Wednesday, 30 December 2015

At the Adelaide Art Gallery

Past scaffolding, down bright red steps
A warm welcome this “temp Aussie” gets
The café, well frequented, zings
A smiling waitress Shiraz brings.

Ladies who lunch, chat everywhere
The “twang” of S.A. bends my ear
Lawn-fringed patio strewn with leaves
Broad, canvas awning – lightbulb frieze...

Salads are tastefully displayed
Artistic flair in Adelaide
Art Gallery Food is "AGF";
Pigeons hover – eat what’s left!

“Down Under” has a special feel
It’s hot (and I don’t mean the meal!)
My friends arrive – bang on at One
End of December – in the sun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

AGF = Available gluten-free

Monday, 28 December 2015

Bass Strait Drama!

Sydney-Hobart Yacht race – Boxing Day
71st start in Sydney Bay
Majestic, proud, fired up to win,
With graceful sails and tidy trim…

Those in the know observe the scene
Two yachts are household names, they’ve been
Mentioned often in the Press
Proud to show off their prowess:

“Comanche” (U.S.) and “Wild Oats”,
The proudest of Australia’s boats,
Are caught up in a sudden squall;
With mainsail ripped, pride takes a fall

“Wild Oats” retires, limps back to port
While Comanche’s rudder is re-wrought.
The Bass Strait sees the wind die down
The world waits; who will wear the crown?

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Note for the curious: "Comanche" crowned line honours champion!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Ants and Spiders & Co!

The heat, though welcome, has its snags
It reduces summer clothes to rags,
It dries out timber, makes homes frail
And ages those whose skins are pale.

Crows’ feet are common, sun spots too
Green lawns in summer are taboo
The water bill is far too steep
Unless you have a borehole – deep!

But not just humans love the sun
In nooks and crannies spiders run
And weave their lethal webs with pride
'Fast food' flies soon caught inside.

The linen press - a spider’s lair
So shake out all your sheets – beware!
Though small, these creatures pack a punch
A poisonous bite may spoil your lunch!

Cute geckos, harmless, enter homes
Deadly snakes hide under stones
Though houses all have fly screen doors
Teams of ants crawl over floors...

Invading armies flee great heat
Seen everywhere; we face defeat
Insects reign! Man thinks he’s boss
But “Down Under” he has lost the toss!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A Blazing Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve dawns bright and clear
Sense of excitement - yuletide cheer
In blazing sun, large tinsel trees
Waft silver needles in the breeze.

I’m back-to-front and upside-down
No log fires, but turning brown!
Pre-Christmas sales in Rundle Mall
“Made in China” says it all!

The heat means bush fires are a threat
Whipped up embers can collect
In gutters, roofs or wooded slope
Strong winds, though cool, bring fear not hope.

Each household: a survival plan;
As the speed at which fire travels can
Make leaving early a good bet;
Though some stay put - homes to protect.

The firemen brace themselves and pray
No chance of a “cool change” today
As Aussies picnic on the beach
On golden sands - fires out of reach!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

A Stolen Hour

Moist, delicious Christmas cake
In sun-filled garden – leaves all raked
A vast tree shelters patio;
Nearby, quiet waters flow.

Hot coffee brought out on a tray
Like England on a sunny day
Except that here the heat's intense
And butterflies cluster round the fence.

Huge ferns sprout upwards - a green fan
Their febrile fronds mocking our tan
The sun is fierce – hats de rigueur
A warm breeze makes the flowers stir.

The native eucalypts give shade
A myriad greens that never fade
My retina records the scene
I pinch myself – it is no dream!

(c) Poet in the woods

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Winter Solstice

A chance remark brings thoughts to mind:
The shortest day is left behind
The winter solstice cloak is torn;
Bit by bit a brighter dawn.

St. Lucy’s feast of light is past
The Pagan festival a mask
Bonfire embers, crackling logs
Voices of departed Gods…

For the Ancients the world slept
Visions in cave fires leapt
Nature held in deepest awe
Inner feelings to explore …

Electricity has banished dark
Our busy lives have lost that spark
So this precious time to meditate
Lies, like ashes, in the grate…

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Under the Coathanger!

Wow! What a dreamlike, haunting scene,
A magic place – where I’ve now been
I speak of Sydney’s fabled bay
With views to take one’s breath away!

A friend of many long years standing
Took me to a dingy landing
Under skies of perfect blue
To board his yacht - with hand-picked crew.

Moored peaceably in Tarban Bay
I climbed aboard and felt it sway
All equipment neatly stowed inside
A first – I’m just here for the ride.

Imagine my immense delight
As the Opera house hove into sight
With the former wharves along the Bay
Choppy waters, lots of spray

As we reached that engineering wonder
The Harbour bridge and sailed right under!
Site known as the “washing machine”
I admit I felt a little green…

As we rounded every buoy
We tacked and I heard “Lee, ahoy!”
The boom swung fast across the deck
I dodged - glad that it missed my neck!

