Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Mall - or Nothing at All

Being a visitor - no ties
Transience – fingers in new pies
Each day the memory slate is clean
Today I gaze on shopping scene…

Same language but voices evoke
An intonation strange, bespoke
Not British, despite undertones
Food portions – sort of U.S. clones …

Touch-payment banking in the Mall
Chain store lure - suburban sprawl
Why are shoppers crowded in this place?
I love the blue skies and the space.

Sun screen’s a must out in the street
Where shoppers dawdle in this heat
Feb’s friendly atmosphere prevails
Far cry from hectic summer sales.

Vast car park – many places free
It’s a doddle for my friend and me
We’re happy to have found a space
But does this mean trade’s losing pace?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Marion Shopping Mall, South Australia

Monday, 30 January 2017

Getting in on the Act

The news gets worse, the world protests
The signing Duck evokes arrests
Panic at airports on home soil
As chaos causes blood to boil.

But hey! A promise has been kept
Another freedom neatly schlepped
Carte Blanche as the House is White?
Uneasiness – all is not right.

Action leads to apprehension
An avalanche of media tension
Other news takes a back seat
The Seven Nations all compete …

Will others join these chosen few?
Embassies wonder what to do;
What flowed from Founding Fathers’ pen?
That created equal are all men ...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

A Welcome at Carrick Hill

Beware of Snakes! at Carrick Hill,
In the tended grounds of stately home
Roses reflect a woman’s love
Raw nature lurks beneath a stone…

From Stafford the oak staircase came
Ornate, in Jacobean style
Shipped out, and given a new name;
Known as Australia’s oldest “pile”.

Statues and fountains in lush grounds
Flagstone path - outstanding views
In the Thirties one traipsed in long gowns
Now modern Aussies form long queues

As breakfast on this day is served
To new citizens while volunteers
Receive awards so well deserved
In humid heat where mist soon clears.

It’s the Lucky Country well enough
Where many nations merge as one
The Mayor does the formal stuff
Then it’s “Eat and drink and let’s have fun!”

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

On Australia Day (26th Jan) New Citizens ceremony

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

"One Day" in Fremantle, W.A.

Christmas ribbons untied - disappeared
Great bargain sales - all petered out
Routine has now set in as feared
But Australia Day is in some doubt.

The advent of that bold First Fleet
Jan 26th in Botany Bay
A clash of peoples, a clean sweep
An ancient culture swept away …

Where a thriving colony was spawned
With early settlers not top drawer
Into this harsh climate convicts swarmed
Life was hard, most men were poor.

Yet celebrations still take place
With BBQs upon the beach
Firework shows, grog-in-your-face
First Nation silent, beyond reach.

Taught history now recalls these strains
So Australia needs a kinder face
“All Inclusion Day” Fremantle claims
Should now with reason take its place …

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Montville, Queensland

North of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast
Where deceptive green belies sun's roast
Are hills and leafy glade retreats
Sharp contrast to shop-ridden streets.

We leave behind canal, home pool
Air-con and water keep us cool
The comfort of vast empty roads
And raucous birdsong – Antipodes!

There’s a feeling of wild desolation
The ruggedness of a young Nation
Steep, sharp-edged turns, fantastic views
And shady car parks - free; good news!

Agapanthus hide homesteads select
In spacious plots; carports protect
People movers from the blazing sun
For at dawn the heat is next to none.

Flood warning signs for monsoon rains
This far north, Australia claims
A climate tropical and harsh
Hence running creeks and knee-high grass.

The car is cool – not so outside
Without a hat our brains are fried
We reach Montville, off beaten track
And dine – Baroon Lake out the back.

Wood carvings, boardwalks, staff discreet
An exclusive venue – hard to beat
No coaches come here, I can tell
“Secrets-on-the-Lake” bodes well!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Secrets on the Lake Cafe: 207 Narrows Road, Montville, 4560 Queensland

Saturday, 21 January 2017

On Virgin Australia

Small squares of green, like patchwork quilt
Hairline-crack roads, raw land, unbuilt
Treeless, burnt dry, harsh, unknown
Which native animals call home.

Uranium-rich and opal-mined
The Outback cannot be defined
With temperatures right off the charts
It tests the mettle of stout hearts.

Salt flats and river beds now dry;
Early settlers, unprepared would die
Their European skin too pale
Their gold rush dreams just worthless shale...

Some beer-froth clouds obscure the view
Scant protection for the few
Who, despite the lure of urban living
Have chosen this world unforgiving...

(on Adelaide to Brisbane flight)

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 16 January 2017

A Hat like Alice!

The Mad Hatter would be happy here
Wide-brimmed creations everywhere
Some hatbands have a brilliant hue
Some perch precariously, worn through.

All those I meet have quite a range
Of headgear, awkward to arrange
In hallways where they hibernate
Or car back seat, in battered state.

The sun’s destructive force is such
That a hat is not a fashion touch
But a must-have in the summer shine
When skin cancer is a threat - big time.

