“My feeling of Rainbow” by Toni Newell

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My feeling of Rainbow


I want to climb a rainbow,

And see how high I go,

Then slide back down the other side,

Land in the pot of gold.


I want to strum the colours,

Like a base guitar,

Feel the colours wash over me,

And take me to afar.


I want to use the rainbow,

As an artist’s palette,

Mix the colours to create,

A brightly coloured parrot.

But most of all I want to see,

A rainbow across the sky,

Giving hope of finer weather,

As in times gone by.

“Frost in Oz” by James Aitchison

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I see icicles everywhere

On my bike and on the stair.

Down on the gate and on the grass,

Our chooks are giving eggs a pass.

I see icicles hither and yon,

I see them hanging on Uncle Ron,

On the dunny and on the ’roo,

And on my mother’s washing too.

I reckon this year the frost is worse,

With icicles on the local hearse.

I’ve never seen this kind of dew

What’s Australia coming to?


“Fussy Rainbow-Eaters” by Celia Berrell with Teacher Notes

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Fussy Rainbow-Eaters


Leaves choose mostly orange-red

then bands of blue

to violet.


Using light to make a meal

of carbohydrate’s

sweet appeal


their chloroplasts feed on the Sun.

But only parts of

light’s spectrum.


Leaves don’t use all sunshine’s beams.

It seems they rarely

eat their greens!


First published in Double Helix (October 2015)

Reproduced with permission of CSIRO





Teacher Notes

Sunshine is made up of all the colours of the rainbow. It’s warming, illuminating, and essential for life.  And plants mostly reflect the colour they don’t absorb – GREEN!

Notes by Jeanie Axton

Below is a template for an Australian Eucalyptus leaf. Print and get the students, after brainstorming, to write a shape poem around the shape of the leaf. They could all be cut out and attached to a Eucalyptus Poem Tree.



“Colours of the Rainbow” by Toni Newell

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There are seven colours of the rainbow,

That all come out of one,

It’s white sunlight, through droplets of water,

Behind which shines the sun.

Red is for raspberry, orange for orange,

Yellow for banana, and green is for grass,

Blue is for blue sky, indigo for blackberry,

And then there is violet that sits below, last.

Together they make up the rainbow,

That arches across the sky,

Hoping the worst of the weather is over,

And that we can all try to keep dry.

”Gulp” by Natalie Cooke

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There’s a lunge and a wriggle—

He’s caught it!

(Poor strawberry,

Mashed to a pulp

By those omnivorous jaws.)

We watch joy beam in the lizard’s eyes.

Red juice stains his granite chin

As the sweet taste of summer floods his tongue.

© Natalie Cooke



“Tasty fruit rainbow” by Virginia Lowe

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Tasty fruit rainbow






Fejoa smells perfumey in its blue-green skin









Violet? Not one


Sample a fruit

Vegetables aren’t some?

Aubergine is egg plant

resembles an egg only in shape

coloured indigo like blueberries

Tomato perhaps is

But all grow as fruit

“My Dog” by Toni Newell

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My Dog


It is a strain,

My dog is lame,

At the Vet again,

He’ll have to remain.


At home waiting,



My heart breaking.


Then the call,

That said it all,

Back to playing ball,

Injury was small.


Happy again,

My dog, free of pain,

He can now remain,

On his own terrain.


Toni Newell  

”Alexander the Great” by Julie Cahill

Alexander the Great
We had a tortoise, years ago
His name was Alexander
who started off so very small
until he chose to wander
He wandered from his tiny pond
waving to the tadpole
He wandered through the bonfire, cold
was coated then in charcoal
He wandered past the washing line
and through my mother’s washbowl
then dried himself in sunshine
upon a grassy high knoll
from where he spotted everything
and lolloped toward our greens
He ate our peas and cabbages and the yucky runner beans
that couldn’t run away at all
creating an enormous stink
contradictory to their status
prepostrous, don’t you think?
They were shreaded thinner and then devoured
Loud belches filled the air
We didn’t want to scold our pet, we didn’t want to stare
But such was his ungainly greed
to protect him I told lies
a greed which gave him bucky teeth
and crossed my guilty eyes
He gobbled all our carrots, sprouts and all alike
So Mum said in her sternest voice
to ride off on his bike
In other words she shoved him with great effort, through the gate
so off our Alex wandered
to face his greedy fate
Dipping toes and then his nose
in streams till he expanded
He drank so much he almost popped
which sounds all cacky-handed
His shell kept Alex quite intact
he looked just like a monster
the neighbours they all screamed, in fact
as though watching a blockbuster
Alex thundered through the land
the streams and garden beds
He blundered off along the streets
and turned the people’s heads
He ate the grocer’s shops, complete
He drank the rivers dry
Until the RSPCA
stepped in and said ‘goodbye’
to freedom, that is, and our pet was taken to the zoo
But plans are made and plans go wrong as often as they do
They’d brought a crane and loaded Alexander on a truck
They couldn’t get him off again – well and truely stuck
But as he grew he outgrew the truck
and wandered off unaided
So if you find a giant tortoise
you’ll know you’ve been invaded

“A Pig And Cat” by Celia Berrell with Teacher Notes

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A Pig And Cat  


A pig and cat

decided that

they’d have a run

to see who won.


The cat was keen

and fit and lean.

The pig thought Drat

I’m way too fat!


And so first place

for running race

went to the cat

who wasn’t fat.


The pig and cat

decided that

they’d have a swim

to see who’d win.


The cat was cranky.

Almost sank!

While piggy gloats

Oh look I floats!


And so first place

for swimming race

went to that big

fat floaty pig.


Born to Run
If a cat were an Olympic athlete, the only marathon it might win would be in
sleeping. But watch out in the sprint events. The cat would leave its competitors in the dust. Oddly enough, it is the cat’s fondness for sleep that makes it such a speed demon. Sleep is its way of conserving energy for the explosive bursts of power it needs for a successful chase. More often than not, these brief, energy-sapping episodes of running prowess are punctuated by yet more slumber. But hunting is not the only arena for showing off a cat’s running ability. Sometimes its speed is put to the test when the cat itself is the target of a chase. Felines that survive in the wild, especially on open plains, rely heavily on their ability to run — much more so than domestic cats — because their habitats put greater onus on stalking and surprise attack. Given cause, though, all cats are gold-medal winners in high-speed pursuit.


Felis catus top speed (running)  29.8mph


Sus domestica top speed (running) 11mph


Most cats don’t like getting their paws wet, but this Persian puss can’t resist a paddle.


Most cats loathe water and react to it with panic and distress. However, there is one cat, the Turkish Van, that is fast becoming fame for its swimming talents. Equipped with a fine, dense coat and neck ruffle that thickens even more in the winter months, this breed will happily plung into water. There are Turkish Van individuals that do not enjoy water and this against-type behaviour could be due to the fact that several generations back even these cats would rarely be exposed to a lakeside environment like that of Lake Van, where the breed originated.


Pigs are quite buoyant, and you can actually float along without much effort, and the pig will support you entirely, sort of like an innertube. The pig was so happy at this point, that it took no notice of us at all-it´s shoe and hand biting tendencies seemed to have disappeared.