“Hibiscus In A Hurry“ by Celia Berrell

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Hibiscus In A Hurry



The hasty Hibiscus has burst into flower.

A glamorous beauty that seems a bit rude.

Its bloom only lasts about twenty four hours

before it will wilt to a shrivelling prude.


Its pistil’s so long, like it’s poked out its tongue

to grab the attention of passers-by.

The tip has a group of five stigmas it’s hung

to catch any pollen before it will die.


Along the pink sides of its long pistil style

the anthers hold pollen that’s yellow and bright.

Like sparks flying off from a Catherine-wheel

or sparkler lit on a dusky night.


With silky-soft petals in reds, white or gold

they need to attract pollinators for hire.

Impatient, imposing.  They’re terribly bold.

Like flowery dragons all breathing fire.


by Celia Berrell

(a fancy-dress pollen party)

“Spring Monster”  by Celia Berrell

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With crimson eyes

and slobbery face

this monster is

a sad disgrace.

Behaving like

a snot-grenade

which shoots out goo

that’s sneezed and sprayed.


She moans and groans

a burbled sigh,

then coughs and splutters

low and high.

So do you think

it’s best I leave her …

now my friend has

spring hay fever?

“Is Fake News Monkey-business?”  by Celia Berrell

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Is Fake News Monkey-business? 




and being



fake news

is skewing

our rationale.


No more


on things

that are boring.

The dash

to get printed

or famously best,

means stunning

results might

have lied on

their tests.


Then doors,

opened hastily,


a calamity,




and mess!


“Dinner Dinosaur”  by Celia Berrell

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Their dinosaur mother

left earlier on

as Sauropods never

cared for their young.


So baby-saurs scratched

from inside their shells

‘til together they hatched

from their eggy cells.


Their nest had a guest

of a hungry snake

just waiting for food

to hatch on its plate!


But snakes only munch

one mouthful for tea.

So hatching at once,

most babies ran free.



There’s safety in numbers … for some anyway!


“Facing our Fears”  by Celia Berrell



Serpent-like monsters,

grotesque teeth and claws,

wide wondrous wings

and frightening jaws.

Scaly or feathery,

bellowing fire,

this dragon’s our fear

to hire or retire.


Most humans will have

innate fear of snakes.

Don’t want to be bitten

or eaten like cakes.

Nor to be gouged

or burnt into flakes.

And flying or falling

can give us the shakes!


This dragon of terror

can come to our aid.

By facing our fears,

our future is made.

And like many fears,

once overcome,

our dragon could end-up

being our chum.

“Birdsong sounds” by Celia Berrell


Birdsong sounds


We can:

cackle like a Kookaburra,

hoot like an owl,

coo like a dove

or cluck like a fowl.

But some bird sounds

need whistling skills,

to copy Willie Wagtails

or Fairy-Wren trills.

While other birdsongs

are too hard to do –

screeching like Galahs

hurts my voice box too!


inspired by the Birds In Backyards website, where you can listen to 40 different Australian backyard birdsongs:

“Do Dolphins Kiss?”  by Celia Berrell

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Do Dolphins Kiss?


The dolphins swimming in the sea

make clicks and squeaks quite frequently.

These sounds move fast through liquid’s layer

compared to noises in the air.


Their clicks and chirps we can’t translate

but that’s how they communicate.

Not all their whistles we can hear.

They’re pitched too high for human ears.


They also sent out sounds to mark

locations of the sharks at dark

by bouncing echoes in the black

and timing when they’re getting back.


Since dolphins have to hold their breath

when swimming in the ocean’s depth

their voices aren’t from air that flows.

Instead they’ve lips inside their nose!


Their happy squeaks and chatty clicks,

those chirpy whistles, pops and hiss

like sounds of children’s playground bliss

are made from just a dolphin’s kiss.

“Food Flight”  by Celia Berrell

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Food Flight



in zero gravity


quite a calamity.


can float-off anywhere:


with your wafting hair;


your nose;


in your ears;


choking, sneezing





will soon fly in space


snacks to be in place.


can’t get up your nose.

At worst

they might mess-up your clothes.


thrown around


safe and fun.






First published in Double Helix (April 2017)

Reproduced with permission of CSIRO




“OCEAN OF POETRY” call by Celia Berrell

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Dear poets,

My dream project each year is to share student poems for Science Week (15-23 August) on the Science Rhymes website.  This year, National Science Week is supporting my call for OCEANS OF POETRY from EVERYONE – not just school students.  Click on the blue links for more details, then submit your poems by 31st July.  I really hope you will join in … and please share this request with anyone you think may be interested.

Snapping Surprises  by Celia Berrell

(beware the globiferous pedicellariae)


Spiky-round sea-urchins

live in the ocean.

Grazing on algae

in graceful slow-motion.


As well as their prickles

providing protection

against hungry fish

they’ve another invention.


Free-floating jaws

that have venomous fangs

can break-off some urchins

like guard-dogs in gangs.


These jaws may be tiny

but fish soon get wise.

They all hate the pain of

an urchin surprise!