Day 18 – dog praising (& flag waving)

Kiara's Chezzy - side small.JPG

Today’s pome is inspired by a poem I read part of yesterday & wanted to i) play around a bit, ii) try attempting a different form, iii) honouring a subject I rarely write about (haha). 

The extract I’m referring to is taken from a very long poem Jubilate Agno (Latin: “Rejoice in the Lamb”) by Christopher Smart, written 1759-63, during Smart’s confinement for insanity, but first published only in 1939. Divided into four fragments A, B, C, & D the whole consists of over 1,200 lines: all the lines in some sections begin with Let; the other sections begin with For. The poem is chiefly remembered today for the 74-line extract wherein Smart extols the many virtues and habits of his cat, Jeoffry. It begins:

     For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
……For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.

& I will use the same/similar lines to begin my (considerably shorter paean).


Jubilate Canis (shout out to my dog)

For I will consider my Dog Chester.
For he is the servant of the Infinite who is throughout the universe.

For this he performs in ten degrees.
For first he wisely sniffs every piece of food offered to him
For secondly he quickly, softly, licks my toes should a leg drop over the bed’s edge
For thirdly he rests neatly, his forepaws politely crossed
For fourthly he sleeps wildly, upon his back, legs sprawled in 9 directions, completely at peace
For fifthly he always stretches his back properly upon awaking
For sixthly at dawn he wishes to smell all that his new in his yard & let others know of his return to dominance
For seventhly, beneath the desk even as I type, he reaches out a paw to ensure there is contact with my foot
For eighthly believes when he has the ball, all others want the ball, & it is his sworn duty to protect & retain the ball
For ninthly he does not consider himself too big to climb onto my lap & cradled like a babe
For tenthly he still whines excitedly (& only a little pathetically) at the gate, when I have been away a long time, as if he did not believe I was ever returning to him
For food
              for walk
…………………………..for pat
                                        for drive all delight in equal measure
For he is optimism beyond all reason for hope
For he finds joy in the simplest of things.

For while I claim he performs divine duty in ten degrees
For sure I could easily list ten times ten times ten more.

BONUS POEM: April 18, 2018

You don’t see as much of this in Australia, though it is getting worse…



proudly flapping
every where you go
patriotism overload
overwhelming, cloying
we have hung
them everywhere
outside our homes
along the roads
on tree branches
twigs, bushes, brambles
caught on wire
strung from fences
in towns, cities
& isolated country
places you wouldn’t
places they shouldn’t
shreds of flag
shards of flag
a sliver, a scrap, a slip
the smallest fragment
enough to remind us
you can’t escape
the jingoistic fervour 

despite the propaganda
it’s hard to take pride
in any of our billion
billion plastic pennants

18b flags.jpg

Day 20 – poem about emotional maturity


Two thirds of the way through NaPoWriMo 2017 … & a light-hearted poem on a day when I just wanted to read & relax.


people accuse
me of being

patently untrue
clearly they have
not observed

the blasé way
i now fingernail
a stray dog hair

up the slippery
side of my mug
after its quick

coffee dip &
continue sipping

back on the write path again …

Ok, so let’s start by ignoring the long break between posts. Many (many) poems have be crafted since April, some of them even quite good, they just haven’t made their way here. NaPoWrMo, while fun, sure was exhausting. Almost as exhausting as what inspired today’s poem.

A friend has just recently begun addressing her unhealthy eating habits & lack of exercise in a very awesome way: by eating healthier & going hiking in the beautiful Aussie bush – during this glorious time of year as winter wears off, & the southern world stretches out & starts to warms up.

She’s also been highly proactive in posting about this on her Facebook page, making winterslobs like me realise we won’t be able to hide under our baggy jumpers for much longer.  She also reminded me how much I love bush walking & how since getting Chester, walks have been “confined” to the beach & along the river …

So today I researched hiking trails which allow dogs, packed the old backpack full of notebooks, a couple of books to read sitting in the sun, the binoculars, a bird identification book, some poop bags, a cap, water, trail mix (well a pumpkin seed roll, a carrot & a capsicum) … & set off.

This poem is the result. It’s in picture form because wordpress doesn’t cope with quirky layouts too well.  It’s in two parts. If they’re not quite big enough to read, click on each verse to make it full size 🙂

Enjoy. & I will make sure the time elapsed before the next update is less pronounced.

bush walk - i. leah fire track   bush walk - ii. timbercutters trail


a couple of snaps taken while on the trail

chester smells

the creek

red breast (look for it)

look closely

red-breast cu



more photos?

another photo? but he’s very polite about it …

you lookin at me?

He’s quite photogenic (I thinks)

panorama reduced

the view

April 18 – Day Eighteen: Easter ghosts

I saved a bunch of articles I was planning to use/explore in poetic form during NaPoWriMo. Yet almost every day, something more “personal” gets in the way.  Good Friday (the day this was written, was one of them.)  This poem was written in the car on the drive between Adelaide & my parents’ farm.

