Whittlin’ our life away

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Whittlin

See me and me cousins – old Daryl and Bede,

We sat on the porch at the front of our home,

We used to laze ‘round, have a drink and a feed,

Coz we had to make sure them cows didn’t roam.

 

Some say folk in the sticks have so little to do,

They say we have plenty of time on our hands,

But now we are part of the active crew few,

Coz for whittlin’ we are the biggest of fans.

 

We started to whittle the odd gum tree stick,

Carvin’ them sticks into nothin’ much at all,

But then after a while we gave sticks the big flick,

Coz there weren’t any more on the trees to fall.

 

We then took to whittlin’ all the wood that we found

(I know you must think this is pretty outrageous),

And all that was left were some chips on the ground,

As whittlin’ for us was becomin’ highly contagious!

 

So we called for whittlin’ help from all of our relos,

(There are lots, as not much happens in them hills),

Whittlin’ was now a big job for gals and the fellows,

Coz we were sellin’ more chips than them log cuttin’ mills.

 

Now as we’re all whittlin’, I gets to do some thinkin’,

Started to make up a tune for all of us to know,

A song ‘bout whittlin’ that would get us all a hootin’,

Let’s call it: ‘From Big Things, Little Things Grow’!

 

And thought all big words could do with a whittle,

Cut them down to size, get rid of the word pith,

It would make them word books be ever so little,

For doin’ this craft, they’ll call us a ‘wordsmith’!

 

Back from my thoughts to our whittlin’ adventure,

There’s not much wood left as you look around,

Gone are fences, the house door and its wood floor,

And there’s none of them trees still growin’ on the ground.

 

Hey, we might of overdone the extent of our wood work,

May be we couldn’t see ‘the forest for the trees’,

But we’ve just heard some news that made us all smirk:

There are lots of big trees in Brazil that are free!

 

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The Plain

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capture

The plain: uniform terrain. Plains-people: strong, resolute against drought, flooding rain … and the boredom of the plain. Does the rain fall mainly on the plain? What about the orographic effect? You’ve probably guessed by now that this is a planar poem – as flat as the plain: it rambles across this plain page. A road train rumbles through the plain to make noise to liven up the plain. The plains-wanderer is a bird that wanders across the plain trying to find and eat something that likes the pain of the plain. It builds a mound to lay its eggs and make a mountain out of a molehill … or is that bird the mallee-fowl? The plains-wanderers sometimes get run over by road trains. Stratus clouds work in parallel with plains. Planking is people trying to be plains. I would like to live on a plain, then I wouldn’t fall down a hill like Jack and Jill. Life can be a real plain: they always want you to stay calm, not show your emotional highs and lows. Have you felt emotionally controlled before? That’s a plain. And when you die and your heartbeat stops, the line on the machine you are attached to shows a plain; a plain life from birth to death. This poem is flat-lining: it’s dead. Mirages are shimmering, glitzy sirens like the Lorelei that lure you to keep travelling across the plain (beware of plains-wanderer’s mounds, road trains, bored plains-people, and death). Plains of the world unite as one – the prairie, the tundra, all plains come together and adopt a flat earth policy. But then, see, if you’re in a plane and you look down, the plain is not plain, it is: Creased, Cracked, Contoured, Colourful

I

Now

Have

A

Different

View

Of

The

Plain.

Fly

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Black-shouldered Kite (3)

FLY

Don’t you wish you could fly?

Leave the ground and touch the sky?

Don’t you want to break the mould?

Be strong? Be brave? Be tough? Be bold?

 

There you lie, thinking of what can be,

Banal life preventing you to be free,

Weighted down by routine, daily pain,

A prisoner coupled to ball and chain.

 

So look for the wings within your reach,

Fix them on, so the sage would teach,

Be Pegasus, take flight towards the sun,

Don’t give up till you’re number one.

