Auguries of Life

Spider On The Wall

Spider spider on the wall

Who lasts longest of us all?

Do you observe me with vision clear?

Can you see me standing near?

You seem untroubled as I watch you

Poised on a crevice like a bold statue

Weaving your threads of micro steel

It is a mystery how you feel

Are you afraid of foes like me?

For I can deny your divinity

Crush your body with a single blow

Kill you with toxin laced with woe

Yet there you are lord of your space

Child of the ages apace with grace

Defiant though your time has come

As I hold your destiny under my thumb

Yes you are doomed by arachnophobia

Whilst I endure life’s xenophobia

Death will be our common fate

Now for you but I must wait

Die then noble creature away begone

While my humdrum life lingers on



Little creature out on a limb

How bravely you meet your fate

Mangled by policies dark and grim

Heard in political debate

Robber barons have revealed stark trends

With greed that is habit forming

Their profit from coal is a world without ends

In denial of global warming

Thus we have fire engulfing trees

Putting to death a community

That is the pain when pity flees

Pursued by herd immunity

Age does not weary nor the years condemn

The approaching end of a species

Plants extinct when you cut off the stem

Cause wars that rage without treaties

So if you die as a child of fate

Or suffer the pain of burning

The cause is a rich man’s thoughtless state

That defies all wisdom and learning

So farewell friend as you meet your end

This is the way things are

Yours is a fate I cannot amend

The door to your death is ajar


Bird In A Cage

Dreams are things the caged bird loses

In a coop confined

Bondage is what no living thing chooses

With love of life undermined

Can you hear the cries of despair

From a creature confined for life?

Wings once free that rode the air

Now nothing but pain is rife

Freedom is a word that is quite absurd

When you’re locked away in a prison

The plea for mercy remains unheard

And a wraith of ruin has arisen

Just one thing more is left to deplore

For the bird on public display

It’s taught to talk with skill what’s more

And we mock the interplay

O where is the joy and what is the cost

Derived from this avian grief?

If I opened the cage what would be lost

In the sufferer’s joyous relief?

This I must do to forever be true

To the peace I would find through giving

Let the bird fly away as Noah’s dove flew

To the only life worth living



Truth is the foe of villains who come knocking on your door

A better angel by your side in both peace and war

Liars abuse reality in a savage way

Turning wisdom into doubt and hope into dismay

Look around you every day; play a watchful role

You’ll find rogues putting their case and planning to control

Words can be the deadly tools of rascals seeking power

They turn headlines into folly at a witching hour

Deceivers can decide your fate with their false allusions

As they wreck your humble life with nothing but delusions

Every day is a danger when truth is decried as fiction

Deceivers can turn absolute falsehoods into benediction

So many myths are claimed to be for the good of the nation

Dissemblers easily stand aloof with righteous indignation

Where then are the villains with their sinister intent?

They are found in every rank from lackey to president

So what must we do for peace of mind that will save our lives?

Why move away from realpolitik so that justice survives

Turn our back on deceivers who still pollute our days

Shout the praise of honesty and see how virtue pays

One dark day a head of state told just one big lie

The consequences of this deed were written in the sky

Thus the world has changed itself with deadly habit forming

Destruction now is everywhere because of global warming

So ride with the brave into wisdom and let the truth be told

Watch the liars freeze to death while you come in from the cold



On Legal Aid

Once I wandered overwhelmed

Along a street to nowhere

I was lost and did not know

What I was bound to find there

I needed aid that was not a tirade

To find a better path

I found a friend who brought to an end

A previous aftermath

Words were the gift given to me

That gave me back a new life

Respite from my own helplessness

Comfort in my strife

So now I walk to a different place

No longer pale and trembling

Prone no more to ignorance

Or other fools dissembling

There is calm in my mind at last

I am no longer afraid

The troubled track that once I walked

Is now a peaceful glade

One more deed remains for me

In my looming last days

To give my thanks to my mentor

With this humble song of praise



I demand my freedom 

To choose not to wear a mask

To hell with social distance

How dare you take me to task! 

Liberty is mine, a legacy

No death count can deny

If you seek my views on that virus

I will refuse to reply

How dare you impose a lockdown on me

In this land of milk and honey

And do away with my free will

It’s a crime that’s far from funny

I insist on my right to stage a rally

Where folk are free to swap air

When fools decry a danger

I know it isn’t there

I refuse to have my life determined

By the whims of a statistician

Your normal curve I don’t deserve

And I do not fear the mortician

So begone dull fool away with you

I refuse to accept your complaint

It is for the good of a nation

That I live without restraint

But wait, what’s that you say?

O why am I ill at ease?

Morose downcast crestfallen with the news

My father has caught that disease?



A Teacher Never Walks Alone

Classroom: North Ryde Primary School Museum

More Teacher’s Memoirs

Sometimes The Top Is A Long Way Away

My transfer from primary to secondary teaching was done through what were called GA classes. The abbreviation stood for General Activity. It referred to a changed curriculum less challenging than the normal secondary one. I came from a country primary school to a Sydney boys’ high school to teach at this level.

On my first day one of the boys said to me: “Gee Sir you must be a dumb teacher coming to teach us.”

This teaching task was seen as at the primary level. No degree was needed, only the primary teaching certificate. The students in this class were seen as below the necessary ability level to cope with secondary studies. Most of them were merely lingering until they reached fifteen, the age for leaving school.

Every classroom is a challenge. You have to get to know your pupils and walk with them down new pathways. I found these boys had little self respect and needed support in a number of ways. A very different class from any of my previous ones.

Practical learning was an important part of that syllabus – social skills, survival skills, craft activities and rudimentary law were all part of my lesson notes. We role played job interviews, emergency behaviour in accidents, safety first in the street, tidiness and waste disposal.

Our spelling lists oozed practicality: danger, poison, wrong way, beware of the dog, emergency, halt, no trespassing, keep out, police. We concentrated on the Dolch Sight Word List, the important list of frequently used words, plus cloze tests to improve reading.

A real challenge with these boys was the need for self respect. The careers advisor was a help. With his support we talked a lot about the future. After I left the school I met one of the boys and he told me he had a job as a panel beater. He was very pleased with himself and he certainly got praise from me.

I felt comfortable with this class. We shared enthusiasms in a supportive climate. I was to have two years at the first school and another year with a GA class at a second high school. I transferred to the English/History staff there after completing my part time degree studies. 

That second class was so different from the first. I did not feel welcome. The climate was hostility from the very first. It took me a long time to develop a degree of harmony. I remember one boy because of his red hair as well as his behaviour. He mocked me to his peers quite often: “He’s trying to teach us what we know already.”

I remember the Apology Form I had printed. Each miscreant signed a statement apologising for a particular behaviour on a particular day. The alternative to signing was a punitive visit to the headmaster, so the signatures were willingly given. 

I am sure the boys thought they were indulging an idiosyncratic fool. But the point was a dossier soon developed with evidence in writing of misbehaviour. This was handy in times of big upheaval when you needed evidence. One of the pupils in that class was later suspended. That was quite a while after I left them. The boys in those two GA classes have stayed in my mind down the years. We learned from each other.

