Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Excursion to Stirling and Hahndorf

Up winding roads in sun we cruise, at each twist and turn - rock views
On barren crags - man’s touch is slight, to early settlers - the same sight.

A stop at Stirling in the Hills, a gentle pause, each café fills
Day trippers stroll in sandalled feet; a park’s a breeze in this retreat.

Native crafts, bookstore and clothes, line the one main street in rows
Leafy pathways but beware, tenacious tree roots linger there!

Hahndorf is next, a German town, Hans Heysen’s scenes brought it renown
In cosy Old Mill – a surprise; the Pokies – fast buck paradise?

The thing to do, my friends advise, is buy fudge and eat warm meat pies
We forego the pretzels and the beer, but the pie was tasty, I declare!

A fairy garden on our right, with dragons, gnomes and elfin sprite
And huge white wings upon a wall, by toadstools, mini waterfall…

More fashions, knick-knacks, rows of shoes, down these shaded avenues
Fine vineyards are not far away … viewed on December’s final day!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Painting by Hans Heysen

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My Friend - the Immigrant

It’s amazing how vast distance shrinks
When you meet an endearing friend for drinks!
We knew each other long ago
Both studying, we got to know…

The Sixties with its trendy ways
Short skirts and pub crawls; memory plays
Intriguing tricks when you grow older
Curiosity makes you bolder.

My friend arrived in Antipode
From England – made it his abode
And joy of joys, still keeps the link
We meet in New Year for a drink!

We’re older now – our paths diverged
A Granddad and an Aunt emerged
But the bond we made when we were young
Continues in the Ozzie sun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Sunday, 28 December 2014

At Seacliff Beach - South Australia

Just picture it – an endless beach
Replanted grasses by the road
Car park spaces within reach
Peaceful setting, relaxed mode.

Barely one soul in the sea
We’re plumped on rugs with snacks and cake
Dog owners can’t let pets run free
Late afternoon – the rays abate.

Christmas here is not log fires
Their chilly wind is my warm breeze
December heat this theme inspires;
Ice creams alone allowed to freeze!

Australia – land of open spaces
Seaside crowds seem quite unknown
This beach could welcome many faces
But we almost have it on our own!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Clear and Present Danger

The native garden here in Oz
Is a mass of crisp brown leaves because
The pernicious sun dries up their veins
And they can’t survive without the rains.

As summer often means a drought
With Northern winds that bring about
A murmur in the peel-bark trees
Suburban yards are full of leaves.

A daily chore - these leaves sun-kissed
Present a lethal fire risk
A chance spark on a windy day
And a wall of flame may come your way!

A total fire ban is in force
Until the summer’s run its course
The haunting beauty of the Hills
Has a darker side – as fire kills.

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Noel Nosh Down Under

Clouds and cool, then scorching sun
Down Under Christmas has begun
The streets are empty, there’s no noise
Just the unwrapping of new toys!

The radio springs alive at six
I hear it vaguely, the clock ticks
We rise, my Mum and I; make tea
Hot toast for her, mango for me!

We draw the curtains, in comes day
Our midnight mass seems far away
Big family meal – each brings a dish
Ham, turkey, prawns – all fresh – delish!

Fabled mince pies made by Mum
With brandy butter, which is yum.
Salads (assorted) cheese plate, rolls
A veggie bake; cherries from Coles*!

Nibbles to start, perhaps with wine,
Tea and coffee all the time
My contribution? Can’t you guess?
Belgian chocolates – they’re the best!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

* local Adelaide supermarket

Monday, 22 December 2014

Not Fade Away!

The Ozzie sun’s a two-edged sword
Its rays are powerful and broad
No matter if you can’t afford
A tumble drier
A quick spin – laundry on the line
Monday’s chore done in no time
Bone dry sheets and towels are fine
But sun is dire!

Fabric fades at speed of light
Elastic undies don’t pull tight
So washing’s best done late at night
And left to billow
Drip dry under Southern Cross
Is gentler and involves no loss
When night’s shades have won the toss
And your head’s on pillow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Knitted Tree

“Down Under” is just that, I feel
My Northern roots knocked off their keel
I’m in a place where rain is rare
And palm trees sway in balmy air.

