“Great Grannie’s birthday gift” by Jenny Erlanger


Great Grannie’s birthday gift


Great Grannie has a letter

from a star who’s never met her

and who wishes her the very, very best.


It’s really quite uncanny

that she wrote to our Great Nannie

but I know Great Nannie’s feeling pretty blessed.


We’re amazed (and who could blame us)

that an idol who’s so famous

was prepared to take this break from her routine.


And although I feel no malice,

I am just a little jealous

that Great Grannie’s got a letter from the queen.

“Poetry in motion” by Jenny Erlanger

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I urge you all to give a miss

to writing poems that start like this.

Your listeners aren’t out there to bore.

You’re bound to captivate them more…


by putting in the grunt and time

and focusing awhile

on finding other ways to rhyme,

a change of writing style


Try to rhyme the firsts and thirds

while also taking care

Lines 2 and 4 conclude with words

that make a rhyming pair…


or take a risk, and aiming high,

just spread your wings and have a try

at branching out and saying goodbye

to standard rhyming mode.


The fourth line, such a sudden end

to three that show a rhyming trend

won’t find its matching, rhyming friend

till three more lines have flowed…


so when you write your rhyming poem,

you now have lots of choice.

With merriment


to give your words their voice.



“Fantasy Pet” by Jenny Erlanger


Fantasy pet


She’s a baby T-Rex and she comes from the past

when the dinosaurs wandered the land.

Having dodged certain death from a meteor blast,

she now squats in the palm of my hand

Unaware she’s the luckiest creature alive,

she cavorts round the yard like a pup.

In my dreams, she continues to grow and to thrive.

In my nightmares, she gobbles me up.

“Fish and chips on the beach” by Jenny Erlanger

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Fish and chips on the beach


It’s so bossy and loud

and stands out from the crowd

as we gather together to eat.

Dashing forwards and back,

it looks set to attack

every bird homing in on a treat.

It arches its neck

then it rushes to check,

with a glare and a threatening screech,

that the other gulls round

don’t pick up from the ground

what we’ve tossed from our spot on the beach.

So obsessed with the job

of controlling the mob,

it has missed quite a banquet tonight.

It has not had a grip

on a single thrown chip

and it serves the antagonist right!


“Burnt” by Jenny Erlanger




We’ve seen what a vengeful old planet can do

when it chooses to mount an attack.

The sky is no longer a pure sheet of blue

but a vile, toxic blanket of black.


These raging infernos have beggared belief

as they’ve flaunted their merciless force

and all round the world we’re united in grief

over trauma they’ve wrought in their course.


We mourn for the people who’ve already died

for the lives ripped apart at the seams,

for all the communities sadly denied

any chance of fulfilling their dreams.


The loss of our livestock and wildlife as well

has created a harrowing void

and as for the creatures surviving this hell,

their homes in the bush are destroyed.


It’s ever so hard to express the despair

that engulfs us right down to the core.

But we Aussies are tough and, as one, we’ll prepare

for whatever may next lie in store.


“Water fight” by Jenny Erlanger

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Water fight

My father is fighting the water

but some of it’s gone up his nose.

My sister and brother

and even my mother

are soggy right down to their toes.

They’re starting to sound pretty angry,

I’ll have to give in, I suppose

but I know for a fact

that I can’t be attacked

if I stay on this end of the hose.

This was first published in “Play” (Paper Dart Press, UK 2018)

“The waiting game” by Jenny Erlanger V2




A large cardboard box is reluctant to budge

till an ugly brown bag comes and gives it a nudge.

A pusher is passing in clear plastic wrap

and a grey bag’s just finished  its twentieth lap.

I’ve stood here for ages, I’m tired of the sound

of the carousel creaking around and around

There’s no sign at all of my shiny red bag

with its polka-dot ribbon and bright purple tag.


I watch as the cases are jostled and swayed,

as they each play their part in this clumsy parade.

They’re all in a higgledy-piggledy row

but there isn’t a bag with a polka-dot bow.

A flurry of limbs marks the start of a race

as the lucky ones capture their runaway case.

Around goes a rucksack, a crate and some skis

but, of course, I’ve no interest in any of these

I’m just on the lookout for one glossy bag

with a polka-dot ribbon and bright purple tag.


The crowd’s disappearing, they’re all moving on

and that rotating jumble of luggage has gone.

The carousel slows and I utter a shout

as the very last suitcase comes barreling out.

I cannot believe it, what wondrous relief

after sixty full minutes of nerve-wracking grief!

It’s finally made it, my special red bag

with its polka-dot ribbon and bright purple tag.

I cling to its handle, I cuddle my case

as the universe settles once more  into place.



“No Peas, Please” by Jenny Erlanger

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No Peas, Please


Please, please Mum

I beg you, please.

Oh, please say you

won’t give me peas.

I’ll even eat a brussel sprout.

I swear I won’t spit any out.

And mushrooms too,

I’ll manage those

If I shut my eyes

and block my nose.

I won’t complain with all of these.

Just pile on heaps of grated cheese

and I’ll eat anything


No peas!

“Food Art” by Jenny Erlanger


Food art

This mashed potato sculpture

is a splendid work of art,

the best I’ve ever seen, I’d have to say

and every slice of carrot,

carved to look just like a heart,

you’ve set out in a most creative way.

The broccoli looks pretty

cut in perfect little flowers.

I love the way the peas spell out my name

and I know that you’ve been working

on this masterpiece for hours,

but I’m sorry, every night I feel the same.

It doesn’t really matter

what you do to all this food,

what handiwork you serve me up for tea.

I may seem quite ungrateful

and perhaps a little rude,

but, they still all taste like vegetables to me!