Take the Outback style in burnished hide
Sometimes with fly net trimmed and wide
Yet there is one I’ve yet to see
With a ring of corks all floating free!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Thomas - at the Blackwood Garden Centre

Mini waterfall, cute gnome and bird -
In bright metallic splendour - beam
Amid the blooms, while people herd
In garden centre - heat extreme…

Wee Thomas wields his shopping trolley
Down narrow pathways edged with plants
“Don’t touch the ferns or you’ll be sorry!”
His steering skills are not advanced.

A sweet perfume wafts on the breeze
Scarlet and purple catch the eye
Pre-aged pots sport lemon trees
Fertilizer sacks stacked high.

While Dad queues up to buy a hose
My charge is eager to explore
He stops to sniff a big red rose
Which peers out from the stone-flagged floor.

It’s hard to keep him in my sight
As he’s off again down leafy aisle
Both hands on the trolley tight
Beguiling shoppers with his smile!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017


What’s the aim? Why are we here?
Growing older year by year…
Memories flicker and get lost
Our futures tinged with careful frost.

What is it all about, I ask
Just an endless routine task
With kids and mortgages to pay
A myriad shades of salted grey?

The poet voices hidden fears
Deep inner feelings, life’s arrears
Regrets and dreams and ‘what if’ thoughts
Rows of crosses, empty noughts.

Yet underneath, with pulse beat strong
We humans somehow learn the song
Lilting, poignant, bitter sweet
A refrain new generations seek…

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Glimpse of the ABC

On the ABC - the national station
News tends to thrive on quick sensation:
An unchecked, dangerous bush fire
Or political corruption dire…

Protesters, riots, pension rights
Sport in all its forms, street fights
Stocks and shares that escalate
Or plummet – cause of fierce debate.

But what of the world that lies outside?
Foreign news is thin; I’ve tried
To understand the Aussie psyche
In depth is not their thing, by Crikey!

Snippets of Donald and Obama
Then focus on a Sydney drama
Europe’s snowfalls make the news
Then it’s back to heatwave views…

Good stories rarely make the grade
So in a way I feel betrayed
With violent footage on the screen
Australia comes across as mean!

There’s a disconnect, though satellite
Supplies Big Island day and night
Hence it seems to me “Australia Fair”
Belies its anthem, so beware!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

ABC = Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Thomas - at Three!

Time passes and wee Thomas grows
So fast, he often needs new clothes
Provided by his savvy Mum
With colour green his number one!

Keen to chat and learn new words
Repetition frequently occurs
Now knee-high, he gives orders pert
We take it in good part, alert -

To the marvellous progress that he makes
For sure this lad has what it takes
At three, his brain kicks into place -
Of Babe and Toddler – not a trace.

Our mini-man reveals his mettle
Surprised when Dad tells him to ‘settle’
New challenges, new food, new ways
It’s ‘full on’ at this learning stage.

The whole world and its treasures lie
Within his grasp, he’s keen to try;
Now looms a daunting task ahead
Potty training, which all parents dread.

An essential skill which must be taught
It’s hit or miss, so days are fraught
But worth the effort, Heaven knows;
Who wants to wander in wet clothes?

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Travelling on the Belair Line

The “Red Hen” is the local train
Twin carriages weave through the plain
Quite an interesting ride
In summer clothes – hats worn inside!

Just perfect for the ‘grey’ brigade:
What genteel folk in Adelaide!
All stations on the Belair line
In dappled sunlight – lost in time...

Few to and fro at every station
Australia - such an empty Nation
Eucalypts on hilly heights
Level crossings – flashing lights...

Spare seats are legion on these trains
Strong wafts of diesel, dusty panes
Harsh, arid landscape, straw-like grass
Hiding fences as we pass.

Red gums convey a frontier feel
No traffic on broad roads – surreal
The tracks are rusty – overgrown
Yet graffiti mean we’re not alone...

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

Monday, 2 January 2017

Beach Fireworks at Semaphore

New Year’s Eve on sandy beach
Funfair, fair stands within reach
Of easy parking care of friends
Mild breeze at sunset; the year ends …

With a ‘children’s’ fireworks show
So the jetty end is now 'no go'
We sit upon a low brick wall
10 minutes hold us all in thrall.

Whooshing sounds, a flash of light
Rainbow colours in the night
As families with tots in tow
Watch this pyrotechnic show.

Short-sleeved police in weaving crowd;
The midnight version will be loud
With rough elements from Elizabeth*
Fired up with beer upon their breath.

Wee Thomas rides the carousel
Intent, determined, he rides well
Next up a car ride – at the wheel
‘Formula 1’ for him is real.

A single incident of note:
Sprawled on the tarmac one drunk bloke
Handcuffed and soon whisked away;
A glimpse of life the Aussie way!

(c) Poet in the woods 2017

* Elizabeth is an industrial town in South Australia.