Mar 132022

Poems by our members

Various poems by various of our members.

Also, see some poems written by our Poetry through the Ages group, Lyn Richard’s poems about birds and Andrew Leopold’s poems about Eltham.

May 162022

Now that living with Covid is the norm
and we continue to live with less pain.
The biggest tragedy engulfing the world
is the inhuman suffering in Ukraine.

Peaceful citizens simply living their lives
in a country where families can grow,
are suddenly plunged into a horrible state
of chaos and unprecedented woe.

Even women and children are subjected to
being pillaged and slayed every day.
Hospitals and schools are targeted too
in a callous and cold-hearted way.

There seems no end to this terrible strife
from a twisted and demented mind.
Who would slaughter at will, bringing great pain
to many lives and all of mankind.

Instead of occasionally losing our cool
over matters that are usually trite.
Let us remember those unfortunate souls
as they face an impossible fight.

Mar 142022

Dear U3a friends, don’t presume
Our group is in virtual gloom.
 We’re blessedly mask free.
 A RAT test? Don’t ask me!
We’re happier meeting on Zoom!

We don’t have to think Covid Doom,
Or worry that others assume
 That it’s safe to sit close
 With a sniffle (that’s gross)
So long as there’s air in the room.

We enjoy seeing everyone’s faces
In their comfy and personal spaces.
 Their pets are our friends
 And no one offends
Skipping check-in to thwart contact tracers.

Other positives? One of the best
Is inclusion of those who are stressed
 By risk – comorbidity
 Or merely timidity.
And there’s no need to be fully dressed!

We admit there are times when we fume
At regrettable features of Zoom.
 But (thanks, U3A!)
 Online, we will stay
While the elephant’s still in the room.

Jan 112022

In late 2021, Nillumbik Council invited local residents aged 55 and over to submit poems about any of: Independence, Elder, Challenging Stereotypes, Identity and Wisdom.

Of the 5 winners, 2 are current U3A members, namely John Jenkins in the Independence category for a poem entitled Ornamental Shadows and Gillian Essex in the Stereotypes category for a poem entitled At Blue Lake.

A third winner is an erstwhile U3A member, namely Kirsten Dickinson in the What it means to be an Elder category for a poem entitled Elcho Island.

Aug 222021

My can’t be bothered compass
Has really slowed right down
Now that the lock down monster
Has somehow come to town
I can hardly even bother
To try to get out of bed
Or drive my car down to the store
To get the milk and bread
And as for any shopping
It’s really quite a chore
And wearing a mask is tedious
When I make it to the store
My dog is very anxious
To go out for a walk
I try to make her understand
If only she could talk
I miss my U3A classes
My brain might turn to mush
If this lockdown doesn’t finish soon
I may turn into a loon
And this applies to everyone
Going through the same
So try to hang in there my friends
We’ll soon be on a level plain.

Aug 122021

Mrs. Mouse was always busy,
And she wore a lot of bling.
She liked things neat and tidy,
And as she swept she’d sing.

But one Sunday she got lucky
And swept up a diamond ring.
Now she can pay her cousins
To sweep up everything.

Jul 122021

We’re going for a ride on the Smelter’s nose
We’re taking a cabbage and a fresh change of clothes.
It will be such fun, you should come too,
There’ll be so much to see and so much to do.
Uncle Horace is coming, and also his brother,
Wild Whistling Willie, and so many others –
A goat that wears glasses, three fish that all sneeze,
Two terrible pancakes and the elephant’s fleas.
Come with us for a ride on the Smelter,
For a ride on the side of his nose, oh do!
It wouldn’t be fun if we went by ourselves,
It wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t come too.

But you’re saying you will? I just knew you would,
For rambling and scrambling on the nose of a Smelter
As he rumbles and stumbles all over the woods,
Puts a shine on your belly, a sprat in your ear,
A crease in your toes and makes you look good.
But where can we place you – his nose is so packed?
Place you or race you, it’s space that is lacked.
We’ll put you in front on a deck chair of red,
On a high horse-hair hammock or a fine feather bed,
As he swings through the trees or crawls on his knees,
You can go climbing all over his head.

Jun 252021

We’ve been invited to Piggly Park
To be met by Lord Grunt at the gate,
We’re having an afternoon mud bath with him,
So bring soap and do not be late!

At Piggly Park you are welcome to dine
At a nice picnic spot by the lake.
Lord Grunt eats a bucket or two of stew
And mixes his meals with a rake.

Lord Grunt likes turnips and pink fizzy gin
And he wears a bow tie and top hat.
Admire his moustache and big double chin,
But please don’t tell him he’s fat!

Jun 082021

Marcel the poodle
Ate oodles of noodles
And haute cuisine
From his fork.

 He wolfed down croissants,
Soufflé and poulet
 And duos of baguettes
 Served with pork.

“It’s a mere bagatelle
To dine out so well,”
Said stylish Marcel
Looking great.

