“Out of Everything Bad Comes Something Good” by Toni Newell

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Our hearts were nearly broken,

Tears welled in our eyes,

As bush and houses burned,

And we all realised,

That the fires were taking hold,

And there was no relief,

The devastation continued,

Almost beyond belief.

Fire-fighters fought on,

As smoke filled the air,

Townships evacuated,

Devastation everywhere.

And in the aftermath,

When things had settled down,

Stock was taken of the loss,

Its magnitude profound.

But out of everything bad,

Comes something good,

And from these fires,

Came brotherhood.

Australians united,

With people from afar,

And many gave generously,

To help relieve the scars


“I love my Dad” by Toni Newell

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My dad is a fireman,

I’m as proud as I can be,

When I grow up in many years,

That’s what I want to be.

He’s out there fighting fires,

Protecting property,

And when I finally grow up,

Well, that is going to be me.

He’s very dedicated,

Goes out there to help others,

Along with his special crew,

Who are as one, like brothers.

They’re selfless and enabling,

As they carry out their calling,

Trained and compassionate,

Stopping the fire from sprawling.

And that may work in cities,

But in the country it is bad,

Containment can be onerous,

And consequences sad.

It is a dangerous environment,

Where a fire can take its own,

Leaving a trail of destruction,

Including families, animals and home.

My dad encounters danger,

Nearly every single day,

And he is my true hero,

There’s little else I can say.

“Australia Day” by Toni Newell




Our wonderful Australia,

Is a wonderful country,

That’s opened its arms,

To diversity.

It’s integrated people,

From afar and near,

Absorbed different cultures,

Given support to those in fear.

And now Australia’s shared,

With Indigenous and white,

And skins of many colours,

Which come together to unite.

Our richness has evolved,

From just food upon our plate,

But to customs, religion, art,

Architecture, and debate.

It is indeed a tapestry,

Of cultures intertwined,

And should be viewed and loved,

Not trampled by mankind.

This is Australia’s story,

And whilst troubles have been seen,

We strive to make it better,

Move forward from what has been.

So, let us all embrace,

Our great diversity,

Which brings us all together,

In this, our ‘sunburnt’ country.


Herald on Australia Day,

So, we can celebrate,

A country which embraces,

And where all can become a ‘mate’.


“Ginger Cats” by Toni Newell


Ginger Cats


Ginger cats are different,

From any other cat,

They’re fearless, stand their ground,

And that is just a fact.

Be they short or long haired,

Doesn’t make a difference,

When they feel threatened,

They come to their defence,

Staying very calm,

They don’t run away,

But remain motionless,

Challenging the threat that way.

‘Billy Joe’, my Retriever,

Doesn’t like any cat,

When he sees one anywhere,

He’s only focused on that.

And if it is a ‘ginger’,

I tell him not to toy,

For the ‘ginger’ would eat him alive.

And he’d be a sorry boy.”

“Christmas Questions” by Toni Newell

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Most of the Santas I have seen,

Have been rather round,

Long white beard and moustache,

Peaked hat pointing to the ground.


But then it got me wondering,

How down a sooty chimney does he fit?

And when climbing out the other end.

Wouldn’t his clothes be covered in it?


Wouldn’t the soot leave a trail behind?

Which everyone could see,

Proving that Santa Claus had been,

And returned back via the chimney.


I wondered where the reindeers parked,

Whilst waiting for Santa’s return,

Was it outside the house he was visiting?

About Santa, there was a lot to learn.


So many questions come to mind,

But in the end, does it matter?

Because Christmas is about family,

Love, sharing and being together.

“Christmas Tree Temptation” by Toni Newell

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They looked so very tempting,

The ball-balls on the tree,

Bright and multi coloured,

They were inviting me.

Some sparkled, others shiny,

Just hanging on the tree,

I jumped up and grabbed one,

And hid it happily.

I was alone in the house,

So, I stole another one,

I added it to my pile,

This was so much fun.

I jumped up for a third attempt,

When I heard the door,

My family stood in front of me,

Whilst I crashed to the floor.

“Billy Joe, you naughty dog”,

My owner yelled at me,

“How dare you take the ball-balls off,

Our beautiful Christmas tree”.

I bowed my head with regret,

And all that they could see,

Was the ball-ball in my mouth,

They laughed and patted me.

“Christmas Trees” by Toni Newell

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Christmas Trees

Let’s buy Christmas trees,

That last forever,

Made of wood or plastic,

Or anything clever.

Let’s save living trees,

Being cut down in their prime,

Just to serve a purpose,

For a very short time.

It seems such a waste,

To kill a tree that is living,

When there are many alternatives,

Which are far more forgiving.