Sunday, 31 January 2016

R.I.P. Sir Terry Wogan (1938-2016)

Another star falls from the skies
An Irish icon – sad surprise;
Just one more victim of “Big C”,
Sir Terry, as he came to be,

Celebrity extraordinaire
Whose cheeky voice boomed everywhere
For well nigh fifty years, is gone
But great memories will linger on.

A morning spark, gift of the gab
Who encouraged us to “Fight the Flab”
Whose stock-in-trade was repartee
On old Auntie BBC.

Breakfast chatter, Eurovision
A smattering of self-derision
“Children in need” - a brand new start
Wogan touched the Nation’s heart.

The Limerick lilt caused us to smile
And banish dreariness a while;
Great mainstay and a household name
We shall not see his like again.

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Died 31st January 2016



Friday, 29 January 2016

Gumming up the Works!

Leaves Down Under are a threat
Disaster beckons when it’s wet
Roofs, barely sloping, meet the eye
Affording views when all is dry.

While native gums are always green,
Dried leaf litter’s often seen
Swirling crisply down the street
Backyards - alas - cannot stay neat.

Most homes - just one storey high
Are vast - with gutters that do try
To channel the torrential rain
Which can cause flash floods on the plain.

These sudden storms pelt down with force
A reminder, far too late of course,
That gutters should of leaves be clear
As blockages too soon appear!

In no time many overflow
Causing havoc down below
Wallpaper crinkles, carpets rot…
NO! Australia isn’t always hot!

(c) Poet in the woods


Thomas - getting into a Flap!

In the backyard, nature stirs
We all feel lazy; the cat purrs
Stretching out its fluffy paw
To the swinging cat flap on the door.

Buzzing cicadas can be heard
With the rustle of a swooping bird
The scattered remnants of our meal
Attracting ants – but no big deal…

Adult chat is such a bore
So Thomas climbs down to explore
There’s a motor bike and barbecue
And straggly paths to wander through…

His mind’s eye now rewinds the tape;
From walled-in garden – no escape
But the cat, tired of the heat, bolts through
Into kitchen shadows – Thomas too!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016



and one year later ...



Tuesday, 26 January 2016

The House of the Blue Wren

Here, nestling in the peaceful Hills
A walk from church and playing fields
With memories on windowsills
O’er sloping plot,
Grevilleas and camellias grow
With native plants that clearly show
A happy medley below;
A sun-filled spot!

Behind, away from prying eyes,
Raised flowerbeds are a surprise
Despite the sun, the parsley tries
To hold its own;
In dappled shade we dine and chat
The subjects vary – this and that
While wrens on pumpkin seeds grow fat;
We’re not alone!

A peep inside this Hill retreat
Which dominates suburban street
Where nuances of blue compete
With sky beyond
In every nook and cranny flows
Peace, tranquillity, repose
This “flock” of blue wrens clearly knows
Love here is fond!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Increasingly Snarled-Up Brussels!

Brussels heaves, it’s sad to say
With traffic jams that last all day
The Ring, a Seventies’ invention,
A pitted, strong bone of contention!

Road blockages – cars nose-to-tail -
Begin at dawn and never fail
To fray the tempers of commuters
Who ventilate by beeping hooters.

Bad weather adds additional joys;
Roadworks – one of Brussels’ ploys
To make the motorists despair;
Out come the cones when Spring is here!

No logic in road markings too
Each day’s a challenge – stoppage new!
Road haulage transport is a curse;
Police and ambulance come first

When an accident occurs
But in the rush-hour, no one stirs
As traffic chaos takes its toll
Of medieval town with modern role.

High-rise car parks are too few
Streets often blocked – few trams glide through
Crushed, standing travellers on the bus
Long streams of cars ahead of us!

A suburban rail-link underway
But will it keep the cars at bay?
The Transport Minister* is fraught
As budget purse-strings are kept taut!

A crumbling viaduct must go
Metro upgrades, good but slow
So for those who’ve given up the wheel
“Mobility” has a hollow feel!

Gridlock - a daily headline splash!
This meeting hub needs urgent cash
The airport’s really quite close by
But snarled-up taxi costs are high!

