Previous Poems of the Week

Please click on the headings below to read from the collection of previous weekly poems.

POEMS OF THE WEEK 2019

7/1/2019 THE NEW YEAR

The old year has departed

From places near and far

Around the world with fireworks

It blazed its last hurrah

It followed in succession

As every old year must

Consigned now to the history books

Where headlines turn to dust

The old year has expired

Its numbered days all spent

A new one has replaced it now

Chock full of good intent

Stepping up to take its place

All primed and set to go

A naive thing with bright wide eyes

How little does it know!

21/1/2019 NATURAL SELECTION

New Zealand’s future leaders

Have once again returned

To saunter through Dunedin’s streets

On line and unconcerned

Sucking on their water bottles

Earplugs in both ears

Eyes fixed on their handheld screens

Conversing with their peers

Walking into doors and signs

Bumping into poles

Tripping over kerbs and steps

Or falling into holes

Pausing as they cross the road

To read some vital tweet

Or view the latest image of

What someone had to eat

Putting into practice

Evolution’s latent thrust

Of natural selection

As another bites the dust

Perhaps they have a need for speed

Perhaps they’re running late

But now they have Lime scooters

To accelerate their fate

Best wrap them up in cotton wool

So they come to no harm

Or better yet a fadge of wool

Underneath each arm

Are these our future leaders?

Are these the best we’ve got?

These lemming-like automatons

Dear God I do hope not!

4/2/2019 DUNEDIN FLATS

What would you be needin’

In a flat down in Dunedin

Other than a beer fridge and a bed

With a safe place for your stash

And a floor to store your trash

Then you’re housing needs are met it could be said

 

With ceilings insulated

And the walls well decorated

With student art and traffic signs and cones

A kettle for a kitchen

And the pool when skin starts itchin’

You’ve a home away from home with undertones

 

You’ll need somewhere to study

In the morning or the nuddy –

’Cause it’s not as cold down here as some folk think

And if down-load speed’s essential

With our Giga-town potential

You can surf away each day from link to link

18/2/2019 DIVE DEEP

Where do true competitors go

For perfect line and length

They learn to go within themselves

To find their inner strength

What did Trubridge do to bridge

The fear of being crushed

He dived to depths within himself

Where all self doubt is hushed

4/3/2019 MR MILLENIAL HAD TO RE-BOOT

Mr Millennial had to re-boot

His hand-held device while out for a scoot

He had no crash helmet or hooter to toot

But took out two walkers, a bike and a ute

His front wheel locked up like a cat in a chute

And he flew through the air like a tossed piece of fruit

His injury list was described as acute

With a bump on his head that came up a ‘beaut’

The scooters were banned, the company got cute

As other Lime cities were following suit

An e-mail campaign turned out to be moot

As it wasn’t addressing the problem’s real root

For some it’s a laugh and a bit of a hoot

But A.C.C. compo is coughing up loot

And Mr Millennial, poor Mr Millennial

Mr Millennial still has to re-boot

 

18/3/2019 YOU HEARD IT FIRST

Despite the daily dosage

From places overseas

Of shootings and of bombings

And of vile atrocities

 

Despite the part they know they play

In dealing the fear

The media seem quite surprised

That this should happen here

 

They interviewed an expert

Broadcasted his advice:

‘Not to name the shooter’ but

Deemed that too high a price

 

Complicit as a platform

With which to create fame

Each channel wants to be the first

To name the killer’s name

1/4/2019 THE ISMISTS

You can’t shake hands with others

When both your hands are fists

You cannot bridge a schism

When your ‘ism’ still exists

 

 

Racism and sexism

And ageism persists

Along with other ‘isms’

On ever growing lists

 

 

The fault is always theirs not ours

Everyone insists

And my ‘ism’ trumps your ‘ism’

So say the ‘ism-ists’

15/4/2019 JOHN

 

We all have our own memories

Of the John we knew

The one’s I choose are of a man

With things to say and do

 

He’d set a brisk pace walking

Talking as he strode

Aware of all the noxious weeds

On any given road

 

He’d visit on occasions

Just to shoot the breeze

To share his thoughts on gardening

Or world calamities

 

John would bring the biscuits

I’d provide the tea

We’d pass a pleasant afternoon

Discussing poetry

 

Familiar with the classics

His knowledge outstripped mine

Well read, well bred, articulate

His eyes would dance and shine

 

But even those bright opals

Were outshone by his shoes

That gleamed with spit and polish

Reflecting old-school views

 

Views like common decency

Like helping when you can

Like taking time to spare a thought

For your fellow man

 

Like pride in one’s appearance

To show respect for others

Like sacrifice and service

With a regiment of brothers

 

That customs and tradition

Had meaning and a place

That music, arts and literature

Were where we would find grace

 

We also talked philosophy

Politics and sport

Religion and Theosophy

And lessons history taught

 

Our afternoons flew by – and then

So too the passing years

Bringing us up to today

A time of grief and tears

 

His troubled journey over now

His physical presence gone

But like his eyes and polished shoes

His memory will shine on

29/4/2019 THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE

 

Twinkle, twinkle little star

How I wonder what you are

Like a luminous cigar

You move at lightning speed

Back and forth across the sky

At first down low and then up high

No one knows quite how you fly

Or what it is you need

You’re not a bird, you’re not a plane

You vanish then come back again

A mystery you will remain

A U.F.O. indeed

 

13/5/2019 MOTHERS

It’s time to celebrate our mothers

And it seems our motherly others

So-called ‘work-mums’ are in line

For jewellery gifts, bouquets and wine

 

Don’t hug her though or shake her hand

As workplace touching may be banned

Just an air kiss and a gift

Will help us make this mental shift

 

It’s all about inclusiveness

All kinds of mums deserve less stress

So maybe Spark will run some ads

On mother’s day for solo dads

27/5/2019 EXTINCTION REVOLUTION

 

Animal extinctions

Global warming, war

Radiation, pesticides

Droughts and floods and more

 

Oceans filled with plastics

Heavy metals too

Should we change or carry-on

The way we always do

 

Some say that we’ve already passed

The point of no return

That judgement day is on its way

We simply didn’t learn

 

We’re standing on the precipice

Of annihilation

Looking at the end of days

For each and every nation

 

Apocalyptic changes

Depletion and pollution

Famine and diseases

And no imminent solution

 

It will be deemed a miracle

If anyone survives

But it’s business though as usual

Until that day arrives

 

10/6/2019 SHORTAGES

 

First the measles vaccine

Ran low when most required

Now the flu-jab stockpiles

Have practically expired

 

This is no coincidence

It’s something more outrageous

I think these vaccine shortages

Have now become contagious

 

24/6/2019 GREEDY CEO

 

Another greedy CEO

With money on his mind

Has been found out although in truth

There not that hard to find

 

It seems the millions that they’re paid

Just simply aren’t enough

They want somebody else to pay

For all their personal stuff

 

And down here in Dunedin

Right on the harbour side

A fertilizer CEO

Is trying to decide

 

If rugby players and their park

Should be allowed to stay

Or whether planned expansions and

More profit will hold sway

 

Ravensdown in Ravensbourn

Has ravenous intentions

It wants the use of Moller Park

To build its planned extensions

 

Get used to it New Zealand

In stoushes of this sort

Where big money is involved

Culture counts for nought

8/7/2019 KNOW THYSELF

 

A word or two of sage advice:-

In life be brave but fair

And whether wealth or problem

Be prepared to share

 

Use common sense and decency

Observe the golden rule

Respect the wise but list to

The poet and the fool

 

Take time to smell the roses

Take pride in all you do

But most importantly of all

Unto thyself be true

 

22/7/2019 THE LONELIEST MAN TO EVER LIVE

 

Strapped into a capsule

Atop a Saturn five

Not knowing if they’d make the moon

Or even just survive

 

Ignition of the boosters left

Their very being shaken

As they embarked upon the greatest

Journey ever taken

 

Rising up sedately

Holding straight and true

Shedding emptied fuel tanks

They climbed into the blue

 

Streaking through the atmosphere

Then in to outer space

To travel at phenomenal speeds

Far from the human race

 

The darkened lull of nothingness

As planet Earth receded

The waiting and the weightlessness

Their progress unimpeded

 

The landing module disengaged

Two astronauts on board

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin

Their future fame assured

 

Descending to the surface

With systems overloaded

Amidst alarms and calls of ‘go’

Their confidence eroded

 

Off course and over boulders

On which they could be stranded

With only seconds left of fuel

The little Eagle landed

 

One small step for man took place

A quote we now all know

That giant leap for all mankind

Gave hope to us below

 

The loneliest man to ever live

Then went behind the moon

Cut off from humanity

Forgotten all too soon

 

Michael Collins was that man

Who circled like a shark

And while his mates made history

He was in the dark

 

Immersed in his own personal

Eclipse of Planet Earth

Watching the horizon

Awaiting its rebirth

 

From the other window

Nothing could be seen

But the twinkling stars

And the emptiness between

 

Lost in radio silence

Completely lost to view

To all of Earth’s humanity

And his fellow crew

 

Who walked upon the surface of

The moon in utter awe

Boldly going where no man

Had ever gone before

 

Mesmerised we watched as they

Set a flag in place

Took photos and rock samples then

Fare-welled Tranquillity base

 

A perfect lunar lift-off

Their docking done and then

Three heroes set their course anew

And headed home again

 

The trauma of re-entry

The splash-down in the sea

And then emerging from the pod

For all the world to see

 

Fifty years ago this week

While handing out cigars

Our species took a baby step

In reaching for the stars

5/8/2019 AGEIST DOG WHISTLING

 

Due to our identities

Some differences exist

So if you don’t agree with me

You’ll be some sort of ‘ist’

 

Because Jacinda is a mum

Calling her ‘part time’

Makes Simon Bridges sexist

Grant’s logic is sublime

 

Bridges though is Maori

Grant Robertson is not

So that makes Grant a racist

According to this plot

 

No-one though would call him that

Out of utter fear

Of being labelled ‘homophobe’

Since Robertson is queer

 

And before you shoot me down

For pointing out these views

Remember you’ll be next in line

For someone to abuse

 

I could be older than you are

I could be younger too

So either way you’re ageist if

You slate my point of view

 

19/8/2019 WOODSTOCK

 

They talk about it wistfully

The freedom and the hope

The rain, the mud, the music

The free love and the dope

 

I guess you had to be there

But some say those who were

Simply can’t recall it

The whole thing was a blur

 

Woodstock was a happening

A festival so rare

That those who do remember

Probably weren’t there

 

2/9/2019 FATHER'S DAY

 

Our fathers may be rich or poor

They may be young or old

Our fathers may be close at hand

Or left out in the cold

 

Defined by their careers

Or the sports they play

Or just their generosity

Or the things they say

 

Our fathers may be big or small

No-frills or debonair

But all they want this Sunday is

For you to know they care

16/9/2019 FOR THE RECORD

 

As stylish as a stylus

On a spinning forty-five

The sound was warm and vibrant

Rounded and alive

 

But music then was digitized

Compacted cleverly

For what they called the C.D. side

Of the industry

 

What goes around though comes around

So the saying goes

And nothing goes around so much

As the record shows

 

As a disc of vinyl

A twelve-inch, grooved L.P.

Turning on the table

At a stable thirty-three

 

30/9/2019 THE CLIMATE’S RIGHT FOR CHANGE

 

As temperatures and C.O.2.

And sea levels get higher

The voice out in the wilderness

Becomes the mainstream choir

 

The tipping point has been attained

The ‘hundredth monkey’ found

And climate change awareness

Is starting to abound

 

And with it global action

To wrestle back our fate

If only for the children

Let’s hope it’s not too late

14/1/2019 FIFTY WAYS

(to the cadence of Fifty ways to leave your lover – with apologies to Paul Simon)

The problem is all inside your Auckland-centric dome

The answer is easy if you’re not prepared to roam

I’d like to help you in your struggle for a home

There must be fifty ways to live in Auckland

Fifty ways to live in Auckland

You just sleep in a shack Jack

Or go open-plan Stan

No need for a roof Ruth

You just listen to me

Say buy a house-bus Gus

Don’t need to discuss much

Just set up a tee-pee

And get mortgage free

Yeah you sleep in a tent Kent

You don’t even pay rent

Or share an apartment

You just listen to me

You purchase a shed Fred

Or an empty plot Dot

Or go somewhere else Else

And get a proper property

11/2/2019 THE LOVE SONG OF J ALFRED TREEFROG

 

Though the night was black as pitch

The rain as thick as syrup

We heard a small vibrato voice

A tree-frog’s cheerful ‘chirrup’

Somewhere in a ponga tree

Giving it his all

He bellowed out a trilling song

His hopeful mating call

All night long the rain came down

And all night long he sang

So when the dawn broke cold and wet

I felt a certain pang

For still the frog was calling out

His ‘anyone out there?’ sound

Despite his plaintive plea for love

No soul-mate had he found

Another day of constant rain

Forming garden ponds

Weighing down the bows and leaves

And saturating fronds

Another night of dripping cloud

Obscured the moon’s faint glow

Cloaked everything in darkness

And soaked the world below

Another round of serenades

Filled the neighbourhood

And then his croak fell silent

He’d done everything he could

But nestled in the ponga tree

As clouds began to clear

A pair of shiny tree frogs

With grins from ear to ear

For them no night was now too long

For them no day too wet

For now two little tree-frogs sang

A ribbetting duet

 

11/2/2019 OUT OF THE FRYING PAN

Nelson’s tall column of grey smoke

Grows ever wider and higher

While lock, stock and valley and hillside

Are smothered and ravaged by fire

 

Tinder dry grassland and forests

Primed by the wind and the sun

Are snack-food for hungry wild fires

Devouring all on the run

 

Pilots are stretched to the limit

Dousing the flames from the air

While on the ground crews are exhausted

And families are racked with despair

 

Flare-ups and out-breaks continue

No respite as night closes in

But an all-out community effort

Gives a sense that they’re starting to win

 

Embers and ashes and charcoal

And smouldering pockets and seams

Have fashioned a nightmarish landscape

From what once was a valley of dreams

 

The volatile flames – an inferno

Creating a charred and scarred hell

While in Auckland a Burger King fry-up

Is causing an unpleasant smell

25/2/2019 CAPITAL GAINS

Life is so much harder for

Those with more than one front door

Investing in the rental racquet

Trying to make a tidy packet

What could happen? What’s the worst?

Well say the housing bubble burst

And poorer folk could then afford

A home instead of room and board

Attacks on tax are nothing new

It’s what we Kiwis tend to do

Like pointing out the fiscal pains

Of paying tax on capital gains

Consider this though when you sell

There’s lots you can write-off as well

If you get less than what you paid

Just claim on all the losses made

 

11/3/2019 REGRETS

We always seem to deviate

From the lives we plan

I wish I’d never sang that song

‘Je ne regret rein’

 

We may regret some things we did

So we could brag or boast

But it’s the things we didn’t do

That we regret the most

 

The path we never travelled

Unravelled or explored

The opportunities we missed

Declined or just ignored

 

The chances never taken

The thing we left unsaid

Now agitated by regret

Plays havoc in our head

25/3/2019 DEAL OR NO DEAL BREXIT

I wonder if Brexit

Will take the next exit

Or carry on down the same path

May may be OK

With another delay

But Europe will have the last laugh

 

8/4/2019 A SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT

We just don’t get democracy

Or how it’s s’posed to work

The idea of majority rule

Is such a crazy quirk

 

Just doing what most people want

Is utterly absurd

When only our opinions are

The ones that should be heard

 

You see we’re used to getting

Everything that we demand

Why can’t the voting masses

Simply do as we command

 

We need the whole electorate

To change without delay

Or we’ll stamp our feet and hold our breath

Until we get our way

22/4/2019 NOTRE-DAME

So many names forgotten

From France’s history

But Quasimodo rings a bell

Now tell me wasn’t he

 

Synonymous with Notre dame

Just like Joan of Arc

And Napoleon Bonaparte

They each one left their mark

 

As has this conflagration

That gutted in one day

Eight hundred years of majesty

Where people came to pray

 

A testament to craftsmanship

Standing proud and tall

For centuries its beauty’s been

A sanctuary for all

 

Consumed in an inferno

Ravaged by a fire

But Notre-Dame is not done yet

Her spirit will inspire

 

A billion pledged to resurrect

This monument to God

Not quite so much for Paris’s

Forsaken and down-trod

6/5/2019 DUCK SHOOTING SEASON

Duck shooting season keeps alive

Our yen for killing things

Our semi-automatics are

The wind beneath their wings

Guns and ammo are not cheap

Ducks cost a lot to kill

But you can train a good gun dog

To always grab the bill

 

20/5/2019 THEY'RE DREAMIN

 

The experts got it wrong again

Regards our nearest neighbour

This time no new prime minister

The Liberals won not Labour

 

What does this mean for Kiwis

Living in the lucky nation?