 A true gourmet like me
 Has éclairs with tea
 Plus a big pile of snails
 On his plate.

“And I’m fond of fondue
Or a gateau or two
With a bowl of French fries
Till I’m sate.”

With a glass in his paw
Marcel poured himself more

Bordeaux red and some fizzy champagne,
Then he sniffed and he licked AND HE ATE!

May 292021

Grey shadows flicking under the oak trees,
The last summer marigold song of the honeybees,
Paint in the fire from the beacons in bare fields,
Put blush on the apples as summer yields.
Note where the swallows are ducking and weaving
Once more round their nest in the eaves before leaving.
Breathe in the perfume from the last of the roses.
It lingers around us as summer’s door closes.

Dec 072020

I’d like to be the Movie star, it’s always been my dream
To see myself the HEADLINE in some glossy magazine.
Red carpet, lights and cameras, crowds cheering on the action!
The bold the beautiful and ME, the starring main attraction!
Will I always be an extra eating extra people’s lunch,
Standing by the food van, just another in the bunch?
In this film there's office workers, bankers, dancers, a rowdy mob,
Some actors, policemen, firemen BUT- I got the cleaner’s job!
"You’re just the type." That’s what they said. "The apron's yours so wear it."
"Here's the bucket, mop and cloths" So I just grin and bear it.
BUT!!!! The star wears mink and diamonds and dresses made to die for!
I can’t help the way I feel. HER role is what I cry for.
So as I'm waiting for my cue with extras just like me,
I think of how magnificent my starring role could be.
I dream that I’m arriving in some flashy limousine,
Red carpet! Crowds are cheering! I'm a movie maker’s dream!

Nov 242020

Four years under Trump
Has created loads of woe.
Some thought his shameful ego
Would help America grow.

The opposite has happened
And they are now a basket case.
With the absence of Covid masks
Rarely worn around the face.

Lies and pathetic leadership
Were the order of the day
And whenever things became too tough
Useless Donald golfed all day.

He has no sense of fair play
Or the suffering of others
Didn’t try to understand
His sisters or his brothers.

His reign was a tragic sham
Although that he won’t confess
And it becomes abundantly clear
That he’s left things in a mess.

The new leader brings a lot of hope
And while not actually in his prime
Joe, confident that he would prevail
Was quietly Biden his time.

Oct 052020

A bride, she sailed away from me
    The darling of my heart.
My hands, my soul had gifted her
    The freedom to depart.

A bride, my child has left me
    And tears of pride I shed.
The loss, the loss. The empty sea
    Became her bridal bed.

The years of toil, my calloused hands,
    The camaraderie
All gave my life a purpose
    That never more shall be.

The years of toil to shape my child
    to make her strong and true.
In fear and love, I blessed her
    as in majesty she grew.

The iceberg waiting silently
    Was beautiful as she.
Cold death her consummation and
    My bitter legacy.

Sep 142020

Men is dark suits and club ties
wielding dollars and promises,
bid for his young panther body,
poised and sleek in the marketplace.

Grace and skill, courage and heart,
he soared above the pack.
He has a good football brain as well
they declared afterwards, at the Club.

Soft-haired moth-girls danced in his flame
Choose me. Choose me.
Their whisper wings stirred his body
but his heart belonged to the Club.

His name was chanted in a litany of praise
till his Judas body betrayed him.
He’s lost his edge, he’s getting on
they agreed sagely, at the Club.

In the end they tore out his heart
and barbequed it with onions
and a little regret, one pleasant Sunday morning
at the Club.

Aug 092020

We googled profit and found
a multitude of sites, an infinity of words.
Market, free market, market forces
and Share Market, where no-one wants to share.
Interest rates, loans, mortgage, prime mortgage
mortgage belt, tighten your belt, belt you wife.
Bulls and Bears, profit and loss,
hedge funds becoming bushfires,
unbecoming greed becoming hedged, wedged
between profit and unimaginable loss.
As it was in the beginning, they say
so it will ever be.

We googled prophet and found
Abraham with an aged wife, Ezekiel, ecstatic in the fire
and a man nailed in agony to a tree.
We found Mohammed, the Buddha
Martin Luther King who had a dream and
Desmond Tutu, incandescent with forgiveness.
T.S. Eliot, in a jingle, foretold the slow dying
that scientists observe in arctic seas and polar ice
and algorithms, burdened with despair.
All sweetly human. Flesh encasing mind and spirit.
The English tongue must stand accused
if we fail to find the way because we
don’t know how to spell.

Mar 312020

I was after something finger lickin’
Maybe a crispy roasted chicken?
Alas, how deep was my despair
To find that all the shelves were bare.
Neither bird nor feather remained in sight
They’d all been plucked and taken flight.
But there I spy in a corner,
dejected –
A sole bird the crowd rejected.

Fine wine tonight to toast
and roast
The last of that feathered flock

My sad little spatchcock.