Overheard Voices

Image Attribution: Public Domain: The Music Network

War Cuisine

Have you noticed 

How some leaders cook 

With a recipe of hostility? 

They take a concoction of enemies 

Add a portion of land and earthly possessions, 

A generous quantity of patriotism 

Assiduously mixed with racism and false rumour 

Blended in a sauce of greed with a pinch of fear 

And bring this to the boil 

Stirring constantly,

Then garnish it with hatred and serve it 

In man-size portions on lavish platters 

Upon a snow-white cloth adorned 

With glasses of gloom-altering wine 

To incited warriors in warlike clothing, 

Give a speech with a benevolent smile 

And then in a final act of elation, 

Say,”Your death would be a service to our nation.”


The Wizard Of Aussie

Any links to real people are purely coincidental.

Greetings to you and it’s how do you do

I am the Wizard Of Aussie

I live in the past hating the new

As a leader though, I am quite bossy

Twenty years ago you need to know

I went on a taxing spree

In spite of a vow, hurt the needy and how

And brought in the GST

The result of this was a loss of bliss

Many declared it unfunny

It made the poor because of this

Pay the government so much money

As time went on I decided anon

To sell off the family jewels

Just another trick I hit upon

So the balanced budget rules

Now a wizard like me can never see

Much point in innovation

An easier path that brings the rich glee

Is unfettered privatisation

So I sold off the banks and the planes and the trains

And countless other earners

Till my land was hocked and the stock exchange rocked

I was just too smart for learners

Now in foreign affairs I was brilliant too

And shon my light in the dark

I gave my blessing as one of a few

To the massacre in Iraq

Now time has passed until at last

There is one more thing worth a mention

I don’t have to foot any bills from my past

On the Wizard Of Aussie’s pension

So there’s no dispute of my ill repute

With the virtuous I am contrasted

I am seen by all as no Canute

Here I’ve censored the last word to “mastered”


In A Pig’s Eye

The Honourable Percival Strum

Was feeling extremely glum

He was sadly overcome because

Of a constant lack of applause

He would make a speech beyond his reach

And strive to please the nation

He was very careful not to preach

But never drew an ovation

Now this was a serious matter

In his political lurk

If you can’t do better than idle chatter

You will soon be out of work

So Percy in his quest for mercy

Walked through one last door

He did a deal with the sorceress Circe*

In an effort to get an encore

Now the problem was the enchantress 

Wasn’t exactly divine

She took that man and his allies galore

And turned them all into swine

Now a funny thing followed this action

It brought that team success

And it gave our man and his right faction

Total lack of duress

The votes came in with a hell of a din

And the party men danced a jig

It’s amazing what debates you can win

With the public face of a pig

At question time they were bits of slime

And up to unusual tricks

Their pig-sty words were close to a crime

They offended Dorothy Dix

When Strum was called by his furious foes

An unbelievable rotter

The dauntless chap gave those foes woes

By simply raising a trotter

There are other things on which I must speak

For the word soon got around

That Strum and his clique were all unique

And they gained considerable ground

They won a case with the House divided

After Strum had donned a wig

Conformity was what that vote provided

As the case was put by a pig

In one more debate that went quite late

The Speaker locked the doors

Strum’s rivals met an embarrassing fate

As they couldn’t compete with the boars

Time passed by as it constantly does

Soon the spell began to wear off

In no time at all the House was abuzz

And some members started to scoff

Now Strum, the new man, was not deterred

He vocalised no offence taken

At last came a speech that was less absurd

When he said he would bring home the bacon

So that is the end of this tale

It’s a lesson that many should try

When political acts seem likely to fail

You should simply cry: In a pig’s eye

*On Circe: The Greek hero Odysseus visited her island, Aeaea, with his companions, whom she changed into swine. Source: Britannica


Mortimer Max

A work of fiction. If this resembles any real person, it serves that person right.