A Teacher Never Walks Alone

Here now I recall some individuals. When you reach old age, society in its present form tends to isolate you. This is partly why you recall friends from the past – in particular for me pupils or students whose lives I was involved in.


Rex was in the first class I ever taught: 4th Class in a Sydney boys primary school, enrolment 44. Rex was thirteen years old in a class whose average age was nine or ten.

He was a big lad, a simple soul who loved to tell stories. He could only scribble when writing in his books, except for one word: parallel. I swear it’s true. That word would appear from time to time amidst the scribble.

Rex was important in that class, some of whom were quite clever. It was his job to fill the ink wells, give out books and other learning material, clean the blackboard and tell stories.

Those stories were unforgettable. There was never any plot. Just a series of sensational events something like this: There was a big truck went boom and a policeman came an aeroplane flew cockadoodloo went the rooster a big shark ate him.

Rex’s stories came to be rewards for good behaviour of the rest of the class. “ Sir can we have one of Rex’s stories?” Rex gloried in sensational events. The more excited he made the class, the happier he was.


Bill was a pupil in the same school. I didn’t teach him, but he was in the cricket and soccer teams I coached. Sixty years later he noticed my name on one of my internet posts and contacted me. We had lunch together a number of times until he died.

That life story became a joy for me. He still had a book I gave him all those years before on how to play soccer. He had become a teacher and had risen through the ranks. He had also become president of the primary schools sporting association and had gone on to play soccer at quite a high level, being a team mate of the distinguished Australian player Johnny Warren in a grand final.

A very special person he was. It was such an honour to be involved in that life.


Carolyn was a single mother when I taught her in Gateway, a university equity program. This one-semester course was designed to give students the skills and awareness to enter university. She enrolled to help her deal with family matters after trouble with finance and a former spouse. Life was very hard for that family. Her dream was to gain the power of being a lawyer to deal with a disastrous family situation. She succeeded and got into law. To the best of my knowledge she is now a practising lawyer.

I taught essay writing in the Gateway program. Teaching such people is an amazing experience. You journey together towards an understanding of life itself. Learning to analyse social problems and responding with valid and reliable essays is one of the great ways of growing. Graduates of that program outperformed all other undergraduate groups at that university.


Peter was another graduate of the Gateway program. He was a musician, leader of a band with a risqué name I’ll not repeat here.

The band was very popular and performed regularly in Sydney and neighbouring areas.

After Gateway, Peter entered university and got an honours degree in Fine Arts. He then continued with PhD studies. He remained a good friend of Gateway, sharing his successful assignments with me, his former teacher, so that I could show other Gateway students how studies continue.

Peter’s death was a great sadness for me. It was a great privilege to be a part of his life.

There is another message I want to leave here. If you are like me and don’t get into university first time but are still keen, look for mature age entry and remember there is real strength in that lifetime experience you have had before your studies begin.


Daryan was a Kurdish boy I taught in Year 12 at a Sydney high school. He wrote me a beautiful poem. It was so good I thought he had only quoted it. No, he assured me it was his work.

It described with sadness his fate. He had lived in four countries including Australia. He said that to that time of writing not one of the countries had felt like home.

I taught him English for the HSC and he passed. A lovely person. I think Iraq was his place of birth. I am so glad he didn’t come to Australia by boat. Then his fate would have been indefinite detention and I might never have met him.


Matija was a Serbian boy in my Year 10 history class at a Sydney high school. I taught them the story of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by the Serb Gavrilo Princip to trigger the disaster of World War I.

Matija came to me some time after the lesson with the story that some of his friends were giving him a hard time over the cause of World War I. My story was that there are usually heroes and villains on every side in war. 

Gavrilo, I explained without condoning his deeds, was only a young man who believed he was justified in doing what he did. I explained this happens constantly in war, on both sides. I pointed out that the many deaths of the war, involving so many young men especially, might have been prevented if older men had been wiser.

This Serbian boy was a sensitive person. He was genuinely upset by the situation, He was a lesson for me; the first time I had been forced to consider that history story from the other side (Serbian).

Here I end my discussion of specific people. It is a comfort to think back on these friends. One of the reasons as a teacher you are never alone.


Yesterday Is Not All That Far Away

Having Been Taught Go Forth And Teach

Old age is not a preparation for dying. It is a time when your database of life should be shared. Wisdom doesn’t grow on trees. It comes best after you have tried the alternatives. Made the mistakes that make life such an uncertain thing. And if you are lucky, had the little triumphs that justify your existence.

In other words, we ancients all have a story to tell. The joy is we are still alive to tell it.

So here I sit at my desk. I speak with my hands and this much loved computer. How different things are from fifty years ago and that typewriter with all that liquid paper!

So let us roam through some memories. Share the experience honestly. All systems go.

Suddenly I am back in a school for the blind where once I taught drama. I was a visiting lecturer in education from Nepean College Of Advanced Education who used Friday afternoons for this joyous task. Lower primary first for an hour or so, and then upper primary.

My main emphasis was on dramatic improvisations although I did write some plays which were written up in Braille. The great teacher Dorothy Heathcote used to say that child drama is giving children the chance to stand in other people’s shoes.

We stood in a lot of shoes. Animals’ paws too. I shall never forget a dear Vietnamese refugee child who had no idea what a cat’s purring was. There just weren’t any cats amid the napalm of Vietnam.

I got into a little trouble with the upper primary group. A very knowledgeable boy had this to say to me: “The Pterodactyl did NOT fly, it glided.”

So what did we do with drama to share life with these children? We did improvised role play especially. The younger ones moved as different animals and went through various life situations such as posting letters or crossing the road. The upper primary were interested in dinosaurs especially, hence my problem with the Pterodactyl, so we mimed and improvised prehistoric scenes as well as life situations such as getting help from a policeman.

I was at the time in tune with such figures at Peter Slade and Brian Way, as well as Dorothy Heathcote so the children and I improvised with great joy along the lines these figures suggested. It’s around fifty years ago now so the expanded details are not with me.

An associated joy I have was a student theatre company I founded at Nepean CAE. It was called The Phoenix People and performed in schools with support from teachers. Here are some pictures of them at the school for the blind.

In 1965, the Belgrade Theatre Company of Coventry in England formed the first ever Theatre in Education (TiE) company, dedicated to using theatrical performance and drama workshops to explore issues of cultural, social, political and moral significance as part of a free service to schools and the young people of Coventry. The Belgrade Theatre was built in 1958 as part of the reconstruction of Coventry after World War II.

My company at Nepean sought to follow the same pattern set by the Belgrade group. We sent letters to neighbouring schools seeking subjects to write plays about. We then wrote the plays and performed them in the schools. The actors were all education students (in a BEd program) and the drama they were involved in was clearly linked to their future teaching careers.

Memories of the plays still linger forcibly in my mind. One was about King Arthur and his conquest of a dragon. I remember an infant getting right behind King Arthur. “Come on King,” he cried standing up with genuine support during the fight with the dragon.

Another was about Billy Button, a convict boy who was transported to New South Wales and ultimately killed. The Emperor’s New Clothes is another memory that remains. The performances took place in the 1980s.

