Giggle Quadrille for dVerse

A study in squares
Four by four
They go
Ho ho ho ho
Books on a frosty morn
As I proceed to my pond
Scribbles over the aircon
It looks a bit forlorn
Ho ho ho ho
The tiny legs made
Me giggle though


This is a Quadrille written for the dVerse poetry prompt. A Quadrille is a poem of 44 words (not counting the title) and this week’s prompt was to write one that included the word ‘giggle’. Right after I read the prompt, I happened to look back on the four photos I took today, which were, randomly, all squares. 4×4 and 44 lines – it seemed too perfect!

Adventures into Spoken Word


It seems the universe has converged to tell me that NOW is the time to step into the sphere of spoken-word. I’ve been talking about doing this for a while. I was blown away by seeing Kate Tempest perform recently, several kind people have suggested my stuff would work well as performance poetry and now I’ve actually been asked to produce a spoken-word piece for a local publication (exciting! terrifying!)

So I’ve been messing about with Soundcloud… and here’s a little experiment and a taster. (This is not THE poem – just a little off-the-cuff-poem to test the waters).

What do you think?

If you can’t see the Soundcloud embedded thingy, click here https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/cleaning-house



Photo: Peter John Maridable via https://unsplash.com/photos/tRJtLQ8p1fU

Photo: Peter John Maridable via https://unsplash.com/photos/tRJtLQ8p1fU


The heartlines that stretch

like yarn

like vapour trails

like ink from your pen

winging its way

in a letter you sent

like a lit road at night

seen from the sky

that jewelled line of bright

beaded with light

like blood from a scratch

or a virtual smile

from you to me

across the miles


This poem was also published on The Drabble on 29 October 2016. 🙂

Missing my mother

The same steak knives in Zurich that my mother has in Sydney

The same steak knives in Zurich that my mother has in Sydney


Is it any surprise

We have the same knives

When our lives

Are so easily connected

By flight?


But complacency’s unwise

Because not all the ties

Are strong and it’s night

In your world, while in mine

The sun shines


And tho the lines

Of communication open lie

The sight of those knives

was a cutting remind

You’re not by my side

Drooping feathers


Stumbling at the final hurdle

Counting up all the burdens

Blessings float, unworthy of note

The youthful optimism of snails

Crushed underfoot by serious travails

Humour drowned, an anxious frown

Collections of words that fell like feathers

Perfect, clever, intricate, together

Raw skin, plucked painfully from within

No more quicksilver wins

headline: Tawdry End Breaks Promise Of Good Begin


Today’s National/Global Poetry Writing Month prompt/challenge was to write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning. Not sure I got this one right. I’ve got too much on my plate at the moment and the poetry is suffering  😦

Stars and Stripes



The place where it all happens

Oh America, Oh

Or until it does, it doesn’t matter

Oh America, Oh

Home of the internet, land of the free*

Oh America, Oh 

(*offer, first month only)

Where a double-amputee becomes a mermaid and is “sexy”

Oh America, Oh

Where breasts are revered, but not for nursing

Oh America, Oh

And maternity leave leaves mothers cursing

D’oh America, d’oh

Your corporate culture spoiled two of our jobs

Oh America, Oh

Yet we still pander to the US mob

Oh America, Oh

(if I publish this after 6, I’ll get more hits!)

Good morning America, Oh

I grimace at your fears re: Trump

No America, please no

Coz Down Under we had our onion eater – first for once!

Oh Australia, Oh

Of course there’s so much good stuff too

Oh America, Oh

Hamburgers, ice cream – but not just food

Go America, go

A place I’ve been, can’t claim to know

Oh America, Oh

But New York was just how I hoped

Oh America, Oh

Manhattan fire escapes like a Friends set

Oh America, Oh

So many sights I’ll not forget

Oh America, Oh

Houses like Sweet Valley High, upstate NY

Oh America, Oh

And the way the girls said “a dime”

Oh America, Oh

A friend at Coachella saw Gunners live

Oh America, Oh

Of course I’ve also watched The Wire

Woah America, woah

So I’ve seen how it is on the dark side a’right?

Oh America, Oh

And the backdrop of American cities

Oh America, Oh

Buried in my mind, like false memories

Oh America, Oh

Awards for everything under the sky

Oh America, Oh

If you do something great, seems you’d really fly

Oh America, Oh

Then again, it also seems easier to die

Oh America, Oh

When the Twin Towers define our lives

Woe America, woe

And all those Wall Street crises

Oh America, Oh

Are the ambitions of America a lie?

Oh America, Oh

Where self-help’s a religion

Oh America, Oh

And Meg Ryan the patron saint of rom-com

Oh America, Oh, Ohh Ohhhh Ohh!