Outside is where it’s at - most days
Awnings save us from sun’s rays
Polished wooden benches shine
Inviting us to take our time…

Today’s short walk to local shop
I wonder what makes Blackwood rock…
The car parks all have empty spaces
Shoppers all have smiling faces.

On my way, what do I see?
A knitted ‘bark” round pavement tree!
A use for spare wool I’d not seen
I muse – who was the knitting queen?

It reaches high and furls the branches
I’m not sure it the tree enhances
But as an expression of wool art
Its fading splendour warms my heart!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Saturday, 20 December 2014

An Australian Whine

Some statistics shock and make you think
Take the case of those who drive and drink
According to the News* I read
South Australia’s face is red!

Proud of their “Free Settler” name,
This wine-growing State can claim
A heritage rich and diverse
Who now find that they come first

In terms of alcohol consumed
Pro capita; it is assumed
They belie their epithet to date
As Australia’s driest State!

*In The Advertiser - Adelaide’s daily newspaper

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 19 December 2014

Journey into Adelaide

Amid the eucalypts, a path
Strewn with sunburned, crinkly leaves
Wild summer winds track aftermath
Today, however, a soft breeze.

Off-peak travel, bumbling train
No conductor; a machine
Coins jangle in the slot again
Parched landscape, scattered flecks of green.

Empty stations, lonely halts
Few passengers alight or board
Netting hides the rock face faults
Beside the gorges deeply scored.

No conversations in the air
The clicking keyboard’s day has come;
I switch my mind off and I stare
Bemused, half-blinded by the sun.

A hospital, brand new, in sight
As we reach the city’s heart
The “Cheese Grater”* glitters, silver bright
My day in Adelaide can start!

*South Australian Medical Research and Science Centre

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Mango Heaven

How to describe my favourite fruit?
Alluring, beautiful, curvaceous loot
Delicious, energising flesh
Gorgeous, (w)holesome - it’s the best!
Juicy, karma-inducing, lush
Who can resist a mango rush?

This tropical loveliness is mine
In Australia at Christmas time.
Flown in crates from Queensland sun
Its fragrance makes my tastebuds hum
I’m unable to resist the lure
Of a ripe mango – there’s no cure!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Changi Airport 2014

Vast complex – corridors and gates
Where South-East Asia warmly waits
Huge invasions dovetail-planned
As East and West extend a hand.

Changi Airport in the night
Blazes with electric light
Free movies, therapies and spa
Butterfly garden Shangri-La.

Singapore girl, dark-haired, is sweet
Cute, gentle face – in form petite
Contour-hugging uniform
She takes the Westerners by storm.

Many flights stop on their way
From Europe’s wintry climes each day
Back-packers cross with business suits
Teams of sportsmen, tourist groups.

All styles of clothing – rarely smart
Once glamorous travel – leaves no mark
Endless travellers, sleep-deprived
Read, shop or doze, kids by their side.

Throughout, the mobile phone in use
Without it – you are a recluse!
Check-in and transfer automated
The personal touch is overrated…

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Monday, 15 December 2014

Exit the Lions?

West London under crisp blue skies
Unexpected sunshine – a surprise
An air of Christmas – glitzy shops
Year-end weariness - winter rocks!

Brash and harsh consumer hype
Windows doused in neon light
This frenzied buying leaves me cold
Everywhere lie gifts unsold.

A highlight on this wintry day
A lunch with friends; I make my way
To the lions in Trafalgar Square;
A film crew tells me they’re not there!

But I can see them proudly lazing
At the feet of Nelson, gazing
Into mists and tourist crowd
As if about to roar out loud!

Will, film maker, richly paid
Explains a trailer’s being made
With clever cutting, I’ve no doubt
As the lions will be airbrushed out!

The National Gallery looms ahead
The stone steps echo to my tread
I spend a pleasant hour or two
With all four lions in full view!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Sunday, 14 December 2014

The Bin Rat

Household scraps, organic waste
In Aussie kitchens have no place
Wrapped up tightly they reside
In vast wheelie bins outside.

Harsh sun causes fermentation
An unwanted health risk for the Nation.
As these deep bins come alive
And microorganisms thrive!

A heavy duty dark green lid
Keeps detritus carefully hid
Away from fauna’s prying eyes
Maggots, ants, aphids, flies.

These individual “slums” are cleared
Just once a fortnight - which is weird.
On Pick-up Days beware the smell
From these wheelie bins from hell!

