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Friday Poetry: A Walk Through A Seaside Village POEM

Opportunities to make poetry exist all around us. We must practice being alert to possibility. As a committed traveller, wanderer and explorer, I find ideas in local settings as well as more far flung, some might say, exotic places as well. This poem found its origins in a morning walk in Ireland a few years back. I rediscovered it this week and have given it a bit of a polish and a dusting off. Please join me, and a wandering we will go...
Walk Through ASeaside Village
Breakfast failed to fire
The start of a brand new day
Just cindered toast
And hard-boiled egg
To set me on my way
Wandered down the main street
The shops were mostly shuttered
Birds on rooftops
Sat in silent lines
A single pigeon fluttered
Passed a man
With a bristled broom
His doorway keenly clearing
I offered him my morning smile
But he was not for cheering
Circled round a tree-lined park
As a couple did Tai Chi
A lean and hungry mutt took time
To bark and snarl at me
I wandered by the seawall
I felt the ocean spray
The angry, wild waves
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Poetry Friday - No Rhyme Poem

Wordplay presents as a strong element in my poetry. I recognize it and readily embrace it. So the following poem is grounded in the tradition of playing with words. I have a natural tendency to slide into rhyme. It sings strongly in my sometimes muddled mind.

This poem gently pushes back on my rhyming predilection by employing synonyms to deny the rhyme. I feel like I'm telling rhyme to talk to the hand on this occasion. 

In the process, it was fun playing with words, as one might expect. As I say in the poem, don't get me wrong, I enjoy rhyme. I hear it constantly as I negotiate my day. Poetry exists in everyday talk. Often it goes unnoticed. Personally, I note it while quietly enjoying its presence. I even have my own rhyming dictionary...



No Rhyme This Time Occasion

I’m trying to stop this poem from rhyming
But I find my anxiety is steadily climbing increasing
Words keep forming in my mind
You know the ones
The usual rhyming kind sort
A childhood filled with rhyming verse
Just makes …

IDEAS For World Poetry Day

It's World Poetry Day, on 21 March. This day recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the very essence of humanity. 
In every culture there are poets who feed the soul of their nation and present as advocates for the arts. 


For those of you not yet completely comfortable teaching poetry, or for those looking to freshen up their current poetry resources, Here are some possibilities to explore. 

Poetry Ideas Across the Curriculum

•Invite students to organize a collection of poems relating to their own culture. You could organize them around such categories as celebrations, families, food, holidays.

•Collect photo essays, newspaper and magazine articles, informational books, and historical fiction and invite students to use them as source material for poetry

•Make weather poems using weather reports as the basis for ideas.

•Encourage students to tell their own stories/experiences in poetic form

•Use a science activity to launch a poetry writing activity. A poem about volcanoes for …

Poetry Friday - 'Call The Roll' Poem

I have just lifted this poem from my notebook and revised it further before presenting it here. It was a poem that gradually developed over a couple weeks. I just kept adding to it as names came to mind. It is what one might call a work of 'faction.' A mix of fact and fiction. Anyway, here it is!
A list poem for Poetry Friday with a strong element of deliberate wordplay.  I laughed inwardly as I was composing it. Poetry as invention. Hope it makes you smile.




CALL THE ROLL In primary school
When my teacher marked the attendance roll each morning
She would call out our names
And we had to reply
PRESENT!
Once, someone replied,
PRESIDENT!
-and everyone rolled about laughing
Our teacher even smiled a little bit,
-but not much

I can still recall many of those names
Those faces of long ago
Personalities of the past
Our teacher calling on them to reply
As the roll was marked
They return to me once more
Ghosts from those classroom days

Ben Downe (A most flexible fellow)
Phillip Yagob (Always hungry, always…

Hey, Mr Poet -Poetry Friday Poetry

It's an enduring question for young writers -where do you get your ideas? they ask. 
Often believing there is something mystical to this aspect of the writing process. It's a secret they want you to share...
The truth is, ideas are everywhere. 
Always an interesting conversation to have with young writers where we discuss where ideas are to be found. The broad horizons of choice that actually exist quickly become apparent. It challenges the somewhat narrow concept of 'ideas.' 



The challenge for all of us who choose to write is to grow as explorers of the world. We must aim is to develop a broader view of the extensive possibilities at our disposal. That way we can eradicate that tired  old catch-cry- I can’t think of anything to write about...’ 
As a teacher/writer I aim to share the broad influences on my own writing. It is important to dispel the myth that writing only equates to stories. What are the territories you explore to excavate ideas? 
Ideas bubble up to the surfa…

Poetry Friday -The Manchester Man

The Manchester Man

In my twenties
I sold manchester 
Irish linen
Quality towels 
Nifty napkins
I rose to become 
No. 5 best salesperson
In the whole of Australia
-for one week

The office staff
Tina and Marjorie
Charming and cheerful
Smiled broadly
Whenever I entered

Upon my resignation
They burst into tears
So I stood in the doorway
And sang loudly
Don’t cry for me Marge and Tina.


By way of explanation:
Manchester is a word commonly used throughout Australia to describe bedding, sheets, towels, pillowslips, table linen and similar items, yet this is not the case elsewhere. In fact, the use of the word Manchester is one said to be unique to Australia. During the 18th and 19th centuries, settlers in Australia needed to import bedding and other cotton goods from overseas.


In Great Britain, the Industrial Revolution was quickly turning Northern cities into productive zones. One of the cities most influenced by this up-turn in industry was Manchester. The sheer number of textile mills in Manchester led to a lar…

The Legend of The Spinach Gatherers -Poetry Friday

As a child I was told endless tale tales by adults. Tales of questionable feats and acts of daring-do. Sometimes these tales were designed to either scare me unnecessarily, or encourage some degree of modification in my behavior. I was told to watch out for elephants who enjoyed squashing badly behaved children and to be afraid of going near the creek because crocodiles lived there -when in fact nothing remotely life threatening lived in the local waterways.

 I further recall being told that green jelly was made from cow's hooves and that swallowing chewing gum could kill you. It would stick to your heart and you would die! It's amazing how such nonsensical stories stay with you. Well, I'm not too sure what the inspiration for this piece of contrived nonsense actually was, apart from a desire to have a bit of fun. 

You might consider some of the slightly doubtful things adults told you in order to get you to cooperate, or merely to scare you into complying with their wishes.…