All this in glorious Southern sun
Unforgettable memories with my chum
At last – dry land; in Club house din
With drinks - although we did not win!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Thomas - at 23 Months Old

Outside the wind gets up, trees sway
A Northern heatwave comes our way
Within, wee Thomas claims attention
His screaming level causes tension!

His parents, drowsy, want to sleep
But Thomas, steady on his feet,
Clambers on the broad settee
With measured gaze: “Come play with me!”

His toys lie scattered on the floor
Beside a basket with heaps more
A drum and blue ball well in reach
But Thomas has imperfect speech…

‘Up’ and ‘down’ and ‘toy’ and ‘cheese’
Are clearly understood, but these
Do not, on their own, suffice
But screaming gets attention – nice!

To date, so Auntie has been told,
Thomas at nearly two years old,
Has twenty-eight words he can say;
Still missing from his vocab, “Play!”

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Friday, 18 December 2015

Sydney to Worrigee

En masse in Sydney we de-plane
Tired and stiff: baggage reclaim
No tracker dogs, brief passport check
The easiest arrival yet!

Met by friends in glorious sun
Down empty highways – this is fun!
A stop for coffee – stark, bold views
A two-hour journey – gentle snooze…

Worrigee smacks of ancient past
Though modern houses are built fast
Single-storey, vast back yard
Under clear skies, life ain’t hard!

A barbecue and pool await
For jet-lag, swimming is just great!
Then Southern Highlands - brand new scene
With stunning Fitzroy Falls between.

Impressions now in overload
Some brief thoughts on the Antipode:
In minutes laundry is bone dry
December in a star-filled sky!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Heat is On!

The mercury climbs and does its stuff;
For senior citizens it’s tough
To cope with blasts of furnace-air
Unusual for this time of year.

For once the weathermen agree
Pre-Christmas temperatures should be
Way below the forty mark
Particularly – after dark!

We roast – like turkeys - and turn brown
Factor 50 sunscreen coats the town
It’s eerie walking in the dazzle
Without a hat our brains would frazzle.

Shoppers pass by, lightly clad
In air-conditioned malls they’re glad
To shelter from the waves of heat
And take the weight off swollen feet.

The Aussies go mad for ice cream
In two-litre tubs, I’ve seen
Avoiding picnics on the beach
Shade is sought – out of sun’s reach!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Martin Place, Sydney - One Year On

Top news today on the TV
Not current affairs or sport I see
But sharp recall of Martin Place
Where Sydneysiders had to face

In the bustling centre’s Lindt café
A lone gunman who destroyed their day
Taken hostage: twenty-two
With frightened faces in full view.

Police were soon upon the scene
Uncertain how to act between
As in the front line it was hard
To catch the gunman off his guard.

Two office workers did break free
A moment captured on TV
Australia held its breath and waited:
What should be done – hotly debated.

Action stations late at night
The gunman swiftly shot on sight
Alas - two others also died
Hence the flowers today piled just outside…

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Hostage situation: 14-15 December 2014

Monday, 14 December 2015

In Transit

Singapore – warm sultry night
Post 13 hours jammed up tight
With a host of unknowns in the air
Fed generously, served with flair

By graceful, gentle Singhalese;
It’s wonderful to unbend knees.
The tropics promise so much more
Nature tactile – in the raw.

With time to kill between two flights
It’s fun to put the world to rights
A chance encounter can astound:
A chat with Holly – Auckland-bound.

Corridor stroll to butterflies
Whose fragile wings delight our eyes
As they on pineapple alight
Or pause - like us two - in mid-flight!

Rushing waterfall behind
Whose murmur brings us peace of mind;
Outside - a pond with chubby koi
Bright orange, silver splashed with soy!

Time passes – we’re soon on our way
Another crowded plane – hurray!
Squeezed in like cattle; blonde young Finn
And Indian grandma with her kin.

The wriggling youngster won’t keep still
Though shades are down, his voice is shrill.
All bound for Sydney, daily run
Long distant travel to the sun!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Internet - an Intimation

The Internet gives a world view
You make a search and quickly view
All sorts of esoteric facts
No need the poor old brain to tax.

Encyclopedias, reference books
Lie dust-covered – no one looks
In erudite and revered tomes
With Internet now in our homes...

This knowledge revolution brings
It is true - a host of things
Within our ambit – we explore
From our desk top more and more.

But the World Wide Web has shadows too
Gremlins and terrorists get through
We knew too little, now too much
A price is paid to stay in touch!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015

Keeping Afloat

We're flotsam and jetsam on life's way
Treasures which sink, or bob and sway
Depending on current, wave or storm
We encounter squalls or tropical warm.

We long to cling but driftwood breaks
Clambering aboard great courage takes
Too many hands grab on the boat
Yes, life is perilous afloat.

Horizons change, views are obscured
Trying to keep track – is absurd
We share sweet moments now and then
Frolic with dolphins and feel Zen

Then sharks or icebergs loom in sight
Tempests rage – we hold on tight
Or strike out blindly; who knows where?
Life's constant movement – so beware!

We long to rest along the shore
But the wind picks up – we're off once more
To get our bearings, we've no time
We hurtle forward, anchor primed!

(c) Poet in the woods 2015