For art and tapestries well known
For Eurocrats a second home
Brussels hums - but there’s a snag
In terms of transport it’s a drag!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

* Pascal Smet


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Hand in Glove!

She wore white cotton gloves to drive -
The steering wheel red hot inside
The car, although parked near a tree,
Caught in the sun’s harsh glare would be!

To protect the leather from the heat
A thick pile rug on every seat
Blast furnace warmth attacked our eyes
Full air-conditioning is wise!

For nearly three months heat prevails
Rain is rare – but never fails
To be a source of joy Down Under
Like desert rats we pray for thunder!

A different January is mine
Snow has no place in Southern clime
But extremes will always catch us out:
Skin cancer beckons – as does drought!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016


Saturday, 16 January 2016

R.I.P. David Bowie (1947-2016)

This Brixton boy, a post-war babe
Would a brand new pop scene pave
With a meteoritic rise to fame
He underwent a change of name!

Think “Major Tom” and “China Girl”:
Unusual lyrics round us swirl
Bizarrely garbed, stage make-up sharp
This singer-dancer made his mark.

Worldwide tours, flamboyant text
You never knew what you’d see next!
A phenomenon, one-of-a-kind
David Bowie leaves a gap behind.

He marked his epoch, that’s for sure;
At barely 69 – no more
Somehow we can’t forget his face…
He leaves the world a duller place.

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Died 10.01.2016


Friday, 15 January 2016

Thomas sees the Light!

Two on the 8th (Elvis’s twin*)!
Thomas, with his cheeky grin,
Observes, with a discerning eye,
His widening world – so much to try!

He flips through books - gives pictures names:
Dogs, cats, insects, birds and trains
As adults help his erudition
By clearly spoken repetition.

He understands and closes doors
And puts back items into drawers
Though “Time Out!” causes him some stress
He does obey – well, more or less!

Today a party has been planned
Friends and neighbours lend a hand
This afternoon we congregate
To chat, admire and eat some cake!

In accordance with his learning phase
Bright colours are his latest craze
His parents hope he will delight
In his birthday cake: huge traffic light!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016





* And strangely, David Bowie's too!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Gold at Steiglitz, Victoria!

Along the Brisbane ranges run
Gaunt rock faces burnt by sun
Rugged outcrops promised much
Through heavy toil - a Midas touch!

Harsh climate here - dust swirls about
Think 1870s – no doubt
And the lust for gold in white quartz seams;
Few lucky souls fulfilled their dreams.

Mullock heaps before our eyes
A ruined ore shaft – Man’s demise
A tiny chapel, draper’s store …
Once thriving township - now no more.

Today the rustic car park’s bare
Since Sixty-Two – no hymns or prayer
Steiglitz – an abandoned, silent hill
Beneath it – gold is present still!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016


Sunday, 3 January 2016

Thomas - at Nearly Two!

Thomas, on the verge of two,
Lets adults know what he can do!
Intrigued by switches, pull-push doors
Can now say “Ta!”” and loves applause!

He tries to put his words together
At pointing out is very clever
Sniffs, touches, gnaws at plastic toys
Runs, climbs up steps, shouts and makes noise.

Locked in his high chair, bib in place
Food is supplied, joy lights his face
Kitchen drawers are such fun
Though scattered objects bug his Mum!

But Thomas at this age learns fast
Lead actor in the family cast
His progress has us all agog
He embraces life, goes the whole hog!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016





Saturday, 2 January 2016

On Granite Island

In the distance - Victor Harbour; lights
Bring sparkle to warm summer nights
Encounter Bay with rocks is strewn
Remove them, and crabs see the moon!

Norfolk pines stand proudly guard
Above the Bluff – the sky is starred
The Southern Cross shines on us now
How different from our Northern “Plough”!

Causeway in wood to Granite isle
The tram tracks stretch for half a mile
Above the lapping sapphire waves
Where seagulls swoop on sunny days.

After sunset, quiet reigns
In dazzling torchlight our eye strains
To catch a glimpse on burnished rock
Of long-tailed possums caught in shock.

The sandy trail affords fine views
In the brush small penguins snooze
Wildlife in the raw detected
Nature’s little gems protected.

We leave the lee, the rollers crash:
A violent sea, a sudden splash.
The winds, unseen, caress our faces
Australia puts us through our paces!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016