A fair go or continuance

Of their exploitation?

 

For even-handed treatment they

Can only hope and pray

But it seems ‘tell them they’re dreamin’ will

Remain the Aussie way?

 

 

 

3/6/2019 GREAT ADVENTURES

 

They say from little acorns

Mighty oaks do grow

And from tiny tributaries

Mighty rivers flow

 

They say an epic journey

Begins with just one step

And every great adventure

Begins with saying yep

 

17/6/2019 I SPY

 

I spy with my little eye

On something beginning with you

Somebody said that you might be a red

So we’re watching your family too

 

You may be annoyed or bit paranoid

That our little eye high in the sky

Keeps us abreast of the things you like best

Not just what you say, wear or buy

 

We know what you drink, we know what you think

We know that you’re wondering how?

We see all you do, here’s proof that it’s true

You’re reading this poem right now!

 

1/7/2019 FAIR PLAY

 

Professionals and amateurs

Went at it head to head

Those on high paid contracts should

Have won, but no, instead

 

The men emerged victorious

Heroes of the hour

So let’s give them some plaudits

Let’s hear it for ‘Boy power’

 

They demonstrated equal skills

On and off the ball

Their pay-gap due to gender though

Still not addressed at all

 

Work of equal value should

Be paid with equal pay

Or do the goalposts shift each time

The gap’s the other way?

15/7/2019 A TESTAMENT TO CHARACTER

 

Where Wisden’s is the bible

A testament-like tome

Some thought our Kane un-able

To guide the Black Caps home

A David and Goliath type

Encounter in the cricket

Saw an Indian exodus

On a sticky wicket

The bookies had the Indians

Well favoured to prevail

Their crunching of the numbers though

Was all to no avail

Their ‘Lords’ prayer’ truly answered where

They’ll face the fancied Brits

Our bowlers though will do the job

And blitz the Brits to bits

29/7/2019 HOT STUFF

 

A hail storm halts the Tour de France

Apparently that’s rare

But is it global warming

Or is it all hot air?

 

It’s heating up in Britain

For most that’s something new

As London topped at thirty-eight

The Irish team did too

 

Plus Boris’s house-warming

As he got his heart’s desire

Would’ve bumped some temperatures

Up a little higher

 

12/8/2019 SAVING THE WORLD

 

While vegans seek to save the world

By cutting out all meat

That doesn’t mean they have the right

To say what we should eat

Admittedly some harm is done

By what we eat each day

But that harm is to others so

In our minds that’s OK

The innocent may suffer sure

That’s well understood

But even if some lives are lost

It’s for the greater good

Their facts are irrefutable

Their arguments make sense

I don’t dispute the science

However, in defense

Let me cite an argument

That has been given voice

Others have no say since it’s

Our body – it’s our choice

23/8/2019 THE PAPERBOY

Morning’s dawning glory glows

As from the East horizon grows

A sense of light and life that flows

And gently washes over those

Who lie asleep in sweet repose

With waterbottle toasting toes

Roundly curled in foetal form

’Neath duvet womb secure and warm

Snuggled deep in blissful bed

Feathered pillow under head

While outside to the tui’s sound

The paperboy is on his round

 

09/09/19 SOMETHING IN THE WATER

 

For those in hurricane Dorian’s path

Climate change got real

The Amazon still burns and leaves

A scar that will not heal

 

In Hong Kong protests carry on

Despite a full repeal

In Britain there’s dissention over

Bo-Jo’s no-deal deal

 

The Loch Ness monster’s DNA

Suggests it is an eel

And Team New Zealand’s mono-foil

Had its big reveal

 

A pilot scheme was introduced

To give school kids a meal

While laws to clean up water saw

Polluters squirm and squeal

 

Peter Ellis passed away

Before his last appeal

But there’s good news for the All Blacks

As their game-plan moves congeal

23/9/2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP

 

The ‘A’ grade rugby world cup

Kicked off this week in style

All other news takes second place

If only for a while

The Russians got the old bum’s rush

Japan put on a pile

The French found Argentina’s team

Something of a trial

The Aussies ground down Fiji

Despite their guts and guile

And the All Blacks beat the Springboks

That’s gotta make you smile

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

POEMS OF THE WEEK 2018

1/1/2018 STUFFED

I know a jolly fat man

Who wears a thin disguise

To break and enter houses

And fill up on mince pies

 

It isn’t just the turkey that

Gets stuffed on Christmas day

We all revert to gluttony

In putting food away

 

From full on breakfast banquet

To Christmas dinner feast

The eating turns a waif-like man

Into a bloated beast

 

Non-stop sweets and nibbles

Nuts to crack and crunch

Followed by a sweet mince pie

Then something light for lunch

 

Champagne ham cooked on the bone

A salad – for a laugh

A creamy avocado, bar its stone

Cut clean in half

 

Lettuce leaves and radishes

Green peppers and shallots

Tomatoes and yes broccoli

And onion dips in pots

 

And then of course the main event

The proper sit-down job

With everything imaginable

Shoved into your gob

 

Carrots, spuds and parsnips

Brussel-sprouts and peas

And turkey lashed with gravy

Is always sure to please

 

Slacken off the trouser belt

To fit another course

Flaming, steaming pudding

With brandy-butter sauce

 

Irish coffee with a nip

Christmas cake with icing

A box of dates or figs on plates

Are all just too enticing

 

Perhaps a chocolate orange

And then a little nap

Before some cheese and crackers

Just to fill that final gap

 

At drinking we’re no better

Spirits, wine and beer

And what will be the outcome?

– Same again next year

 

A time of celebration

And helping those in need

Has turned into an orgy

Of gastronomic greed

 

Conspicuous consumption is

The only way to go

As bank accounts diminish

And our waste-lines bulge and grow

 

We may not have the holly

Or the jolly ‘ho ho ho’

But we’ve all become fat Santas

Waiting for a friendly tow

15/1/2018 GARGOYLES

Water sloshes and galumphs

Against the harbour wall

The jobbled tide is on the rise

And spoiling for a brawl

 

Its brackish voice is guttural

And full of glottal stops

Licking at the slips it sips

And gobbles up the slops

 

Sloshing and galumphing

To a rhythm of their own

Random waves in peaks and troughs

Sigh and snort and moan

 

Their sound – no song of Sirens

’Tis more the haunted howls

Of long disgruntled gargoyles

And the gurgle of their bowels

 

Sloshing and galumphing

Galumphing underground

Gurgling and gargling

Until the tide turns round

29/1/2018 HEAT WAVE GOODBYE

This summer’s been a corker

With orca in the harbour

And hottest months on record

According to the barber

 

Who seems to know a thing or two

On stuff that really matters

Like what to name the baby

And Pakistan’s best batters

 

And if we think it’s too hot now

Beware the golden rule

It always gets much hotter

Once the kids go back to school

12/2/2018 WHAT’S GOING DOWN

Around the world stuff’s going down

Just in the week that was

A mass of bombs in Syria

A hot air balloon in ‘Oz’

 

In Taiwan it was buildings

As earthquakes struck again

In Pyeong Yang it’s officials

With a norovirus strain

 

Stocks and shares went plummeting

– Investors sold a pup

Be grateful we live where we do

Where stuff keeps going up

26/2/2018 CYCLONE GITA

Cyclone Gita ‘gotta’ ‘lotta’

People quite upset

With vengeful, violent, viscous winds

And days of constant wet

 

Seas were caused to lash our shores

Some floods cut regions off

Water, water everywhere

But not a drop to quaff

 

Power lost to many parts

Tourists trapped by slips

Panic buying in the shops

Supplies brought in by ships

 

Frightened at the prospect

Of being isolated

Some found the storm so scary that

They self evacuated

12/3/2018 THE ESSENCE OF NEW ZEALAND

It seems that the proverbial ’s

About to hit the fan

As mayors around the country seek

A comprehensive plan

 

That’s big enough and blunt enough

To knock the you-know-what

Out of every ‘freedom camper’

Whether they’re at fault or not

 

Calling ‘defecators’ – ‘freedom campers’

Tars the lot

And just fining them for sleeping

Shows how mercenary we’ve got

26/3/2018 FIFTY EIGHT

Facebook coughs to garnering

By underhanded means

A pair of has-beens hacks their way

Around the Northland greens

 

Fonterra loses millions

Plunket counts the beans

Middlemore’s new culture

Is causing public scenes

 

Another species goes extinct

No more rhino genes

England out for fifty-eight

Our bowlers were machines

9/4/2018 THE CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER

Judged on age, ethnicity

And gender’s just so bad

So much for the dream that

Martin Luther King once had

 

Demographic profiles

That single people out

Avoid accountability

But give the bigots clout

 

Simply crunch the numbers

Big data doesn’t lie

The evidence is evident

And here’s the reason why

 

Those most likely to employ

Prejudicial views

Will work in immigration

Wear ties and shine their shoes

23/4/2018 THE BUBBLE-ONIANS

Those whose views conflict with ours

Deserve to be berated

They’re ill-informed and brainwashed

And need re-educated

 

It’s ‘they’ who live in bubbles

Never you nor I

It’s ‘they’ who cannot see the truth

And ‘they’ who live the lie

 

Their discrimination is

Offensive and absurd

Whereas, ours is fine and just

And based on stuff we’ve heard

 

They must be taught to tolerate

And made to understand

If they can’t be inclusive

They’ll be ostracized and banned

 

The trouble with free-speech is that

Free-thinkers may abuse it

I’m all for hypocrisy

Except when others use it

7/5/2018 BREAK A LEG

 

There’s drama in Dunedin

A tragedy’s in play

The board have acted promptly

In calling it a day

 

The curtain falling swiftly

Not phased in over stages

The old ‘To be or not to be’

Now no-longer rages

 

No more story-telling

Or social boundaries crossed

A fiscal risk assessment means

Our fortune has been lost

 

It all comes down to bums on seats

And theatre hasn’t got ’em

But actors know that bottom lines

Come out of Shakespeare’s Bottom

 

21/5/2018 MARKLE DEBACLE

Isn’t it funny

How some can hear ‘yanni’

With others it’s ‘laurel’ that’s clear

But rainy or sunny

You can bet for all money

Your forecast’s the one you won’t hear

 

There’s been a debacle

About Mr Markle

Not giving his daughter away

But she, with a sparkle

Explained it’s not our-call

We just hope his heart is OK

 

The outlook looked bleak

For the mild and the meek

With workers unpaid for their time

But the budget this week

Gave wellbeing a tweak

In parliament’s own pantomime

4/6/2018 GYPSY DAY

They say today is Gypsy day

And all across the land

With military precision

In manoeuvres all well planned

 

Farmers and share-milkers

Are putting on head scarves

And selling wooden clothes pegs

As they shift their cows and calves

 

They’re setting up their caravans

Where if you’re feeling bold

You can cross their palms with silver

To have your fortune told

 

Tarot cards and crystal balls

Give insights – but beware

Lest mycoplasma bovis is

The only thing they share

 

18/6/2018 SHOW TIME

Roll up, roll up it’s underway

The greatest show on Earth

No not the national field days

Nor Jacinda giving birth

 

We’re talking world cup football

The truly global game

The passion and the drama

The glory and the shame

 

It’s not a demonstration of

Some sport that’s on the up

It’s not a mere Olympics

It’s the actual World Cup

 

Ok so we’re not in it

And it’s not on ‘free-to-air’

But at least there’s ‘squeaky bum time’

For fervent fans who care

 

2/7/2018 GIFTING

 

The P.M. was most gracious

In calling it an honour

When their little baby had

A name bestowed upon her

 

But no-one beats the British

When it comes to gifting names

An act of generosity

Instead shot down in flames

 

Their largess was unbounded

In gifting names to places

Apparently it’s different though

From putting names to faces

 

They’re lovin’ livin’ in Levin

Now that’s the attitude

They’re grateful for their gift

To not be would be rude

16/7/2018 FREE SPEECH

 

We live in a democracy

Where human rights are clear

Free-speech for those who want to say

The things we want to hear

 

Those with controversial views

(That’s ones that we don’t share)

Should not be given venues

Nor broadcast time on air

 

Let’s censor and suppress them

And the things they want say

Let’s gang-up on those bullies

And bend them to our way

 

Let’s not resort to reasoning

Or rational debate

What we need’s compassion

Not speeches fuelled by hate

 

Let’s keep one eye wide open

Let’s listen with one ear

Let’s all conform together

And not give in to fear

 

I can’t abide those hate-speech types

Where do they get their gall

They fill me with such loathing

We ought to ban them all

 

There’s no place here for hate-speech

And for what it’s worth

Anyone promoting it

Should be shot at birth

 

Let’s stamp out violent tendencies

With torture if need be

What we need’s more tolerance

And less hypocrisy

 

30/7/2018 TOO MANY BAGGINSIS

 

No plastic bags for poor old Joe

To line his litter bin

Or carry avocado with

Or wrap his dog roll in

 

There’s plenty though inside of whales

If he’s prepared to swim

We’re talking Joe not Jonah though

So they’re no use to him

 

But strewn around our countryside

From mountain top to beach

Are bags and bags of plastic bags

Some in easy reach

 

So go and grab a bag or two

And help with conservation

Then use them for your rubbish

It’s a win – win situation

 

13/8/2018 TAKE A BREAK

 

While P.C. academia

Gives Don Brasch the bird

And those who are against free-speech

Insist on being heard

 

Out here on the harbour

Floating in my boat

I idle past Iona

And make a mental note

 

And while the trolls are fabricating

Next week’s fake-news fibs

The rippled waves are tickling

My dinghy’s rimu ribs

 

A winter sun is beaming down

And dancing on the water

Not a care in all the world

No breeze from any quarter

 

Forest-fires, earthquake deaths

Heat waves, droughts and more

The horrors of a troubled world

Are tethered to the shore

 

Sometimes to keep an even keel

You need to take a break

Sometimes instead of daily gruel

You need a piece of cake

27/8/2018 NATIONAL POETRY DAY 2018

 

Over in Australia

Top jobs are on the line

Unless the Wallabies soon win

The coach may well resign

 

And the office of Prime Minister

Has also caused concern

As anyone who wants it

Is entitled to a turn

 

Back home it’s National Poetry Day

That time when once a year

People quote a line or two

From poets they hold dear

 

And bards and versifiers

Emerge from diverse places

With screeds of paper in their hands

And hopeful looking faces

 

And festivals and open mic’s

Sprout up across our nation

And souls are bared and traded for

The chance of an ovation

 

And RNZ God bless its socks

Continues to promote

Eloquent, erudite poetry

And verses what I wrote

10/9/2018 THE CASE FOR GREATER SCREENING

 

The lack of extradition has

Left Scotland Yard frustrated

While Russia’s claim

They’re not to blame’s

Got people animated

 

‘Despicable’s the only word

For the Novichock attack

At first it seemed

It would be deemed

Too tough a case to crack

 

But images on film confirm

Some spook’s opinions

It was down to

The G.R.U.

