Silvergull writes

Scribbles in the sand

Enjoy.  Decipher.  Comment

Just acknowledge these pages are mine.

Small Miracle

A round egg

Pale blue marble effect

Even the size of a marble

Light weight and seemingly fragile

As if I could crush it between my thumb and forefinger

I hold it to the light

And there is a dark mass stirring

So it lives, this egg

I put it back where I found it

On my bedside table

Hiding among fantasy books, tissues and yesterday’s jewellery

And I wake each day with curious breath

Wondering what will hatch beside my bed

Finally on a Sunday morning

When I am hungover from last night’s party

And restless from haunting dreams of indigo wings

I see a crack

All day I watch

In between household chores

And Sunday brunch with the kids

Finally at sunset

The crack is wide enough

And out crawls

A fairy

Bedraggled wings lie flat

Upon her thin back

She lies on my book cover

Waiting to dry

Waiting to fly


In spring children ran

Through rainbows on stems

Hand holding hand

Through holiday swarms

In winter-bare trees

Flew coloured balloons

Like the strangest of flowers

Like coloured moons

Girls rocked their fairy wings

And glittering haloes

Boys worked their capes

Like trainee super-heroes

And musicians jammed

On temporary stands

While costumed players

Danced in the spring

Jack of Angels


Jack of Angels is searching
For a ladder to Heaven
‘Cause he’s sprained his wing
And it hurts to fly

Little Mirriam dances around him
Asking child’s questions
Eyes flash like dark diamonds
And their baggage – a puppy and a bird
Wiggle wih curiosity and unguarded hope

Jack’s footprints shine on asphelt
Air shimmers around him
Afraid to bump a feather
Or kiss a freckle

His arms are filled with little girl
And warm puppy
The bird preens on his shoulder

Jack looks on to where he’s going
Losing track of where he’s been
Behind him skips an entourage of motley strays
Thrilled to follow wherever he leads

Our Ginger Nutmeg Kitten

We have had our new kitten for 6 weeks now.  He’s a long pale ginger gentleman with marmalaide eyes.  He must have some orieintal breed in his genes – he has a Siamese cry. When we found him at the RSPCA,  he was long and small.  Slightly frail looking. He has since doubled his weight and his feet are still big – which means he has a lot more to grow.

Oh, but he is cute and smartand stable and gentle and loving.  And fun. Our bomb-proof kitten. Except for motor cycles and helicoptors.

Max the long-suffering labbie dog  is the same colour, maybe a tad blonder.  And I saw a very sweet little boy in the mall – exactly same colouring! Wow! I could have a matched set of cute ginger darlings! But I don’t think his Mum would let me take him home.  Sigh.


by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”


Early Christmas yumminess

Special early Christmas dinner was made just for us last night. Entre prucietta, brie and spinache pastry. Main chicken breast stuffed with organic honey & macadamian nuts with Caesar salad and prawns. Desert homemade semifreddo with raspberries. We contributed pannetone, wine and other drinks including fresh ground coffee. Felt very spoilt.

Festival of lights

We had fun at Gillian Polack’s home, celebrating Chanukah.

I like being part of people’s celebrations, even when I don’t share their faith.  Any celebration that draws friends together, teaches me about other ways and shows me a darned good time is fine by me.

Gillian’s celebration did all that.  I caught up with friends. We shared a finger feast of samosas, pide, spring rolls,  home-baked cheesecake and more.

I didn’t gamble for chocolate coins, but I was there for the lighting of the Chanukah menorah.

Then we had frozen strawberry daiquiris and Gillian’s amazing home-made fruit liquors – a sweet tangy medlar liquor and a piquant cumquat liquor. They’re based on brandy and I’ve never tasted anything like them. I’m  glad I wasn’t driving.

For Pauli

There’s a way through life
That your feet learn by walking
Fluid as water, changeable as weather

The path you walk starts at birth
And ends at your death
Yet it began before you
And will continue after you

The way is its own magic
It owns you and transforms you
And nurtures you like a mother

And when the old man
Worn out and footsore
Reaches the end of his days
He is taken home into the way

I’ve been reading Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and I can only regret that I didn’t find it years earlier. I’m up the fourth book, so there’s a few more to go.

The beauty of the language and imagery floors me, not to mention a rip roaring adventure featuring characters drawn by a master.

I’m loving it. King is turning my poetry brain on.

I haven’t seen a wonder for a while

I’ve seen a fun-der

And a sun-der

But nothing’s rocked my soul

In the dream fogged night

Nothing’s made me breath thanks

To the may-be god

For the glory of enlightenment.


Glory, glory

I need to know that something is worth the daily grime

I need to feel transported beyond the limits of my finite skull

By the potential of imagination


Glory, glory

What may be

On a new summer’s day

When the world is a plum ripe for plucking

The ANU Poets Lunch has continued , in various incarnations,   for the last
30 years – and remains a mad poets’ wine party where Alice is always tipsy but never drunk and the Cheshire cat passes around non-animal rennet cheeses.  The latest episode was held on Wednesday 2nd December at the ANU Emeritus Faculty.

This year’s  lunch was dedicated to Joel Webster, a generous friend who sadly is  no longer with us.

This year’s  theme was Pandora’s Box (which may have been an amphora, according to David Walker’s illustration) and we spent several enjoyable hours examining its contents.

Here’s my contribution:

Wings and Stings

Just a little bit
I won’t give right in
But I need this
You make me feel
Champaign bubbles in my veins
What might we be
You and me?

Just a little more
My temptation
I despair when you leave
And crumple at your touch
Like a doll entranced by its maker

You are strong wine
I crack
And all my disparate bits of
Love, joy, desire and sacred honour
Go flying
Out on ghostly wings
Poor heedless moths
Save only one
Remains entrapped
The dearest part that knows the lie
I can’t let go of

It was unanimously agreed  that Pandora was givena bum rap and the case against her was dismissed by the poetic jury as being yet another instance of women bearing  the blame for all the world’s woes.

We also remembered that it’s been 20 years since several of us, including Joel and myself, first hosted ‘Writers at Kimbos’ .

Long ago, but not far away, on Monday nights at Kimbos winebar in Phillip, we conducted readings of poetry and short prose for a couple of years.  Wow. So many years have passed and yet I don’t feel that much older. I guess everybody has that complaint.  I can’t remember where the years went, nor can I re-use the time. Heavy sigh – that’s life.

Cover by Jane Virgo

In 1991, our small committee published ‘Rescuing Beached Mondays’, a collection of the first year’s readings which contained some fine poetry and prose, including work by Joel, Mark O’Connor,  Lorne Doyle, Brian Hungerford, Myron Lysenko, Linchay Bone, Robin Davidson, Trevor Crook and many talented others.  Strangely, after all these years, the book can still be found at BibliOZ and Marlowes Books.

It only had a small print run – only 500 copies, but it was well received. We were pleased with the collection, and consequently founded Boris Books, named after David Walker’s marvellous cat, Boris Katoff, who sat on every page.

Boris has been an absent friend for many years,  but Boris Books born in 1993,  is still alive – if not prolific – and even manages to break even.

Not bad for a small press.