 

Three climate change poems

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Three poems that I’ve written to encourage us all to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before it is too late…

A CHANGE IS IN THE WIND

Belch!

They’re watching us, these things called humans
Pens out, monitoring our rumens
Cows no fun

Pointing their fingers, shuffling their sheets
Murmuring about the planet’s heat
Cows help sun

Worried faces, showing their petulance
About our burps and our flatulence
Cows need bung

Uttering words, most common ‘methane’
Hoping cows would kindly refrain
Cow’s bad bum

With a gut like a still, our only torment
Grass sloshes around, slow ferment
Cow’s big drum

Big cows with balls are worst offenders
Blame males, that’ll help defend us
Cows well hung

They think it’s best to fit us with gas masks
Give us new grass to stop the farts
Cow’s new tum

They’ll want us to dispose of our own cow pats
Place them into some underground vats
Cows no dung

See they carve us up or milk us bone dry
Now they say we make all things fry
Cows hard done

No bull, we’re so over their bovine jokes
Go away, pick on some ‘udder’ folk
Cow bad pun

And don’t they belch things out, that’s a fact
What’s spewing from that factory stack?
Cows not dumb

See all we want to do is chew our cud
Moo, poo, trudge though the mud
Cows hum drum

So it’s over, all of this crap is enough
We’re taking a stand, getting so tough
Cows done fun

Let’s fight for ruminant freedom
Run with the buffalo, the sheep
Let’s herd together, fight to the end
Cows are one

Let’s stampede the Golden Arches
Go on long protest marches
Fight on beaches and on pastures
Even take to air in the fastest
Cow Top Gun

And now the end is very near
The day that all of us cattle fear
The last to the abattoir is to be tanned
The fight was called ‘Muster’s Last Stand’
Cows out gunned

So if this story shocks, scares and amazes
That we Daisies could be ‘pushing up daisies’
Next time you question our windy emissions
Consider the risk of milk and meat omissions
Cow’s life done

(Author’s note: It is reported that ruminants, including cows, are directly responsible for 6.3% of anthropogenic global warming. Apologies to Dana Lyons for using some ideas from his song ‘Cows with Guns’)

AN AL-GORE-Y

Now listen children I wish to tell you a story,
It’s the type of story that we call an ‘allegory’,
It’ll help us learn what we’re doing to our climate,
And to make the tale interesting, I’ll even rhyme it!

But before we start, let’s say ‘allegory’ out aloud,
If you say it well, this teacher will be so proud,
‘Alighieri’ – oh children, now that’s a red hot go,
Try again children listen to how the syllables flow.

‘Al-Gore-y’ – children that sounds so very close,
That’ll do for now, (Al would make a relevant host),
To get the tale’s meaning will be a little bit trying,
What can we do to stop the Earth from over frying?

So a very long time ago, in a far distant land,
There lived many people, together they did band,
This tribe lived around a most beautiful lake,
From lake and surrounds much food they did take.

The lake was a vibrant blue; now it turned to green,
This change in the colour had not before been seen,
Some thought it was fate; some just a magical trick,
But however it happened some started to get sick.

So they asked the witch doctor to come up with a cure,
A potion, a spell, the evil spirits away to lure,
He thought long and hard, ‘What is causing the malaise?
Is this a long-term worry or only a passing phase?’

He pondered: ‘All don’t care where they do their poos,
See on land and water they do their ones and their twos,’
The witch doctor thought that there was a close connection,
Between poo and green and sick, this was his reflection.

The witch doctor warned things would only get worse,
Pestilence would descend, life to become adverse,
But most people did not care even if things got rotten,
They all sat on their hands (well, really on their bottom).

And some of the tribe were making money on the side,
Collecting the poo-poos and taking the others for a ride,
Their business involved crushing the dried out drops
And selling them back to people to fertilise their crops.