Or at least Gru’s minions

24/09/2018 SUFFRAGE

 

A century and a quarter past

Almost to the day

A special group of Kiwis

Showed the world the way

 

Their actions would be heralded

As history-making news

They took New Zealand to the fore

With forward thinking views

 

Their deeds are in the history books

A global first by us

And yet we overlook their part

When making all the fuss

 

Nine months of celebrations

And nothing has been heard

In praise of those who passed the bill

No not a single word

 

Perhaps because those pioneers

Who gave the vote back then

To their fellow women were

God-fearing, old, white men

 

Overlooked entirely

And without remorse

Is that unconscious bias

Or just par for the course?

8/10/2018 BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME

 

They’re going to build a prison

For those who suffer guilt

For those who build the prison-

A work-camp will be built

 

But those who build the work-camp

Will need accommodation

Perhaps they plan on building some

With roads and sanitation

 

But who will build that housing?

And where will they be housed?

It seems a sleeping giant

Ouroboros has been roused

 

More workers mean more worker’s huts

And somewhere to site ’em

And then so-on and so-forth

It goes ad infinitum

 

Is this the ‘egg and chicken’ plan

That experts are espousing?

More housing for the builders

More builders for the housing

22/10/2018 BURNING BRIDGES

Last week the Chinese said that they

Would fund an Auckland road

This week they’re funding bridges

What’s next? A moral code?

 

Forget about the sale of land

From sea to mountain ridges

Forget about our aquifers

That’s water under bridges

 

They’re selling our democracy

To those who have most cash

And calling it diversity

The bane of Franks and Brasch

 

And then the ‘he said – she said’ row

With confidences breached

No evidence provided but

Conclusions have been reached

5/11/2018 HALLOWEEN

This week we had the spectre

Of monsters in our streets

Demanding goods with menaces

What they call ‘trick or treats’

 

The Duke and Duchess wowed the crowd

And all were glad they came

Our media had trouble though

With Megan’s married name

 

Our airports over charged us

There’s lots of that about

While immigration did its job

Of ruling good folk out

 

To pay the fee for residency

Can be quite complex

Our government though, apparently

Is still accepting cheques

19/11/2018 DAISIES

In gardens of remembrance

Before a sea of crosses

We stood in solemn silence

Acknowledging the losses

 

A gun salute resounded as

Elevens all aligned

A hundred years observance

Since the Armistice was signed

 

In Flanders fields red poppies grew

While here white daisies shone

A latticework of innocence

Mourning those who’d gone

 

We heard the bugle call them home

The last post brought forth tears

They shall not be forgotten now

Nor in the coming years

3/12/2018 BANNED

The kneejerk act of banning

Is now a social norm

Free-speech in universities

Police in uniform

 

Private cars from Queen’s street

Beggars from shop doors

Stand-alone post offices

Plastic bags and straws

 

Huawai’s 5 G network

Prize-givings in our schools

And lupins in our riverbeds

Are all against the rules

 

So’s sleeping in our airports

And all across the land

The act of freedom camping

Has been banished barred and banned

 

Like calling Christmas ‘Christmas’

And they haven’t finished yet

For even Santa’s gender now

Is coming under threat!

17/12/2018 ONE QUICK QUESTIONS

As Christmas fast approaches

And families feel stressed

There’s still some ‘one quick questions’

That need to be addressed

 

Does Santa speak Te Reo?

Or just her native Dutch?

Are workers paid too little?

Or CEO’S too much?

 

Will there be any ‘Tip-Top’

When we see the summer sun?

Does ‘TradeMe’ have a ‘Buy-now’ price?

Or will their auction run?

 

Will ‘Well-being’ indices

Gauge how much we smile?

Will fiscal growth or rainbows

Make our lives worthwhile?

31/12/2018 SANTA'S GENDER

So Santa can be female too

Well this is news to some

Not least of all Saint Nick himself

Who’ll want to know how come?

 

His history has been stripped away

His manhood undermined

And without express consent

His gender re-assigned

 

He’s not the first to have this done

Nor will he be the last

The growing list of victims

Has its roots back in the past

 

It happened with Ghost Busters

The Milky-Bar Kid too

Sherlock Holmes’s Watson

And the Time-lord Doctor Who

 

But these were all just characters

Not people who were real

Now they’re changing history

To suit the way they feel

 

And Christmas trees around the world

Are being decorated

With the balls of Santa’s

Who’ve been emasculated

8/1/2018 SKYLINE

The Skyline is a jellyfish

That drifts above the dross

Of human habitation

Wilderness’s loss

 

Drawing wide-eyed tourists

To satisfy a need

It dangles noduled tentacles

To catch an easy feed

22/1/2018 RATA LEAVES

Rata has the rounded leaves

Leathery and thick

Pohutakawa shiny ones

So pointed they could prick

5/2/2018 SUPERMOON

A super, blue, come blood-red moon

Portends the end is nigh

An omen-like maroon balloon

Hangs in the hot night sky

 

The choice is either wilt or swoon

As temperatures climb high

The rain can’t come a day too soon

To end the drawn-out dry

 

The sound it makes – a welcome tune

As southern cities fry

For Burnside it’s a special boon

As flames are dowsed then die

19/2/2018 BIG AIR

Spotty youths just out of school

With hyphenated names

Are running hot and looking cool

At the winter games

 

They’re grabbing massive amplitudes

Popping off the lip

Stomping sick ten-eighties or

A goofy Haakan flip

 

They’re boning out spaghetti air

Nose-bonking on the rails

And talking in a foreign tongue

While boosting sponsor’s sales

 

Nursing broken necks and legs

Defying gravity

They tumble twist and turn towards

Olympic destiny

5/3/2018 THE DESIDERATA OF RESIDENT DATA

I sense a census in the air

An information storm

They sent a package though, that has

No normal, formal form

 

They’re doing it on line this time

A mighty I.T. mission

The digital brainchild of some

Sadistic statistician

 

Automated answer phones

High tech access codes

Fill it in at any time

They must be saving loads

 

They claim our privacy’s secure

Re: who, what, when and where

But I’ve never met a data yet

That didn’t want to share

19/3/201018 STEPHEN HAWKING

He delved into the universe

Unravelling with ease

The origins of time and space

And singularities

 

He shone as bright as any star

But for too brief a time

His story one of triumph

A theorist sublime

 

A body wracked by atrophy

His mind though would not yield

Farewell to Stephen Hawking

A giant in his field

2/4/2018 EASTER PASSION

Some get ‘cross’ at Easter

Some go retail mad

Both believe that there’s a greater

‘Prophet’ to be had

 

Forget about your chocolate eggs

And the Easter bunny

We’re talking three Ed Sheeran gigs

That’s money, money, money

 

A time of deep reflection

To worship what you will

Commerce, Christ or chocolate

Be sure to have your fill

16/4/2018 GOOD AS GOLD

Work and Income’s searching for

Ideas that might make sense

They’re canvassing the homeless

As their plight is now in tents

 

Auckland copped a blackout

The Silver Ferns some flack

There’s a gold-rush on the Gold Coast with

Success for some in black

 

Jacinda’s got the good oil on

Black-gold and gas at sea

While Trump and Putin are about

To kick off world war three

30/4/2018 TIME'S UP

It’s time that clocks with moving hands

Were taken out of schools

UK kids can’t read them

They haven’t got the tools

 

It’s not the Roman numerals

That have them so perplexed

It’s anything that’s analogue

That’s got them stressed and vexed

 

Next it will be literature

That has the kids complaining

Written text will have to go

Just picture books remaining

 

Maybe I’m just ‘old-school’

But preachers used to preach

Builders used to build

And teachers used to teach

 

They could impart some ‘learnings’ to

These pupils in their prime

If they simply spoke ‘Emoji’

And they only had the time

 

 

14/5/2018 WHAT REALY GETS US ANNOYED

The problem now with climate change

Is it’s already here

Once a century weather events

Are happening every year

 

Floods and droughts and hurricanes

Cyclones and tornados

Landslides, forest fires

Earthquakes and volcanos

 

Acid rain and tidal waves

And melting Arctic ice

Mean the party’s over and

It’s time to pay the price

 

There’s plastic in our water ways

Rivers, lakes and seas

We’re burning coal and oil and gas

And chopping down the trees

 

Fishing beds and ocean floors

Are plundered and destroyed

But mess around with ‘Corro’

And boy we get annoyed

 

28/5/2018 A BREED APART

To see the flags a-flying

Over Britain’s sceptred isles

To see the cheering crowds

That stretch for miles and miles

 

To see the sunny faces

With warm and friendly smiles

The ‘A’ list of celebrity

In fashion’s latest styles

 

The flowers of the commonwealth

Embroidered into lace

Three future kings of England

Assembled in one place

 

A fanfare played on trumpets

That scales the castle walls

An aria of golden notes

Sung in hallowed halls

 

The gleaming household cavalry

A regal horse-drawn carriage

The pageantry, the majesty

A fairy-tale type marriage

 

A dashing prince, a blushing bride

A sky of blue above

A wedding dress, a tender kiss

A couple bathed in love

 

Does that not bring a sense of pride

A stirring of the blood

Does that not bring a throaty lump

Or cause the eyes to flood

 

Surely that must soften

The harshest cynic’s heart

If not then they remain at best

A sorry breed apart

 

 

11/6/2018 THE GYRE

The South Pacific gyre

Seems unlikely to inspire

Someone to swim across it but no wait

 

An enterprising chap

Will soon swim through all the crap

In an effort that will surely demonstrate

 

That our oceans – once so pure

Are in grave need of a cure

To save them from their sad polluted state

 

If we don’t do something drastic

Then this rubbish dump of plastic

Will exceed all of the ocean’s fish in weight!

25/6/2018 SOLSTICE BIRTH

The Earth spins on its axis as

It circumscribes the sun

Its tilt toward our summer months

Has only just begun

 

Today’s the winter solstice

Tonight’s the longest night

From here on in we celebrate

The coming of more light

 

And also the arrival of

Our leader’s new-born child

May love and joy surround them as

The media go wild

 

Today’s the winter solstice

Great forces are at play

For any natal chart no doubt

A most auspicious day

 

 

9/7/2018 AGAINST THE ODDS

 

The world has watched its nations

Win or lose their games

Some heroes have departed

Whilst others make their names

 

This week though just one football team

Has made the whole world smile

Their fans have shown just what it means

To go the extra mile

 

Never have such underdogs

With all hope swept away

Overcome such odds to win

In such an awesome way

 

Ten days within a Thailand cave

Flooded by the rain

A coach and his young team survive

To savour life again

 

23/7/2018 THE QUEEN’S ENGLISH

 

World leaders had a lot to say

About their recent meetings

Some used subtle symbolism

Others simple tweetings

 

The Queen has her own language

Encoded in her jewels

Her style’s beyond reproach but is

Her broach a breach of rules?

 

A genius who only speaks

One language is quite rare

But Donald Trump’s exceptional

A man beyond compare

 

We all know he’s a genius

He tells us so each day

The language that he’s mastered though?

He would, then would not say

 

6/8/2018 WHAT DREAMS MAY COME

 

First penmanship went by the wayside

Then keyboards took over with screens

And now we’re about to surrender

To voice operated machines

 

If writing is left to the tweeters

Will its meaning be too hard to catch?

If grammar goes out of the window

Will her nighty get caught on the latch?

 

If texting becomes the last bastion

And spelling a personal choice

Will language be given a hearing?

Or oratory given a voice?

 

Will the future become too predictive?

As binary starts to take charge

Will we dance to the wild algorithms

Of the soulless computers at large?

 

Will our avatars have their own profiles?

And presence long after we’re dead?

Will poems be penned with emotion?

Or simply assembled instead?

20/8/2018 R.E.S.P.E.C.T. ARETHA FRANKLIN

 

The choice of presidents has passed

The voice of blues is gone

But rest in peace Aretha

Your legacy lives on

 

She made a congregation soar

Her heart and soul in sync

She made a generation move

She helped a nation think

 

For in the fight for civil rights

She played a vital role

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

To the queen of soul

3/9/2018 DAFFODIL DAY

 

As blossom blooms and cuckoos sing

The yellow trumpets herald spring

 

Their symbolism on this day

Is one of hope and that some way

 

Researchers will soon find a cure

To end the pain that most endure

 

At cancer’s cruel and callous hand

Let’s wipe this evil from our land

 

Let’s focus all our energies

To put an end to this disease

 

With loved-ones lost but held in mind

We donate now to help mankind

 

It’s nice to know that someone cares

Each flower bought and worn declares –

 

A brighter future is in store

And spring brings light and warmth and for –

 

The ghosts of those who suffered ills –

A host of golden daffodils

17/9/2018 A BIRD IN THE HAND

 

They say a bird that’s in the hand

Is worth two in the bush

Police are urged to prosecute

Protesters told to shush

 

Politicians and police

And state broadcasters too

Have found a technicality

That they want to pursue

 

Possession of a road-kill bird’s

Against the law you see

So that should be the focus

And the media agree

 

Unproven claims of bludgeoning

By unnamed scientists

Now have ten-eighty protesters

Described as terrorists

1/10/2018 THE IN CROWD

Typewriters are back in vogue

Tiger’s back in form

Jacinda’s in the USA

Kicking up a storm

 

The number of inquiries

Has increased by half

Bill Bailey’s in the country

Making people laugh

 

Waka-jumping’s in the house

The Green’s are in despair

Mico plasma bovis

And spring are in the air

 

New slang words in the dictionary

Vaping’s in our schools

Ten-eighty found in eight dead cows

But no-one broke the rules

 

The Panel’s in position

As informed as can be

Get in with the in crowd

It’s the only place to be

15/10/2018 VALUE FOR MONEY

Pedestrian-crossings sexualised

Fat-shaming put to shame

Police police police-cadets

And find them not to blame

 

A funding boost for girls in sport

Our para-olympians too

A woman-only honours list

A feminised Dr. Who

 

A massive surplus posted

Loan-sharking gets a tweak

Christchurch gets a library and

In other news this week

 

It’s just the name they’re selling

And it’s just the name they buy

It’s money in the bank see

How those dollars fly

 

As good as printing money

So where’s the art world headed?