Mortimer Max was very lax

Believe me there is a good reason

His way of life was close to treason

As he didn’t pay any tax

His business was a flourishing one

Digging was his role

He paid his crew little, restricted their fun

But it kept them away from the dole

Now this cunning man lived with élan

Even though he was often unshaven

His empire spread as far as Japan

While Panama was his tax haven

His standing in the world just grew and grew

Into billions as a bestseller

Respected he was and important too

A political fortune teller

His favourite hobby was to lobby

And make the members dishonest

It worked so well he turned quite snobby

As the weight of his guile fell upon us

They bent the law to meet his wishes

And this cheating was habit forming

He went ahead with work on his fissures

In spite of the global warming

Now Mortimer Max could never relax

He was always on the go

The speeches he made often lacked syntax

And added to our poor world’s woe

Yes it was a mess without redress

As the temperature kept on rising

He had his way with much success

And was constantly eulogising

But things got so hot that we all complained

He was no longer in vogue

When none couldn remember when last it rained

That man was seen as a rogue

But villains like him don’t ever feel guilt

And he countered the shame with hilarity

Then even before any more blood was spilt

He gave a vast hand out to charity

The money mattered to lives he had shattered

Revealing a false imputation

As all for him that actually mattered

Was the price of his reputation

The gift did the trick, it was very slick

His prestige quickly returned

His rise in the eyes of the masses was quick

He was no longer spurned

But the trouble with this was more things went amiss

In our planet disaster unfurled

He stood on the edge of a frightful abyss

And looked at the end of the world

This made him see sense and give recompense

By immediately stopping his digging

Then as a bit of uncommon good sense

He even tore down all his rigging

Now the bizarre star has long passed away

But a statue his good name maintains

His only fans now are a large flock of birds

Which fondly deposit their remains


The Honourable Decimus Fudge

A work of fiction. Similarities to real persons are purely coincidental. QED

The Honourable Decimus Fudge

Claimed never to hold a grudge

And that is not surprising

Since he first made his crust

From a myth of trust

In the world of advertising

As time went by, his deception

Had a greater and greater reception

Until nothing would sell

This side of Hell

Without his interception

And so life changed

It was rearranged

As he organised the removal

Of all things fine

That were yours or mine

If they didn’t meet his approval

Then he shaped the world

With a flag unfurled

As he opened one more door

In his zest for power

From a conning tower

He predicted another war

Then the ads came fast

With the world aghast

Re the weapons we should buy

While the sick and the needy

Were discarded fast

And then allowed to die

Mind you, wars sell well

And ring a bell

With their fiery panorama

But the death of many

Is a spinning jenny

That weaves a hidden drama

Now the Honourable Decimus Fudge

Appeared to be quite a hero

Ranking let’s say with a gentle nudge

Up with the likes of Nero

But there’s no true peace

Though hostilities cease

When you keep on building your armoury

For every weapon is a trepan*

That reeks of war

And hate what’s more

Till your world’s but a hawkish gendarmerie

To conclude this piece

Here’s a bit of grease

To help you move still faster

As this adman now has turned very sour

Let us end his power

And get rid of this deadly disaster

Ah men!

*trepan: a surgeon’s instrument


Sixty-five Roses 

For The Children With Cystic Fibrosis 

Intangible things morphemes 

Like imprudent dreams 

Or furtive fears 

Or flimsy formulae of faith in uncertain ideas. 

When you are a child 

Looking up 

At the towering mountains of experience 

You try to find a pathway to understanding 

By whatever means you can. 

You reach out for things to say, 

And even though your words are but feathers 

Floating in the wind, 

You hope that they will help you fly 

Beyond where words are not secret codes 

But holy things . . . 

Not the faltering, temporary diagnoses 

Of what seems to be, 

Not clumsy tools which fall and hurt your toes, 

But noble panaceas . . . 

Medicament for every pain there is 

The earth, the fire, the air and water of life itself. 

Once in a whimsy 

A child of Fate’s morning, 


Sought to say what he did not understand. 

The eyes of his soul 

Saw the beauty of flowers in a garden of despair . . . 

Instead of cystic fibrosis . . . he said, ‘Sixty-five roses.’ 

Then, the smiling wind 

As it has been known to do in the past, 

Caught up his idea, 

Swirled it around with heavenly pity 

And charged it with such power

That it put a girdle round the earth in milliseconds. 

It was amazing to observe 

That wind of that new morning, 


Whisk the words here, there and anywhere 

Until by chance, 

What was blowing in the wind 

Fell  upon the ears of one or two surprised 

But accomplished ad-folk spinners of speech.

Suddenly the light of understanding 

Led these men and women of the world 

Laughingly beyond the place 

Where half truths and controlled innuendoes live, 

To where days are pre-occupied with understanding. 

There . . . as a gift transcending even love, 

Devised as it was in a place somewhere above mundanity, 

These skilful contemporary bards 

Turned the thoughts of roses into charity cards 

And, with the words of a fragile child, 

Set to the enchanted music of innocence

Suddenly converted you and me 

Into a chorus line of the caring, high footing it and dancing 

To the pure and eerie harmonies of compassion 

And the twinkling percussion of cash registers opening and closing. 


The Gingerbread Man

All the seats are taken in the house that makes the rules 

All the seats are taken in ‘the parliament of fools’  Source: Skyclad

Mister Speaker

I now move the motion

All those in favour say aye

Those against say nay

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire

Order! Order!

Such words! Standing orders

Crossing borders, unparliamentary 

Elementary, my dear Watson

Order! Order!

Such repartee is against the rules

It’s the kind of behaviour you’d find in schools

You leave me no choice I’m forced to say

You will leave the House under 94A 

Bah! Bah! Black sheep have you any drool?

No Sir, No Sir I think you are a fool, fool

Order! Order!