Here is a scene from the Billy Button play. Billy was only fourteen. The young woman who played him was so convincing.

We dressed the Emperor in very funny underclothes. He marched through the audience accompanied by Verdi’s Grand March  from Aida. Ludicrously funny. Unforgettable.

A funny thing about memories. You can never tell when they are going skip into your awareness. Just now I am remembering my one-teacher school experience: 19 children K to 10 plus me.

It was a remote school that, in the hills of the Hunter Valley in New South Wales; just a school building, a church and scattered farm houses. No electricity, no water laid on, a pit for the toilet and a narrow, dirt road with lots of bumps and potholes.

Three of the seniors were studying by correspondence and had to attend school until they turned fifteen. I taught reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, music, art, craft, natural science and cricket at lunchtime. We had a garden too that had a lemon tree. Parents looked after that garden in the school holidays. The lemon tree was invaded by gall wasp and I had to cut off the infected stems and burn them.

Those people have stayed in my mind down the years. The farmer’s son who got rid of a snake for us by chasing it with a stick. He was a fine human, a good runner. I gave him a pair of running shoes. There was the head of the parents’ association who was very helpful with some of the inevitable challenges. He was quite an old man, constantly doing what he could to help “the teacher.”

I have come to see, since those formative years of mine, every classroom as a dynamic stage. It is a unique place. An infinitely variable combination of lives. The teacher’s task is to belong to that place. To make it a sanctuary of peace, comfortable efficiency and inspiration.

Those children are still with me. There was a little child with an iodine deficiency who had to be given thyroxine before school started. She was a sweet little doll. There was the teenage daughter of the parents’ committee head. She was so serious and something of a mother figure to the younger ones. The boys were all sons of farmers. With the older girls they did the milking before they came to school. I hope they are all still alive.

I was inspected by a school inspector during my two tears there. A fine mentor he was named John Archer. He died quite young but he is still alive for me. I still heed his advice and am glad to name him. The opening line of his report said: “Mr Levi is a young man of high ideals.” Two years after that visit, at a subsequent inspection, he promoted me to the First Primary Promotions List. 

The replacement of the inspectorial system with show piece CVs and interviews has been a sad loss for education. Where should teachers be judged? In the classroom. That is where the magic of teaching happens, not in a back room committee meeting or on a flamboyant self praising history.

Memories are like naughty children – rather unpredictable. I’m having memories just now of a city class I made a film with. It was about time travel. I wrote this song as the stimulus for the action.

I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago

I was born about ten thousand years ago

And I’ve seen more things than you can ever know

Archimedes in a bath Aristophanes raise a laugh

I was born about ten thousand years ago

I was born about ten thousand years ago

And I’ve seen more things than you can ever know

I saw Hitler’s ugly mo and Mussolini stub his toe

I was born about ten thousand years ago

I was born about ten thousand years ago

And I’ve seen more things than you can ever know

I saw Cook who took a look and Darwin write his book

I was born about ten thousand years ago

I was born about ten thousand years ago

And I’ve seen more things than you can ever know

Though time has passed me by yet I will always try

To see more things than you can ever know

I don’t have a memory of the other verses. We used the song as a prelude and again as a finale.

Now this class of 28 was a class of under achievers from Year 8 and Year 9. As an experienced teacher I was given the task of achieving something with these under achievers. I didn’t teach them calculus. 

But going back through history: wars, revolutions, plagues, volcanic eruptions and discovery of a new world, got them in. We had the Professor, the inventor of the time machine, and an assistant scientist. The rest had the task of creating historic events. We travelled back through time in the film.

That class met in Room 28; the Chips Rafferty Theatre was its name as Chips had once attended that school. We met once a week for two forty-minute periods. Filming had to be spread over two weeks.

In the first week we were back in Ancient Greece when the filming stopped. We planned to film the return journey to the present the following week. Then came a major problem. 

The Professor and time machine operator was expelled from the school. So we had to rewrite the script, having the Professor called back on government secret business and the assistant scientist rescued by a reserve model time machine.

Those children and I were important to each other. We shared a common cause. I have discovered since that one of them now works for the Australian ABC. I remember him so well as he was noticeable in that group. Full of the energy we all felt in that wonderful time lapse place.

I end this part of my memoir with a poem I wrote in April, 2004. It links up with time and how classrooms go on in your mind when you teach there.

Rock and Roll 

You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

“As Time Goes By”

Music and words by Herman Hupfeld

I taught my music class Rock and Roll today, 

Gave them the themes from a long time away, 

Felt the beat grab them, shake them and shiver them, 

Saw the words wrap them, post them and deliver them, 

Heard the old ghosts like sirens of the sea 

And recalled when they sang the same songs for me. 

I heard current laughter and present time cheers 

The attention still lingering across the years, 

Bill Haley still rocking across the clock’s face, 

Big Boppa yet fingering Chantilly Lace, 

Buddy Holly still loving his sweet Peggy Sue 

And the Marcels still claiming that the moon is blue. 

I taught my music class Rock and Roll today, 

Gave them the themes from a long time away, 

Felt the beat grab them, shake them and shiver them, 

Saw the words wrap them, post them and deliver them, 

Heard the old ghosts like sirens of the sea 

And learned that such things will last longer than me. 