I’d like to tell you but I can’t

The last verse has been shredded

29/10/2018 THERE’S NOTHINK LIKE A MODIVADED NOOS WRIDER

Lisping ‘esses’, rolling ‘rrs’

And never-you-mind the vowels

And missing ‘L’s as I recall

Were causing frowns and scowls

 

And whither went the ‘w’ sound

Gone from all four ‘korters

Like the ‘y’ in ‘pooma

Ignored by sports by reporters

 

Gone from ‘noos’ and ‘rezzoomay

Gone without a trace

To use instead in ‘queue-pons’ where

They’re clearly out of place

 

On T.V. Duke’s pronounced as ‘Juke

No joke, and if you please

Everywhere you turn these days

‘t’s are mouthed as ‘d’s

 

I’m almost ‘modivaded

To wride a ‘ledder to

Our main ‘polidical‘pardies

To tell them what to do

 

Enunciation is the art

Of mind and mouth in sync

And yet we tell our children that

They can be ‘anythink

 

There’s ‘somethink’ wrong with how we speak

But ‘nothink’ we can’t fix

By ‘geeing’ up our teachers so’s

We’s don’(t) all soun(d) like hicks

12/11/2018 MAGENTA GENTLEMEN

Mothers kissed their sons goodbye

Fathers shook their hands

Not knowing if they’d live or die

In far off foreign lands

 

Not knowing that beyond the beat

Of patriotic drumming

A madness had awoken and

A world of change was coming

 

For them a great adventure

While wives stood broken-hearted

An innocence were left behind

As flesh and blood departed

 

From life and death decisions made

On parliamentary benches

To landing-beaches’ crimson tides

And gas-filled front-line trenches

 

Through darkened days and flair-lit nights

Through wasteland wrapped in wire

Through mortar screams and howling shells

Through rain and ice and fire

 

Where blades of steel would run them through

And heavy guns would bomb them

They did not go to give their lives

Their lives were taken from them

 

In restless sleep, in ankle deep

In ordered waves of Hell

For half a chain of barren soil

In vain, in pain they fell

 

For God and king and country

A sacrifice was made

In choking clouds of mustard gas

The price for peace was paid

 

Through Christmas after Christmas

The gun’s relentless thunder

Would shake their inner being

And rent their flesh asunder

 

Deafened minds and blinded souls

Outstretched arms on shoulders

Shuffled through the smoke of war

Mere silhouettes of soldiers

 

No snowy peaks, no sunny shores

No blue waves capped with foam

So far away on knees they’d pray

And think of those at home

 

No family meals, no barn-dance reels

No scent of loved one’s hair

Instead the stench of human waste

And corpses filled the air

 

No tui sang, no church bell rang

No school yard filled with laughter

All bridges burnt, no lessons learnt

No hope for man here after

 

Grey on cold gun-metal grey

No green, no skies of blue

But from these fields of leaded mud

The blood red poppies grew

 

Rise up magenta gentlemen

Rise up and raise your heads

Stand proud in random rank and file

While history weaves its threads

 

Wefts and warps a tapestry

A picture of the past

From factories to infirmaries

Where soldiers dyed and cast

 

Were played with by old generals

Their standards holding fast

Flags of many colours

Coldly nailed to conflict’s mast

 

Rise up magenta gentlemen

And let your spirit soar

Lest we forget your sacrifice

Or what you made it for.

26/11/2018 VOCAL FRY
10/12/2018 NATURE'S ART

Nature practices her art

By sculpturing the land

With elemental forces

But on a scale so grand

That we can hardly comprehend

Let alone admire

The living work she carves and molds

With wind and rain and fire

We only see the tragedy

Of the fiscal cost

Our life span is too limited

To see what’s truly lost

The bigger picture is too big

Our focus is too narrow

And so despite the planet’s cries

We push our human barrow

24/12/2018 MUSICAL CHAIRS

The RNZ end-of-year party

Has music and feasting and games

Like musical chairs for presenters

Or guessing the CEO’s aims

 

As the dance for more funding continues

And everyone puts on a show

Producers are all busy flossing

As Wallace and Jim ‘dosey-doe’

 

They’re fare-welling Jim from the panel

As he moves on to Sunday a.m.

While Wallace will be his replacement

In a merry-go-round stratagem

 

Good luck to you both in the New Year

And thanks for your service to date

Merry Christmas to you and The Panel

And to all, as we now celebrate

POEMS OF THE WEEK 2017

2/1/2017 OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS

 

It’s a good old-fashioned Christmas

With yuletide revelry

The rum’s been spliced

The vegies diced

The Queen’s speech on T.V.

 

The city streets are empty

The camping grounds are packed

Some fancy plates

A crate of Speight’s

The turkey’s been attacked

 

By uncles aunts and cousins

Gran and grandpa too

And mum and dad

Were just as bad

Like feed-time at the zoo

 

All went back for seconds

While dad dished out advice

The Christmas pud’

Was flaming good

The sherry very nice

 

The dining done and dusted

The drinking under way

And then a nap

Beneath a cap

Before some outdoor play

 

Anyone for rounders

Or cricket on the beach

The balls been whacked

The crackers cracked

The summer sun’s a peach

 

A good old-fashioned Christmas

With sunset turning red

Sweet treats to eat

And sunburnt feet

And talk till time for bed

16/1/2017 FISHPOND GARDEN

I.O.T.W.2017-1-16

A picket fence, a garden gate

A ring of shrubs and trees

Surround the fishpond garden where

Content, I sit at ease

 

Beneath the shady maple tree

Beneath the graceful larch

Where golden honeysuckle blooms

Festoon my gateway arch

 

A flood of honeysuckle scent

Descends from floral jewels

And permeates the summer air

With swirling perfumed pools

 

The fantails play, the tuis sing

The bees alight upon

A foxglove or a rambling rose

One moment there then gone

 

The goldfish hover silently

Within their water world

Basking in the solar rays

As morning is unfurled

 

They watch the dance of dragonflies

And water-boatmen glide

And dream of mighty oceans

At least ten meters wide

 

A picket fence, a garden gate

A ring of shrubs and trees

Surround the fishpond garden where

Content, I sit at ease

 

30/1/2017 MIND TRAVEL

I.O.T.W.2017-01-30

All you need’s a hammock

And a blue sky and you’ll find

That you don’t need an aeroplane

To travel in your mind

 

All you need’s a memory

Or an imagination

And you can travel instantly

To any destination

 

Lying in my hammock

In my garden in the south

I could be in Bermuda

Or Bangkok or Taeiri Mouth

 

Adelaide or Mexico

Stockholm or Tibet

Buenos Aires or Bejing

New York or better yet

 

Somewhere in the great outdoors

A mountain out of reach

Or in a forest clearing

Or a river or a beach

 

Or lying in a meadow

Full of rabbits running free

Or on a wooden schooner

Heading out to sea

 

Your mind can take you anywhere

That you may care to roam

And when you’ve finished travelling

You simply come back home

 

Gazing at infinity

From any given place

Opens up a universe

Of endless time and space

 

13/2/2017 SUN SET

I.O.T.W.2017-02-13

The glory of the evening sun

Setting in the west

The story of the day is done

Its saga put to rest

 

An eiderdown of cloud draws in

The sky is painted red

The pillowed hills hold dreams within

All trials are put to bed

 

The gentle scent of jasmine drifts

And dances through the air

A sense of deep contentment lifts

All spirits from despair

 

A blackbird’s piped soliloquy

Is music to the soul

In perfect time and harmony

Each part completes the whole

 

27/2/2017 BACK BEACH POETRY TRAIL

I.O.T.W.2017-02-27.JPG

Mr Mayor, honoured guests

Curious passers-by

Assembled throng who’ve come along

Welcome, Haere mai

 

For God and Queen and country

For fellow scribes like you

For this auspicious opening

I’ve penned a line or two

 

A poem for the poets

Of Back beach and beyond

Whose views on views of water

Express a special bond

 

Reflections on the harbour-side

A place we call our own

The way we see the sea and sky

Are set in fired stone

 

Above the water’s margins

Like washed up tidal treasure

Each tile supports its author’s thoughts

Enjoy them at your leisure

 

13/3/2017 SNAP SHOT OF DUNEDIN

Despite the autumn weather

The rugby and the rest

The big news in Dunedin is

Of course the cricket test

 

In the city students swamp

The op-shops and the bars

On the streets the parking spots

Are filled with clapped our cars

 

On the harbour sunlit sails

Await the southern squalls

Behind the plastic stadium

Another wicket falls

27/3/2017 IN AWE OF RAW AURORA

They left from Dunedin

In deed in delight

To view as they flew

On their time-travel flight

 

The magnetic antics

Of Antarctic light

A colourful curtain

Of uncertain height

 

A roar of an engine

A raw autumn night

They saw an aurora

A rare awesome sight

10/4/2017 BIBLICAL FLOOD

 

Down here in the south the weather is fine

Albeit occasionally cool

But our thoughts are with those afflicted by floods

And deluges violent and cruel

 

These one-in-one-hundred-year events

Are happening all of the time

The floods and the quakes, the cyclones and slips

Our planet is well past its prime

 

It’s like an old man with wounds that won’t heal

A fever, a sore back, a cough

Poor circulation, his hair falling out

And once vital parts dying off

 

So where will it end? This global descent

Into climactic mayhem and mud

Is our fate to expire in famine or drought?

Or drown in some biblical flood

24/4/2017 LAST POST

 

Why do we wear the poppies?

Why are the war wreaths laid?

Lest we forget – remember

The sacrifices made

 

From Cape Rienga to the Bluff

From sea to mountain air

From south pacific’s triple star

To Turkey’s Chanuk Bair

 

From God’s own to Gallipoli

At dawn on Anzac day

With bugle draped in history

Let the last post play

 

For those who fell in foreign fields

The countless lost and found

For those who served so gallantly

Let the bugle sound

 

From One Tree Hill to Lone Pine ridge

Round heaven’s starry dome

From peace on Earth to Kingdom come

The bugle calls them home

 

For them we wear the poppies

For them the wreaths are laid

For them we will remember

The sacrifices made

 

8/5/2017 HAVE A WHINE

 

This week our Aussie Kiwis

Were served up on a tray

And Labour’s list of socialists

Had hints of chardonnay

 

Yesterday Prince Phillip said

He’s flagging it away

Today we savour sauvignon

On sauvignon blanc day

 

It’s nice to sit and have a whine

About the state of play

While tomorrow in my mai-mai I

Might have a ‘cold duck’ day

 

22/5/2017 THEM’S THE BREAKS

 

Kit-Kat can’t claim copyright

Over copy-cats

’ Seems they just can’t catch a break

Like those who would catch cats

 

While over in Bermuda

With amorous intent

Ben Ainslie’s little love tap

Has left us with a dent

 

Back home – polluted water is

Reluctantly debated

As field lead levels in some schools

Are classed as elevated

 

Asbestos in our sports fields

An island cloaked in plastic

Forget the petty tinkering

It’s time for something drastic

 

5/6/2017 AT THE RACES

 

They said in May that May may win

In June – a different tune

Now Corbyn who’s been in the bin

May win – we’ll all see soon

 

A win in Indianapolis

Is not what hot Scot got

But twice he walked away from death

Still happy with his lot

 

While in Bermuda who’da thought

There’d be controversy

Involving Team New Zealand as

A beneficiary

 

At the races famous faces

Vie for varied prizes

We follow them fanatically

For comfort or surprises

 

19/6/2017 THE GULLIBLE

 

Algorithms filter out

Opposing points of view

Until you think the whole wide world

Believes the same as you

 

The zealots and the feminists

The left wing and the right

Are self assured and so convinced

It’s them who’ve seen the light

 

You can’t convince the gullible

How gullible they are

They won’t believe a word you say

It’s really quite bizarre

 

Within their echo chambers

Opinions and views

Are stealthily collected and

Fed back to them as news

 

And everyone they meet inside

The bubble where they work

Thinks the same as they do

A synchronistic quirk

 

You can’t convince the gullible

How gullible they are

They won’t believe a word you say

It’s really quite bizarre

 

As if to illustrate my point

Some bigot will object

And claim that I am ill-informed

Or ought to show respect

 

Or worse some middle manager

Will censor at a glance

Anything that’s not in line

Too scared to take the chance

 

You can’t convince the gullible

How gullible they are

They won’t believe a word you say

It’s really quite bizarre

 

3/7/2017 EIGHT - ONE

I.O.T.W.2017-07-03

‘Eight wins to one’ will never mean

What ‘eight – one’ meant before

That score-line reads redemption now

The old mug ours once more

 

Our All Blacks too showed that they are

A team we can rely on

While Lions fans in camper vans

Will need to keep an eye on –

 

Where they park after dark

If they’re not keen on clampers

For common sense does not apply

When fining freedom campers

 

Perhaps they would be better off

Glamping with giraffes

Instead of watching lions

In a cake tin just for laughs

 

17/7/2017 INTERNET OF THINGS

 

Some say they’ll be the death of us

Others – our salvation

That’s why they want us to become

An on-line, network nation

 

The internet of things will bring

A.I. to all machines

A.I. in our devices

Our homes, our cars, our screens

 

One day they will take over

Or leave us in the dark

We’ll all be too dependent on

Big Google, Chrome or spark

 

In rural climbs A.I. still means

A long glove and tight fit

Either way I feel A.I.’ll

Leave us in the short-term-gain scenario

 

31/7/2017 THE MAKING OF AMERICA

 

Let’s make America great again

The way it used to grate

When other republicans ruled the roost

Remember Watergate?

 

If Nixon could’ve had tweeted it

He might have got away

‘I am not a crook’ he said

Imagine that today

 

Then Gerald Ford who pardoned him

After his confession

The unelected president

The worst since the depression

 

Remember Ronald Reagan and

His grasp on world affairs

He thought the trees sucked oxygen

Clean out of mountain airs

 

And now they’re burning fossil fuels

To make things great again

Let’s fire-up the furnaces

And smokescreen out the pain

 

‘No more taxes, read my lips’

George Bush’s famous lie

The CIA and Contra deals

The Saudi money pie

 

And then his son George Dubbya

Whose quotes are still debated

The master of faux pars was so

‘Misunderestimated’

 

He helped ‘put food on families’

Until Katrina hit

It’s hard to find a president

Who’s not been full of himself

 

So let’s not give the liberal left

The U.S. on a plate

Let’s make America great again

The way it used to grate

 

14/8/2017 LLOYD SCOTT

 

A softly spoken humble man

Who found his ‘All Night’ niche

Relating to the average man

The poor or nouveau riche

 

Conversing with his listeners

And often with himself

Occasionally mistaken for

A gnome or garden elf

 

Listeners on their night shifts

And early risers too

All tuned in to his cheerful voice

And he would see us through

 

Through the wee small hours

And darkness we’d agree

To put up with his singing

Just to share his company

 

But be it on the radio

Or through the internet

Grateful kiwis now salute

A friend they never met

 

Embrace the new horizon

Endure the parting tears

Farewell Lloyd Scott and thank you

Enjoy your golden years

 

28/8/2017 DAFFODIL DAY

I.O.T.W.2017-08-28

Today is National Poetry Day

And Daffodil Day as well

So the pair must share the honours

And run in parallel

 

While yellow trumpets symbolise

The charity’s clarion call

Of funds for cancer research

And brighter days for all

 

Poets use this day of days

To brush up on their skills

And make their Words worth their own weight

In golden daffodils

 

 

11/9/2017 LET’S BE THANKFUL

 

Korea threatens nuclear war

Trump – retaliation

In monsoon ravaged Bangladesh

There’s death and devastation

 

Caribbean Island homes

Destroyed by hurricane Irma

Flooding in the southern states

And Muslims fleeing Burma

 

Pre-emptive strikes in Syria

The news is full of crime

While back home in New Zealand

It’s lolly scramble time

 

25/9/2017 POLITICAL CHARMS

 

Despite our politician’s charms

Some lobby groups are up in arms

Save the rivers, spare the farms

Make education free

 

Someone’s loss is someone’s gain

Someone’s win is someone’s pain

If you don’t vote you can’t complain

Blame someone else not me

 

Had enough? Just can’t hack it?

Fix it, tax it or attack it

It’s the hollow promise racquet

Called democracy.

