“Autumn Chemistry” by Kate O’Neil


I don’t want an explanation for
the colour of the trees;
why in Autumn all the leaves
turn brown and red,
but I want to watch them riding on the breeze.

Whether molecules, or hormones or
subtle sleight of light,
I’m indifferent to the cause
of Autumn’s hues,
but trees in Autumn are a lovely sight.

I’ve looked up all the science but
it simply leaves me cold,
while the colours of the Autumn
are so warm.
They blanket Earth in yellow, red and gold.

“A good square meal” by Kate O’Neil

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Please note our special of the day:
(eat it here – or take-away)

Rye-grass  pellets dipped in swill
lightly fried or from the grill

Perhaps your choice is a la carte:
hay or lucerne, pie or tart.

Bonemeal biscuits served with slops
(fewer calories than chops)

Seasonal silage steamed or fried
sautéed birdseed on the side.

And should you feel inclined to quaff
please place your order at the trough



“Not Fair” by Kate O’Neil

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Not Fair.


Winter’s clearly over

Everywhere are signs of spring.

See, the grass is greener.

Now see every living thing


(Except, of course, for me.)

Enjoy the fragrant springtime breeze.

(Zooming bees don’t suffer

Every morning’s springtime sneeze)


Buds in spring are bursting.

Enhancing gardens everywhere.

Early blooming jasmine

Sends its perfume on the air.


Blossoms make a carpet

Underfoot as petals fall.

Zephyrs fill with perfume.

Zyrtec doesn’t work at all.




I liked him at the time –
thought he was quite dishy
when we ran away.
But no,
I couldn’t stay
with someone so wishy-
washy. His get-up-and-go
got up and went.
And so did I. Ran away again.

This time teamed up with
a right mug.
Too strait-laced for me.
I was bouncing off the walls.

Being a bit of a stirrer
I told him I’d fallen
for a cauldron –
dark, handsome, mysterious….
and I was off again.

But the truth was,
I needed a break.
I missed hanging out
with my friends
and headed
back to the drawer
for a group hug.

“A Green Queen” by Kate O’Neil



Should one consider ‘going green’

if one’s lot is being Queen,

and majesty’s one’s thing?


Should one think of steps to take

to change one’s ways for the planet’s sake?

or would one choose to cling


to royal extravagance, glamour and show

as part of one’s deal, so mere Joe Blow

must be the one to care?


Should Royals have to do their bit?

Pull their weight? Show true grit?

Wouldn’t that be fair?


Kate O’Neil

Happy World Poetry Day / Harmony Day / “Poetry Blast” by Kate O Neil with Notes




Poem with Teacher Notes



Some words fly like arrows

to their target.

Some veer, tell it slant.


some ricochet unpredictably.

But we know it is poetry

when we see how they all

hit home.


©   Kate O’Neil

Notes by Jeanie Axton

Students could cut out arrows, airplanes, rockets and balls. On each they could attach describing words and phrases. They could then write poems based on the object and words. Encourage lots of ways to mix up the words and editing. The aim being at the end of the exercise to hit home with the words in the poem.

For example use picture prompts with describing words to get the students thinking





The Ideas of March

are meant to be mad,

so get with the times;

be suitably clad.


The hatters are busy –

no time to be lazy –

and what they are doing

is totally crazy.


So go the full motley –

(March is your chance)

Kick up your heels

in a wacky dance.


Let down your hair

or go in for shaving.

My crazy idea is to

go out stark raving.


I told all my friends.

They served me a warning:

‘Stay home. Don’t go out.

This isn’t your morning.


If you do your thing

and defy our advice

the knives will be out.

You’d better think twice.’

“STARMAN ENVY” by Kate O’Neil




(for Elon Musk)


When Starman blasted into space

he didn’t turn a hair.

He didn’t bother with goodbyes.

His tummy had no butterflies.

He had no sparkle in his eyes.

He didn’t seem to care.


This guy really blows my mind;

he’s totally bizarre.

He’s driving through the galaxy

as if that’s where he ought to be;

as if it’s really ordinary

to be there in a car.


That car alone would be enough

to make me start to drool.

Yet here he is among the stars,

maybe even seeing Mars!

His lack of interest really jars;

the man must be a fool.


How I wish they’d chosen me.

Why spend all that money

to realise an awesome dream

with such a failing in the scheme.

I think it’s crazy in the extreme

to waste it on a dummy.


©  Kate O’Neil

“Cafe Six” by Kate O’Neil



Try our new

Infestation Menu


It’s the food of the future

so we have created

some fine dining dishes

to keep you updated.


Are you itching to try

mosquito mousse?


or fleas flambé?


Perhaps you’d like

a light stir-fry

of tender glow-worms.


Crusty crickets

would add some crunch

to vary the texture,

served as a side.

(By Jiminy, that’s what

I’d have for lunch.)


Try truffled termites

with pesto sauce

on maggot mash.


Or fruit-fly fritters

with grasshopper gravy


or cicada croquettes

and hairy-bug hash.


Caterpillar curry’s

a dish to-die-for –

a robust feed.

rich and nutritious

(fabulous grub).


If a smaller snack

is all you need

you might like a serve

of buttered fly.


Or a coddled moth.


Perhaps you’d like

cicada soup.


Or a medley of mealworms

cooked in broth

then lightly charred.


Silverfish soufflés

(in moulds and baked twice)

for special occasions


​​​​are a gourmet delight

you’ll remember forever

(expensive but nice).


And when you’ve had your fill of these –

a platter of crackers and assorted bees.


​©  Kate O’Neil