When I re-read the poem for the first time since posting it on fb almost a week ago, the irony is, the poem itself has a huge hole. The one thing I always think about at Easter is not including, other than through indirect allusions.  Maybe it works, maybe it needs to be addressed in May, when NaPoWriMo is over & the editing process can begin on all these half begun, half completed poetical sketches.  I want to tweak it even now, but will save that for later & repost as first put onto fb.

What I think of when I think of Easter

Looking over the litany of Easters past
I recall very few moments of chocolates & egg hunts 
Haunted by decades of bright eyed moons

Floating down houseboat rivers, discovering cunnilingus
Climbing cliffs, faking falls, tomato sauce for blood
Church surfing with fish laughing at services
Glorious joyous days before he finally died
Driving overnight interstate thinking I was driving to true love
Some lost at the bottom of a bottle
Crashing cars in suburban streets
Several lazy long weekends at the farm
Amusing my nieces, annoying the rest
Walking with a black dog, before meeting my souldog

Tonight the moon’s a ruddy oblong egg
Low, ghosting the hills, as I drive north
What is life but a succession of wounds
Public crucifixions, little deaths, lying in darkness
Trapped beyond stone, & eventually rising to do it all again

What pains me are the holes
Years I can’t remember – when I’m the only constant
No other person or thing to act as yardstick
& the holes

Lovers lost, friends forgotten, children never held



Image: Dark Moon by darkriderdlmc @

April 15 – Day Fifteen: halfway there

Technology makes life pretty awesome for writers.  (When it works of course.)  I am a big fan of Dropbox. All my writing is saved in there & I can access it from anywhere there’s interwebs. Sadly, Dropbox is clunky when it comes to editing, so I use Plain Text, which syncs with Dropbox.  With this PlainText/Dropbox combo I can write a poem on the beach on my phone, edit it on the iPad at a friend’s on the way home & when I open it up on my desktop, the latest version is there, raring to go.  It’s brillo.

Autocorrect, however, while brilliant much of the time, doesn’t always know what I want to say.  Today’s poem was influenced on a whim, by the quirk of autocorrect. 

I was sitting on a bench with the pooch, people watching, sunset waiting, after a nice long walk on the beach.  I started to take some notes on a possible “people watching poem”.  I began with “The girl who squeaks like a bird”.  Except my fat fingers didn’t quite type that.  It didn’t cope with the next phrase either … & an idea was born.  I immediately created some rules.  Well two.

1. Think of the entire line in advance & type as quickly as I could without pausing or backspacing.
2. Accept whatever autocorrect suggested.

Some lines have more autocorrect influence than others, some lines are made gibberishy by the auto; some, somehow more profound; & some just thrilled me no end when they appeared.  No lines have been edited (this also means it’s more fun/less work than a regular poem – haha!)

Esplanade Cavalcade (autocorrected)

The girl who squeaks like absurd,
as her patents ignore her
& talk over her head

The brothers who clamber along Hyde rocks,
one of them finds a cram she’ll,
the it get doesn’t want to look

The ring tonight ting yin
gets bike riders

The yummy mummy jogging
with babying pusher
& a well behaved chic lab trotting alongside

The lesbian couple who u saw
being affectionate on the beach before,
now sadly walking diary,
barely together

The cute teen girl in a purple jumper
who smokes at us as she passes,
park duly more at Chester than I

The woman with the jock terrier
who’s bum bounced a nubs of its own
as she briskwalked away

The overlay earnest woman admiring
the moshav art on the rocks
who stops to tell me to look at one further up
called “the last snapper”

The lonely guy sitting on the bench
playing with this phone instead
of watching the sub set,
or the blood mob riding behind him



I couldn’t decide which image to go with … so I’m going with both.

 the last snapper


posing on a rock


Both images by moi.
Top: “The Last Snapper” cooperative association of Israeli smallholders art.
Bottom: Posing on a Rock. (Such a good boy)

April 12 – Day Twelve: anniversary (a year, a week & a day since you moved in)

The original intention was to publish this a year & a week from the day our lives meshed. The tech glitches described in such eloquent detail in a previous ~interlude~ prevented that.  So now it is online, a year, a week & a day since that wonderful day.  You’ve changed my life in ways I didn’t believe possible.

Belated Anniversary Poem

It occurred to me yesterday, I forgot an anniversary
A big one, too. A year together. A full year. Our first.
I’m not the man who wept last Easter. I am un-entombed.

