“Watercolour” by Virginia Lowe

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Saffron and rose madder

sea-sheet reflects

in symmetry the sky

On this burnished brightness

waves encroach

Leaden opaque they flow

zinc white against

the watercolour’s glow

 

A vision or a concept

beckons bright

But words

which seemed so clear and pure

across it spread

do nothing but obscure

“On an African Train” by Virginia Lowe

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On an African Train

 

 

Far from Australia

I have suddenly discovered

Something glorious and homely

Symbolic and ordinary

Through a train window

In Zambia

To remind me of home

 

But as well I have found

People who are fascinated

When I point it out

Europeans for whom it is

A thing of romance

Read about, dreamed of

And never seen before

 

And they are gripped

By my stories

Of sharp cold clear nights

In the Wimmera

Or the dimmer glimpses

From the front yard at home

Where even the bright pall

Of city electricity

Cannot hide its design

 

The Southern Cross

And friends to share it with

“THE FARMYARD” by Virginia Lowe

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THE FARMYARD

The Farmer in the Dell

The farmer in the dell

Hi-ho, the derry-o

The farmer in the dell

 

The farmer births a child

The farmer births a child

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The farmer births a child

 

The child gets a cat

The child gets a cat

Hi-ho the derry-o…

The child gets a cat

 

The farmer milks the goats

The farmer milks the goats

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The farmer milks the goats

 

The child feeds the goats

The child feeds the goats

Hi-ho, the derry-o

The child feeds the goats

 

The cat drinks the milk

The cat drinks the milk

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The cat drinks the milk

 

The farmer plants the seed

The farmer plants the seed

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The farmer plants the seed

 

The child picks the peas

The child picks the peas

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The child picks the peas

 

The farmer cooks the peas

The farmer cooks the peas

Hi-ho, the derry-o…

The farmer cooks the peas

 

The farmer and her child

The farmer and her child

Hi-ho the derry-oh

The farmer and her child

 

©Virginia Lowe

 

“Tasty fruit rainbow” by Virginia Lowe

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Tasty fruit rainbow

 

Raspbemato

Carronge

Pearanana

Grapple

Fejoa smells perfumey in its blue-green skin

Aubluegineberry

 

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Indigo

Violet? Not one

 

Sample a fruit

Vegetables aren’t some?

Aubergine is egg plant

resembles an egg only in shape

coloured indigo like blueberries

Tomato perhaps is

But all grow as fruit

“Demetrius to Elizabeth” by Virginia Lowe

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Demetrius to Elizabeth

 

The donkeys of Hydra

are sure-footed, reliable

taking goods from the harbour

up steep cliffs to town

 

Kangaroos in Australia

will not carry loads

their convenient pockets

hold nothing but babies

 

These unlikely animals

at unbeatable speed

leap yards at a bound

but only on flats

 

Without animals to harness

or bear our loads

how can we farm?

 

We’ll get rich with children!

We’ll get rich with gold!

 

Virginia Lowe

 

 

 

 

 

“April Fool” by Virginia Lowe

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April Fool

 

I’m looking for Spring

as so many do

for blossom and bulbs

shy violets hold dew

 

What greets me is change

Winds, rain and shine

It’s now Autumn here

but there’s no call to pine

 

There are strawberry guavas,

feijoas and pears

very few flowers

but no one much cares

 

We’d rather our garden

is brimming with fruit

There’ll be time in October

For Flora’s fair loot!

 

​Virginia Lowe

“April Fool” by Virginia Lowe with Spring Teacher Notes

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April Fool

 

I’m looking for Spring

as so many do

for blossom and bulbs

shy violets hold dew

 

What greets me is change

Winds, rain and shine

It’s now Autumn here

but there’s no call to pine

 

There are strawberry guavas,

feijoas and pears

very few flowers

but no one much cares

 

We’d rather our garden

is brimming with fruit

There’ll be time in September

For Flora’s fair loot

 

 

 

 

Teacher Notes for Spring:

Watch this famous poem written by William Wordsworth as a class.

For William Wordsworth, poetry was “the spontaneous overflow of emotion reflected in tranquility.” In this poem, the aim is for the speaker to experience a connection with nature.

Look at the key words in this poem then go outside for a walk in nature with the students.

See if they then can write a poem that connects people with the natural world.