Even More Miscreants

The Double Dealing Diphthong

The Double Dealing Diphthong would struggle with the truth

It ranted and raved throughout each day

And constantly stood aloof

The problem was the Vowels both long and short

It accused them of dishonesty

And integrity to be bought

So the debate raged as all were engaged

In a squabble where things turned sour

The language was rough with no anger assuaged

They argued hour by hour

The trouble was the way things were said

With A E I O and U

The Diphthong declared good diction was dead

And this caused a hullabaloo

The Vowels fought back with potent attack

And offered a number of tips

The trouble they said was the shape of the back

And the lazy use of the lips

Not so said the the Diphthong against the trend

Extremely sure of itself

There’s a desperate need it duly agreed to carefully mend the blend

But the Vowels demurred and loudly chaffed

Declaring the Diphthong wrong

Then highly amused they raucously laughed

And burst into happy song

Now a point of interest is the change today

There are signs now of a solution

The letters’ betters have something to say

Approaching a revolution

It is like this, if things go amiss,

Whether they’re alive or neuter

You can rescue your thinking from its abyss

Just hand over to a computer


The Over-talkative Robot

Once on a lot there was a robot

Whose workings went badly amiss

Most of its functions were in the right slot

But in one way it was remiss

It started to chatter and just wouldn’t cease

That prattle could be heard coast to coast

With clatter so loud it disturbed the peace

And would shatter the nerves of a ghost

The voice was so loud it seemed very proud

To radiate sound like a stentor

Its words intruded in volume so loud

It became a virtual tormentor

The minds of the owners sought disowners

And they were extremely nervous

The words of the robot were hardly a bonus

With its pleasure to be of service

But on and on and on went that voice

Entrapped in its own repetition

The listeners were stricken without any choice

Prone to robotic rendition

You cannot rule out that the law was broken

There was harm with humans offended

But the breach was clearly merely token

As the crime was not intended

And yet as can happen there was one ray of hope

An idea from a scientist’s spouse

There was one place where no listeners would mope

The West Wing of the White House

So there it stays gabbling through its days

Attracting respectful attention

And only rarely when in public gaze

Does the President get a mention


The World’s Greatest Liar

He was born on a mountain top in Tennessee

The greatest liar you ever did see

Flew to the moon one famous day in June

Wrote the words of anthems and then composed a tune

Defrocked Mussolini down Italy way

And was a secret agent of the CIA

Made his first ten trillion selling shares in oil

Invented the first working model of the hydrofoil

Flew off to China in a solar-driven plane

Then had supper with the President of Spain

Took up acting wherein he was adored

Starred in a hit for an Academy Award

Wrote the first version of Gone With The Wind

Kidnapped Al Capone soon after he had sinned

Had his own series on pay TV

Bought the Mona Lisa on a spending spree

Built the Sydney Harbour Bridge in his spare time

Helped to make the FBI the enemy of crime

Often spends his holidays in Buckingham Palace

Controls a federal agency eliminating malice

He is highly famous solving your privations

And he gives a frequent speech at the United Nations

Nominated twenty times for the Hall of Fame

Many thousand voices still give him wild acclaim

There are countless triumphs for this doer of deeds

When pretence is needed, that is when he leads

But do you know the latest plans that have just occurred?

He will soon be President; on that we have his word


The Man Who Knew Almost Everything

Winston Wise rarely felt surprise

As all things got his attention

There was nothing on earth that escaped his eyes

Or was outside his comprehension

He rejoiced in the stars knew all about cars

And read all the pages of history

Was very well versed in civic faux pas

Nothing to him was a mystery

He would talk for hours about ivory towers

And read all of Shakespeare’s plays 

He made sense of climate from cyclones to showers

And even probed the sun’s rays

In the field of law he knew so much more

While vast was his knowledge of money

The world of science was an open door

And his mastery of crime wasn’t funny

He was with films an encyclopaedia

With commerce indeed a true master

Had a grasp of all of the modern media

Saw war as a total disaster

He spoke several tongues was a star of linguistics

And famous for his diary

He was also ballistic in the field of statistics

Which guided his expert enquiry

As the days passed by there were those who would try

To fathom the extent of his learning

The challenge for them was far too high

They were but mere humans discerning

But wait a minute there was one doubt

That caused a little surprise

He said to his wife with a smile bobbing out:

“I’m fazed by that love in your eyes.”



Beautiful person

Aide to the tyrant

Close to power at the witching hour

Why tie yourself to the villain?

Is it because you need authority

That is far above sorority?

You have bought your influence

As part of a confluence

With a vile continuity

That brings you false respect

And support for superfluity

You have tied yourself

To the greatest source of power

Known to mankind

It’s a union shaped by hell

And you know deception well

Thus you rise out of the demise

Of truth and gentle pity

You enforce the divorce

Of kindness and love

As heaven above weeps in sorrow

Until with the hateful reign

Society bleeds and cries out in pain

Yours is now the destiny that walks beside doom

Sharing a room with oppression

That ensures the repression

Of peace and beauty and love

So sad it is

Yes bad it is

For your future can never be

Part of democracy’s dream of the free

And the worth

Of all that we need to be

If harmony is to reign on earth


Snake Oil Salesman

There you stand

Proclaiming your own virtue

With the light of fake morality reflected in your eyes

A rogue in disguise

Whose words eulogise

And cover up each dark deed you do

How full of risk you really are!

Outstripping by far

The declared humility of your false identity

You trumpet your bogus virtue

Many times over

Presented as reality by the lies you tell

Ideas garnished like goods to sell

In sickening banality

So note this please as pain to ease

You with all your false regalia 

Are doomed to failure

Your fame that seems so great

Will by its very nature disintegrate

And fall around you like a Slough of Despond

Thus will you not reach beyond despair 

As the sound of your voice pollutes the air

To make our earth a purgatory of disaster

That only the likes of you would seek to master

Heed this now

You, despite your place in an ivory tower,

Are a figure who makes even angels glower

An entity – identity, aiming for the greatest heights

But doomed to give our suffering world last rites

Therefore bicker on with your futile foray

And it shall follow as the night the day

There’s no way your affray will allay the dismay


False Acclaim

You clap your hands like a tycoon

Suddenly discovering wealth

With a weird mystique of pretentiousness

You are really clapping yourself

What is the reason for this season of self acclamation?

It is the fable that displays itself for the good of the nation

You strut on the stage like a peacock

With a mad desire for a mate

You open doors with a counterfeit knock

And then you gesticulate

A question arises from the crowd in shock

How could he matriculate? 

