The ones I rarely talk of

Teaching has a heavy toll

It’s one I rarely speak of.

It’s not the tiredness

It’s not the work load

It’s certainly not my colleagues.


Teaching has a heavy toll

It’s hidden behind our smiles

It’s deep within our hearts

Touching us deep inside.


Teaching has a heavy toll

It’s in the faces

In front of us.


Some smile

Some sit

Some act up

You can’t always pick it,

But hidden beheath

The young facade

Are stories that make your heart bleed.


The parent who won’t take a child to get perscription glasses

The over crowded houses where there is no privacy

The child who protects his sibblings from the big DV

The child who is never told they are loved

The child sold for a sex ring

The child who lives with a friend of a friend because biology doesn’t want her

The child who had no food to eat for three days because her mother wasn’t hungry

The child who’s father gave her up – he couldn’t afford to keep her

The child that struggles every day to hide their illiteracy

The child that just lost two parents

I could go on for lines and lines

And never hit the end

Some stories bad

Some stories worse

These kids all have something in common

Each day they get right out of bed and put on their uniform

Then they walk right out their door and make it to their school

And then they hide behind

Their smile,

Their quietness

Or their rude behaviour

These children are the hidden toll

These children are the ones I dwell on

Someone it seems should do it.

These children take a heavy toll,

They rarely know anything different.

These children are the ones I rarely talk of.




A moment of pure delight

Sunset across an urban water supply

Probably doesn’t sound so poetic

but despite our urban roadways

Our pavements and our driveways

We can find beautful visions a plenty.

A patch of moss clinks to cement

A flower fights through pavement

A potplant and a pet cat, enjoy the warm spring sunshine.

Beauty hides out, in plain sight

Just waiting for you to find it

It simply takes a simple walk

A bike ride or game of football

Beauty waits and pounces

In a moment of pure delight.


Marry Juana

I supervised a class today

They were such delightful students.

All had smiles and welcome grins

All had some correct equipment.


We started off our lesson fine

Some writing, they had to do

We then discussed the topic

Good decision making.


“You have to research the dangers of

“Marijuana, Tobacco and painkillers”

Prompt replies set peels of laugher

“How do you spell marijuana?”


Clever kids can spell phonetically

So “Marry Juana” was the new catch phrase

All afternoon poor Juana

No one wanted to marry Juana.

Just so he can see

I am meant to be inclusive

In all the teaching that I do;

I am meant to remove their barriers to learning.

I also like to think that I am good at what I do

Unfortunately I had a realisation.


When discussing some facts of sicence

Imagine my dismay

When I ask about an experience – so simple;

“Who’s been to the beach” – we live not far away.

A sea of hands shoot up with eager tales to tell

But my eye catches the one whose does not.


And I know to my core

That this child has never gone much further

Five kilometers from his door.

And I know the reason why

And I know that he probably will –

Never make it too the beach.

A deep sadness settles close to my heart

That I cannot shake.


I have – unwittingly excluded him

From the current conversation.

There is no way he can participate

I have marked this child as different

I can see it in his face

There is nothing I can do and I know I will exclude him further

For what am I to do?

There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can see

The glory of our beaches, the open expanse of the Sea

There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can feel

The hot burning sand, the salt spray, the cool water on his feet

There is no funding for free excursions, just so he can hear

The sound of crashing waves, the cries of circling gulls and the laughter of his classmates as they all explore the sea.

Summer Heatwave

It’s bloody hot

The sun is down

Not a cloud mares the night

The termostat has not budged

Is there no end in sight

Another long hot humid night

Night works

We got a notice

The other day

Popped in the letter box.


We’re coming along

Your street this week

Doing some night works.


I forgot

As I often do

Until they rock on up


Lights flashing

Music temporarily blaring

Engines moaning softly


Not too bad

On most cool nights

Curtains I can shut


But oh the night

They pull right up

Outside my bedroom window


Oh this night

Just happens to be

The hotest night


No air conditioning

Have we

Curtains I must now shut


A holiday night

It’s 8:24pm

On a week day holiday night

I’m tucked up in my newly made bed

Sore feet resting up for tomorrow’s plight.

They’ve been sore for a good three weeks now

And they will for another few days delight

With their pain and their aching symptoms

Until the doctor gets a sight.


I used to have calm holidays

Time to take lots of care

But now I am studying

That time has slipped else where.



Why do I work all day

Family in the afternoon

Study for 3 hours each night?

Turn out the light exhausted

And promptly drift to sleep?

I wonder why each night

As I set up for my effort

Dragging my tired brain

Logging on to an online lecture

In person, lectures often

Sent me off to quiet dream time

Now I am voluntarily .

Logging on, with no one to see

Sound on mute

Eyes struggling to stay open

Camera on, just so that I cannot fall asleep.

Why do I put myself through this nightly?

A bucket list idea,

I simply want a Masters, not a PhD!

The truth,

I enjoy the study

Despite the weary eyes

Learning new information

New fasinating ideas

Broadening the mind

Challenging perspectives

Getting that grey matter

To seek out ways to improve

It’s sometimes much more fun

Than that fortnightly paycheck

So tomorrow, I’ll look forward

To the next topic on the list

And I guess I’ll keep on studying

A bit longer now at least.

She is burning


She is burning

Both on the ground and in the air.

100 plus bush fires devouring

Any grass tree or gum in their paths.

Up and down the coast line

From Brisbane down south,

To way north of Cairns,

Smoke haze fills the sky.

Almost 7000 km available to burn

In this most unusual heatwave

That’s sucking water from everywhere.

Normally at this time of year,

Yes Queensland’s all a swelter

We bitch and moan and hide out

In our refrigerated air.

The humidity is something fierce

Sweat pours out of all our skin

And drips in the most uncomfortable

Places – it can be embarrassing.

This time, it’s some what different

The weather’s in reverse

There is no clouds to mar the sky

No welcome fall of rain

The humidity is so very low

It is just pure and burning heat.

Bring back some gastly humidity

To bring the rain and it’s relief.



We have this thing in Aus,

This thing that we call Nippers

And every Sunday for 6 months

The beaches are crowded

Aged from ankle biting

To teenage sauve and sophisticated

These fluro pink vested kids

Jump up and run for Flags

They sprint the beach

They swim through waves

They perform mock tube rescues

Their leaders point them into surf

And back out again for fun.

These fearless kids

Learn all sorts

From swimming to first aid.

These groups of kids that pack the sand

They are our surf life saving “Nippers”.



For those not from Australia – “kids” is a colloquial word for children and “nippers” is another Aussie term for children (usually the smaller variety).