Poem of the Day


Eagle Song


Hill-lord sorcerer, wedge-tailed eagle,

Drawn on breath of wind.

Brown breadth plunging, arrow-lunging,

Earthing into prey.

Gold eye blazing, coldly fazing

Storm that’s coming on.


Sky-sail clipper, wedge-tailed eagle,

Drifting on the wind.

Rip waves forming, slow tide borne in

Flash of bronze and white.

Thunder rattling, lightning shattering,

Trees and livid sky.

Still there’s eagle, riding bravely,

Master of the storm.


© Sophie Masson

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Death’s Kaleidoscope


The master of pain is prominent in Dachau,

Perfecting a frown on a gaunt and shrivelled face,

Playing unconscionable games with my beautiful mother,

Reminding me I’ll be next if I survive a few more years,

Debating death is like an alluring melody hammered inside my head.


Violins bring a magical essence of self achievement,

Comforting disheartened and shattered hearts,

But I was not permitted to bring anything with me,

Without my violin I feel incredibly lonely,

Unable to let out my suffering through music,

Hitler has taken away my purpose.


An undefined soldier waltzes over to my mother,

Raising his brutal fist above her emaciated back,

Characteristically, my brother and I intervene,

A cacophony of sounds sprint through my ears,

My mother’s unrelenting and mortifying screaming,

A haunting laugh from my mocking captor,

The resonating sound of a newly-fired gun.


Death entangles its lanky arms around my heart,

Draining my crimson liquid onto the frozen ground,

Leaving three distinct colours for all to contemplate,

Dazed red, for the shapes I see from tear filled eyes,

Blotched grey, for a monstrously mislead Germany,

Cumulus white, for the colour on my dying brother’s face,

The shifting pattern of colours lingers momentarily, then dies.


© Sarah Jaeger

Winner Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Competition – Upper Primary, 2014

Poem of the Day

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They Danced in the Town


Grandmother Mulligan never left the house,

not once in ninety-eight years.

She could hardly talk and she could not walk –

but, she still had a very fine time,

oh yes, she still had a very fine time.


For every night as she slept, her nose crept away,

and danced in the town with her ears, her ears.

Danced in the town with her ears.


Little old lady, Penelope Simms,

had aches in her toenails and all of her limbs.

Her back was hunched, her walk was slow –

there wasn’t much difference from Stop and Go –

but, she still had a very fine time,

oh yes, she still had a very fine time.


For every night as she slept, her toes crept away,

and danced in the town with her ears, her ears.

Danced in the town with her ears.


Dear old Doddie had a clapped out body,

she was wrapped in a plaster cast.

She could not itch, she could not twitch,

her life was fading fast –

but, she still had a very fine time,

oh yes, she still had a very fine time.

For every night as she slept, her nose crept away,

and danced in the town with her ears, her ears.

Danced in the town with her ears!


© Bill Condon

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I’ve never dreaded witches

Who look such dreadful frights,

Flying over ditches

On dark and windy nights.


I never shake if fingers

Touch my face at night,

If of course it lingers

I then turn on the light.


I just ignore the bogies

Lurking in the dark,

Packs of fat old fogies

Looking for a lark.


If I ever saw a lion

I’d punch him on the nose.

I’ve nerves of steel and iron

As everybody knows.


I don’t believe in being scared

I’ve never seen a ghost,

For creepy tales I’ve never cared,

And that’s my favourite boast.


I’ve proved that I’m the bravest

Of super heroes still,

So why does that stupid dentist

Still scare me with his drill?



© Margaret Pearce

Email: mpearceau@gmail.com

Writing opportunity

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Sydney-based multi-ARIA Award winning music production company seeks capable enthusiastic writer/poet/scriptwriter to form partnership in order to write/record/produce a kids’ orientated original concept/TV show pilot. We have state-of-the-art audio/visual facilities, international award-winning expertise and industry knowledge/contacts in place. For further information please liaise with leon@hitmusicproducersinc.com.au

Tips for Writing Rhyming Verse

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 by Stephen Whiteside

When I was young, my father introduced me to the poetry of Banjo Paterson. Later, I discovered the poetry of C. J. Dennis. Both of these poets write rhyming verse or, as it is sometimes called, ‘bush verse’.

This comes from the idea that these poems were often recited from memory ‘around the campfire’ in the days when there were no computers, radios or TVs, and newspapers were few and far between. Bush dwellers, like shearers and drovers, had to make their own fun. Even a guitar was too bulky to take on a long trek ‘outback’.