The next thing you do is nod your head

Accepting the fake glory

Then you wave your arms as the meek are led

By their ears to accept your story

On that stage you show fake rage

To disguise your lies as reality

Your babble flows on to another page

In a fictitious form of normality

While this goes on many people die

With a virus out of control

Your ignorance is noted by the well trained eye

You have no wit to extol

Yet still there are cheers mere fragile veneers

While you clap yourself even longer

The noise is your cover to hide the fears

Truth dies as your lies grow stronger

Your vanity’s disguised as fake disdain

Contempt on your bleak face lurking

With your folly no hopes remain

No plan of yours is working

So clap on child of a gorgon as times pass

The doom of the world’s in your hands

It’s the face of a fool in your looking glass

Your downfall is what truth demands


Old King Cole: Halfwit

Old King Cole was a stupid old soul

A vacuous halfwit was he

He lied for his supper in his usual role

And sacked his fiddlers three

One day he got sick with a painful rash

That made him a very slow mover

He went to a store with loads of cash

To buy and drink stain remover

That did him harm and he nearly died

Some doctors called him a fool

So he took fly spray to fix his inside

Which made him look like a ghoul

King Cole as a boss was never at a loss

With an image he thought allured

He proudly gave his big head a toss

And announced to the world he was cured

Then off he went to parliament

Denying he was contagious

He infected victims wherever he went

In a manner clearly outrageous

He was so enraged when they held a debate

He allowed no word in edgewise

Old King Cole was so irate

A bully on a hideous enterprise

But the end was quick for that king who was sick

A republic was the call

They had grown tired of each sinister trick

Now no one recalls him at all

Old King Cole was a stupid old soul

A vacuous halfwit was he

He lied for his supper in his usual role

And sacked his fiddlers three


A Beautiful World

I wandered alone and the birds talked to me

It was a lively conversation

I noticed the sky and was touched by its mystery

As I walked

A number of butterflies danced on the air

As if they were grateful to be alive

This forest was an array of undamaged trees

Standing stoically strong

Their shade was a comfort

The path wove its way between those trees

The sun was casting shafts of gentle light among them

Beautiful fungi were clustered around many trunks

An array of other things caught my eye

Including technicolour flowers

And I saw bees as willing tradesmen

Getting on with their business

Into one corner of my gaze came a possum

Eating a blossom

It seemed to regard me as a trusted friend

Further on I came to a crystal stream

Wending its way as they all do down from the hills 

I saw my reflection

Where the water was not flowing

I seemed to be part of that place

So I stayed a while 

Keen to look where the brook was moving

And above its ripples I saw a dragonfly hovering

Fixed above the water like a painting

Below the golden aura of a crayfish caught my eye

And an unnamed fish went swimming by

There was a peace in that place

And music

I heard voices there pleading with me to look after things

And the cry that all men are brothers

It gave me time to think of others

Torn apart by poverty and war and other men’s greed

There I learned I would not be forgiven

If all I do is listen to the music


One More Unsavoury Crew

Sporting Hero

He’s a sporting hero is Travistock Hones

Lives in glass houses and doesn’t throw stones

He owns a yacht that is quite a boat

It’s worth so much more than a ribboned coat

He drives a Mercedes and shows it off well

As he glories in the comfort of his sports cartel

He’s regarded by the market as free of sinning

The one criterion is to keep on winning

That’s the secret of life in this age of consent

If you win at all costs you’re from heaven sent

If you don’t win at first you’re regarded as slack

If you keep on losing you get the sack

Gone are the old ways of splendid idealism

Instead we have war and belligerent realism

With your new career you dream to begin it

Until you discover there’s money in it

Then your life changes to conform with new ways

Affluence is the influence for the rest of your days

So that is the tale that Travistock weaves

It’s the ultimate truth and what he believes

Hard cash and rash language are an enormity

Life’s to be governed by servile conformity

Behind this existence is media profit

The hero becomes a big business prophet

People buy while the days go by

As the crowds flow in they will certify

That enterprise is paying off

And only the poets are left to scoff


Climate Skeptic

Australia’s NDC outlines an economy wide emissions reduction target of 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030.  Parliament of Australia

How many roads must that fool travel down

Before he learns to be wise?

How man years can a man be a clown

Till he stops polluting the skies?

The answer my friend is blowing in the breeze

And climate denial’s a disease

Just look at fire to quell your desire

To let the world stay the same

Will the planet transpire wrapped in the pyre

Or are you moved by the shame?

And what of the drought how can you leave out

Economic ruin of a nation?

Where is the wise voice talking about

The truth of this deadly privation?

And then there is flood with its torrent of mud

Destroying the beauty of life

Is the story of living to be written in blood

With the norm for existence strife?

Questions such as these can influence fate

As so much rests on reply

Suggestions you give can change the debate

Or we kiss our planet goodbye

Just one more thought might come to your mind

Before you answer each query

Time’s running out for our people to find

Respect for scientific theory

Yes the lesson is stark so recall Noah’s ark

Before we sink in the gloom

See the voice of reason as a light in the dark

Or would you prefer a tomb?


Photo Opportunity

I notice how you organise photo opportunity

News bulletins show your impunity

With each session you give the impression

That you are an everywhere man

Posing as a hero who never lacks a fan

Shaking hands or watching a game

Wearing a hard hat or lighting a flame

Cheering up old folks or chatting with a child

Walking with dignitaries driving crowds wild

Posing as a key man thrice blessed with friends

Acting as a film star whose fame never ends

So it is with political intrigue

You turn the world into an sheer blitzkrieg

And what is the purpose of your singularity?