Selling us that love affair

Oh America, Oh

Sell, sell, sell everywhere

Oh America, Oh

The arrogance of all that arable land

Sow America, sow

Does something to you, I understand

Oh America, Oh

I’ve seen it in Australia, and Russia too

Хорошо, America, Хорошо

Seems no matter what y’all do

Oh America, Oh

Oh America, there’s no getting around you



Today’s National/Global Poetry Writing Month prompt/challenge was to write a poem that incorporates a call and response.


Maudlin in the Morning



The horrendous overtopping greed

And craven doltishness

The shit we can’t get over

Why can’t we see

When pollies, pretty pollies,

And the uncomely ones

Act like

Kindergarten kids nicking each others’ sandwiches

Only to put a mellifluous spin on

The situation in the papers

Or is it that the journalists, who surely see

Preternatural beings

In their Mirrors, their Suns, shining sublime

Out of their own nether-regions

They pick their way daintily

Over the susurrating mess of a political landscape

Or the physical one

A bleached reef, an abandoned open-cut mine, a melting pole

All value and pulchritude

Sacrificed to their loquaciousness

One barely notices

A haze of sassafras

Creeping over the terrain

Like a persistent 9.15 train

Trying to make amends

While we hang our wet washing

And throw away old receipts

For plastic things bought, discarded already

Paramount in the moment

As those fucking politicians who

We merely moan over

On Facebook and

Pen poems to zero effect

And I think I need an egg this morning

Because it’s one perfect thing contained

Until it’s broken of course, fractured

In servitude to my greed


Today’s National/Global Poetry Writing Month prompt/challenge was to write a list of overly poetic words – words that you think just sound too high-flown to really be used by anyone in everyday speech. Then make a list of words that you might use or hear every day, but which seem too boring or quotidian to be in a poem. Now mix and match examples from both of your lists into a single poem.

I feel like I often blend the mundane with the maudlin and florid so this wasn’t a huge stretch for me, although I did enjoy slapping out the thesaurus (mental and physical) to use some ridiculously overblown language. 

In Adelaide



Try to remember what my nana, Floss, would say

Someone’s telling a story and she’s amazed

It wasn’t “fancy” or “I’ll be blowed”

Maybe it was “nev-er!” or “say it’s not so”?

I think it was “true” — either question or statement.

And what of my childish chat, no abatement?

As she worked like billy-oh to run the house smooth

I’d follow, try to help, mostly intrude

(strife, kids are prolific)

She’d listen and grin and ’twas always: “Triffic!”


Today’s National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo) prompt/challenge was to think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.

Zurich Almanac

Have I written a poem about Zurich yet?

Has the place sunk far enough into my subconscious?

The poetry strata: down where the dinosaur fossils lie

a Jurassic stanza, incorporating the city’s ancient guilds


The dull colours of conservative cool

Sitting in roccoco shop windows and on the shoulders of locals

While Ganymed begs the eagle to mount him “in a Swiss way”

Take him to the mountains, Hubacher must mean…


ALL ZÜRI, ALL CHRANK: Schweizerdeutsch I can read

Maybe the church spires inject some with cruel medicine.

I’m vaccinated, indoctrinated, the hot needles of last summer’s heat

Tattooed this city across the skin of hometown memories


Nothing in nature can kill you here – mammals, reptiles, fish

Just don’t get caught beneath an avalanche

or those blossoms, heavy with spring, before

they fall to the ground like confetti, like ashes, like tiny pieces of my heart



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I’m doing National/Global Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo) – write one poem, per day throughout April. Today’s prompt/challenge was interesting in that it was one I initially did not like the sound of. But, as is often the way, it turned out to be quite inspiring as it wasn’t how I’d normally think to construct a poem.

It was as follows: fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. 

Almanac Questionnaire (I’ve included my answers too)

Weather: wet, usually dry
Flora: heavy with spring blossoms
Architecture: cool modern and roccoco
Customs: polite and on time, can be brusque
Mammals/reptiles/fish: nothing can kill you
Childhood dream: Heidi
Found on the Street: sticks
Export: watches and choc
Graffiti: all zuri, all chrank
Lover: Berlin?
Conspiracy: old zuri guilds
Dress: dull colours of conservative cool
Hometown memory: flooded back in last summer’s heat
Notable person: Jung
Outside your window, you find: church spires and spring
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth: dinosaurs?
Story read to children at night: Schellen Ursli
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: nature
You walk to the border and hear: italian, french, german
What you fear: the lights going out
Picture on your city’s postcard: Ganymede