 

16/10/2017 BLACK FRIDAY

 

As foretold in days of old

Black-Friday brings no good

To mitigate the damage though

Cross fingers or touch wood

 

Poor fortune will befall you if

You have no lucky charm

No clover leaf or rabbit’s foot

To keep you safe from harm

 

‘Superstitious nonsense’ is

The sceptic’s stock riposte

Those guys are so predictable

But the irony is lost

 

It’s Friday the thirteenth today

So watch out for black cats

And omens of ill fortune for

Jacinda or the Nats

 

30/10/2017 GARDEN CANVASS

I.O.T.W.2017-10-30

With my own mind for company

And birds to listen to

What need have I of people

And the problems that they spew

 

Contentment is a garden

Nurtured by my hand

Dressed by changing seasons

And nourished by the land

 

The staggering of buds and blooms

And blossom on the trees

Means every week there’s something new

To fascinate or please

 

The garden’s natural canvass

Is filled-in piece by piece

An ever changing landscape

Who’s wonders never cease

 

My visitors are wind and rain

Sun and sometimes snow

Each knows when it is time to call

And when it’s time to go

 

They leave behind their offerings

And jobs for me to do

What need have I of people and

The problems that they spew

 

13/11/2017 NOTHING SADDER

 

We need to have more sympathy

For super-rich fat-cats

Who never learnt as children that

The rat race is for rats

 

Who never learnt there’s more to life

Than climbing up a ladder

A billionaire racked with despair-

There’s truly nothing sadder

 

A ‘dog eat dog’ world’s where they live

It’s lonely at the top

They’d like to give up working but

They can’t afford to stop

 

Compelled to make a profit from

Each hour spent on Earth

Their bank account’s the only thing

That tells them what they’re worth

 

The fancy food, the flashy clothes

Their portrait on the wall

The private jet, the super yacht

They have to have it all

 

They think that if they’re paying tax

Then that makes them a mug

I think that what they really need

Is maybe just a hug

 

27/11/2017 TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON

Leaders come and leaders go

Though May may linger on

But in Zimbabwe Bob Mugabe’s

More than maybe gone

 

Mrs Merkel will make her-call

When the time is right

Till that hour when in power

Leaders hold on tight

 

Berlusconi won’t give up

Like Abbot – as we know

And Mladic won’t accept his fate

Too late it’s time to go

 

11/12/2017 I WOULDN’T ‘ROULETTE’ OUT

Who would’ve guessed? What were the odds?

What were the chances of that?

A study out on gambling’s found

That ‘Gaming’s’ where it’s at

 

And Gaming’s an addiction

And gambling’s bad for kids

Scratch beneath the surface and

You’ll wind up on the skids

 

These studies though are a lottery

With new ones every day

I’ll wager there’ll be another soon

That finds it’s all OK

 

And urges you to have a go

And get behind the nation

To take a punt on stocks and shares

And property speculation

25/12/2017 RE-VERSED

The holidays are beckoning

The big day’s almost here

It’s time to recap what went on

As we re-verse the year

 

We lost a lot of leaders

Auckland gained Phil Goff

Bit coin stocks and driver-less cars

And flying drones took off

 

We got two new prime ministers

The cost of homes went up

Feminism reared its head

We won the Americas cup

 

Algal blooms and pestilence

Were evident again

And droughts and floods and all things bad

Were blamed on old white men

 

Korea flexed its muscle

The US got enraged

Australia failed the fairness test

Prince Harry got engaged

 

The Panel did its best to help

Explain what life’s about

Social engineering’s in

Inclusiveness is out

 

So  may the warmth of Christmas spread

Wherever Rudolph roams

Before the P.C. kill-joy bunch

Ban it from our homes

9/1/2017 SOFTLY FROM THE SKY

i-o-t-w-2017-1-9

Our shadows have been washed away

Our plans all gone awry

For summer as it always does

Falls softly from the sky

 

Drifting to the valley floor

In saturating sheets

Glistening the greenery

And cleansing city streets

 

Rattling the iron roofs

Streaking window panes

Dancing on hard surfaces

Force-feeding swollen drains

 

A host of booked-out campsites

Perpetuates the lie

But summer as it always does

Falls softly from the sky

 

Falls in stretching hours

That soak into our brains

Falls in passing showers

And everlasting rains

 

Dripping from bowed branches

Weighed down with sodden leaves

Shining tears drip silently

The weeping rain-cloud grieves

 

If there is but a single thing

On which we can rely

Surely it’s that summer will

Fall softly from the sky.

 

23/1/2017 THE GULLIBLE

He traded in his assets for

A following of asses

The arse-hole of America

The mouth-piece of the masses

 

You can’t convince the gullible

How gullible they are

They won’t believe a word you say

It’s really quite bizarre

 

6/2/2017 PORT CHALMERS YACHT CLUB 125th

I.O.T.W.2017-02-06

A century and a quarter

Launching boats and dreams

To sail upon the water

Fair winds upon their beams

 

They flew a weathered windsock there

To indicate the breeze

Its lung was full of southerlies

From off the southern seas

 

The club-house perched on piggyback

Peered out across the bay

To where the water jobbled and

And sky turned grumble-grey

 

A jaw of bright white shark-teeth sails

Ripped the harbour’s skin

A cold and bitter breeze bit back

The boaties all dug in

 

Chewing through the wind-whipped waves

Tacking side by side

Stealing one another’s air

And battling the tide

 

And not until late afternoon

Once races had been raced

Did sailors file in through the door

Wet-clothed and ruddy-faced

 

And there amidst the chairs and charts

And trophies on display

The ladies served hot pies and tea

And men put beers away

 

Tall tales were told of tacking duels

And how wind-shifts were picked

And who had jumped the starting line

As wounds and lips were licked

 

And boasts were made of seamanship

And how to set the sails

And how to handle mutiny

Or sudden southern gales

 

The club rooms rocked with laughter

The points were tallied up

Then ribald ribbing offered to

The winners of the cup.

 

20/2/2017 TOTALITARIAN STATE

Kim Jong Nam thought differently

From those who were in charge

And so he paid the penalty

His killer still at large

 

Meanwhile in New Zealand

Te Reo’s doing fine

And those who might think otherwise

Are brought back into line

 

Dissent is unacceptable

You’ll need to see a shrink

Opinions will be monitored

We’ll tell you what to think

 

Apologise and do what’s wise

Free speech is just a sham

You will conform, you will comply

Remember Kim Jong Nam

6/3/2017 TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

 

If plundered ancient kauri logs

When sliced and sold as slabs

Gets the thumbs-up from the judge

What else is up for grabs?

 

About three hundred million bucks

Goes wanting every year

The untaxed multinationals

Love doing business here

 

There is no housing crisis

And even if there were

It’s not because of immigrants

That’s a racial slur

 

They’re here to take up high-skilled jobs

In places of renown

Not undermine conditions

And bring low wages down

 

No, doped-up work-shy Kiwis

Only have themselves to blame

But just how drunk was English when

He made that addled claim

 

At the time he said it

He was talking kind of slow

But no one breathalysed him

So I guess we’ll never know

 

20/3/2017 SAINT PATRICK’S DAY

I.O.T.W.2017-03-20

The bars are blue with blarney

And little harps on black

The gills are green with sly prochain

Potatoes and the craic

 

The streets are green with envy for

The shamrock and the song

As fiddlers play the tunes of old

And young ones sing along

 

And everyone is Irish

If only for a while

And part of one big family from

The snake-free Emerald Isle

 

Around the world they’re gathering

To party where they can

And celebrate Saint Patrick

Ireland’s best-loved English man

 

3/4/2017 IN OR OUT

Some Kiwis like to take delight

In running Brexit down

As if it were some stupid act

Committed by a clown

 

But in their situation

Which way would we swing

If our seat of power were

Say transferred to Bejing?

 

If there were a proposal

For China and New Zealand,

Aussie and Pacifica

To all form one new free land

 

Free for trade and travel

No passport stamp required

Open immigration

For any so inspired

 

If Tongan weights and measures

Were used in all our schools

And rugby games were standardised

Replaced by Aussie rules

 

Compliance and conformity

And fiscal obligation

‘V’ sovereignty of currency

And self determination

 

If we were asked to make a choice

Would we protest and shout

If there were a proposal would

We vote for in or out?

 

Would we be so gung-ho and smug?

Would we throw in our lot?

For Brexit only gives the Brits

What we’ve already got.

 

17/4/2017 EASTER-LIES

Just getting ‘cross’ won’t put an end

To this ‘oppressive rain’

But ‘easterlies’ this weekend mean

The ‘sun’ will rise again

 

1/5/2017 FEARLESS GIRL

 

‘I Don’t Want A Brother’

Is my Wall Street sculpture’s name

Implying ‘Fearless Girl’

Is the sister who’s to blame

 

Cast in bronze it represents

A fratricide attack

A facedown, sprawled-out toddler

With scissors in his back

 

Strategically positioned

Behind the well-known piece

It draws on its location for

Emotional release

 

The shoe now on the other foot

Which way will people turn?

With ‘Fearless Girl’ a villain now

What lesson will they learn?

 

15/5/2017 MOTHER'S DAY MIS-MATCH

 

With twenty-something as their choice

For the average age of mums

The advertising agencies

Are drawing in vast sums

 

Encouraging young children

To buy all sorts of things

From furniture to fashion wear

To thousand dollar rings

 

But if your pocket money

Won’t even buy a mug

I’m sure she will be happy

Just to have a heart-felt hug

 

It’s Mother’s day this Sunday

In case you haven’t heard

A day for nice surprises

Till then though mum’s the word

 

29/5/2017 JAB JABBER JABBER

 

Around the world dictatorships

Are sadly on the rise

That doctors should be joining them

Comes as no surprise

 

After all it’s they who say

That those who want to die

Should be forced to linger on

In order to comply

 

And now they want to punish those

Making personal choices

And seek to win their argument

By silencing their voices

 

Opinionated bullies claim

What they believe is law

And those who seek with open minds

Should all be shown the door

 

The one true god of science is

The issue at the core

It must be worshipped their way

For now and ever more

 

Because all vaccines might not work

Some doctors now insist

They must be made compulsory

And no-one may resist

 

These scientists and doctors

Using hard intel’

Would have made thalidomide

Compulsory as well

 

12/6/2017 BAR HUMBUG

 

Admittedly they’re flat out fast

And quite a sight to see

But is it really sailing –

All this new technology?

 

‘Cyclors’ now – not grinders

Wings instead of sails

Hydraulics and computers

Best ‘fly-time’ boat prevails

 

Brawling with the weather may

Have blown both boats to bits

But in the end a better team

Helped Burling beat the Brits

 

To the victor go the spoils

The loser feels the pain

Left to rue the way they flew

Curses, foiled again!

 

26/6/2017 THE OLD MUG

 

In the wee small hours

As in the days of old

Our nation rises once again

Anticipating gold

 

Wherever interest has been piqued

Wherever hope has shone

From Cape Reinga to the Bluff

Lounge lights are flicking on

 

Like little yellow beacons

Beneath night’s starry dome

They send a signal of support

And guide the cup back home

 

From paper-boys to cockies

In steam-filled milking sheds

To nurses on their nightshifts

And students in their beds

 

From children in pyjamas

To dads in dressing gowns

A new belief is stirring

In cities, farms and towns

 

They’re turning on and tuning in

To follow every race

Each down-wind gybe, each up-wind tack

Each foiling beat at pace

 

The David and Goliath

Old rivalry renewed

Our heartbeats elevated

Our fingernails well chewed

 

Who will have the boat speed?

Who’ll make the first mistake?

What horror call on Oracle

Will leave them in our wake?

 

Will Spithill whittle down our lead?

Will Burling be too bold?

In Bermuda’s balmy breeze

Will Oracle be rolled?

 

Do we dare to hope again?

To dream we are the best

The drawn out pains of failed campaigns

At long last put to rest

 

Or will the mighty USA

Simply play it cool

Spend another billion and

Invent some brand new rule

 

Let’s not let the big boys win

Let’s make our talent tell

Let’s show the world that sportsmanship

Is still alive and well

 

Let’s keep the passion burning

For Burling and the boys

Let’s hear that heart-felt haka

Let’s make some Kiwi noise

 

Let’s wear those old red socks with pride

Team USA’s the slower

Let’s bring the Old Mug home again

To Aotearoa

 

10/7/2017 PRINTER INK

 

So what’s the deal with printers

And the price of printer ink?

Which is more expensive?

The printer – you would think

 

But no, I bought a printer

Standard, not deluxe

With cartridges included

For under forty bucks

 

A printer – scanner – copier

With guarantee what’s more!

Whist on its own one cartridge costs

Just over forty-four

 

24/7/2017 WHO’S WHO

I.O.T.W.2017-07-24

While women rejoice

And declare with one voice

It’s a choice that’s been long overdue

The true fans express

With dismay and distress

The loss of their male Dr Who

 

But if you should feel

That their pain isn’t real

And their outcry is just a big joke

Then imagine instead

It’s as if RNZ

Gave its Nine to Noon slot to a bloke!

 

The Tardis no doubt

Will soon be decked out

With cushions, lace curtains and flowers

And door flaps for cats

And roll-out yoga mats

Where the cats can all stretch-out for hours

 

A long-time survivor

The sonic screwdriver

Whose powers require some beating

May well be replaced

With dispassionate haste

By a cell-phone for selfies and tweeting

 

He isn’t the first

Though to be thusly cursed

For the feminists tried it on God

Whose re-designation

Brought on resignation

No comfort, no staff and no rod

 

7/8/2017 A RE-FRESH APPROACH

 

Jacinda’s in ‘da’ driving seat

So where will Labour go?

More left or right of centre line

Does anybody know?

 

Will those who dislike old, white men

Now have a change of heart?

And start supporting Labour

Because they’re fair and smart?

 

And what about the media

Which way will they turn?

Will they go back to backing Bill

Or all adore Adern?

 

21/8/2017 EQUAL PAY

 

Hip-hip hooray for equal pay

As genders start to gel

At last there’ll be a Ministry

Of Men’s Affairs as well

 

Where he who fights for equal rights

Exclusively for misters

Will also get what he doesn’t yet

The same wage as his sisters

 

And those concerned with what is earned

By whom for doing what

Will all agree hypocrisy

Had made us lose the plot

 

4/9/2017 WINDS OF CHANGE

 

The winds of change are blowing

John Key was first to jump

Leaving Bill to fill the bill

And oversee the slump

 

Next Metiria Turei threw a

Towel into the ring

With little ado, Little did too

Jacinda now doing her thing

 

Then petering out until he was done

The bow-tied worm-rider quit too

Survivor election is well underway

Each episode claims someone new

 

So who’s next in line to be scalped or resign?

Will Peters defeat his detractors?

Will too much attention to payment of pension

Be one of the critical factors

 

The media scrum is starting to hum

The public are baying for blood

And the fatally flawed to fall on their sword

Or drown in political mud

18/9/2017 THE SPACE BETWEEN US

 

Heavenly bodies will attract –

Curious eyes that’s just a fact

So in a sort of courting act

The Earth sent out a ‘thing-me’

 

With wide-eyed lust and slack-jawed drool

To a star just being cool

Who asks because she’s no-one’s fool

‘What else did you bring me?’

 

Five billion miles with no return

Cassini set to crash and burn

And yet we’ve still so much to learn

And Saturn just says ‘ring me’!

9/10/2017 DOOM ’N’ GLOOM

 

There’s too much bloomin’ doom ‘n’ gloom in

Media news these days

How I can I depress you?

Let me count the ways

 

Volcanoes, floods and hurricanes

Earthquake devastation

Terrorism, genocide

Entrenched discrimination

 

Referendums outlawed

Oppressed afraid to speak

And more ‘Americarnage’

A shooting every week

 

It’s time that we did something

Official or informal

It’s time to pause and wring our hands

Then carry on as normal

 

23/10/2017 ARE WE THERE YET

 

Are we there yet? Are we there?