Why to focus on the polls and enhance popularity

So that is why you do it

There is no other way to construe it

Your basic inception is pure deception

As you show a devious persona

You cunningly chart the desired reception

That denies you are a loner

So there we have it detail of your habit

That discloses what you are

The world can see why you grab it

You’ll be visible near and far

But your future is still prone to blunders

For what you are echoes and thunders

So beware of the thought that troubles are fought

By means of natural selection

As in the end success can’t be wrought

Except by the next election

The historian’s pen will all things mend

As truth and nothing but truth will win in the end


Benjamin Rubble: Developer

Benjamin Rubble never has trouble

Knocking famed buildings down

Life to him is but froth and bubble

As he acts the destructive clown

His influence is strong doing things wrong

And he’s paid for his devious work

He lobbies to members who all go along

With each very gainful quirk

So down comes beauty as forsaken duty

To make way for intrusive towers

The city becomes a part of Ben’s booty

A victim of his potent powers

Gone are those days when we lived to praise

The legacy of bygone times

Our children will have no sense of the days

Before these virtual crimes

It is hard to describe the new stark vision

Without complete verbosity

The mind leans heavily towards derision

As we notice each monstrosity

So the sun looks down on an unplanned scatter

Of high-rise bleak intrusions

The planners seem to ignore this matter

While critics are accused of delusions

Above all else time stands aloof

In judgement of this behaviour

The victims soon will long for proof

That Ben will be thwarted by a saviour

If it be not so it will stay sheer woe

While destruction routinely proceeds

In the end with a tear we will see so much go

As everyone’s broken heart bleeds


Weapon Maker

There is one calling that deals with death

More than the undertaker

If you listen hard and don’t hold your breath

I’ll name the weapon maker

Murder is a crime we all understand

Is punishable by law

Unless it is done with a military band

Legally killing far more

When a weapon is made it is on parade

On hand for any buyer

It can be bought with excuses made

By any skilful liar

In the name of peace he will add the grease

To tanks and bayonets and guns

Then comes the killing as the battle won’t cease

Bringing death to fathers and sons

You cannot be sure when it comes to war

How justly your weapon will be used

Integrity is kept outside every door

Wherever peace is abused

So death will come walking by your side

Whenever the mission is harm

It will flow in an ever increasing tide

Ringing the bells of alarm

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

Innocents will die in numbers

If mankind fails to heed the warning

That the god of war never slumbers

So every time you make a gun

You run the risk of disaster

You create the chance to be overrun

And the Angel of Death will be master




Hail Caesar Tin-pot Leader

Now Tin-pot Caesar

Was a smart geyser

Destined to rule the land

His methods were naughty

While he was so haughty

And decidedly underhand

One of his tools

Was the Roman schools

Where teachers taught loyalty to him

If they didn’t follow

What told to swallow

Their prospects would be simply dim

Another misdeed 

All linked to his greed

Was to make the country great

But his lies hit the roof

He was so aloof

That the land met a far worse fate

For the people starved

Their income halved

And many were horribly sick

Then the climate turned worse

It became a vile curse

So Tin-pot tried a new trick

It had nothing to do with the weather

This will knock you down with a feather

The mighty boss said we’ll be right by the fall

Then to cure all the sadness

In a blind fit of madness

The fool built a useless wall


Flawed Affection

Look at you

In your position of power

Over the fate of others

Part of university life

Absolute mastery

Exploiting completely


A vulnerable young woman

Wrapped in your program of study

How witty you are

You with your knowledge

First base to me 

A stepping stone to a social contract

With me

One thing leads to another

A different allegiance 

How lucky I am

To be so close to you

You and I are we

For all the world to see

You with me

That is a way of putting it

A periphrastic study

Of reality

See how you organise me

Control is a role

I cannot deny

You with me are one

Time clarifies things

Influence mastery domination

A way to my salvation

Not so

The truth is pain

Again and again and again

Annulment: without hesitation



Jeremiah Jones was a principal

Head of a famous old school

He strove to be close to invincible

Obedience was his rule

Every prefect 

Was alert for a defect

That damaged the school’s reputation

And each teacher

Was an orderly creature

Moral by imputation

Now life is strange

It can rearrange

And get up to tricks unexpected

So it came to pass

In a lower class

That a felony was detected

This event was a reason for change

In the way the school was run

Giving learning a more valid range

As a new era was begun

It was Teddy Tomkins of the junior school

Son of a chemist with status

Teddy did a deed that broke every rule

And caused a significant hiatus

The story ran thus with a great deal of fuss

Concerning the boy’s lawless tactics

He was doing deals with his classmates thus

Selling them prophylactics

When the word got around

That business was sound

It threw the staff into a panic

That ship they sailed had indeed run aground

It may well have been the Titanic

Now the boy was drawn from out of the ranks

In a way that couldn’t be faster

The words that were used were censored blanks

From the highly irate headmaster

Now Tomkins was au fait with the world

And coped well with the abuse

He stood quite tall when the slander was hurled

And dreamed up a clever excuse

Balloons he claimed was all they were

Balloons to check the weather

I’m doing research on the climate Sir

Science teachers and me together

Now Jones as the boss was not at a loss

Despite the convolution

That thought from the boy was coming across

As a highly useful solution

Good idea he said go into the lab

And fill them all up with helium

This will solve with a single grab

The present distasteful tedium

So the deed was done and measurements begun

To check the current weather

The condoms were filled up one by one

Until they were light as a feather

Then out through the window they were cast away

As a plan to protect the school’s name

It still has a very fine standing today

While Teddy’s in their Hall of Fame

Sex education is now programmed

With seminars every week

The boys have peace where once they were damned

What more could they seek?

But up in the sky when the sun is high

You might gain a new perspective

You may see an eagle daring to fly

Outdone by a contraceptive


Counterfeit Freedom

Give me liberty or give me death

I’ll defy lockdowns with my very last breath

I know my rights if you take me to task

I’ll fight for impunity without a mask

How dare you put a fine on me for meeting with my friends

You’ll get from me resistance from now that never ends

To hell with all your orders demanding a safe distance

My will power is quite strong enough to counter your insistence

Freedom is a church that needs a towering steeple

You should know it’s a human excuse to infect other people

I’ve spent so many days creating self rule

If you rob me of it you are but a fool

My vital cause is noble so keep your police away

If they should lay their hands on me it is you who’ll pay

And there’s another evil that is your ghastly quirk

You have pulled the levers to take away my work

You have ruined my sport 

As a last resort and done away with the crowd

You’d dig up all the cricket pitches if that were allowed

So there you have it described at last my true picture

Of the ways you bind me up in your deadly stricture

I bid you now stay ready for more words that will inspire us

I’ll be back to say them as soon as they’ve cured my virus


The Doings Of Nicely Nicely

Nicely Nicely is an entrepreneur

Intent on making a bundle

He forces his clients with a grin to concur

Reducing life’s progress to a trundle

Slowly he preaches and then overreaches

Promising the world if you buy

He would if he could sell our harbours and beaches

Wrapped up as pie in the sky

Every day come hail or shine we are incited to pay

Extremely extravagant prices

He brings his lies right into play

While we’re left to our own devices

Now Nicely Nicely has made his pile

By applying his skills quite cunningly

He makes his approach with a glamorous smile

As he reaps the profit stunningly

But there is a secret people should know

In a case decidedly sinister

This tyro with a biro always on the go

Is the soul mate of the prime minister

Who passes laws that fill Nicely’s drawers

To match how the businessman lobbies

And so it goes with so many encores

You might see them as lucrative hobbies

If you read the press you would never guess

This is such a cause of privation

All leadership speeches state with finesse

It’s all for the good of the nation

So there we have it a profiteer’s dreams

That hat fits as Nicely’s best size

He wins with all his devious schemes

In the name of free enterprise



Rapscallions Still

Vote For Me

Now I declare

You have the chance

To get me into power

So listen well

Here is my stance

My plan at this witching hour

I’m dedicated

And very well able

To make our country great

So hurry now

And vote for the fable

Ere smart owls shut the gate

Now I am one

Of this world’s attackers

And I will fulfil your dreams

I get things done

With the help of my backers

Whatever their devious schemes

Deceit won’t matter

It avoids the mess

Of government behind the times

When you make the laws

There is no duress

And you get away with the crimes

It is easy for you

To assess my might

I rival the god Osiris

Nothing will stop me

From getting things right

I’ll even ignore the virus

I will sweep aside

The opposing crew

And drive them to the slaughter

Even though it’s true

When it comes to IQ

I am but a fish out of water

But that doesn’t matter

I am your man

As long as we’ve got the numbers

I’ll get things done

With a brilliant plan

That no truth encumbers

Yes artifice is the way 

That now I choose

Convinced I’ll avoid detection

It’s the framework of fraud

I’ll astutely use

To triumph at the next election


Love’s Reality

You postured once as my friend

Convivial you might say

We laughed together in joyous mood

In such a friendly way

All the while you hatched a plan

Playing your affectionate part

Devising your scheme that was to become

A dagger to my heart

You stole away my precious wife

My children’s loving mother

You cunningly killed my self respect

Though I treated you as a brother

How clever you were with her

A singer in your choir

You led her on to be in your grasp

A victim of your desire

You used your power

Over enslaved women

Caught up in domesticity

You gave them relief from boredom’s grief

With your shallow eccentricity

Week after week you wove your charm

In the midst of each rehearsal

Had I been there I’d have felt the alarm

That for humans is universal

Schemes and dreams how easy it is

To court a victim with novelty

You laugh things off 

And never scoff

There is purpose in your frivolity

Subtle hints of sexuality

All just innocent fun

But your dark deeds in stark reality

Give your libido a run

Cause no alarms

And sweep her away

Into your greedy arms…

Here I am now many years have gone by

I wonder did you ever know

She came back to me with many a sigh

That softened the final blow

She’s dead I must tell you now

Stolen away at too early a time

Yet still loyal to the marital vow

And I forgave her for your crime

So we parted friends forever

There still was a bond sublime

That your dismal deeds could not sever

And I have a joy left still to save me

A brave reality that will last

Three children that she gave me

So attention please in heaven above

Watch my beat as the fashion

Let us listen to the music of love

That transcends all short-lived passion



So it’s your compliance

Denying the science

The evidence is there

Of the world’s despair

But money in your pocket is all that matters

Despite people dying and lives in tatters

It’s a massacre of burning

Disaster returning 

Over and over again

And the people need to know when

Your shifty mind will master

The truth of the disaster

Just look at those flames clutching the sky

A tragic reason so many die

So don’t deny the deadly white-knuckle cause

Listen to the thunder as the wildfire roars

Yet you still keep your bargain with the Devil

And allow deadly carbon at a lethal level

You pay no heed to calamities of coal

You fund the mines as a sinister role

There is no justice in your behaviour

Global warmers see you as their saviour

So as the flames sound their next death knell

Shake hands with Vulcan, you know him well


The Has Been

O why are you still talking?