Bush verse often tells stories. The wordplay of the rhyme is great fun, but the poetry is about much more than the rhyme – it also about the ‘metre’, or rhythm. In fact, this is even more important than the rhyme.

Here are some tips to writing rhyming verse. 1. Read some examples of classical ‘bush verse’ to familiarise yourself with the genre. Some classic ‘Banjo’ Paterson poems can be found here and here. A very famous poem by C. J. Dennis can be found here:

  1. Give some thought to the rhyming pattern that you want. The rhyme that stands at the end of the first line is traditionally called ‘A’, because that is the first letter in the alphabet. If the end of the second line rhymes with the end of the first line, it is also designated ‘A’. If not, it is designated ‘B’. AABB is probably the most common rhyming scheme employed. It is also one of the easiest to write. These lines with matching rhymes are called ‘rhyming couplets’, for obvious reasons. Another popular rhyming pattern, though it is much harder to write, is ABAB.
  2. Remember that rhyming verse is not just about rhyme. It is also about rhythm, or ‘metre’. When you have written two rhyming lines, read them both out aloud. Does their rhythm match? If not, you might have a problem. I find that a good way to check this is to tap my foot, or slap my thigh, while I read out the words.
  3. You don’t have to tell a story when you are writing rhyming verse, but it is a good way to begin. Also, don’t feel that you need to know how the story ends before you put pen to paper – or start to type. Often the only way to find out how a story ends is to start writing, and see where it takes you. Don’t worry, too, if your first poems end up a bit of a mess, or you don’t know how to finish them. The more you practise, the better you will get.
  4. Your patterns of rhyme and rhythm can be as simple or as complicated as you wish. It is entirely up to you. You might start out with simple patterns, but become more ambitious as you gain in experience and confidence. It is important, though, that there is some sort of pattern to the verse, and that you find a way to communicate this effectively to the reader

© Stephen Whiteside

Cover of Stephen W's book      Stephen Whiteside

Poem of the Day

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The Echidna


An echidna passed across a track

heading towards a special snack.


A naturalist muttered,‘What a turn!

About this creature, I’ve got to learn.’


He kneeled to take a closer look

the echidna swung with strong right hook.


And it was such a heavy clout

it nearly knocked the watcher out.


The echidna curled into a prickly ball

snarling, ‘I don’t like you at all.’


The naturalist cried and mused upon

what it was that he’d done wrong.


He only wanted to see first hand

the weirdest creature in the land.


The echidna uncurled and stalked away

grumbling at his ruined day.


And idiots too dumb to know

you always let echidnas go –


About their business digging holes

and eating ants from salad bowls.


Or snuffling around a great big mound

Where tasty termites are always found.


To spare echnida watchers’ pain,

the moral of this tale is plain.


Always remember it’s very rude

to keep echidnas from their food.


© M. Pearce

email: mpearceau@gmail.com

Poem of the Day

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Little Brother


Don’t yell or shout

Don’t be stupid

And fall about


The noise – the pain

Like stabbing knives,

or hail, or rain,


Push and shove

You never care

A monster,


To pull my hair.

I can’t stand you

I’m smothered


You are my painful,


little brother.


© Nardia Kelly


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A Bird Unique

Hoo hoo hoo, and he haw hay
laughed the Kooka on his way.

After him the Magpies chased
winging past in reckless haste.

What was it that the Kooka heard
to cause the Magpies get so stirred?

An ornithologist rushed to meet
a Magpie walking on two sore feet.

‘I’m scared to fly,’ the Magpie wailed
‘They laughed at me because I failed.’

He then limped on, a bird unique,
an unhappy agoraphobic freak.


© Margaret Pearce,

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Creepy crawly spider

Creepy crawly spider
Hiding in my bed.
Creepy crawly spider
Crawling up my leg.

Midnight and no light.
With any luck,
It won’t take a bite.

Creepy crawly spider
You’d best be on your way.
I’m about to cry,
If you don’t go away.

I am feeling itchy.
It’s not the time to sneeze.
Stay still and don’t flinch,
When it’s crawling on my knees.

Creepy crawly spider
I don’t like you.
Time to say goodbye.

It’s growing bigger by the moment.
A massive, humungous thing.
I am lying here frozen,
Waiting for its sting.

Creepy crawly spider
I think I’m going to die.
I must take it in my stride,
As I say my last goodbye.

Then from across the room,
A flying wooden broom.
My sister saves the day
And makes the spider pay.

Squishy and flat.
It happened so fast
And I’m free at last.

What joy. Hooray.
My sister may be three.
She’s the hero of the day.
Wouldn’t you agree?

© Bonnie Lewis

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