Scopus umbretta


Funny-looking pelican-bird
wading in the water,
looking for plump tadpoles
and juicy frogs,
taking a tea break from housebuilding
(your fourth of the year,
but who’s counting?).

calls you back to business:
Yip yip yip purr yip yip!
Take her a plucky toad for appeasement.
She’s inside the nearly completed nest.
You drop the amphibian at her feet
and sail down to the riverine floor,
pick up a large stick
and transport it up to the construction site.
Sturdy floor and cupped walls
are nestled in the WHY of a fat sycamore fig.
You prop the limb between wall and roof
and your helpmate pulls it into place below you.

Puffing out your chest
you hold your hammerhead high,
proud of your grand mansion.
Leguaans and eagles,
owls and genets,
heck! even bees
covet your voluminous abode.
Yip yip yip yip!
You are getting scolded.
Focus, buddy!
Down you go . . .
only two-thousand-odd twigs to go
(but who’s counting?).

Over at dVerse, Kim is challenging us to write a poem which focuses on a creature building its home.
Hamerkops are fascinating nest builders. Pairs work together constructing their huge aerie in the fork of a large tree. The completed home is 2 metres high and 1½ metres wide and is strong enough to have a full-grown man stand on top of the roof without it caving in!

Leaving Home


He left on a Sunday
the midday meal (meatloaf and mash),
four hugs
a promise to write.

I pressed into his hands
padkos wrapped in tin.
When he stopped for tea,
he’d find:
my heart —
upon it etched a map
labeled “home.”


It’s Quadrille Monday over at dVerse and De is hosting, inviting us to pen a Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words) containing the word map. Why not join us? 😊

A Matter of Usefulness


I watched,
standing in oversized gum boots,
as she tore handfuls of bright blooms
from their pretty bed,
tossing them into a garbage pail.
Come, she urged, help me!

Why are you killing the flowers? I asked.
Oh, these aren’t flowers! she intoned.
These are nasty weeds!
What’s a weed? I queried.
It’s a plant that grows
where it’s not wanted.

And through the years
I’ve watched
as she systematically
pulled out everything
that she deemed worthless.

She no longer takes my calls.


Today at dVerse, Sarah asks us to write a poem about weeds to celebrate National Weed Appreciation Day (28 March). It really is a thing! Come write and play!

All in Good Time


I’ve gotten up five times since I sat down — twice for coffee, once for the bathroom, once to answer the phone and once for no good reason except that I am tired of staring at a blank piece of paper. The assignment, given a week ago, was easy to ignore on Monday. Tuesday brought niggles, but they were easy to dismiss. Wednesday felt tighter, but there were so many attractive distractions. Thursday seemed to dissolve like my resolutions.

And here I am at Friday, deadline just hours away, approaching like an oncoming train. The urgency weighs on my shoulders. The mantra “write, write, write” reverberates through my skull. And the empty page continues to mock me.

The still bare earth waits
patiently for summer rain.
A green leaf pops up.

Frank J Tassone, host for Haibun Monday at dVerse, asks us to write a haibun that references pressure. Why don’t you come join the fun?

The Squirrel


Sky weeping has ceased
and puddly-tat feet
scuttle across the roof.
Suddenly he sloths me,
bottom up from the eaves.
We both freeze,
exchanging gazes.
For a moment
we are bound —
until we remember our duty.
He returns to playful work
of hunting nuts,
and I to chasing words.

Grace is tending the bar at dVerse and serving up word play!
Anthimeria, kennings and oxymora
are three fun literary devices.
Why not join in the fun and games!!



Hers was a stolen kingdom,
crown of her own making.
Because she was the centre,
everything came tumbling down.
But she’d rather be queen of a landfill
than a servant in paradise.
When the authentic ruler returned,
she refused to bow
and was broken.


It’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse and De Jackson challenges us to write a “crown” Quadrille (a poem of exactly 44 words, not counting the title, and literally including some form of the word crown).
Why not give it a go?

Divine Surgery


Cutting deep to the heart
we found the organ
pocked with barnacles,
constricting movement,
creating callous indifference.

Careening the vessel
we delicately scraped
until the living flesh
quivered in our hands.

Then nesting the treasure home,
we closed the wound
with a holy kiss.


It’s Quadrille Monday over at dVerse again and host Lillian challenges us to “write a quadrille (a poem of EXACTLY 44 words, not including the title) AND include the word “careen” or a form of the word within the body of the poem.”

Come join us!

A Trip to the Game Reserve


Through the vast sanctuary

we scuttle like scarabs

searching for signs of fauna.

“Look! Panthera leo!”

“There! Giraffa camelopardalis!”

“See, Equus quagga!”

A glance in the binnies reveals:

nothing but

inanimate stones.


we name them “Sylvester”

(Thank you, Mr Steig!)

and begin again.


It’s Quadrille Monday over at dVerse and De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, challenges us to write a 44-word poem using “stone” (or some variation there of).

Isaiah 43


Stumbling through a wasteland
(repeatedly abbreviated)
I stagger on
in pursuit of a dream,
………………..a promise,
which lies always beyond my grasp.

In the end
I fall
to rise no more
(then recognise hope),
becoming a channel of grace,
……………..a stream in the desert.


It is Quadrille time over at dVerse and De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, challenges us to write a 44-word poem featureing the word “stream.”

The Heart of Winter


In the heart of wheezing winter
At the end of worn out June,
Darkness arrives quite early
with the cold face of the moon.

For the robust greens of summer
The kneeling warthog grieves
And a curious little mongoose
Sifts through the brittle leaves.


It was Quadrille Monday at d’Verse and De was the host.
A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words, not counting the title, and this week
including some form of the word CURIOSITY(curious, curiousness, curiouser, etc). 

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