 

So hang onto your hat.

Enjoy life’s gee whiz.

You gotta be where it’s at.

& Never lose your fizz.

Say What You Like

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No one reads poetry any more, my editor said.

Not even poets — unless it is their own work,

He added with a wry smile. Say what you like.

So I did, but I was mostly gentle anyway

Ribbing Ted for his niggardliness, Angus

For his habit of laughing at his own jokes,

Even when they’re bad; Milton for his grandiose

Turns of phrase, peppering my poems with names

Of friends, rellies, family. All turned up at the Launch.

The book sold well. I introduced it with

a wry smile picked up from my editor:

‘Dedicated to the Ones I Love’.

 

On Reading Carolyn

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All week I have been reading Carolyn,

Her chapbook of twenty poems focused

on one anatomical feature — the ankle.

 

How could anyone do that? I wondered.

Breasts, yes, the penis, body parts

with a sexual agenda. But the ankle?

 

I read on. Carolyn fractured hers

recently in a fall so that provided the bones

of the material.

 

Wonderful, warm, poems,

inventive and insightful that trace her

journey towards wellness.

 

My favourite?

‘Zero Weight Bear’ with its zen-like title and

witty word-play. ‘Gravity Sucks’ runs a gamut

of emotions but ends like the collection itself

on an optimistic note.

 

  • books can be purchased through the publisher: Ginninderra Press

Five Angry Snickers

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What are we even doing here?

You took us from the cool supermarket shelves and abandoned us on this warm table.

Why?

Because some kids might rock up on Halloween and say “Trick or Treat?” and you don’t want to come across as the bad guy.

Well, take a look around. No one’s knocked.

What are you going to do with us? You don’t even like chocolate.

Oh God, you’re not going to dump us, are you? Can we appeal to your better nature and take us back to the supermarket? They’ll be glad to see us.

Wait. Did you hear that? There’s a knock at the door. I see three goblins peering through the window. They’re for us.

Sometimes I Forget Where I Am

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You okay, mate? You look forlorn.

Like the knight in ‘La Belle Dame’? I say.

Pardon.

‘Alone and palely loitering.’

Sorry.

‘On the cold hill side’. Keats, I say. “La belle Dame Sans Merci’

Who?

John Keats. Romantic poet. You must have done him at school.

This is a butcher’s shop, mate. Not an English classroom. What can I get you?

The Woman in the Glove Box

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It is time to bring out the woman in the glove box again.

There are no gloves in there.

But there is Olive,

Quirky , off-kilter as this blog which is perhaps why I like her.

I like her feistiness too,

How she tells her husband,

“Stop shouting! Do you think that makes you a man?”

“All men need to be told this,” my partner tells me

Who likes Olive too.

She is getting the new book, the sequel, when it comes out.

But she is not like Olive.

Olive has a big personality and is not backward in coming forward,

As my mother used to say.

She is curious but curiously vulnerable.

She is the engine of the novel, the fuel, the vehicle

That takes you there.

She waits in the glove box like a car in a garage.

 

* have you a favourite fictional character?

* what do you admire in them?

All Fours

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Hey! He said. Why are those bozos off the leash and I’m not?

You have Attitude! I answered.

Oh great! People with Attitude should be leashed? What about rappers, revolutionaries, politicians with morals?

There are no such things, I said, as politicians with morals.

You got that one right, he said. And anyway, what about you? You have Attitude. Perhaps you should be on a leash.

Perhaps, I smiled.

Look, he said, let’s change places, just for five minutes. That’s fair, isn’t it?

I had to concede that it was.

Hey! The collar’s a bit tight.

He loosened it a little.

So off we toddled along the beach, he on his hinds, me on all fours, the three bozos scattering seagulls.

 

A Cadaver of Red

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What is your wish? said the genie.

A cadaver of red, please.

A cadaver of red? Don’t you mean a cask or bottle? Or perhaps a magnum? I’ve had a glass or three myself. I’m feeling generous. How about a jeroboam — I’ve never granted one of them — or, maybe even, a nebuchednezzar?

No, thanks, mate. A cadaver of red, said the lazy vampire