Friday, 30 December 2016

The Game of Consequences

It seems so weird when torrents flow
Down dusty street - no rains in sight
Such gurgling! Watch it swirl and go
Past police car – flashing light …

The sudden storms that cleared the air
And made big trees come crashing down
Have blocked some roads around Belair
Disturbing old pipes underground.

Battered fences, pots upturned
Haphazard branches under foot
Nature’s tricks - cause us concern
Aussie weather won’t stay put!

Hence dry road and flowing stream
A scene surreal, yet commonplace
To me it all seems like a dream
With which I struggle to keep pace!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Beyond the Markers

The ocean round Australia’s coast
Looks so enticing when you toast
Upon that crowded south-east beach…
Beware rogue currents out-of-reach!

The lifeguards, suntanned, strong, alert
Keep on the look-out and will spurt
Across the burning sands to save
Swimmers caught in forceful wave.

The ABC headlines sad news
As many as eight people lose
Their lives to Mother Nature’s swell
Not sharks this time but drowning hell…

'Big Island' has much to attract
But security at times is slack
And wild bush fires remain a fear
For several months in every year.

Drunk-drivers, drugs and petty crime
Are prevalent at Christmas time
As families face the burning heat
And drive “outback” their friends to meet.

What a land of contrasts: urban sprawl
While inland, there’s not much at all
The Deep Red Centre meets our gaze
Raw beauty spurns the summer haze…

The coastline thus remains a lure
Though death is common every year
The constant plea to “stay hydrated”
Believe me is not understated!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

ABC = Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

R.I.P. George Michael (1963-2016)

The year ends and the stars keep falling
George Michael, fifty-three – appalling!
Far too young to quit the scene…
Greek Cypriot son aged seventeen

As ‘Wham!’ he burst forth in the Charts
No problem breaking countless hearts
One of those swarthy, sexy guys
With soaring voice and smouldering eyes…

But showbiz is a cruel game
When drugs are used to fuel the flame
As macho image seen - perhaps
With private life kept under wraps…

More music projects filled the page
More albums in the planning stage
But sadly this was not to be
Death found him – by the Christmas tree...

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Christmas Day Thoughts - Down Under

At such times when the sun is high
It seems so churlish to sit by
A busy scroll of Facebook feeds;
It’s REAL contact that one needs!

This ‘Electronic God’ claims time
It’s an addiction – but not mine…
Good servant yes, but Master – No!
Life is short; we boldly go

And meet our family and friends
Share festive fare, discuss new trends
Agree the world is in a mess
Hope all will happen for the best…

As this troubled year draws to a close
My thoughts go out to all of those
Bereaved, in pain or quite alone;
I wonder who’ll pick up a ‘phone …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Friday, 23 December 2016

Christmas Eve in the Suburbs

The weather forecast has not lied
Blimey! It’s that hot outside
On Christmas Eve – no scenes of snow
With hats and sunscreen – off we go!

Last minute shopping - crowded tills
Panic buying – festive thrills
The cars get red hot in the sun
As there isn’t shade for everyone...

It all looks peaceful but beware
Is the Christmas spirit there?
This hectic rush makes tempers fray
The family arrives today…

Let’s hark back to a gentler time
With much less emphasis on crime
This shopping frenzy makes me fraught;
Flashback to gifts by Wise Men brought …

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Snaking round the Tree!

Melbourne suburb – Christmas tree
Tinselled; baubles swinging free
Who forgot the golden rule?
Keep the doors closed, air-con cool…

Imagine how it must have seemed
When rays of sunshine on it beamed
An unexpected rustling showed
A tiger snake – in wary mood!

Unwelcome guest prepared to strike
In fir tree heaven, dazed in light
Such creatures must be kept at bay
Expelled from homes without delay …

Action stations! Reptile man
Plays at ‘catch me as catch can’
Armed with sang froid and a net …
This streamer we shall not forget!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

News Item!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Dawn Thoughts

At 5 a.m. - a rosy glow
Tells me all I want to know
Europe’s chill is far away
Sun will warm my face today!

All is not perfect in the heat
Those damned ants, ever present, greet
Our bleary eyes each early morn
As round the kitchen bin they swarm!

Warm is good but heat can be
A tad oppressive; so I see
Here in the Hills of Adelaide
The eucalypts provide good shade.

Yuletide d├ęcor – out of place
To Northern eyes - is in your face
But one familiar sight still glows
The ever-present Christmas rose!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 18 December 2016

At All Hallows - Blackwood

Out of kilter, out of phase
I see life through a pinkish haze
4th Advent Sunday’s gentle flame
To honour Mary - my Mum’s name!

“Jesu, joy of Man’s desiring”*
Poignant, lofty and inspiring.
People, plants - bright-coloured - float
Before me – a kaleidoscope

Or tapestry of summer hues
Positivity pervades the pews.
Post sermon, home-made ‘morning tea’
Awaits parishioners ... and me.

A friendly atmosphere prevails
And puts new wind in my tired sails!
A chance to reconnect again
And recall, one hopes, each person’s name!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

* Cantata by Bach

Friday, 16 December 2016

Jet-lag - Day One!