Fraught, impatient calls

From children in the back of cars

Climbing up the walls

 

Or packs of fractious journalists

Demanding satisfaction

All desperate for breaking news

But ham-strung by inaction

 

Forced to interview themselves

Or mums in shopping malls

Instead of pressured leaders

In parliamentary halls

 

Are we there? Are we at the place

Where someone has to choose?

No it’s just a comfort-stop

So you can use the loos

 

Are we there yet? Are we there?

Is the waiting over?

Yes we’re there, we made it

Now go roll in the clover

 

6/11/2017 SPRING IS SPRUNG

 

Spring is sprung the grass is ris’

The sun is beating down

A gentle breeze drifts through the trees

And yet I wear a frown

 

The afternoon cacophony

Of two-stroke motor mowers

Industrious weed-whackers

Loud chainsaws and leaf-blowers

 

Fills the air with snarling

And fumes from fossil fuels

Our quiet moments have become

As rare as precious jewels

 

20/11/2017 NO LIMA DREAM ALLOWED

Boohoo Peru win through by two

The All Whites did their best

But fireworks and air-force jets

Ensured they got no rest

 

Their flight diverted and delayed

Their bus waylaid as well

And even worse – a real snake curse

That cast a lasting spell

 

All prove Peru were worried

As well they might have been

For if we’d had Lorde in the side

We would’ve swept them clean

Boohoo Peru win through by two

The All Whites did their best

But fireworks and air-force jets

Ensured they got no rest

 

Their flight diverted and delayed

Their bus waylaid as well

And even worse – a real snake curse

That cast a lasting spell

 

All prove Peru were worried

As well they might have been

For if we’d had Lorde in the side

We would’ve swept them clean

 

4/12/2017 SOCIAL FABRIC

I fear our social fabric

Is starting to unravel

When CEOs of health boards

Spend-up large on first class travel

 

When citizens on beaches

Are run down by boy racers

Who then out-run police cars

As the law cracks down on chasers

 

I fear that social fabric

Is going out of fashion

When dairy owning mums and dads

Are targets for a bashin’

 

I hear our social fabric

Isn’t stylish anymore

Too threadbare for a shelter

And too thin to clothe the poor

18/11/2017 OLD WHAT’S HIS NAME

I’ll never forget old ‘what’s-his-name’

What was it he said?

‘If you can’t find a ‘thingumy-jig’

Use a ‘who-ja-ma-flip’ instead’

 

He was always good for a ‘whatchamacallit’

A ‘thingumy-bob’ or a quote

No I’ll never forget old ‘what’s-his-name’

And the memorable stuff that he wrote

POEMS OF THE WEEK 2016

4/1/2016 HOLIDAYS

I.O.T.W.4-1-16

The holidays are over

Farewell airbeds and foam

The caravans of camping fans

Are weaving their ways home

 

Goodbye to canvass ceilings

To sun-hats, shorts and crocs

Cold-meat meals and fold-out chairs

And concrete toilet blocks

 

To mountain peaks and vineyards

The swarming sandfly’s bite

Paddocks plagued with rabbits

The possums in the night

 

Farewell the morning blackbird

The lunchtime lark on high

The tui and the harriers

The endless cloudless sky

 

The lakes have all been skied and fished

The tracks all tramped and hiked

The byways toured, the woods explored

The cycle-ways all biked

 

You can do it, yes you can

Just one more hill to climb

In breathless praise of holidays

In Central summer time

 

18/1/2016 CUTTING THE CAKE

I used to be a poet but

I found it didn’t pay

Now I’m writing rap rhyme lyrics for

A thousand bucks a day

It may not have the same prestige

Or romance or cachet

But when I go down to the bank

I’m laughing all the way

 

But wait what’s this my agent

Has taken half my take

And I R D and lawyers want

A huge slice of the cake

And after my accountant

Has had his winter break

All I have to pay is double

Everything I make

 

I owe an I O U or two

To someone I forgot

They’ve sent the debt collectors but

There’s nothing in the pot

I owe it all to middle men

Everything I’ve got

Oh to be a poet and

Contented with my lot

 

1/2/2016 HITTING THE FAN

 I.O.T.W2.1-2-16

Is this an inconvenient truth?

Was it not so back in our youth?

Either way it’s still uncouth

And just to slake a thirst

 

Enough outrage to raise the roof

With graphic photographic proof

They’re ankle deep! – no make that hoof

No wonder people cursed

 

Did they pug it? did they trudge?

Turn pristine water into sludge?

Do they bear some bovine grudge?

And this lake’s not the first

 

Once they’re in – they’re hard to budge

And filled up with that grassy fudge

Best someone give the judge a nudge

To budge before they burst

 

15/2/2016 BOQUETS AND NOSEGAYS

I.O.T.W.15-2-16

You can offer your heart

Or have a small part

Of your body re-cast in a mould

To give as a gift

Or heal up a rift

Or show that you’re brazen and bold

 

For Valentine’s Day

I went out of my way

To insure that my gift was unique

Instead of a rose

I gave her a nose

A wee plaster-cast of my beak

 

I said she could wear it

Or if she could bear it

Have it displayed on a shelf

She seemed unimpressed

And even distressed

When I told her I’d picked it myself

 

29/2/2016 LEAP DAY

I.O.T.W.29-2-16

The leap-year child so meek and mild

A quarter of its age

Leaps into the book of life

To dance across a page

 

That’s one small step, one giant jump

One sidle to the side

And then the great leap forward

As history swells with pride

 

Feb twenty-ninth, so rarely seen

The leap-day of the year

Gives girls a chance to buy the ring

And fill his heart with fear

 

That’s one small step, one giant jump

One sidle to the side

And then a leap of faith to land

A lovely leap-year bride

 

14/3/2016 MOERAKI MORNING

I.O.T.W.14-3-16

The darkness lifts a little

As five a.m. rolls in

The tent is filled with slumber

Outside – a distant din

 

Of drawn out waves that thump and crush

And brush an ancient shore

Background a snuffling hedgehog

Outside the zipper door

 

The dogs are both too deep in sleep

To notice or to care

So I just keep a mindful ear

Till he’s no longer there

 

28/3/2016 APRIL FOOL’S

 

Kiwis vote for the union jack

The weather makes us smile

Leicester leads the English league

And beards are back in style

 

Cannabis decriminalized

For those who are in pain

Donald Trump for president

The Stones perform again

 

An Aussie’s caught on video

Abiding by the rules

The minimum wage is going up

It must be April Fool’s

11/4/2016 BEGGARS BELIEF

I.O.T.W.11-4-16

If you’ve no heart, but high IQ

Then Wellington’s the place for you

Where council’s cause a lot of grief

And the lot of beggar’s beggars belief

 

What a fine idea is fining

Those who give – but will cheque signing

Also be included in

This push to make handouts a sin

 

How far will this by-law reach?

As far as Awaroa beach?

Not-for-profit organizations?

Women’s refuge, school donations?

 

Will those who give to charities

Olympians or refugees

All be labelled reprobates?

While council begs for higher rates

 

25/4/2016 THE NOBLE TURK

I.O.T.W.25-4-16

Let’s blame the Poms for everything

And credit them for nought

Let’s venerate the noble Turk

The enemy we fought

 

Let’s make-believe there’s honour in

The glory of the gun

Let’s just pretend their army wasn’t

Allied to the Hun

 

Let’s fly their flag on ANZAC Day

And not the union jack

Forget nine hundred thousand Brits

Never made it back

 

9/5/2016 GOLDFISH PACE

I.O.T.W.9-5-16

Autumn leaves its leaves upon

The pond’s reflective face

Beneath it lie the fish of gold

Who glide at goldfish pace

 

Suspended in reflected sky

They slide between the trees

In search of Autumn’s sun-kissed clouds

Drifting in the breeze

 

23/5/2016 SOMETHING FISHY

Something fishy’s going on

When figures can’t be trusted

And M.P.I. won’t prosecute

The skippers who’ve been busted

 

Dumping catch illegally

And not reporting waste

Caught hook, line and sinker

But let’s not act in haste

 

It’s only been some decades that

This rorte’s been going on

Surely we’ve whole years before

All the fish are gone.

 

6/6/2016 CITY OF SALES

City of sales, leases and rents

Unitary plans and building consents

They’re living in Garages, old cars and tents

And constantly chasing their tails

 

The weather is wet, the housing’s a mess

The traffic’s inducing more and more stress

Yet some folk won’t settle for anything less

Than life in the city of sails

 

20/6/2016 WHAT’S ON WATSON PARK

I.O.T.W.20-6-16

Those who know Port Chalmers know

The chickens up the hill

But now there’s other bothersome birds

The council want to kill

 

The rugby team’s been stamping out

Foul play upon the field

And for the feral feathered flock

Their fowl foul fate’s been sealed

 

There’s no goose like a snow-goose

But these are greylag geese

And they’ve been given orders

To desist and decease

 

A wild goose-chase is under way

The poisoned seed plan failed

The final option’s lead implants

To have their lives curtailed

 

4/7/2016 BREXIT - A WEEK ON

The trouble with democracy

As any fool can see

Is there’s just too many people

Who don’t agree with me

 

The pound has had a pounding

The market’s in free-fall

The well-to-do have been put out

By some dumb wake-up call

 

The masses are revolting

Beneath their victory banner

If only there were more who thought

Like me and Pollyanna

 

18/7/2016 A WINTER WEDDING

 

What does a winter wedding bring?

Apart from winter weather

It brings two dedicated hearts

Lovingly together

 

It brings a calm, a stillness

A time of deep reflection

An inner search for meaning

Commitment and direction

 

It holds us for a moment in

Suspended animation

And winter is a chrysalis

A means of transformation

 

For Jesse has become the man

And Jessica his wife

Their union the bedrock

On which they’ll build their life

 

Side by side they stand today

In love and admiration

A canvas white as winter

Awaits their co-creation

 

Ahead of them lies springtime

And all life’s pleasant stages

Summer’s endless passages

Autumn’s golden pages

 

Blessed with friends and family

Who’ve come from near and far

To witness this occasion

And show how loved they are

 

We wish them every happiness

Rich reward and joy

And sometime in the future

A bonny girl or boy

 

For now though, what can winter bring?

For these two – wedded bliss

Some wild and windy weather and

A gathering like this

 

1/8/2016 JOY TO THE WORLD

‘The world’s at war for certain’

The Pope has just decreed

As Frazer said: ‘we’re doomed!’

Will anyone take heed?

 

So much sorrow in the world

Hunger, violence, greed

The sad belief that money will

Fulfil our every need

 

Chinese steel’s inadequate

Doping’s rife in sports

Our leaders are as honest as

V.W.’s reports

 

Banks are profiteering

Insurers double-dip

Those with half a mind to rule

Are shooting from the hip

 

Atrocities in Europe

Cause widespread misery

And Sanders cheated of his place

In US history

 

Police are killing people

Just because they’re black

Is anybody really shocked

That some are shooting back

 

The one percent have all the wealth

The masses have TV

Alcohol and cigarettes

Crack cocaine and P

 

The death throes of our planet

Hurricanes and quakes

Forest fires, floods and drought

And disappearing lakes

 

Our oceans are depleted

There’s poison in our soil

Our air has been polluted

We’re all about to boil

 

Temperatures are rising

House prices are unfair

There’s nothing in our hearts it seems

Except maybe despair

 

This may sound ‘doom-and-gloomy’

But here’s the worst of it

With atheism on the rise

God doesn’t give u-

-s much of a chance

22/8/2016 WHITE NOISE
M4031M-4205

M4031M-4205

How soft the sound of sunlit waves

That brush against our shores

Tenderly each smooth caress

Advances and withdraws

 

Lines of rolling white noise froth

Between the muted blue

This is where the Dolby hisses

Have been banished to

 

How bright the gleaming sunlight plays

Within each curling fold

How sweet the scent of salted air

Where wave on wave’s unrolled

 

The ocean’s lips are parted

Her airy roar is heard

Above the cry of haughty gulls

She calls one constant word

 

A word we cannot comprehend

A voice that has no pause

Tenderly each smooth caress

Advances and withdraws

 

5/9/16 FIVE HUNDRED

Someone found five hundred tremors

Shaking them awake

From underground the sway and sound

Of a seven point one earthquake

 

Someone found five hundred cows

Some bird poo and a tractor

In the tainted aquifer

They call ‘Camp Illobacter’

 

Someone found five hundred reasons

Why they lost the cup

Perhaps their chequered training was

The reason they stuffed-up

 

Someone found five hundred thousand

Buys an empty section

With that at least you get to vote

In Auckland’s next election

19/9/2016 COLLECT THE SET

i-o-t-w-19-9-16

It’s local body barn-dance time

The hoardings blight our greens

As candidates all do-se-do

And vie for votes from teens

 

Perhaps their ugly bill boards though

With smiling faces on

Could one day all be virtual

Like on-line Pokémon

 

3/10/2016 THE WAY WE WERE

 

It’s true we’re getting older

And things are changing fast

But would you like a village where

You’re living in the past?

 

A place without the internet

Or twitter-twats on phones

Posting endless selfies

No traffic- jams or drones

 

No reality tv

No gangster rap in malls

No money-grubbing wheel-clamps

No telemarket calls

 

A place where people can discern

Just how much is enough

A place with things that work and last

A place with just old stuff

 

A clock with hands and numerals

A church with chiming bells

A pub with old horse brasses

A market full of smells

 

A tea-rooms and a bakery

An op-shop for the poor

A milkman and a butcher who

Deliver to your door

 

Bright red letter boxes

For posting letters in

A purpose-built post office

Kept as neat as any pin

 

A booth for passport photos

An annual summer fete

A gathering of locals

Where ladies bring a plate

 

A kiosk with a telephone

A round-about with flowers

An actual bank with people in

That only keeps bank hours

 

A creek where kids go swimming

An orchard where they scrump

A petrol service station

With a man who tends the pump

 

Where cricket’s played on Saturdays

Lawn bowls throughout the week

And children have both mum and dad

To live with and give cheek

 

A place where you can ride a bike

Or catch the local bus

Or sit and do your knitting while

The bellbirds make a fuss

 

With printed books for reading

The radio for news

Magazines for coupons

And Agony Auntie’s views

 

Where you can thank your GP with

A flagon or a cake

And shops are closed on holidays

So folk can have a break

 

Where NZ sits in front of rail

Forestry and post

And you can use real notes and coins

For things that matter most

 

A station with policemen

A hospital for care

A place where people greet you

Now who would go back there?

 

17/10/2016 SAMSUNG SWANSONG

 

Flyer, flyer pants on fire

Samsung’s brand’s been burned

Their red-hot selling burner phones

All need to be returned

 

Harking back to simpler times

These smart communicators

Produce smoke-signals on demand

And flames for roasting ’taters

31/10/2016 THE CROOK AND THE MISOGYNIST

I.O.T.W.31-10-16

The crook and the misogynist

Go at it toe to toe

Slagging one another off

And putting on a show

 

Who can suck the voters in?

Promise them the most

Who can tell the biggest lies?

Watch them brag and boast

 

These two have been lorded as

The finest in the land

Something those with half a brain

Find hard to understand

 

Americans believe they are

The rulers of the Earth

Unaware that they’re the butt

Of so much scorn and mirth

 

The free-world stands embarrassed

The Yanks though know no shame

All they need’s an audience

And someone else to blame

 

14/11/16 MOVING ON

i-o-t-w-14-11-16

There is a land of stars and stripes

Of poor and huddled masses

Where turkeys vote for Christmas

And pollsters are all asses

 

Where half the nation celebrates

And half the nation mourns

In contrast, back in paradise

Another new day dawns

 

The rhododendrons are in bloom

There’s bird song in the air

There’s sun and sea and pinot gris

So come on, don’t despair

 

We understand your shock, your loss

We feel your sense of shame

As one we need to focus though

On next week’s All Black’s game.

