showers with a chance of rain

Billy asked his wife that day

About the weather forecast.

“Showers, honey, just a few,

But don’t think they will last.”

“There could be rain,” said Billy’s son,

A high percentage chance of falling.

Tim Bailey said so, on Channel Ten.

‘Daily Bailey’ I think they call him.”

“The rain could become a storm, I heard,”

Said Jill, Billy’s youngest daughter.

“Late today a cool change’ll come.

It’ll be a mild change…, well…, sorta.”

“That storm could bring thunder and lightning

To the whole of the North Shore,

So be careful, hun, when heading out,

It could arrive with an almighty roar.”

“Yeah, Mum,” Billy’s son Ben chimed in,

“A storm, of that I’m certain.

But if hail comes, we’ll batten down

Last time we replaced the curtains.”

“It’s all to do with climate change, son,

That bloody global warming.

This season’s gunna be one long, hot summer,

The flies, they will be swarming.”

“I know, sweetie,” Billy’s wife replied,

“It sure is nasty weather.

One things for sure, if I’m certain at all

It’s that we’ll live (and love) through it together.”

Postscript: Tim Bailey is a ‘weatherman’ on Channel Ten’s nation-wide Eyewitness News, in Australia.

on the road

I stood upon the road

Paved in bitumen and stone.

I felt nobody loved me

As I stood there all alone.

I stood upon the road

That diverted east and west.

Some moved one way, some the other,

No-one knew which way was best.

I stood upon the road

On which there’d been a recent crash.

I’d seen the body taken away

Like they were putting out the trash.

I stood upon the road,

It had grown puddles from the wet.

I’d been protected, no-one knows how.

Was He my protective net?

I stood upon the road –

Somebody loved me after all.

Had I ever stood on that road,

Or was I entranced, enthralled?

I stood upon the road –

No-one saw me as they passed.

Were they focussed on the fork ahead

Or just going too fast?

I stood upon the road

When someone hit me, I know not who.

Was it Him, or a perfect stranger?

Or was that someone…, you?

black dog

He senses darkness,

Won’t go away,

The black dog no-one sees.

He senses darkness,

Ever present,

The grey cloud, on his knees.

He senses darkness,

With him only,

Talking as he walks.

He senses darkness,

The black dog barks,

In the road there is a fork.

He senses darkness,

It frustrates him,

No matter which turn he takes.

He senses darkness,

It’s driving him,

The traffic, it awakes.

He senses darkness,

It’s telling him,

It’s time to make a choice.

He senses darkness,

It’s willing him,

But with that there’s a voice.

The voice, it tells him,

“Away the lead,”

Let black dog roam free.

He senses light,


As he lets black dog

Off the lead.

He senses light,


He turns…,

And there…

Is me.

For those suffering from depression and living in Australia, the following are good places to find support groups that can help:-, OR

far horizon

Butterfly in shimmering light,

Garden blooming in new season.

Kookaburra, sitting, soulful –

Poignant is the far horizon.

Orchid flowers, life awakens,

The day grows ever longer.

Shadows present,

Sunshine alightens,

Prodigious is her effort, action.

Human in kind,

Love we find

In simple, pleasant things.

Far horizon, ever closer,

Droplets they descend.

Life, we wish to never end,

The day draws near,

We transcend.


I have a plan to build on.

I know that it will work.

It means I’d rely on others

And on leaving Back ‘o Burke.

See, I want a kid, I know I do,

One of my very own.

But I need to find a fella

Who’ll not leave me, not disown.

So I went a lookin’ for my fella,

And I found one, handsome, awesome, cool,

On I wrote a novella

And I was not thought a fool.

His name was Ed, or ‘Handsome Hunk,’

Edward Brown it was in full.

The kinda guy who’d stay around,

More ‘pussy-cat’ than ‘bull.’

I thought; “Ah-ha. I got him,”

Reigned him in I did.

I’d opened a can, a can o’ worms,

I’d taken off the lid.

Within the can was a family man

Who’d earn something called a living,

Whilst I brung up my baby girl,

Good and proper, no misgivings.

