“If ever there was a time for poetry, it’s now” by Penny Szentkuti


If ever there was a time for poetry, it’s now


When people are unsure

Their minds alive with fear, routines undone,

Bring words of hope and words of beauty,

Bring words of comfort to everyone.


When people are confined

Their choices curtailed, plans put aside,

Bring words of light and words of strength,

Bring words of freedom to inspire


When people are frustrated,

Their tempers strained, their goodwill thin,

Bring words of laughter and words of peace

Bring words of love to hold within.


“Gifts” by Penny Szentkuti



A gift comes from one

and is given to another.

The first is life

from a father and a mother.

Then comes a book, a baby doll,

a blanket soft and warm, to hold.

A grandma’s love,

an uncle’s time

an auntie’s favourite nursery rhyme,

a friend who listens and understands –

some gifts you can’t hold in your hand.

So notice those who give around you,

the gifts from nature that surround you.

Receive with gratitude and grace

and give with love in every case.

“Lilli pilli, loquat, cumquat tree” by Penny Szentkuti

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This one is a skipping rhyme or chant to celebrate the fruits and flowers of a Sydney spring.

Lilli pilli, loquat, cumquat tree
What shall we have for afternoon tea?
Wattle in the garden, jasmine on the breeze
Lilli pilli, loquat, cumquat please!


“Farmyard Friends” by Penny Szentkuti

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Farmyard Friends


Fleece short and soft,

A lamb wriggles its tail,

Running behind its mother –

Me too! I’m coming!

Yellow fluffballs

Among sturdy bustling chooks.

Rooster struts –

Don’t fret! There’s plenty for all!


Following the trail of leftovers

Roly poly piglets snuffle

In a patchy pink parade.

Eating! Yum!

Noses twitching, ears pricked,

Dogs on duty, tails stiff –

Someone’s coming! Woof!

“Tea and TV” by Penny Szentkuti with Teacher Notes

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Tea and TV

‘Tea and TV’ –
that precious half hour,
the age old song,
its siren power.
Snuggled on the couch,
a snack plate to nibble,
a peep through the windows,
Teds Big and Little.
A spot of craft
and a lively tune,
a welcome diversion
in the long afternoon.
Tea and TV,
whatever the weather,
those faces were friends,
they held us together

Teacher Notes by Jeanie Axton

Play school is an Australian TV icon. Show the students two episodes of Playschool comparing an episode of 30 years ago with today.  Have a discussion about stereotypes and how things have changed.




They could choose one of the famous Playschool characters and write a poem in the shape of the character.



“Clues for an egg hunt” by Penny Szentkuti

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Clues for an egg hunt

Go full throttle straight to the wattle.

Say “Hello, dear!” to the aloe vera.

Don’t ignore the kangaroo paw.

Follow your nose all the way to the hose.

Don’t be a stranger to the hydrangea.

Go and smile at the native violets.

Don’t be in a rush near the bottlebrush.

Do one more pass over the grass.

Gather your eggs by the big gum tree.

Share them out (with some for me).

“Four Legs” by Penny Szentkuti

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Four Legs


Four legs and a tail 

it could be a dog.

Four legs and a croak?

That’s a frog!

Four legs and a hump –

it must be a camel.

Four legs and fur?

It’s some kind of mammal.


But four legs and a mane –

long legs for trotting,

strong galloping legs,

and a tail for fly swatting?

That’s easy now,

I know it of course!

That four legged friend

is a horse.

Penny Szentkuti