Tag Archives: kids

winter melts

Winter lies sadly melting in the sink.
An ice-blue sky reduced to an anonymous puddle
in a plastic zip-lock bag.
And for what?
To make way for bargain priced minced meat.
“I’m sorry” I say to the little one,
who just shrugs.
And for a moment I consider telling her:
“It remembers what it was. Water remembers.”
But I do not say it,
because she is not so little anymore,
and would just roll her eyes and say “muuummm”
at such sappy Disney bullshit.
She accepts that snow must make way
for ‘reduced to clear’ minced meat.
And I am sorry for that.

Written for the dVerse prompt “poetics: the blizzard of the self“, to write a poem about winter. I used a bit of poetic licence here, it was actually a bag of hailstones rather than snow that was taken out of the freezer a while ago to make space for ‘reduced to clear’ meat. But snow somehow fitted better with the broader theme than giant hailstones which are themselves due to climate change.


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1500 January 9th, sans ‘sunroof’

Swooping between potholes
we fly through yellowing green fields,
every window down to let the sky in.
Its blue-heat rushes through the car
drying chlorine scented hair,
sun-streaked and tangled.
Making up the words as we go
we create a soundtrack
with help from the radio.
Hands tap along on window-sills,
summer-browned against dirty white duco,
as we travel home
a plume of yellow dust
following like a parade.


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1100 3rd January, Goulburn pool

Blue above, blue below
(although different;
cobalt above, turquoise below)
following my rippling shadow one way,
(so at least I assume)
being followed by it in return
in a
(so I imagine/hope/pretend)
dignified and stately breast-stroke –
how the queen, perhaps,
would proceed down the pool.
(Although that shadow below
could well belong to a matronly bullfrog.
The queen would have had it removed).

Head above water
I can perform my maternal vigilance –
two are playing,
one is swimming towards me,
in his own variation on the Australian crawl
(“the boy is angry at the water”).

A row of ducks
(without my spectacles,
this is an educated guess)
proceeds in state along the edge.
Children, laughing, encourage them in,
but the lifeguard shoos them away,
unlike the children,
(although more likely they just don’t care)
that the reality of swimming with ducks
involves duck shit in the pool.


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0900 29th December

The cool change has swept away
all my excuses for indolence.
Today is a day for doing.
Yet there is little to be done –
in these in-between days
between Christmas and New Year,
the only have-tos are done by 9.
The kookaburras have long finished their morning rounds
the rooster is taking a break, and,
apart from some gossiping wattlebirds,
there is unaccustomed quiet.
Even the children are muted –
couch-bound hungry caterpillars
steadfastly working their way through
box after box of cereal.
After a year of wishing for
some peace,
some respite from all the have-tos
some time to drink a coffee before it goes cold…
and, halfway through my still-warm second cup,
I am at a loss for what to do with myself.


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today I have the time

The tree is dressed
with candles ready to be lit,
the presents are wrapped and piled beneath.
The shopping is done and the larder is packed,
the meals are planned.

So, what is left to do?

I had planned,
when work is put away for the year,
when Christmas is wrapped and ready to be opened,
when the old year is over but the new not yet started
then, in the in-between discretionary days,
then, when there is nothing still waiting to be done,
then, when I have the time,
then, I will put aside some time to cry
to wash away this year,
and be ready,
bright eyed but smiling,
to face the next one.

Today I have the time.


In remembrance of those four that didn’t make it to this Christmas, and who should have had a lifetime of them ahead of them.  


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labour of love

Written for the dVerse quadrille Monday prompt “learn to labor or labor to learn“, 44 words exactly, including the word work (and dedicated to my darling twin boys and my husband who I didn’t listen to):

three years of hoping
nine months of waiting
twenty hours of labour
(two panadol)
two thousand loads of washing
twenty thousand meals
for two lumps on the couch
grunting and picking their pimples.

You were right dear,
a dog would’ve been less work.


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it’s not an effing restaurant

A collaborative effort by the whole family, in response to the dVerse prompt “at the restaurant“, starting with the title which is something I say at least once a week…


“It’s dinner time my darlings!
it’s time to come and eat,
turn off your screens, my dears,
take a plate and have a seat!

“I’ve made this food with love
Why won’t you eat your fill?”

“’Made with loves’ all well and good,
but we’d rather ‘made with skill!’

Why won’t you make what we want,
why won’t you let us choose?
It’s always half-raw vegies
or brown, mysterious ooze

“You’re always free to help me
and then you’d get some say!
Some help around the kitchen
would really make my day!

But until that happens,
I’m here to tell you, bub,
there’s two things on the menu
and they’re both avec shut-up”

You must be really stupid,
you must be such a dolt,
you always cook the stuff we hate
but expect a new result!

And then when we won’t eat it
you’re always full of sadness.
You do the same, expect a change –
now that’s a sign of madness!”

“It’s not an effing restaurant,
it’s not even a café,
if you don’t want what I’ve cooked
you can bloody go away!

You’ve always got a choice,
you’ve always got an option
you can eat what’s on your plate…
or you can go up for adoption!”



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Sutton bonfire night

Flames rise, pouring sparks upwards –
red specks flickering
among the billion bright
diamond points
of a black winter sky. Continue reading


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2004 – 2022

all those moments
when the inside didn’t match the outside
when no one looked closely enough to see
all those moments
when I couldn’t say just what I felt
when I said nothing instead
all those moments
when we were together
when I was so alone
all those moments
of trying to understand
of trying to be understood
all those moments
of wondering why I am here
of wondering whether I can bear to stay
all those moments
will be lost in time like tears in rain
will be over as the rope snaps taut


This was written for the dVerse “words of departure” prompt, and to help me process a death I’ve been struggling to come to terms with. I’ve been wanting to write something about it, and while when I first saw the prompt I didn’t think I’d be able to write to it, it actually tuned out to be a way to begin processing this. The prompt required the inclusion of a quote from a selection. I chose “all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain” from Bladerunner (one of my favourite films).        


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say it, spell it, say it again

For the dVerse Monday quadrille prompt “casting a poetic spell“:


Waist high and terrified
they approach the microphone
and await their word;
enunciated and exemplified.

We wait,
no one breathing,
as they say it,
spell it,
say it again.

Then sigh in shared sorrow
or breathe out in shared relief,
whoever’s child it is.


Years ago one of my sons made it to the NSW state spelling bee final. My proudest mum-moment was at the end of the regional finals when he got a second word after stuffing up a first, and then the only other remaining contestant stuffed hers and didn’t get a second chance.  He was declared the winner. And he went and told the judge that the other contestant should have had a second chance too. I know he reads my blog sometimes, and I hope he knows how proud he makes me, not just that day, but always. 

But on the whole I dislike spelling bees. The poor kids looked so tiny and so frightened, and it was painful watching any of them when they got a word wrong and their little faces crumpled no matter how stoic they tried to be.  I think every parent felt that, based on the collective sigh of sorrow whenever any child went out.  


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