Now, his family, I made them me own,

I was enchanting, really nice.

They’d be my fortune five hundred family,

So I acted sweet like…,well, once or maybe twice.

They called me ‘Darl,’ ‘Sweet pea,’ and ‘Honey,’

I felt part of their inner family.

“Better learn their name,” I thought

(for the record, it was Hamley).

They were so keen to bring me in

As part of their extended troup.

Almost made me feel guilty, like

When I took off with half their loot.

Not really, just fiction of sorts.

See, they’d give me lots of things.

It’s funny what being nice can do,

It’s funny what it brings.

But I wasn’t finished,

Oh, no, not yet,

I had so much more to do.

I had to apply at the Government Office

For that Social payment, as ya do.

The Government, it gives a hand-out

What’s referred to as an entitle-ment,

Where no-one even has to work,

It sounds absolutely Heaven-sent.

I’m pretty sure ‘Social payment’ is what it’s called,

And I know it does ya lots a good.

Better than goin’ out to work,

Answering phones, Jeez, I never would!

I’d heard so many people say,

In the form of a story, of a fable,

“Ya won’t look back girl, be the makings of ya,

Just don’t tell them you are able

To work a day or maybe two

Or they’ll have ya servin’ tea

At the local cafe, ‘Jimmy’s’ I think it’s called.

Luv, it wouldn’t do for me.”

They told me that I could get thousands

If I just played my cards right.

Dan ‘is name was, behind the counter

Handed me forms, in blue and white.

“What did this mean,” I wondered,

As I sat there lookin’ dim.

I got no idea what to fill out first,

So I acted on a whim.

I went for Sole Parent Pension

Cos it brought me the most cash.

Family Tax Benefits were a given

So through that I put a dash.

“Congratulations,” Dan said to me,

As I handed him my forms.

“You’ll hear from the Government, officially

But I’ll tell ya what’s the norm.”

“We encourage a big hand-out

To people like yourself,

Left alone by ya partner,

Left up on the shelf.”

I wasn’t ’bout to tell him

Well…you know…,the truth

If I did he might take me pennies back

Give others my hard-earned loot

‘Cos even though Ed, my man

Lived…,well, just around the corner,

I deserved that pension, that I did!

Not my neighbour, Wendy Horner.

Dan said; “We must protect ya,

That’s what the Government is here for,

To fork out cash to those in need

Not like it was before.”

“Before the Great Depression, see,

Ain’t nothin’ like this welfare

Each man (and woman) for themself

No Government could care.”

On and on, this Dan went

Talkin’ ‘bout the past.

I wasn’t really listenin’,

Wanted to get out really fast.

“God, this Dan,” I thought, “what’s he about?

He’s givin’ a history lesson.”

I stood there not takin’ it in

And not feelin’ like confessin’

I didn’t have a clue like

About anything he said.

It made me tired, gave me headache,

I should have been in bed.

But it sounded as he walloped on

Like Government’s day had come.

The story told of Government

Makin’ money on the run,

Off the taxpayer, payin ‘is tax (and mine)

On payin’ more than his fair share,

From them to me and others too,

Spent on those who couldn’t care

That they were bleedin’ dry the workin’ man

Who toiled all day long is all.

Hard-workers like Tom, and Wal…,and then Dianne

So sods like me, we wouldn’t fall

Below what the Government called a poverty line,

But me, I couldn’t see it.

Not likely to, it ain’t exist,

Was made up half the time.

I was a bit quizzical, like,

I’d taken money, other people’s.

Just ‘cos I didn’t want to work.

It sounded rather feeble.

Just ‘cos I could, was accepted practice

To make money off the system.

Encouraged I was, and better off too,

It was too hard to resist ’em.

And so my plan had begun,

Money was as good as in my purse.

What’s good for them is good for me.

Let’s face it, could have been lots worse.

What good for me is the welfare system?

Better in my hands than anyone else’s.

What good for me is that Money Tree

If I’m restrained from my impulses?

What good for me is social welfare,

Built on a bureaucrats obsession?

If I don’t get my share of it,

It may lead me to recession.

true love

A hand reached out in time of need,

Like rain in time of drought.

