Cosmofunnel V – thoughts

What is it they say? It never rains in Southern California?

Well, I’m here to tell you the same’s true of the Gold Coast, on the south-east coast of Queensland. They say it’s beautiful one day, perfect the next. I think it’s just bone-dry

Except that the farmers end up in drought as 80% of the state I live in is drought-affected. And over there in the US of A you’ve got Hurricane Harvey.

My thoughts go out to those of you that have been affected by the floods, especially those of you in Houston.

I wish you all the best.

Here’s a little poetry for your reading pleasure. Take care…

  • Thoughts LVII

  • Hung out to dry

  • Umbrella moon

  • Of character a face can tell

Cosmofunnel IV – an ode to love

Well, my life as a Copy-writer has recently begun and has provided me with a positive attitude. Not that I didn’t have a positive attitude already, just that this copy-writing caper has energised my free-thinking and directed me to thoughts of love.

Ahhh, love. Now there’s a topic we all, well…love.

So here’s an ode to love, coupled with a few other poems of mine written long before my latest venture.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Bye for now…

  • An Ode to Love

  • Dance

  • Minstrel

  • Epiphany – a short story

Anyone for chocolate?

I love chocolate! Not just for the taste and the variety available. Walk into your nearest chocolate shop and the whole world opens up to you, like Forest Gump said;

Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gunna get.

My box of chocolates runs around my backyard like a fanciful, frenzied fanatic. My box should have been born with a tennis ball in the left side of her mouth. It never seems to move, unless it’s in the air, waiting for her to jump, four feet off the ground, and catch it like an Australian Rules footballer, in the exact spot where it stays as she rests.

Rests? Huh, now there’s something she doesn’t do often. And when she does it’s for a moment, before she gets up, ball in mouth, and finds her ‘master’, for want of a better word, and chases him quietly, persistently, around the house until he gives in and says;

Okay, okay, I get it. It’s time to play ball

No, no, you misunderstand. Not baseball. Just ‘ball’. Up she flies, over she runs, there she stands, eyes looking up at me expectantly, as if there is nothing else in existence at that moment but the three of us – me, her, and the ball.

And not just any ball. It has to be a ‘real’ tennis ball. Thank God, across the way from my house there is a tennis club, where retirees go to freshen up on their not-so-perfect tennis.

Oh, once I was a star. Could beat anyone that challenged me to play

I hear one old retiree say to his ‘friends’ from time to time. Like me telling people I’m a millionaire, this ‘gentleman’ is not-so-believable. But one thing we can all believe is that he provides access to a club with an array of quality balls, of great use to my box of chocolates running and jumping in my backyard.

Feel that ball, see it bounce. Feels good in the hand, even better in the mouth. There she goes again, flying like a kite across the way, like a footballer jumping for a mark. Yet there’s just one difference. She’s better at it. Watching the football last night, the players dropped as many marks as they caught. My box of chocolates catches them all.

It’s just good luck, I hear you say. Aww, c’mon, she can’t possibly catch them all – she must drop the odd one.

Okay, so I lie. Yes, I’ll admit. She drops the odd one here and there. But I’d have her on my team any day. See, she has a benefit over us humans. She’s a dog. And there are numerous reasons they are better than us at ball-catching:-

  1. She is more agile – Dogs have a crazy amount of athletic ability
  2. She is far braver – Dogs put the task before themselves
  3. She has way better sensory perception – Dogs don’t take their eye off the ball
  4. She is more focussed – Given a task to perform, dogs will prove they are more focussed than humans on the task at hand

Couple this with the fact dogs are happier than us, smarter than children, and help keep us healthy, and it’s no wonder us dog-lovers are happy with our box of chocolates.

Please slow down

Sometimes we move so fast that life just can’t keep up with us. Always running, faster, harder, to get to that next meeting, that next doctor’s appointment, to be there for our loved ones or to pick our children up from school. When can we ever find the time to just slow down?

Recently I was in a town in Queensland, Australia, called Eumundi. The picture that you see with this publication was taken as I entered the town. The town itself was like returning to the 1950’s. I don’t say that in a bad way but rather an affectionate way, for I’d jump in the car to go to Eumundi again tomorrow – if only I could find the time.

Time. Have you ever tried taking your watch off and judging the time by the sun? In days gone by that’s exactly what people would do. The only clock was the one in the Town Centre on the Clocktower. Otherwise, the sun would tell those of yore that it was time. Even today, I’m sure some of those we hold dear judge time the very same way. Take my dog, for instance.

Needless to say she knows when it’s time for breakfast ‘cos the sun’s up. She knows it’s time for a walk ‘cos breakfast is over. She knows it’s lunch-time ‘cos the sun is strong, and the shade in the backyard has moved ever so slightly. And, most importantly, she knows when it’s dinner-time, for the sun is getting ready to set. As it falls dark she knows the day is over and it’s time to rest.

But we keep moving at a hundred miles an hour, failing to take in the beauty of the day, the sunset’s rich colour, and the bay of sparkling water with moored boats that we pass on our way home from work. When did we get ahead of ourselves?