You’ve been voted out of your post

You are a delinquent stalking

And you hang around like a ghost

Now you rarely rate a mention

But you frantically seek attention

As you preach your way out views

That find a place in the news

It is shocking to note the reality

Of your herd mentality

Your words are crimes 

That too many times

Promote the acceptance of death

You blindly state

A mortality rate

That leaves me out of breath

Now you’ve found a stage

That is all the rage

You consult in a foreign land

But the bottom rung

That is your tongue

Is decidedly underhand

So heed me now and take a vow

That will save the planet earth

End the violence 

With your welcome silence

That will make amends for your birth


O’Leary Was Weary

O’Leary was weary

And had a theory that the sun

Was about to set

It was a notion linked to emotion

That caused the fool to fret

The trouble was

He needed light

To keep his cabbages flowing

Whereas in the dark

The trouble was stark

As the number of snails was growing

So he got a frog

From under a log

To startle the night with a croak

His idea was simple

Like a baby’s dimple

But it turned into quite a joke

The snails were not scared but sought romance

That seemed to enhance

The frog’s percussion tune

Then along came a bird

It was quite absurd

It feasted by the light of the moon

So the snails were gone

But later on

There was yet even more trouble

Mister O’Leary

The man who was weary

Was caught in life’s froth and bubble

Yes fate turned even more savage

Along came a rabbit

With its usual habit

And consumed every single cabbage

Now the years have passed

With O’Leary aghast

And now he plays different roles

He has given up farming

Which is quite alarming

And pays for his produce at Coles



More Miscreants

Hermes Unmasked

Kane helped to change the world, but Kane’s world now is history. 

From Orson Welles’ Film Citizen Kane

So there you rule you fool

Heir apparent to the whole world

Potentate emperor sovereign monarch

What’s in a name?

Your media deeds whatever your name would be the same

Those rags

The things that you control

Are petty strings

That you pull according to your will

They are not tools of a god

Though you wield your pen at times

As if it were Thor’s hammer 

Your tabloids are odious voices scattered around the globe 

Yes and it’s you in your dealmaker’s robe 

Who is the omniscient sleuth

Deciding on the truth they are allowed to convey

So that’s it

We have established your status

But what of the hiatus?

How far can we trust you?

You a would-be icon grasping power

You yes you

You who decides what we learn 

While the other information 

Is left to burn

Your news is no more than your approved verdict

On what we lesser souls

Deserve to know

But we the little people need not dismay

For you will be dead one day

Like all of us

And history will write your obituary 

Totally free of your editorial influence


Pillage Of The Village

There’s a green one, and a pink one And a blue one and a yellow one And they’re all made out of ticky tacky And they all look just the same  From “Little Boxes,” a song sung by Pete Seeger


