Monthly Archives: August 2021

home teaching/learning

For the dVerse Monday haibun, “back to school“:

It’s Tuesday morning of the semester break, and I’m in the bedroom working on my online lectures and tutes: particle and rigid body kinematics and kinetics. In the background my husband is yelling at the kids – “supporting their online schooling” in the kitchen. Continue reading


Filed under musings, poem

not to be… (a soliloquy)

So the Thursday dVerse MTB challenge was to write a soliloquy poem, including some clear examples of poetic devices. I thought, and I talked to myself and decided…. “nah, I got nothin’…” 

If there is to be
A soliloquy
I need to know
What say to me… Continue reading


Filed under poem


Tuesday’s dVerse prompt was to write an acrostic or a poem inspired by puzzles. I’ve never gotten into crosswords personally…

Crosswords are, apparently,
Recommended for the brain
Or some other mental activity
So our sanity’s maintained.
Some enjoy them, that is true,
Well, they’re fine, but not me.
Other puzzles bring me pleasure –
Round here we’re much more mathsy!
Division and times-tables,
Some algebra and graphing –

Numeracy’s enabled, and
Our puzzles keep us laughing.

But this prompt did make me smile, because on the weekend I spent a couple of hours creating puzzle-clues for my kids to do treasure hunts. The kids were bored with being in quarantine so I found some chocolate tucked away and sent them on an out-of-season Easter hunt. Some of the clues were word puzzles, including one combined crossword + jumble, but many were maths-based because the little one is learning long division and times-tables, and the twins are doing algebra and graphs in online schooling.  


Filed under poem


For the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “heart”:


At the heart of the matter is “Freedom”
But there is a choice of prepositions:
{speak freely; bear arms; move freely and assemble together}
{racial vilification; being caught in the crossfire; the spread of disease}
How many hearts has freedom TO broken?


I’m taking my teenagers and myself for our second covid test tomorrow, because they’re close contacts in a growing cluster. In the meantime people are dying and there are protests going on in Sydney and Melbourne, with people holding placards reading “freedom”. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between freedom and selfishness.  


Filed under poem, rants

cog, oil, spanner?

Are you happy to be
a brick in the wall?
That would be dull, but,
at worst you could fall.
Or would you rather be,
a cog in the machine,
going round and round.
A repeating scene.
Or what about
the oil that’s flowing,
between the cogs,
to keep it all going?
Or the fuel being burnt,
down in the furnace,
sure that your sacrifice
serves a great purpose?

What other choices
does the machine proffer?

A sabot or a spanner,
are still there on offer.


Filed under poem

the tiger and the persimmon

A retelling of the Korean folktale “the tiger and the persimmon” in kasa form, for the dVerse prompt from Sanaa “Poetics – Exploring the realm of Korean Literature (first stop, Seoul)“:

Tiger comes, black stripes flitting
Between the pines, hunger rumbling.

Down the mountain, golden gingko,
Ginger stripes, flicker faster.

Tiger comes, tail twitching
Above the grass, to the village. Continue reading


Filed under poem

blanket fort

For the dVerse prosery prompt “clouds“, and for H_, the little one:


Yesterday the little one whimpered as the swab was inserted, while her brother sneered “my finger goes much further up my nose than that!” And demonstrated.
Today we are sunshine and storm clouds – like a holiday picnic on brittle ice.
The little one is collecting the eggs, telling me about a hen gone broody, making chocolate crackles for everyone and sharing them out.
I try not to snap at her to leave me alone as I fill in close-contact declarations, notify HR… and wait. But I do snap. And her sunshine is eclipsed by the storm clouds of my fear.
But these clouds are clearly foreign. Such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky that she is trying to spread over us. She raises her blue sky like a blanket fort, for us to creep beneath.


The prosery prompt:  it must be prose, no longer than 144 words, and include the lines “But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter Against the blue cloth of the sky” –from “Clouds” by Constance Urdang. Punctuation may be changed only.  



Filed under poem

c’est la fucking vie

Yesterday morning, in the middle of a two hour face-to-face tutorial, my students told me Canberra was going into lockdown at 1700.  So, after tute, I checked in with my team, reset a bunch of stuff on my course site to 2020 version, emailed all my students, then looked around my office to decide what to take home… instant curries from the filing cabinet, a couple of textbooks, the fruit sitting on my desk… and, oh yes, my “little box of fucks” (for when you have none left to give – thank you B_ for that thoughtful gift)…  Grabbed my stuff, collected kids from school, and got home just in time to run my 1600 to 1800 tute online.  (sigh). 

Hence this, in mirrored refrain form for the Thursday dVerse prompt

C’est la fucking vie,
Here we go again…
and we retreat into our homes,
as another lockdown descends.

We bunker down inside, while
outside the virus roams,
as another lockdown descends
and we retreat into our homes. Continue reading


Filed under poem, rants

Caroline Springs

For the dVerse prompt “outside looking in”, a partly imagined, partly remembered impression of the houses of Caroline Springs:

If you lived here,
you’d be home now.
In an infinite purgatory
of tarmac and dead grass,
unbroken and uninteresting,
from horizon to horizon. Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized

facing the panel

For the dVerse quadrille prompt “stand”:

My mistake, I stand corrected…
Well, no, not stand,
I sit dejected.
In fact, I’m prone,
as I’m being vivisected.

Go on, use your scalpel,
dig in deep with that probe,
see what you unravel.
Am I role model or martyr?
Or cautionary example?

A quadrille is exactly 44 words, and it must include the prompt word or a variation thereon, in this case “stand”. 


Filed under Uncategorized