Does it make you wonder how we ever survived without those gadgets we use to divert our attention from impending boredom? Do you ever stop to think we seem to be heading in the direction of ‘losing time’ for ‘sitting and thinking’, as rare as it might be, has taken over from, well, just ‘sitting’. So we turn to our gadget. Each and every day when I try and find the time for a bite to eat, I walk up the street and see people walking toward me, head down, hand around their gadget, checking their latest text message, or looking at their latest photo sent from a friend they used to catch up with most weekends at the bar but now – yes, you guessed it – just don’t seem to be able to find the time for.

One time it so happened I was in a Shopping Centre and the girl walking near me was walking toward a water fountain, her head down attending to her gadget. She kept walking far enough that she fell right into that water fountain, her dress soaking wet, and another shopper bringing her shoes to her that had been floating around the other side. Luckily, no harm came to her that day. Nor did it come to the young man who tripped and fell on the sidewalk near the CBD because he was too busy texting to look up and face the day.

Every day I try and wake up, pull the curtains, look at the woman beside me, and then look out the window at the sun shining, as if to say; ‘Good morning’ and then I stare at the palm tree in the front yard and, to use a colloquial expression, thank my lucky stars for being a part of the day that lies ahead of me.

After all, we love our kids, we love our town – let’s slow down.

NB: First published on 

White – the ‘blush’ of new beginnings

Some say we must experience loss before we can truly love another. If that’s true then the two go hand in glove, like a picture in a puzzle, like the final piece of that uncompleted jigsaw. Like the face without a frown, like the red nose on the clown.

The two sit there, ever so quiet, one chair for each as the moon shines and the stars are seen in the brightest night.

“I love you,” he says to his sweetest, holding her soft hand.

“Me too,” she replies, blushing, rushing to maintain a semblance of what is real.

But this is real – now – the only real thing to her is him: a life lived with him beside her, and within.

She lived a life of solitude until then – a life never to be in solitude again. For tomorrow is the beginning of a life ‘conjoined’: brought together, forever and until…

Grey – the colour of compromise

Compromise lives in uncertainty’s world: a sense of not knowing what path one should take: to look forward with a smile or back with a solemn frown.

Who’ll guide me, who will listen? Does anybody care? I look left, I look right: is anybody there?

Trudging through the mud each day, after rain: its heaviest of all. I shout out to a shadow – hear my call! I just want that shadow to hear my voice, to listen and accept. The first to accept my point of view is my best chance yet…

Of finding my way to the whiter side of grey. I face many bends in the road that lies ahead. Yet find my way I will and I’ll live to love again. The road ahead’s the ‘whitest’ road I’ve seen.

Black -the symbol of grief

A sense of losing what, once, was held so dear: what, once, was held so close to the heart. Oh, how to live, to begin again: to start to feel life hasn’t ended yet?

But how to leave this path of loneliness? How to see a bright light shining through? How can one love again after such a loss: how can one put aside the memory of you?

Yet memories need not be e’er forgotten: they are as much a part of our soul as of our heart. Without cherished memories, what is life to us but an empty, shallow chasm filled with dust?


Herbert knew about the cocktail party long before Mary. “How did you find out about it so soon?” Mary said. “I don’t know, I just did, I guess,” replied Herbert. “Hmmm,” was all Mary could manage, as she walked away from the kitchen table, tossing her hair over her right shoulder, in anything but a state of contentment. Herbert could offer a wan smile to no-one in particular. He was never one to ‘compete’ for attention with others, especially not Mary, a young, attractive, brown-eyed brunette everyone knew could have had anyone she wanted. Why she chose Herbert was anyone’s guess.


And so it was that Herbert turned up to the cocktail party feeling a little sure of himself. Self-satisfaction didn’t sit well with him at the best of times but he tried to walk it through the door with a graceful belief he could carry it off. Needless to say he wouldn’t try too hard that night to make new friends. Rather, his strategy was to stay close to those he already knew and make for harmless chatter whenever it was deemed necessary.


Mary was on his arm that night. There was no way she was going to miss this one. The book launch had been something she’d been looking forward to for months, as she thought the author would still remember her from their high school days together – especially the days they spent behind the toilets by the sports grounds.


Mind you, she had room to make up, Herbert starting streaks ahead as the invitation had been to Herbert and partner rather than to Herbert and Mary – a slight, to be sure, but one she would shrug off with ease once in the surroundings she found familiar and to her liking. She started by walking about the room, purse in hand, as she tried her very best to make as many new friends as she possibly could.


Her strategy was to shy away from Herbert at every opportunity, preferring to be around guests of interest, to her and to others, pseudo-celebrities, so to speak. As Herbert’s old mate, David, Dave to his friends, came over to say hello, Mary whisked herself away from the impending gloom Dave brought with him to find her preferred company. Her dress that night was red, short but elegant, as if she wasn’t attractive enough already. She saw Jonathan and made a bee-line for him;

“Dear Jonathan, how are you this evening? I haven’t seen you in far too long. How are Elizabeth and the girls?”