 

28/11/16 PIKE RIVER

 

The promises of Honest John

Are buried underground

With nine and twenty miners

Who never will be found

 

A bottom-line prime minister

Protesting all the while

A true Dickensian character

In shrewd hand-wringing style

 

The families who fought for years

’Gainst company and crown

Never lost their fight despite

Attempts to wear them down

 

I wrote these lines two years ago

Yet little’s changed since then

Still no accountability

Nor justice for the men

 

And now it seems despite the call

Of experts in the field

They want to hide whatever truths

The evidence might yield

12/12/2016 NAGGING FEELING

i-o-t-w-12-12-16

I’ve paid the bills and fed the fish

And changed the broken light

Washed the dishes and the clothes

But something’s still not right

 

There’s something I’ve forgotten

This much I know is true

I have a sneaky feeling

That there’s something overdue

 

That sneaky feeling nags at me

The nagging just keeps growing

I go outside to get some air

Oh yeah, the lawns need mowing

 

26/12/2016 A LIKELY STORY

With Face-book facts and twitter feeds

Our news has been transformed

And yet we’re none the wiser

For being more informed

 

Our echo-chambers reaffirm

Beliefs that we hold dear

Their algorithmic bubbles

Tell us what we want to hear

 

We know from social media

Why, where, and when and what

We just don’t know who posted it

Or if it’s false or not

 

In this the post-truth era

We’re aware how rare it is

To find an honest blogger

Or a spokesman you can quiz

 

I heard a rumour that ‘post-truth’

Had won word of the year

But whether judge’s votes were hacked

Was never quite made clear

 

They say fake news is on the rise

But is that really true

Or just some jaded, one-eyed writer’s

Jaundiced point of view

 

11/1/2016 FIGURE EIGHTS

I.O.T.W.11-1-16

 I watched the cloud’s soft shadows race

Across the harbour’s ruffled face

An albatross with weightless grace

Scribed a figure eight

 

Soaring passed the lighthouse where

The smell of sea salt filled the air

And sunlight lit each wave-crest flare

That dared to agitate

 

Whilst presidents and priests opine

Sun and sand and sea combine

With wind to be the true divine

Elements of fate

 

25/1/2016 VIVA ZAPATA

 

It seems like beards are back in vogue

And now moustaches too

Things that once were gross and old

Are trendy now and new

 

Designer stubble statements

Character’s the key

Clark Gable’s classic pencil line

The Johnny Dep goatee

 

The Magnum or Zapata

The Adolf – not so much

A bit of wax on air-force wings

Gives a stylish touch

 

Hairy lips are sprouting out

From here to Timbuktu

This facial fashion’s so widespread

Some men are doing it too

 

8/2/2016 GIVE IT A YANK

I.O.T.W.8-2-16

Please pull the plug on US news

US sport and US views

Enough of US politics

It isn’t we who choose

 

Another rich man plays the fool

Another shooting in a school

Reports about the weather show

That winter there is cool

 

We’re not another US state

At least not at this current date

Though once the TPP is signed

We’ll re-assess our fate

 

22/2/2016 AN ARTIST

I.O.T.W.23-2-16

I used to be an artist

But my work was avant-garde

No-one understood me

And getting by was hard

 

While those with names were selling crap

My art remained unsold

It’s hard to be an artist when

You’re left out in the cold

 

So I became a poet

And set my hand to words

Couplets for the masses

And free verse for the nerds

 

I wrote my rhymes despite hard times

And made myself a name

I moved in different circles

But the pay was just the same

 

7/3/2016 SPOONBILL SOUP

I.O.T.W.7-3-16.jpg

I saw four Royal spoonbills

In Sawyer’s Bay lagoon

A soft warm breeze said summertime

The sundial read high noon

 

Their eyes and minds were focussing

On krill and crab detections

Their stilted bodies hovered

Above their own reflections

 

The birds were busy foraging

Each neck set in a stoop

Their bright, white heads swept back and forth

In search of spoonbill soup

 

From side to side from tide to tide

November through till May

Wading through each tidal serve

They feast their days away

 

21/3/2016 EASTER BUNNY

Covering the country on

His little lucky legs

Delivering his bounty

Of tasty chocolate eggs

 

He’s been running here and there

Avoiding farmer’s guns

That’s why the Easter rabbit has

A pair of hot cross buns

 

 

4/4/2016 WELCOME

I.O.T.W.4-4-16

The golden rays of Autumn played

Upon a canvas tent

The native birds in native trees

Sang songs of an event

 

Unto Jules and Justin

A baby boy is born

Bringing joy and happiness

On this auspicious morn

 

Welcome baby Ashley

Welcome to the world

Your life’s a wondrous koru

About to be unfurled

 

18/4/2016 AUTUMN HARVEST CORNUCOPIA

Where one wall meets another wall

Is a specific space

There sits the clapped-out copier

I’m going to replace

 

I’m going to buy a special one

Not one from off the shelf

But one that cuts my work by half

And hums all by itself

 

My printer’s getting hard to read

Its ink is getting sloppier

But soon I’ll have the Auto-hum

Halvist, corner copier

 

2/5/2016 THE ZEN OF WATERBLASTING

I.O.T.W.2-5-16

The Zen of water-blasting

Corrugated roofs

Is take it slow, go with the flow

Up and down the grooves

 

The pressure of the water lifts

And peels old paint away

And covers everything in sight

With flaky, old-paint spray

 

The house walls and the windows

The car and half the drive

The roses in the garden are

Unlikely to survive

 

I’ve insights into nature though

Its habits more or less

I’m counting on a heavy rain

To clear up all this mess

 

I’ve learned from past experience

And practice well rehearsed

As soon as I apply some paint

The bloody clouds will burst

 

16/5/2016 NOTHING TO HIDE

They said the right to privacy

Would be no longer ours

When introducing changes

That gave them sweeping powers

 

They said we should have nowt to hide

If we’d done nothing wrong

But now it seems those same MPs

Have found another song

 

Reviews into what lawyers do

With MPs’ offshore money

Should be shut down immediately

Such off-key songs sound funny

 

National security

Was at stake they cried

When dealing to our privacy

While on the other side

 

I.R.D.’s instructed

To can their planned review

So Must-have and Fun-seeker

Could stay well out of view

 

And hide who’s on the gravy train

And where it might meander

But any sauce that’s good for the goose

Is worth a proper gander

 

30/5/2016 WINDOWS 10

They’re duping us with cons and tricks

Like crosses where there should be ticks

So they can circumvent our clicks

With an unwanted visit

 

As if they haven’t got enough

Microsoft is playing tough

With all this unrequested stuff

Just who’s computer is it?!

 

13/6/2016 FORWARD PASS

New Zealand’s favourite referee

The infamous Wayne Barnes

Whose refereeing style’s the same

As that of Genghis Khan’s

 

Has done himself no favours

With stuff-ups looming large

And over-ruling T.M.O.s

To prove that he’s in charge

 

Just what is Barnes’s beef with us?

Why does he hate us so?

Why can’t he just apologise

And let some good will grow?

 

And now he’s turned another game

Into an All Black farce

It seems he needs a damn good kick

Right up his forward pass.

 

27/6/2016 SPIN IT WIDE

 

We’ve had the winter solstice

The longest night now gone

Our days will all be brighter

And warmer from now on

 

The world is spinning faster

Than a ‘Brexit’-style campaign

How will the winners celebrate

With brown ale or champagne

 

And not just spinning faster

The world’s turned upside down

As England beat the Wallabies

And Iceland go to town

11/7/2016 CHOCOLATE COMBO

I.O.T.W.11-7-16

Ancient Inca cocoa beans

Smooth as Persian silk

Combine in perfect harmony

With flowing full-cream milk

 

Milk from placid pasture cows

That stand and chew the cud

While meadow larks sing summer songs

And frogs play in the mud

 

Cocoa from the forest heights

Laced with steamy heat

Alive with screeching parrots

And primal jungle beat

 

A carnival of coloured sound

Lifts off in feathered flight

And pyramids of gleaming gold

Emerge from every bite

 

Like Amazonian butterflies

Exotic flavours rise

And flutter through the foreign lands

Behind my half closed eyes

 

This is chocolate’s magic gift

A means of transportation

A gastronomic passport to

The realms of exultation

 

 

25/7/2016 DIVE DEEP

 

Down in Downing Street this week

The ‘Darling Buds of May’

Have blossomed from a ‘House of Cards’

Brexit power-play

 

It’s bye-bye Biden, hello vessel

From the U.S.A.

No Russians rushin’ off to Rio

Doping’s not O.K

 

I have a dream – one day all men

And all plagiarists too

Will learn to look within themselves

And only speak what’s true

 

For where do true competitors go

For perfect line and length

They learn to go within themselves

To find their inner strength

 

And what did Trubridge do to bridge

The fear of being crushed

He dived to depths within himself

Where all self-doubt is hushed

15/8/2016 RATES

Interest in our interest rates

Are causing some distortion

Inflation rates have been blown up

Out of all proportion

 

Reporting on exchange rates should

Be swapped for something better

Postal rates aren’t changing though

They’re sticking to the letter

 

The council rates leave us irate

They’re pirates in disguise

While wetter weather penetrates

From saturated skies

 

Our Kiwi teams commiserate

And wipe tears from their eyes

The one thing we can’t tolerate

Is Aussies with the prize

 

29/8/2016 PAIN RELIEF

Why would you ease the suffering

Of those who are in pain?

If it irritates your voters and

There’s no political gain

 

‘No-one wants a tinny

At the bottom of their street’

Where bottle-stores and brothels

Are trying to make ends meet

 

Or opposite the paedophile

Right beside the school

Or close to the casino where

The one-armed bandits rule

 

The message to communities

Is that we really care

But cannabis as medicine

Might harm our voter share

 

12/9/2016 BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Colin got caught calling

With messages too hot

It’s best when preaching values

Not to lose the plot

 

One instant Winston’s whining

Next instant Winston’s not

It’s best when calling kettles ‘black’

Not to be the pot

 

A million dollar average while

Some families have to squat

Show the claim that ‘there’s no crisis’ is

A hokey lotta rot

 

 

26/9/2016 SURE TO RISE

 

It’s like the Kiwi bible

Is the Edmunds cookery  book

A gastronomic gospel

Of just how and what to cook

 

It shows you how to make a cake

And bake delicious bites

Plus of course your favourite sauce

And many more delights

 

For lovers of best-sellers

This surely takes the prize

If it’s not in the top ten yet

Don’t fret – it’s sure to rise

 

10/10/2016 TO BE A SEAL

i-o-t-w-10-10-16

How would it feel to be a seal

Basking on the beach

An ocean full of fish and ships

Right there within your reach

 

Soaking up the solar rays

Working on your tan

While the playful penguins play

At catch me if you can

 

Some things you must imagine

They’re  just too hard to teach

How it would feel to be a seal

Basking on the beach

24/10/2016 WHAT’S UP DOC?

i-o-t-w-24-10-16

DOC wants more ten-eighty

To kill the possums off

The dolphin dock in Auckland

Did not impress Phil Goff

 

The junior doctors went on strike

The senior doc’s cashed in

Half a thousand bucks an hour’s –

Like a Lotto win

 

Because their applications

Were doctored over-seas

We’re sending innocent Indians back

But not their student fees

 

7/11/2016 GRAPES OF WRATH

 

And then the heat of day gave way

To rain as clouds filled in

And distant thunder rumbled

Like hippo hooves on tin

 

Fat and heavy droplets fell

Like grapes with swollen bellies

The leaden skies were threatening

An afternoon in wellies

 

The bumble bees oblivious

Continued with their chores

Like chubby chaps on motorbikes

They tour the great out doors

 

In and out the garden beds

Then off to who knows where

They somehow dodge the rods of rain

That clutter up the air

21/11/2016 DOING IT ROUGH

i-o-t-w-21-11-16

A special squad from Christchurch

Left without delay

Heading north on broken roads

With landslips in the way

 

Driven by their duty

Guided by the stars

In search of earthquake refugees

Still sleeping in their cars

 

Not to bring them food and drink

Or clothes or rescue hampers

But to fine them all for being

Flagrant freedom campers

 

5/12/2016 LEGACY

Each leader leaves a legacy

So what will John Key’s be?

The pulling of a ponytail

Or widespread poverty

 

The teapot tapes, the flag that failed

The Auckland housing crisis

The awkward three-way hand-shake

His plans to combat Isis

 

The end of social housing

A tax on capital gains

Tolls on roads and bridges

A brand new tax on planes

 

Underfunding mental health

The widespread use of ‘P’

Pollution of our waterways

The pillaging of the sea

 

Commercializing National Parks

Privatizing jails

The ‘no rights’ ninety day work trial

The vital assets sales

 

The education dumb-down

The widened income gap

The Nova- pay debacle

The ‘dirty politics’ flap

 

All or any of these facts?

No nothing of the sort

He’ll just pay Paula Rebstock

To write a new report

 

Each leader leaves a legacy

So what will John Key’s be?

One of self-enhancement

Or human decency?

 

Will he be remembered for

The flip-flops that he turned?

His retrospective laws

Or the promises he burned?

 

Or will he be remembered as

A brave and handsome knight?

A man with heart and passion

Who simply put things right

 

19/12/2016 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

 

Beneath the pile of presents

The frazzled Christmas shopping

The cards and decorations

The cake and champagne popping

 

Beneath the ham and turkey

The flaming pud and pies

Beneath the tinselled fake pine tree

The Christmas message lies

 

Observe the golden rule

Be generous and true

And do unto thy neighbours

Before they do to you

 

POEMS OF THE WEEK 2015

1/6/2015 FIFA

The under-twenty world cup will

Soon be underway

With team officials wondering

Just who they’re meant to pay

 

We don’t do dodgy backroom deals

There’s no corruption here

It’s Middle Earth not Middle East

So let’s get one thing clear

 

In kickback-free New Zealand

There are no bribery bosses

Although McCully may be keen

To cover recent losses

15/6/2015 A HITCHHIKER'S RIDE THROUGH THE GALAXY

A time a place

A curve in space

The comet’s graceful arc

The Lander and

Its host as planned

Speed through the cold and dark

 

A cosmic clock

A craggy rock

Pure stardust in its wake

A silent night

A ray of light

Some simple cells awake

 

Its small array

So far away

Up in that starry dome

Soaks up the sun

Till charging ’s done

And Philae can phone home

29/6/2015 ONE OFF EVENTS

The weather’s getting more intense

As any fool can see

There’s more and more one off events

Each year there’s two or three

 

Tornados tour the hinterland

There’s drought in northern parts

The south’s a frozen wonderland

As soon as winter starts

 

A once a century rain rains down

There’s flooding here and there

In city streets and field and town

There’s water everywhere

 

Communities left ill at ease

Emergencies each week

Calamities, catastrophes

Even as we speak

 

There’s gale force winds and snowy falls

And earthquakes too to boot

Our backs are up against the walls

Our scientists are mute

 

Some comfort for the poor insane

At least we’re not alone

The whole world’s on this weather train

Into the great unknown

13/7/2015 DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND WRONGS

As winter grips North Islanders

Down South we feel your pain

Despite the lack of Highlanders

The All Blacks win again

 

A lower dairy pay-out sucks

Another pit-bull bites

A jail absconding escapee

Demands his civil rights

 

Democracy’s too dangerous

For Canterbury it seems

You give those people power and

They’ll start preserving streams

 

There’s white whales in our waters

Black widows in our grapes

Cancer sticks are fine to smoke

But not those harmless ‘Vapes’

 

China’s stocks are crashing

Greece is going bust

Bankers turn to governments

Investments turn to dust

27/7/2015 PIGEON PIE

High up in a cherry tree

A wee wood- pigeon sat

Gorging on the berries till

He grew quite big and fat

 

Grew plumper than a possum

Grew fatter than a cat

Grew so wide on either side

He squashed the branches flat

 

He grew so fat he could not fly

It made me sad it made me cry

But in truth, oh my, oh my!