The honourable member forces me

To tell him to leave under 94B

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

You won’t get me to wander yonder

Order! Order!

The honourable member is beyond the pale

If this keeps up he will end in gaol

Mister Speaker I hear not my death knell ring

Among the blind, the one-eyed man is king

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

The end justifies the means

Strike while the iron is hot

Order! Order!

We must stop this rot

This is the last straw

Take him way and lock the door

Mister Speaker

I’m so full of sagacity it’s beyond your capacity

To put me away

What a pity conformity is your plan!

You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man


Rejoicing In Iniquity

Don’t buy the daily papers any more, woman

Read all about what’s going on in hell

John Williamson Cootamundra Wattle

Good evening

Here is the news

I’m Erin Everyman

Now here’s a fright to whet your appetite

A man was shot dead today in the West

Police were called to the scene

It was sealed off simply as police routine

The victim’s fate was extremely grim

The suspect was clearly known to him

And with bloodied shirt he left the place

To be captured after a very long chase

Now here’s a ditty to attract your pity

Tragedy struck on a highway today

Four teenagers deceased

The driver was a minor so police say

The names have not been released

Now what about this? Evil bliss

Breaking news concerning a rape

Of a girl in an empty park

She appears to have struggled and tried to escape

With no one to help in the dark

Now here’s a sensation to denote damnation

A pedophile went to gaol today

Convicted of crimes in the past

The victims were boys, no names on display

And the sentencing judge was aghast

Now we must travel to unravel a juicy tale

Mexico is the next port of call

Concerning a case of polygamy

Seven wives, one man wed them all

A far greater crime than bigamy 

Now disaster gets interest faster

There’s a major flood in Laos 

With heavy loss of life

A thousand died in the chaos

While vast destruction was rife

No more imposing; now we are closing

Here’s a message for your nation

Today we have sought to help you find

An end to your frustration

Plus appropriate peace of mind…

That’s all for now, good night


Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Peter, Peter pumpkin eater,

Had a wife but couldn’t keep her;

He put her in a pumpkin shell

And there he kept her well. 

Roud Folk Song Index Number 13497

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater refused to wear a mask

Though with the virus everyone knew

It was an essential task

Now Peter unmasked was clearly a fool

Spurning the doctors

By breaking this rule

He wandered mask-free in public view

In no way heeding the danger

Giving rise no surprise to a general hullabaloo 

Now the illness spread with many dead

That led to his wife’s rebuke

She declared him not right in the head

But alas our Peter ignored all advice

Stuck fast in his stupid way

I can say, if I am to be precise

Now he as a boss was a definite loss

Setting a bad example

That made all his acolytes cross

So many days passed with this foolish behaviour

That let his followers down because

They regarded him as their saviour

In a typical way for such a clod

He answered valid censure

With not even the hint of a nod

Then he wandered the earth without any mirth

Unmasking lies

To diminish then finish his worth 

Soon he scorned his critics as weasels

Boasting he caught no virus

But O my and wow I tell you now, he finally got the measles!

Now Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater goes a different way

At last we can note a change

Now that fool wears a mask each day; what more can I say?


Going Going Gone

House For Sale…

Pardon the jargon

This one’s a bargain

So handy to all amenities

It will massage your identities

Buy it now

If your funds allow

It’s clearly not for nonentities

Afraid of the market’s obscenities

So don’t just sigh

And let the chance go by

Or you’ll lose your place in the world

The price will soon go up like a flag unfurled

Chances missed

Are undoubtedly grist

For the mill of the marketplace

Where options lost are a sheer disgrace

So get a loan

Don’t be a drone

Tie up the rest of your life

If instalments fall short, you can work your wife

So now bid

To be finally rid

Of the slur you incur

With no home to confer

On your kids

I’m ready for bids

Reserve price

On my best advice

Is where the bidding will begin

So it’s a million; are you in?


What’s In A Name?

Pimpernel Prawn was quite forlorn

He was troubled by his name

He resolved the label he had worn

Would eventually bring him shame

Shortening the first name made him a pimp

While his last name was so biological

That nomenclature walked with a limp

It was almost tautological

So quickly he sprang into action one day

Searching for good name examples

But the trouble was what came into play

Were unsatisfactory samples

He found Willie Robb and Ima Loser

Aimee Normous, Peter Out and Ben Dover

Ivan Urge, Yuri Vul, Tim Burr and Abe Boozer

Carmen Quiet, Hugh Wood and Greta Rover

So his mind at the Registry was confused

As he sought to change his title

But the staff at that place politely enthused

And results were beyond question, vital

They led him to a place remote from the mob

An astute distinctive address

They told him his name should be linked to his job

To make sure of future success

So at last the lad after time as a muggle

Finally got his wish

And managed at last to end the struggle

With the new name of Barbecue Fish



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