Unbeknown to neighbours all
A tenacious rat had had a ball
Gnawing through the solid lid
He’d found a way inside and hid.

Chased out twice from rotting lair
The third time, they just left him there
The container emptied, rat embarked
His prospects at the least were stark!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Saturday, 13 December 2014

On a Wedding Card

There is nothing like the special glow
That a man and woman come to know
When both deep in their hearts decide
Togetherness is groom and bride.

The date they choose to celebrate
With friends their brand new married state
Is an outward show of their new bond
As they step into a warm beyond.

So for you both, my dear sweet friends
Who see life through a lover's lens
May peace and joy, good health and fun
Keep your journey in the sun!

A wedding - be it filled with splendour
Is a magic moment to remember
But behind that dress and golden ring
Is a life that's shared – a precious thing.

Treat each other well, be kind
To the other's faults, be blind
Life's a challenge - as you know
But may you never lose love's glow!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thomas - at 11 Months Old

I think ahead as time flies by
Soon I'll be winging through the sky
While Thomas, now an active tot,
Goes on safari – he can't stop.

His brain expands; new links are made
So much to see – he's not afraid
Each day he tests parental rule
This «joyful bundle» is no fool!

Gran, Mum and Dad watch him advance
Soon he'll stand up, walk and dance
He's not quite there but I am sure
I'll hear his footsteps on the floor!

When I held him first, in Jan
I became an unconditional fan
At eleven months – how he has grown!
Thomas – welcome Auntie home!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Friday, 5 December 2014

The Flip Side

Amazingly, the heat’s still on
So drowsily we all plod on
In a unfamiliar frame of mind
High temperatures can be a bind!

The Great God Lethargy now reigns
And our enthusiasm wanes
Too hot to walk, we take the tram
And sweat against our fellow man!

Not keen to trudge down to the shop
We make do with what we’ve got.
Why cook, when sandwiches suffice
We keep the fridge chock full of ice.

No rainfall means the plants soon droop
Though watering makes them cock a hoop!
While flies and bugs have multiplied
Jellyfish swim on North Sea tide!

We prayed for sun which did not come
Then in July we’re overcome
We’re wondering now if this was wise;
Bring on the showers and grey skies!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

O.A.P. = Officially Acknowledged Poet

What's in a date? A month? A day?
We're ageing slowly anyway!
At 65 what's the big deal?
Surely it's a case of how you feel?

Time to put us out to clover?
Surely not? Let's live – move over!
Now there's time to take up sport
And benefit from a long walk.

By now the mortgage has been paid
And all our options carefully weighed.
No money needed for school fees
Let's plan some travelling overseas.

Meanwhile at home some welcome plus-es:
Cheaper tickets on the buses!
Concession rates for exhibitions
Daytime shows with free admissions.

Staying active keeps us sane
Crosswords entertain our brain
The rat race is for others now
My future is my own – and how!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

A Time of Reflection

I ring my friends abroad, at home
Some are Belgians, some are "Sloane"
And learn that each and every one
Has illness, death or worse, to come.

The age old tenets then are true
Past fifty life may go askew.
The sun shines in the sky, thank God
Be grateful for the paths we've trod.

The friends we've made, the sights we've seen
The past will always happy seem.
I wonder, as I catch your eye
What you will do; I must not pry.

But health must henceforth be a goal
That we must share; age takes its toll.
I would not like our loving nest
To become a source of future stress...

(c) Poet in the woods 2014

(written in 2002)

Monday, 1 December 2014

The Dead Glove

Amid the wastes of crumpled snow
The kerb is laced with dirty slush
With the lights at red the cars now slow
Commuters cross in silent hush.

It’s then I see it, lying there
Like the day - cold and forlorn
Its woollen fingers stretched out bare
Its greyish ribbing slightly torn.

Last resting place this frosty morn
Cold tarmac, unforgiving, stark
It slipped from sight though lately worn
And vanished in the velvet dark.

I contemplate its tyre-marked scar
Its death unmourned, alone at last
Has its owner travelled far?
What of its twin – is it held fast?

Blue-faced and grim, I wend my way
And discover much to my surprise
A host of lost gloves on display
A second hand shop would be wise!

(c) Poet in the woods 2014