The doctor called a meeting to discuss the green issue,
‘Dig a hole, do it in there, use a leaf as a toilet tissue,’
He pleaded this in front of the crowd’s sceptical gaze,
But nothing would stop the whole tribe’s indifferent daze.

So the speakers against said that nothing was doing,
They’d continue with how they were peeing and pooing,
There was no need to dig holes, no need to be hypocritical,
They’d heard sad words before from that guy Chicken Little!

Now as you would expect this story does not end well,
The lake stayed always green, the tribe went through hell,
They moved to a new lake, but refused the ditch again,
Apparently the new lake had the name of Lake Michigan.

So children what is the meaning that you take from this story?
I am sorry that what happened was just a little bit gory,
Now can someone give me a real tale meaning of worth?
Yes, Johnny – ‘I know Miss, Don’t put crap on the Earth!’

Now that is very true Johnny but let us go far deeper,
The message not too bleak like that of the Grim Reaper,
A positive climate change message for more than a few,
Yes, Jenny – ‘Listen to science and change what we do.’

WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?

What were you thinking around fifty years ago?
You had a great chance to make it turn out right.
What were you doing? There is so little to show
Like a boxer manoeuvring but not willing to fight.

Lower greenhouse gases, there must’ve been many ways:
Join together, work together – help out the Mother Earth,
Don’t listen to those sceptics, those wanting the extra pays,
‘The Earth before greed’ – that would’ve had future worth!

And now the seas have risen, people have lost their homes,
The climate has gotten much warmer, baking all the land,
The scientists’ warnings gloomy (still writing their big tomes),
Wars and sickness are rampant, many need a helping hand.

But all of our efforts have come too late
You had your chance, you decided our fate.

The Procrastinator

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I almost didn’t write this poem

I wondered, I pondered

Walked around my home.

 

I thought of an excuse not to write

Fed the pet, placed a bet

Went and got a bite.

 

I went for walk around the block

To clear the mind, find a line

I must have writer’s block.

 

I turned the computer on again

Stared at the screen, at a scene

I was finding this a pain.

 

I almost put off procrastinating

What a shame, no words came

Sat there contemplating…

 

We almost didn’t save the Earth

Thought of money, of our tummy

Didn’t know what it was worth.

 

Poem about the rubbish in our oceans

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Plastics in The Ocean

The search for the missing MH370 jet highlighted the amount of rubbish in our oceans. Here’s a poem I wrote about the problem:

THE GREAT PACIFIC GARBAGE PATCH*

Now
We’re in the North Pacific Gyre
To the horizon, a flotilla of plastic flotsam
Hey, there’s even the odd tyre!

We’re in the doldrums of PET remains
Bobbing up and down like sailing boats
Far from the shipping lanes.

We’re in a mire of goopity goop
A slowly spinning whirlpool of waste
A ‘messpool’ of plastic poop.

Future
“This is the best eco-tour of the fabulous five hundreds! So fly on over for a once-in-a-lifetime experience and join us for the Fantastic Plastic Tundra Tour across part of the spellbinding Northern Plastific Ocean. There’s solid pristine plastic as far as the eye can see, borne from over five hundred years of natural accumulation. You’ll be amazed at the white wilderness expanse; wonder at our plastic effigies of extinct animals like the seal, the polar bear; marvel at the size of our plastic Blue Whale – a species that once roamed the vast waters below. Far from the rat-race of our land masses you can even shed your breathing mask and take in our sterilised air. Relax in the comfort of our air conditioned skidoos that float effortlessly across the plastic ice. And then brace yourself for an exhilarating ride up Tyre Mountain from where you can take in the full expanse of the eerie, white wonderland similar to that former frozen landscape: The Arctic. And for the ultimate in ultimate experiences….bungie off a massive tyre cliff stopping only centimetres from the rock-hard plastic icesheet. This and much more to explore with our company: Plastiglorious Tours. And don’t forget our motto – ‘A Plastic Tour will mould your life!’”

(Author’s note: * There sadly is such a place)