Fingers interlaced, accede,

Like a bud that blooms from planted seed.

A hand reached out, come what may,

Empathy one need not borrow.

Transfixed, like hand in glove, to stay,

Ne’er for this love, in time, away.

A hand reached out, no more the poorer

Like a descendent finding family,

To face, to feel, to touch, be surer,

With every waking hour, purer.

A hand reached out to touch the glass,

Through it could be seen the far horizon.

‘Twas like a fish hook, setting, cast –

The fish, now caught, would ever last.

A hand reached out in time of need,

Like rain in time of drought.

Fingers interlaced, accede,

Like blooming bud, planted seed.

side by side

The World reached out its hands to

Accept those of less fortune in it.

The bridge provided passage to

Cater for the huddled masses.

They came from far,

They came from wide,

To beat the rising tide.

With humility and honour

Climbing the mountain, side by side.

A borrower nor a lender be

Espouse belief it can be done.

A winner one, a winner all,

Believe it will be won.

Traverse the mountain-top,

Traverse the far horizon.

The valley leads to that mountain-top

Whence one receives their prize on.

That prize be freedom,

That prize be life,

A new one, to be sure,

Whence one will strive for happiness,

And leave behind their poor

Beginnings in the World, now with outstretched hands

To accept those of less fortune in it,

Who came from far ‘way lands.

Lands of the poor,

Lands of the lost.

Their path is with dignity and pride,

From valleys, climbing slowly,

Surely, side by side.

Traverse the mountain-top,

Traverse the far horizon.

Set foot on that mountain-top

Whence one receives their prize on.

the Fire Chief…

The Fire Chief relaxed

As he sat down in his chair

He’d just come home from watching his son play soccer

“I can’t believe it,” he cried aloud, with a touch of flair

“My bloody son has had another shocker.”

“That boy,” he said, “I trained him,

Took him up the park

To play, and kick, and catch all day long.

It never sunk into him that foot went before the ball,

I always knew that there was something wrong.”

The Fire Chief, he reclined in chair

Good and bloody proper

Before he heard a siren near

Too late for him to stop ‘her.’

Brring, brring, it went, brring, brring again

The red phone woke him from his slumber

Realising his wife was not at home

He hoped ’twas a wrong number

“Alright, I’m coming,” he shouted at the phone

Knowing no-one could hear him.

But the phone went dead, “Damn it,” he said

“Bugger, Jesus, f_ck ‘im.”

The Fire Chief’s face had turned a frown

He now knew somethin’ wasn’t right

“Another bloody summer,” he thought

“They’ll need me there to fight.”

So the Chief hopped in his car that sunny day

And whizzed down the main street playing

‘Jerusalem’ on his radio

As he thought his villagers weren’t staying.

“Shit. There’s a fire in my village,”

He could see the burning embers

I must get down to help,” he cried

“Or it’ll be like last September.”

‘If I don’t take charge the villagers

Will think; ‘Where was our Fire Chief that day?’

And I’ll live to regret it,

I may as well just walk away.”

“Johnny, tell the villagers I’m on my way

To save them from their grief.”

“What’s that? You can’t hear me?

For God’s sake man, it is your Fire Chief.”

Watch and act alerts were now

Being posted on TV stations

Stay if you must, leave if you can

As the villagers lost their patience.

Arriving in t-shirt and shorts

The Fire Chief made a dash

For the change rooms where he soon got dressed

Ready for the ‘bash and crash.’

The Fire Chief was now in charge

Dressed in Fire garb

“Let’s work as a team

To save villagers’ homes,” he roared

“Like those of George and Debbie, Bill and Barb.”

As the day progressed, the bushfire

Attracted TV in all its glory

They’d come with newscasters galore

To create a big news story.

“I could be a star,” the Fire Chief thought

“It’ll be my fifteen minutes of fame.

I must get an interview with Seven, Nine and Ten

Before the fire starts to wane.”

“Fire Chief,” the stations asked him,

“What next for the red embers?”

“We’ll fight the good fight, toil through Hell we might

So we don’t revisit Red September.”