That pigeon made a lovely pie

(burb)

And that’s the end of that

10/8/2015 A CASE-IN POINT

 

Pay peanuts – you get monkeys

The clichés never cease

But pay those monkeys millions

And their IQs will increase

 

The media are milking it

The farmers feel the pain

The foreign banks are creaming it

Big profits once again

 

The latest dairy payout –

Although the tank is full

With one thing or an udder,

Is unsustainabull

 

Cold comfort for producers –

That interest rates are easing,

Without their winter Jerseys

Half the cows are Friesian

24/8/2015 THE WORM HAS TURNED

 

Beware the wounded tiger-worm

Most dangerous of them all

They could become man-eaters

If men weren’t quite so tall

 

Thank God Work Safe New Zealand

Has brought some sense to bear

On high-risk occupations

Where there’s danger everywhere

 

There’s mayhem on the Mini-golf

Alpaca bites are rife

Some stringent regulations here

Could stem the loss of life

 

Next time the curtain lady calls

With samples as she said

Make sure she’s in a high-viz vest

With hard-hat on her head.

7/9/2015 WHO'S TO BLAME?

I had a taxing problem

Gave IRD a call

Politely they informed me

That Winz had dropped the ball

 

So I got Winz’s number

And gave a hopeful dial

I listened to the music

And waited for a while

 

Waited, waited, waited

Their greatest hits played on

My patience dissipated

My smile had long since gone

 

I waited for ten minutes

Fifteen turned to twenty

After half an hour

I felt I’d waited plenty

 

I guessed they must be short of staff

And didn’t have a clue

Where to find some unemployed

In need of work to do

 

The irony was tragic

But not a special case

I thought it would be quicker if

I saw them face to face

 

I went down to their building where

It’s true I’d been before

A phalanx of three body-guards

Met me at the door

 

There in case of trouble

Looking tough but bored

‘Why three?’ I thought then reasoned

That’s all they could afford

 

I understood the anger

So many clients feel

No way to even have a say

This system can’t be real

 

Ushered in to stand and wait

And wait and wait in line

Till finally I saw someone

With frowns as mean as mine

 

I told them my dilemma

They seemed to show no shame

While looking at their screen they said

‘No, A.C.C.’s to blame’

 

So should I bother calling

Or flag the thing away

I thought I’d better calm down first

And try another day

 

21/9/2015 HOW LOW

Charging schools for public parks

It makes you stop and think

Pepper-spraying little girls

How low can you sink

 

Dentists killing lions

Why? It’s hard to know

Journo’s kicking refugees

How low can you go?

 

A little lower it would seem

With retrospective law

The hypocrites in power rob

The poorest of the poor

 

Their own pay-rise backdated

With travel perks for life

A junket for the hubby

An upgrade for the wife

 

It’s one law for the poor

And another for the rich

For some life’s one big party

For others it’s a bit different.

 

5/10/2015 OZZIE COUSIES

Pelican on lamp-post - Gold Coast

We’ve many similarities

With those across the ditch

But recently relationships

Have run into a hitch

 

That ban on kiwi apples

Despite so-called fair trade

No social help or benefit

Despite the taxes paid

 

Forget about the underarm

That once defined a nation

Now it’s cruel detention camps

And heartless deportation

 

Although we both speak English

And both our flags are blue

We’re worlds apart in culture,

Compassion and I.Q.

 

19/10/2015 HAY-FEVER

I.O.T.W.19-10-15

Spring is sprung, the grass is riz

Hay-fever’s on the rise

There’s sniffling and snuffling

And fingers rubbing eyes

 

Nature may be bursting forth

But pollen-laden breezes

Lead to red, raw tear-ducts

And constant violent sneezes

 

Pass around the tissues

And hints on what to do

You may have dodged it up till now

But this one’s aimed ‘ATCHOO!’

 

2/11/2015 THE FINAL AMEN

I.O.T.W.2-11-15

By seven Sunday morning

The nation will as one

Be celebrating victory

And dancing in the sun

 

The Wallabies well walloped

The world cup will be ours

In bars the hero worship

Will carry on for hours

 

The All Blacks will have done it

World champions again

The power and the glory

Forever with our men

 

16/11/2015 BLACK FRIDAY

I.O.T.W.17-11-15

The horoscope for your star sign

Is pretty bleak today

Black Friday will affect you in

A detrimental way

 

You’ll talk to someone that you know

But not know what they meant

You’ll have a spell of weather

Some money will be spent

 

Number thirteen will loom large

Beware of cats and ladders

Steer clear of female sceptics

And men with dodgy bladders

 

Whatever your beliefs may be

Or your core convictions

You’ll be exposed to poetry

And dubious predictions

 

30/11/2015 BIRDS OF A FEATHER

I.O.T.W.30-11-15

A songbird sang on Bethells Beach

The Dotterels in the dunes

Found it hard to swallow

The fuss about her tunes

 

We are knot amused they said

By all this filming lark

And surely you could take more kea

Where your vehicles park

 

‘OK, just keep your heron

Came the swift reply

‘Don’t worry we’ll just pay the bill

Before things go awry

 

The gullible believed them

The pipers all played on

And then before you knew it

The flocking lot had gone.

 

14/12/2015 POPULATION OR HOUSING DENSITY

Auckland has a problem

But it seems they just can’t see

The rub’s too many people

Not a housing paucity

 

All the experts seem to want

A full-on building spree

But urban sprawl’s not wanted so

The answer needs to be

 

High-rise, in-fill housing

From sea to C B D

And so my one quick question is

Just how dense can you be?

 

28/12/2015 PEACE ON EARTH

I.O.T.W.28-12-15

It’s Christmas day at my place

So where do we begin

Throw back the bedroom curtains

And let the sun flood in

 

Outside the birds are singing

It’s barely six o’clock

First of all I need to pee

Then check my Christmas sock

 

Beneath the decorated tree

The bulging stocking lies

Full of cherries, wine and treats

Chocolates and mince pies

 

The radio plays carols

Their harmonies sound sweet

I dress in shorts and t-shirt

With jandals on my feet

 

There’s evidence a-plenty

That Santa’s done his round

His reindeer or a possum have

Left presents on the ground

 

A walk around the native bush

Through the dappled light

Creates a sense of wonder and

Works up an appetite

Then breakfast at the breakfast bar

Out on the patio

Coffee, cream and croissants

A pigeon sweeps in low

 

A blackbird in the bird-bath

Splashes with delight

A tui pipes a cheerful tune

While hidden out of sight

 

The goldfish in their lilied pond

Cruise in all directions

The maples round the edges bow

To touch their own reflections

 

The roses stand with perfect poise

Oozing scented joy

There’s not a breath of wayward wind

No traffic to annoy

 

There’s only leafy harmony

Blue skies without a crease

The lawns were all mown yesterday

Today’s a day of peace

 

Peace and quiet solitude

For everything alive

A peace that will be shattered once

The relies all arrive

8/6/2015 HARDY FOLK

Road collapses on the hills

Where the rains came down

Landslips on the lower roads

The harbour’s muddy brown

 

South Dunedin’s flooded

The worse we’ve seen in years

Brave faces in the doorways

Back rooms filled with tears

 

Some homes evacuated

It’s best to take precautions

Dunedin’s copped a deluge

Of biblical proportions

 

Forty days and forty nights worth

Fell in twenty hours

But Southerners are hardy folk

We’re use to passing showers

22/6/2015 THE WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT

Kauri logs from swampy bogs

Are smuggled out from under

The noses of authorities

By those intent on plunder

 

Wide discontent at money spent

On some extravagant sign

The minister for housing

Is called on to resign

 

Few safeguards for exported sheep

Their welfare or condition

You have to take your hat off to

The Sikh refused admission;

 

Wind and rain and snow and floods

Murder trials and grief;

Perhaps a world cup final

Will bring some light relief.

6/7/2015 WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW

Socrates was once declared

The wisest man – it’s true

For he alone of all the Greeks

Knew how little he knew

 

Billions and billions

Of bankers bucks were leant

But no-one seems to know or care

How the cash was spent

 

It went on education

A lesson for the poor

So now they know a whole lot less

And owe a whole lot more

20/7/2015 FROZEN

Jack Frost has been a wandering

Around the wooded hills

Leaving crystal calling cards

And spreading winter chills

 

A frozen winter wonderland

Upon a film of ice

With animated characters

Some good, some not so nice

 

A spell of freezing weather

Has brought about a change

There’s something in the water

The land is looking strange

 

The ponds are frozen solid

A Bonspiel’s underway

The curling is unfurling

As the Sun comes out to play

 

The magic of the scenery

Designer white on white

With heroines and villains locked

Into a frosty fight

 

There’s rumblings and grumblings

As granite grazes ice

And liquid warmth from barley malt

A necessary vice

 

These hardy men and women who

Feel neither cold nor pain

With games complete now vow to meet

When Jack Frost calls again

3/8/2015 THROW AWAY THE KEY

They’re filming fights on mobile phones

And smoking dope and braking bones

But prison costs are low

The jailed inmates have been let loose

Hi on dope and home-brewed juice

What clowns are running this show?

 

Take the drop or cough up cash

Run the drugs or face the bash

These crimes do more than irk us

It’s enough to make you think

Is this camp or is this clink

Or just a three ringed Sercos

17/8/2015 RINSE AND SPIT

As above – so below

Ten thousand well drilled holes

Peer down from soft-board ceiling tiles

At panic-stricken souls

 

In the dreaded dental chair

Staring at the ceiling
Apparently this needle will
Remove all pain and feeling 

 

Paper bib and goggles to

Protect you from all harm

A giant pizza-pie-shaped light

On double-jointed arm

 

Lie back and think of England

Or any other place

As latex covered foreign fingers

Forage in your face

 

Rubber gloves in blubber mouth

Lips and tongue gone numb

The smell and taste of powdered tooth

But worse is yet to come

 

Suction draws out all the drool

Cool air pin-points the pain

The snake-like, high-pitched, whining drill

Powers up again

 

Prod and poke and gag and choke

Breathing’s hard to manage

And then the feared extraction as

The invoice shows the damage

31/8/2015 WRITING A POEM

When you’re writing poetry

Don’t be vain or vague

And steer well clear of clichés

Avoid them like the plague

 

Write in the first person

Express your point of view

And maybe crib from someone else

A style that’s really you

 

Explain to all the waiting world

Why you’re misunderstood

And use your full vocabulary

That’s really, really, good

 

Alliteration’s ill-advised

And so is measured meter

And if you must use couplets

At least make sure they rhyme

 

Focus on your feelings

The drivel and the dirge

And lo: before you know it

A poem will emerge

14/9/2015 FOLLOW YOUR LEADER

We’re doing all right in the rugby and rowing

The milk and the honey aren’t quite overflowing

House prices are up, the economy’s slowing

To fix or to float there’s no way of knowing

 

Support for the flag – your colours are showing

Desire for new – or allegiances owing

The cold winds of change are building and blowing

But will they affect the sustained status quo-ing

 

The refugee question is growing and growing

Political flip-flops with to-ing and fro-ing

Who’s dragging their feet? Who’s doing the towing?

Now follow your leader to where you were going

 

 

28/9/2015 GOING UPSTAIRS

 

It’s rugby for breakfast, dinner and tea

The passion, the glory, the fame

If you’re feeling left out ’cause you don’t know the rules

Here’s a quick overview of the game

 

Crouch, bind, set the scrum

Too slow, get the ball into play

Popping up, pulling down and Spinning it round

Collapsing, not rolling away

 

Deliberate knock-on, accidental offside

Upending and coming around

Lazy running, lost forward, calling a mark

Man playing the ball on the ground

 

Out on the full, not going back ten

Quick throw-in not with the right ball

The ball wasn’t out, hands in the ruck

And a man splitting off from the maul

 

Ball not in straight, too few in the line

Come back for a dangerous head high

It’s penalty kick after penalty kick

And nobody really knows why

 

Impeding the runner, advantage is over

Playing the man in the air

Yellow or red for back-chatting the ref’

Double play on the line, is he there?

 

We’re going upstairs to fully review

Every angle at very slow speed

There must be a reason not to award it

Just take all the time that you need

12/10/2015 NO WORRIES, SHE’LL BE RIGHT, TRUST ME

I.O.T.W.12-10-15

You had to be inside the tent –

The T.P.P. tepee

Or sitting at the table

To be able to agree

 

With all the unknown pros and cons

And flaws that spring to mind

Otherwise it’s hardly wise

To simply sign up blind

 

So don’t Pooh-pooh protesters who

Pooh-pooh the T.P.P.

They only want to know what’s what

And see less secrecy

26/10/2015 DREAM(dec-)LINERS

I.O.T.W.26-10-15

Christchurch airport is the pits

For those in need of rest

For little airport Hitlers

It’s a persecution fest

 

Denying folk a human need

Is neither cool nor funny

Especially when its rationale

Is just to gouge more money

 

How grateful are you Christchurch

For all the help you got?

Is this your warmest welcome?

Is this your best? or what?

 

Harassing weary travellers

In need of forty winks

Your atavistic policy’s pathetic

And it stinks

 

You’re out of touch with decency

And how the public feel

And where are all your P.R. team?

Asleep behind the wheel!

 

 

 

9/11/2015 LOYAL FANS AND SUBJECTS

I.O.T.W.9-11-15

No All Blacks’ games, no Black caps’ ties

No victory parade

No media to cover it

Should any news be made

 

Dunedin is New Zealand too

Though some may seem to quiz it

It’s nice to know the royals though

Have found us worth a visit

 

A ‘haere mai’ at Taieri High

A Toitu tour for two

A railway train, a car, a plane

Then off to pastures new

 

A walk about, a meet and greet

A speech, a face-to-face

One wonders if the those sporting teams

Could match their gruelling pace

 

23/11/2015 NUMBER 11

I.O.T.W.24-11-15

The football world had Pele

Cricket had sir Don

In Rugby it was Jonah

Who’s legend now lives on

 

A global giant of the game

A quiet gentle man

The loss of Lomu saddens each

And every rugby fan

 

He gave us magic moments

We watched in disbelief

And then so humble off the field

His bright life far too brief

 

A greater gift than anyone

Who’d ever played before

The man with time for everyone

Alas no time no more

 

7/12/2015 NO CLIMATE FOR CHANGE

There’s mayhem in the Middle East

It’s all so complicated

A war to save the people

Yet refugees are hated

 

The risk of greater conflict

Has just been escalated

As Britain votes for air-strikes

The Tories are elated

 

In Paris global warming

Is heatedly debated

In USA mass killings

Continue unabated

 

In Africa the Steenkamp camp

Are celebrating yet

The latest twist

Leaves Oscar Pist-

-orius upset

 

Back home the beef in Wellington

Is berries with Hep A

But at least we’re fully fruit-fly

Free as from today

 

21/12/2015 GLOBAL WARMING

 

No balmy breeze

No palmy trees

No pale pacific moon

Will ever be reflected in

The perfect blue lagoon

A tiny tidal atoll made

Entirely of sand

Fights the ocean’s motions as

They lash against the land

The silent island’s highlands

Sink in to the sea

But that’s just global warming

It’s nowt to do with me