You know the feeling – it’s unreal
Not hungry but you’re fed a meal
Blue skies – it’s hot – maybe midday
But your eyelids droop – your mind’s astray.

One’s body-clock cannot adjust -
This fast Down Under – but it must
Go through the motions, shop and walk
Attune at once to Aussie-talk.

On TV screen – spectator sport
Top news: a missing boat report
Three family members lost at sea
Helicopters sight debris …

My travel clothes – washed and quick-dried
While I keep cool and stay inside
Large wooden bowl with mango fruit;
Invasion of my nephew cute

In just one year how he has grown
He’s found his voice, can use the ‘phone
Toy cars and books on carpet strewn
We spend a busy afternoon!

I’ve gone beyond my tiredness peak
I wake when others are asleep
It’s not yet dawn – I grab my pen
Impressions crowd in – I stay zen!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 15 December 2016

A Singapore Sling!

Crossing the world via Singapore
Through misty skies our spirits soar
Time zones mean nothing at this height
Who knows when it is day or night!

Graceful service, wreathed in smiles
Elegance across the miles
Well groomed, petite girls glide on by;
Singapore Airlines really try

To make these long haul journeys seem
A seamless interlude – a dream.
Food appears on dinky trays
In darkened cabin music plays

Seat-back cinema in full swing
Flickering screens cause eyes red-rimmed
Enthusiasm or tiredness grows
The price to pay for mile-high shows.

Touch down at Chiangi – all mod. con.
Where ‘street food’ upstairs leads us on
The four-hour stop wafts quickly by
Before we’re once more in the sky.

The planes are full but there’s no rush
It’s nearly midnight, velvet hush
This time ‘Delectables’ are served
A meal of which I’ve never heard…

We fly south east as dawn appears
This coral glow has me in tears
Earth’s curvature seen from this height
Recalls John Glenn’s historic flight!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Chiangi is Singapore's airport
John Glenn (1921-2016) first orbital flight 1962

In downtown Singapore

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Dark Beginnings

From my window, pale blue through the trees
It's deathly still – there is no breeze
It's as if the world is put on hold
You can feel, but not see, the cold.

Animals have this season sussed
They hibernate – not so with us
We get up, grumbling, in the dark
And rush our breakfast, loath to start

The dreary, crowded morning run
Searching, but not finding, sun...
Too many late nights, lack of sleep
Now it's "Action Stations" - out we leap!

That damned alarm breaks cosy dreams
We dress in haste, in suit or jeans
And though we've barely got the time
Check our Smart 'phone, go on-line...

The minutes tick by – we'll be late
The pressure mounts, we're in a state
Wrapped in our thoughts, soon on our way
Oh, the challenge of a winter's day!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Santa Claus - Explained!

Have you ever stopped to wonder why
We celebrate this white beard guy?
And what about his name, I pray?
There's a foreign meaning tucked away...

It means Saint Nicholas in Dutch;
Sint Niklaas was loved so much
By countries under Catholic sway
That he's still honoured on this day!

December 6th is filled with joy
With gifts for each good girl and boy
For weeks before, he's on parade
So the toy shops do a roaring trade!

There are songs - and wish lists carefully written
In Belgium yes – but not in Britain
Won over to the Reformation
All Saints were banished from the Nation!

Yet in altered form he still survives
As Santa Claus he brightens lives
On Christmas Eve with reindeer sleigh
Bringing gifts to give away!

Of the Christian bishop – not a trace
Mammon not God takes his place
For Brits: no “Black Pete” just small elves
Who make the toys and stack the shelves!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Sunday, 4 December 2016


If a picture speaks a thousand words
Is a video on-line worth more?
A puzzle for computer nerds
Though I for one, don't keep the score.

Facebook and photos are in league
When pets are given human voice
This cat is planning some intrigue ...
Observe the caption – it is choice!

What pussy thinks we all can guess:
Let's play with baubles hanging free!
A tug at tinsel does the rest
Hey presto! Crash of Christmas tree!

All broken glass and flashing lights
The Festive Fir now looks forlorn
But all is quickly put to rights
In readiness for Christmas morn!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thomas at the Pageant!

It's hot so Thomas wears his hat
The Pageant floats are where it's at
Kids and families line the road
Images in overload...

There's a festive atmosphere in town
Despite the fierce sun that beats down
Thomas is a lucky lad
He has a front view with his Dad!

Adelaide Christmas skies are blue
How Europe would enjoy that too!
But does he know the reason why
Santa with white beard goes by?

(c) Poet in the woods 2016

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sixth Sense

On meeting people, we shake hands
Or smile and nod - in other lands
Our first impressions may be strong
We feel that we can get along

Or maybe all our hackles rise
Instinctively we hide our eyes
Our sixth sense working overtime
Is fighting to give us a sign.

Weak handshake maybe, shifty eye
The picture's not quite right, we try
To force the issue, make a bond
But deep down in our heart, we're conned!

Non-verbal language can't be taught
But it's a skill that's finely wrought
Children have it in good measure
They pick up clues of fear and pleasure.

As adults, we trust feelings less
Logic rules our minds, I guess
We don't let instincts play the game
Too much is done “against the grain”!

(c) Poet in the woods 2016