“Ahhh, yes, Fire Chief, that was Hell-ish for sure

We lost a few that day.”

“But think back further, to times of yore

And all we could do was pray.”

As Fire Chief stood, tall and straight

Talking to reporters

His team put out the fire, ‘Hoo-ray’

Giving not a quarter.

So the fire waned, saved by the bell

The Fire Chief’s team were fearless.

“Fire Chief, you’ve done well,” the networks said,

“Your efforts have been peerless.”

The Fire Chief said; “Thank you Holy Father,

Thank you Jesus Bloody Christ.

Now I can have a beer,

Better still, make it whisky, and bloody-well on ice.”

He’d saved the villagers after all (or so he thought)

His wife, she was so proud.

But that whisky, “One’s fine, maybe two,”

Any more she’d not allow.

The Fire Chief took all the credit,

His face appeared nation-wide.

He ‘thumped his chest’

“Man, I’m the best.”

Yes, he suffered from false pride.

Brring, brring, brring brring, The phone rang,

This time the private line.

“Fire Chief, is that you? It’s the PM here.

What’s that old man? Oh, I’m fine.”

“We want to share our love around

And throw your villagers buckets of money.

A hundred million, maybe more.

What? A joke? Man, this ain’t funny!”

“I’ll be making an announcement on Seven, Nine and Ten

That my government will spend a hundred mill

When will we disburse it you say? I know not when,

But my binding promise is to say we will.”

The long hot summer, well, it cooled

Global warming had failed the nation

The whole episode, the villagers thought

Had been one bloody big sensation.


Freedom stood upon the mountain top, to view the rising sun,

That day he felt happy walking tall and straight.

The sun brought warmth to the travails of His fight,

A fight He’d surely ne’er for granted take.

Freedom looked down toward the villagers.

Within their village many roamed carefree.

But unlike Freedom, they were unaware

What they could think and feel, they could not see.

Yet Correctness could be seen by villagers that day

Spreading the word that Freedom was a danger.

“We must reign in our freedoms,” Correctness was heard to say,

“And be careful ne’er to share with perfect strangers.”

“Oh, my! Correctness is a foolish man. He’ll cause my village certain strife,”

Said Freedom as he strolled down the mountain top.

“We must maintain our right to congregate, to speak our minds,

Or otherwise our freedoms we’ll allot.”

As Correctness walked and talked that day a grey cloud above him stayed

Wherever he went the cloud would surely follow.

“It’s a sure sign of danger looming, of our freedoms taken back,”

Said Freedom, starting to flounder, lurch and wallow.

“You have no right to talk the truth, to speak ill of others,

You have no right to say what you truly think.

You cannot harm feelings of those you consider less than brothers

Or our village’s morality will sink.”

Freedom was losing patience with Correctness,

As the cloud over the latter moved away

Villagers nodded “yes, Correctness, yes, I do believe

One should not speak ill, one surely shouldn’t stray.”

But Freedom thought this madness, foolishness and folly,

“We’ll all be ruined if you follow through.

Our liberal village will put asunder, and then we’ll all be sorry

A Silent Order we’ll become, our free land lost to me and you.”

Freedom or Correctness, who will win the day?

It all depends who you listen to.

The first one on the podium will be the one to spread the word,

They’ll be the first one and they’ll be the last one heard.

Let the villagers hope it’s Freedom, for they ought to cherish these,

So many villages have none of their own.

The right to speak their mind, a right through all their live long years

Is a right to be encouraged, to be sown.


from Prism – an anthology – a collection of poetry, published November 2016

Oh ye

Oh ye of little faith

Where has hope gone?

A smile doth be lost

Now only wan.

Is that all ye can stir

This full, bright day?

There must be more whence it came

To satisfy one’s love, come what may.

For without belief one’s hope is lost for good

Forever, now one’s faith be gone

And ye be destined to live alone anon.

The only hope is to begin anew

In which case hope, faith and belief will brew,

But charity in absentia remains,

For now there is no need.

On this full, bright day ye will see the sun

To allow us once more to love as one.