Jonathan Reedy was a reasonably well-known weekend broadcaster on the local radio station where Herbert worked. At the last moment, Mary’s name came to him. “Well, thank you Mary. Sadly they couldn’t make it tonight.” Struggling, he found he was lost for words. What should he say to keep the conversation going? What did he know about this woman?


He had an idea. ‘You’re looking beautiful this evening, if I may say so. And those shoes.” “Oh, thank you. Yes, I haven’t worn this before. I bought it especially for the occasion. It cost an arm and a leg but I’m sure Herbert can afford it. I tried it on a couple of weeks ago and, Jonathan, it was like it was meant for me and me alone. The woman in the boutique at Double Bay was anything but helpful but by the time I’d finished with her I had her eating out of my hand. The shoes were just a last-minute thing. I just threw them on five minutes before I left the house. I think they look perfect, though – don’t you?”


Jonathan knew he had a cocktail guest for the rest of the evening if he couldn’t find a way to prize himself away from her. But for now, not thinking fast enough, he said; “And the girls? Who’s minding them tonight?” “Oh, Jonathan, I found this place called A+ Minders. They were recommended by my good friend Daisy Fairchild, you know, the news anchor at Channel 8?”


Mary was keen to drop the odd famous name, raising the stakes of her credibility with Jonathan and other guests he’d speak to (about her) later in the evening. Before Jonathan could get a word out, she was back on the job; “Oh, yes, they advertise on Channel 8. A+ says it all really. Of course, I had to interview the ‘minder’ a few times before I could be satisfied they weren’t some troll or tripe or something – you know, Jonny, the usual teenager who’s more interested in their mobile phone than they are in caring for my children. And most nannies find the door in a hurry when they find out I have twins. I don’t know why that scares them away. My kids are nothing but a bundle of joy. Just look at me. Ha, how could they be anything else?”


Jonathan was worried. ‘She’s started calling me Jonny,’ he thought to himself. Now he remembered where he knew Mary from – they had been high-school ‘sweethearts’ of sorts. God, those times behind the toilets! How could he forget? That was the last time she’d called him ‘Jonny,’ and we all know what that led to.


Jonathan had gotten in strife back then with his parents and the Headmaster because Mary had thought she was pregnant, all because they’d kissed. A real kiss too! It had taken months for ‘Jonny,’ as he was known back then, to live that one down – no-one believed his side of the story, even though, in time, he would be proven right. Now she was back doing it again. ‘Where would this night lead us?’ he wondered.


“Jonny, are you okay? You’re looking a bit, well, gaunt. Are you sure everything’s okay? It’s not the wine is it? I know they always serve up crap at these events. I try to be selective with what passes my lips at these things. Well, I’m always selective with what passes my lips. You know what I mean.” With that Mary gave Jonathan a little nudge, as if to imply she’d like to encourage a little, well, repartee.


But Jonathan really was started to look a little ill. As he stood there taking all this in he thought to himself; ‘how much more of this can I take? Someone come over and save me.’ But he had an out clause ready as he replied to Mary’s concerns.


“Thanks for your concern Mary, yes, I’m really not feeling well. I had a little something to eat before heading out tonight and I think it’s taken its toll. If you’ll excuse me for a moment, I might just visit the facilities. Do you know where they are?” For once all Mary could say or do was direct ‘Jonny’ to the men’s. “Round the corner to your left and up the end of the hallway,” she instructed him. “Thanks ever so much Mary. I’ll be back soon.”


Mary knew Jonathan wouldn’t return and so started looking round the room for more companions to talk with. She saw her beloved Herbert busy in conversation with the author she had come to see, who would be busy with book signings later in the evening. She left him alone for now as he looked jovial and otherwise engaged – she didn’t want to intrude. She’d find time for both men later on, Herbert at home under the covers and the author, well, she’d find time for the author outside behind the back entrance.


As she elegantly, curvaceously, strolled across the room she caught the eye of Josephine and Desmond O’Reilly, the poet laureate and her husband, a photographer, recently featured in National Geographic.


She was impressed before they spoke. Mary always loved hearing everyone’s news, and was keen to hear what the poet had been up to of late and what her husband had been watching and photographing – native wildlife or cityscapes, he did them both. “Mary,” Josephine and Desmond called out in tandem. “How have you been, my darling?”


“Oh, Jo and Des, what a surprise to see you here. I didn’t even know you’d been invited,” Mary lied. “Tell me all about your recent trip to Africa.” “You look ravishing, may I say?” Desmond said. Josephine gave her husband a dirty look and a quick kick on his foot. Her high heel could do serious damage when required. “Ouch,” Desmond cried. “How are your girls?” Jo asked of Mary, to avert attention from her aggressive act of jealousy. “Oh, seeming as you ask,…” Mary began, feeling the life and soul of the party once more. With sparkling wine in hand she was set for the next half hour.


“But that’s enough about me,” Mary said, after having spent the half hour telling these distant acquaintances her embellished life story, “let’s talk about you,” she said, wondering all along what they thought about her. Herbert could only look on from afar with a shy, not unfamiliar, wry grin. The night was still young.