I met you on a Monday, you’d moved in by Friday.
We met on April Fools Day, which some think’s funny
but for me is no laughing matter. It suits us perfectly

& even though I’m reasonably confident you’re okay
I forgot — no doubt not realising the significance either
for me it’s important to sing to the stars I’m the best

I’ve been since you came, the world’s broken in two
even to the point of my own personal timekeeping
symbology — AD is After Dog; BC, Before Chester.

Lick you!




2014-04-13 21.47.56


Image: ChesterLickyTongue, by moi

April 8 – Day Eight: 4 bonus poems

Today was a bit messy.  Every other day I’ve known what  I was going to do by about midday.  Today I had a few false starts, & nothing was really grabbing me.  So I worked on a play instead, read some articles online, read Bill Bryson’s awesome chapter on Pronunciation, read a really interesting chapter on how Russia’s political instability is founded on a lack of any clear geographic demarcations between its Western border & Europe … & the “vulnerability” of St Petersburg & Russia now that the Soviet “buffer zone” of satellite Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania etc are now “independent” states.  Written a couple of years again, it shed interesting light on the current Crimea Crisis – but helped little in the poem creation caper.

So to a walk on the beach.  Which produced:

the blue seaglass sky

rain has kept all but the dedicated away
& we’re both a little stir crazy

thankfully this strip of salty dreams
is virtually deserted, even by the gulls

henley beach a zen meditation
the beach as onomatopoeia

water becomes sand, sand becomes sky
sky becomes water … & we drift between

lost on the wind, one lost in the wind
whispers of wings that cannot be seen

waves wash water over wet sand
the sucking sounds – sausages sizzling

in the seashell cemetery, exoskeletons sing
coral cartwheeling, a dead reef xylophone

& every piece of fairy seaglass i find
is washed out blue, just like the sky


1. beach & chezz 1.seaglass

Images: moi

Which, while “nice”, felt like a pretty bog standard grj poem.  It will hopefully improve once April is over & I have a chance to tweak it.  (I particularly like “the beach as onomatopoeia” & will possibly explore that in more detail, sometime.)

So, home after a wonderful wet walk, & a quick stop to shop for essentials, generated this gem:

one of the disadvantages of tardiness

get home after wet beach walk, soggy
towel dry the dog, feed the dog
think about feeding myself, consider coffee
catch from an eye corner, the clock
WTH – where did the time go, calculate
we left here at 4, clock says 6.59
the reading starts in an hour
check the oven: starts in an hour there too
we couldn’t have walked for that long
would’ve said 90 minutes at most
& i only bought a few groceries
dammit! no time for food
put the frozen stuff away. & the milk.
scramble into shower, scrape face
wriggle into jeans, search for shoes
check phone.  wait.  what?  wait!
here the reading starts in 1hr47min
i really should turn those damn
kitchen clocks back — daylight savings
has been over half a week



Image: Clock by gruelism

This was followed by attendance at said poetry reading which had previously caused such panic in my efforts to get there on time.  [We shan’t mention, the act of sitting at the computer to craft said poem, almost caused me to run late (again, so to speak) for the reading. Sometimes, it seems time is destiny.]

A quick conversation post-reading & this was spewed forth upon my return home. (I had 2 hours to meet the midnight deadline.)

operational policy

my friend works for the government
in the bureaucracy … doing something
to do with housing – or something

every time he talks about it i wittily
pretend to fall asleep. people understand if i say
‘i sit at a computer’  he jokes … before going silent

till one day i overhear him spieling to a stranger
i work for the government in operational policy
we implement what the strategic policy department

decides is a good idea … we make sure it works
i see the woman’s eyes glaze over too
i sit at a computer. aaah, the joke still works

yes, but what do you actually do, she persists
um, my work means the most vulnerable
get what they need in order to live

i haven’t pretended to fall asleep since



3. wooden_house_by_kleemass-d3jc2v7

Image: Wooden House by Kleemass

But this still didn’t feel like it.  So I returned to an abandoned effort from earlier in the day.

beyond pain
(Peaches Geldoff dies at age 25)

the deaths of celebrities are strange events
causing outpourings of grief from a deluded
General Population who believe they are somehow
“connected” just because they saw them lots on tv.
the deaths of not-really celebrities are even stranger.

while i sincerely feel the pain her father expresses
in his statement to the media, including the phrase
which titles this poem & others equally heartbreaking
Writing ‘was’ destroys me afresh &
our family, fractured so often, but never broken
the pathos is profound – his clan has done it tough.

what i do not comprehend is how the media
thinks poorly worded tweets from other
second rate celebs some of whom may even
have known the deceased are news — but FFS
Miley & Jamie — sad face emoticons are not
appropriate ways to express your condolences
when someone’s daughter, someone’s mother dies


4. peaches only 3 in WA copy

Screencap moi:  “What’s up WA? – Why is it only 3 on your Reader’s Most Viewed????

But I still wasn’t happy … which leads to today’s Official Post (see new page)