You plan to cut up our parklands

Dig up the grass and make a pass

Without a moral suture

At developers who fund their own future

That’s it then

Let the wonders of time

Yield to the crime of so called progress

No no no

It must not be so

The beauty of the ages

Treasured buildings of the past

Wondrous designs all meant to last

Open fields of world renown

The very spirit of the town

Are not yours to disown

All this is a universal need

Such riches must be saved 

From the jaws of greed

There is a glory

In the story

Of timeless heritage from the past

You must not pillage our golden village

Or the world will scream aghast

So remember this

Nothing will be amiss

If you value the legacies we treasure

Avoid the pain and help us maintain

The gifts only time can measure


A Lump Of Coal

An extrovert once in a fit of malaise

Hatched a wild plan to gather some praise

So he blackened his name and damaged his soul

And he held up a lump of coal

But the fires raged and the rains came

Until frightened people cursed his name

But this life of the party stayed calm on the whole

And he held up a lump of coal

Then the drought lasted and the storms blasted

And the masses used words such as guilty bastard

Yet the lively chap still stuck to his role

And he held up a lump of coal

Next oceans rose and washed away houses

It was doom of the kind that fear arouses

While the newsmaker tried for another goal

And he held up a lump of coal

Soon guilt was forming with the fearsome storming

As the world was wracked by global warming

Yet our star felt safe if linked to a poll

And he held up a lump of coal

Now folly is a roof that leaks in the rain

Only fools keep doing what brings them disdain

But a judge asked our man what caused the death toll

And he held up a lump of coal



Smoking kills

Call the Quitline Now

Get your cigarettes here

Default urban speed limit is 50 K

Our latest model will speed you away

Alcohol can cause heart and liver disease or stroke

It’s a bargain: half price sale of LEONARDO’S beer today


I am only a simple old working chap

As any one can see

But when I see folly and refuse to clap

Life is rewarding to me

It’s the thoughtless seller named Xerxes Jones

Who rattles my brain and stirs my bones

His is the stall I say with regret

Where you can buy your cigarette

Then there’s seedy speedy Leonidas Reed

Whose ads display cars built for speed

The vision we see has a grand prix role

That does not halt the state road toll

Among this group is Phidias Droll

Who makes his money from alcohol

The display for him is friendly and charming

But the violence news is quite alarming

So there you have it form with the norm

Of what might be called pretence

The need for profit makes people conform

With deeds that have little sense

Yet things can alter and rearrange

If we simply stop and think

There are many ways we can bring on change

When we breathe and drive and drink

Here’s a toast to that with a tit for tat

And I’ll turn you away from the slaughter

I’ll not smoke or speed to live longer indeed

And I’ll drink to your health with water



Zip-a-dee-doo-dah fiddle de dee

I’m a consultant for your spending spree

You seek advice lest profit be lost

You’re ready to pay me whatever the cost

Yes I’ll advise you dear client – relax

My fees you deduct from your income tax

There is one idea that now we don’t mention

How to dupe clients if that’s your intention

Of course I will help with a priceless plan

It’s the oldest gambit known to man

First praise your product with a testimonial

Make it seem great with due ceremonial

Then you double the price and market frantically

Make it alluring with a woman romantically

Offer low interest with time to spare

Then ride easy while others pay the fare

There are more schemes you might like to know

Many subtle ways to make income flow

Tobacco is a gainful ticket upstairs

If you sprinkle your funds on its stocks and shares

But there is a warning to keep things sunny

Work where you can with other people’s money

And things will be fine if you have people sign

Their lives away on a devious mine

Yes dig it up or cut it down

That’s a sure way to gain renown

There I stop

I now predict your thanks from the banks

As you join the redoubtable magnate’s ranks

And I will be pleased to serve you well

You will be safe when under my spell

But remember this

Whatever the task I will not begin it

Unless I’m convinced there’s money in it

While if we work as a triumphant pair

You will have to ignore my bursts of hot air


Where Rapscallions Dare To Tread

The Chosen One

On hearing a speech in August 2020

Your prompting script will be enough

None will dare to call your bluff

So decorate your image with pretence

Disguise each lie your sordid mind invents

No half measures as you misinform

And make deception now the ugly norm

Then praise all innocents as if you cared

Mollify the dupes so far ensnared

Tell all teachers that you are desirous

To show respect but ignore the virus

Go then, repeat your parody of dreams

Invent diversions to disguise your schemes

Incite from the crowd a robotic ovation

As you assert you are good for the nation

Attack each day with trumped up nomenclature

Claim leftist foes will vandalise all nature

Go then recruit your crass disciples

Have them speak in platitudes and trifles

Then orchestrate with nonstop fake applause

And add to the mix your trivial encores

Finish with fireworks as a master stroke

Let the gross illusion go up in smoke

There’s a lesson to be had from this inanity

Dominion can be yours over all humanity


Formula For Success

One People One Nation One Leader

Never own up to anything

Claim you are always right

If what you do is challenged

Stage a smoke screen fight

Then divert attention

With abuse and clangour

And carefully fail to mention

The original cause of anger

If you’re embarrassed

Find someone to deplore

And make sure he is harassed

In ways none can ignore

Then turn your mind to glory

Invent a golden age

Tell but half the story

Then let fantasy rule the stage

Pretend you’ve invented the golden rule

Create some Elysian Fields

Turn your opponent into a tool

As to desire he yields

Promise the world with your fingers curled

Around a money bag

Praise the nation with banner unfurled

Then smile and kiss the flag

Spread divinity across your face

And declare your faith in God

Pretend you care for the human race

Then give rich backers the nod

This above all to your own schemes be true

And it shall follow as the night the day

Your opponents will shrivel away


A Moral Tale

All hail the great achiever!

O once upon a time in a native strand

A smart man felt just born to rule the land

He wove a tale people liked to hear

And vowed to make all woes disappear

He promised the moon one day in June

All the folk heard his merry tune

His vow related to law and order

This cured John Doe of his sleep disorder

He poised alert like one of the sages

Then systematically cut people’s wages

When his mob gave praise and said encore

The hero went off and started a war

He was quite proud this created more jobs

And made him one of the world’s heartthrobs

He didn’t notice his new found shame

As the deaths of thousands brought him fame

When the going got tough at a later election

He devised a plan that was close to perfection

With a racist slant he was on the go

And revived the perversion that is Jim Crow

He got into power in the witching hour

Did dark deeds that turned life sour

His ways were slimy and oozed vulgarity

Yet still he lost no popularity

As time went by that fame grew fast

But the idol’s next deal was to be his last

He took fake pills from a counterfeit concocter

And died before they could send for a doctor


At The Top Of The Tree

A Chieftain Observed

Peter Crumpkin was a bumpkin

And got to the top of the tree

He had a head like the top of a pumpkin

And a brain the size of a pea

He spoke every word in a manner absurd

And his deeds were an absolute farce

He promised the world and the people stirred

But none of it came to pass

Every day in his usual way

He would make a weird proclamation

But the only excuse he could think of to say

Was it’s all for the good of the nation

His lies flowed fast an expensive repast

For all of the innocent flock

The trouble was the truth came last

And the country went into shock

Riots broke out and shattered the peace

As children started to cry

Yet all he could do was call in the police

And watch the mob pass by

Now anger rose as the saying goes

And discord stirred the masses

PT said we could cure all woes

If we started to eat molasses 

That was the level of thought he wrought

Irrelevance was his stance

The land was doomed as a last resort

To be led on his merry dance

But time is the cure all fools must endure

In the end the electors were wiser

They chose Rosa Parks with her great allure

Even though this did surprise her

So the bumpkin faded away that day

To a fate his kind espouses

A career befitting his life you might say

As all he does now is sell houses


A Fatal Lark With Quarks

O the grand old Duke of Parx

He had ten thousand quarks

He took them up to the top of the hill

As one of his typical larks

Now when they were up they were down

And when they were down they were up

Duplicity was a golden chance

For him to act the clown

So off he went to Westminster

Then came a deed quite sinister

He sold the quarks at a ruinous price

To the not too bright prime minister

Now here we avoid metonymy 

As we say this destroyed the economy

Wages fell and it rained like hell

And postponed all astronomy

This was not all of the terrible fall

That sent stock brokers to the wall

The market crashed as experts clashed

And business slowed to a crawl

The end came fast at the very last

Leaving observers aghast

For revolution was in the air

With the PM a thing of the past

So the old world quickly changed

Even lovers were estranged

In came a brave new order

A whole nation was rearranged

O the grand old Duke of Parx

He had ten thousand quarks

He took them up to the top of the hill

As one of his deadly larks


Now this one is not a rapscallion

There you sit

On a footpath as people pass by

Rarely giving you the eye

Acceptance leaks from your countenance

As your body leans awry

Your music is oddly fragile now

As the world is holier than thou

And all you do really is beg for money

To taste the bread and honey of others

In a social climate that smothers

You and the other misfits of the age

On your shoulder I dream up a raven

O yes your image is craven

But the bird is ready to plunder

The domains of indifferent passers by

While you sit torpidly under

The spell of longing for the tinkle of cash

Into your music case

So play on dear victim of laws that don’t exist

That might have saved you from the failure’s list

Here is my token

A pathetic kindness to a spirit broken

Mere petty cash to ease the pain

But I will remember you if I pass again




George Orwell: Wikimedia Commons

Recently I have been interested in the promotion by William D. Lutz of what he borrowed from George Orwell, DOUBLESPEAK. This involves words whose true significance is not what it seems to be. I have had some fun with my own examples. Here is my list of interpretations.

indefinite detention

gaol without trial


a folly that got you elected

committee meeting

a place where inaction is given the go ahead

big government

government functions not yet privatised

people smugglers

your excuse for indefinite detention

previously loved/enjoyed


level playing field

where nobody notices corporate collusion


a place where you drive past slowcoaches 

with great respect

strongly disagree

I thank the honourable member for the question

I am about to abuse the questioner

lunatic fringe

opponents with policies opposed to yours

border protection

approved chauvinism

listen to the experts

you choose the experts

last resort of fools

policies different from your own

business confidentiality

secret deals

tested by time

unaware of the latest discoveries

clean coal 

truthful lies

robust manufacturing sector

profit before climate

golden opportunity

an improbable outcome

extreme right

wolves in sheep’s clothing

extreme left

sheep in wolves’ clothing

centre party

a group who can’t make up their mind

public relations 

tall-tale influence inducing affluence

economic rationalism

rational ways of making irrational decisions

no such thing as a free lunch

put your money where your mouth is


replacing costly labour with cheap slave labour overseas


letting somebody else make your mistakes

classified information

covering your tracks or hiding your crimes


dismissing staff

red tape

regulations that restrict corporate exploitation or proliferation


personal or party source of funds

checks and balances

cheques and bank balances


a unity that only war or pandemic can achieve

dark horse

a rational, concerned candidate free of party politics

your grass roots

where you fund just before an election (AKA pork barreling)


organised shots of you to foster your false image

spin doctors

highly paid liars who work for you


insight into the future from the oracle

bill of rights

a human rights declaration tyrants prevent from happening

law and order

power to stop dissent

dog whistles

words (whistles) only dogs, racists or gullible voters hear


Using language to distort or even reverse the meaning of unpalatable information that has to be given. Allegedly the amalgam of two George Orwell’s creations from his novel 1984, Doublethink and Newspeak. Source:

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