Hair

Nearing retirement age
my hair’s tight frizzy wave
tightened further while
splotchy grey patches
edged round brown
splotches and refused
to change its style
when trimmed short.

In exasperation I bought
a hair dye box, started a
new path in life in front
of the bathroom mirror.

At first I carefully made
each parting straight,  dabbed
on its squirt of colour,
parted then squirted again.
My hair turned dark as did
unseen flicks of colour on
my clothes, all in half an hour.

Now my hair dyeing methods
part hair, squirt colour over
my head in ten minutes
while minimally clothed
for those flicked specks of
colour as the bathroom
window stands open to let
dye fumes out but allows
cold air to surge in  Brr  !!

How much longer do I
want to do this ?

Hair

Letterboxes

The post bag services
from town to town
evolved into the penny
post a delightful
innocuous service to
send letters around the
country, later around
the world in great
quantities which led
to that amazing institution
– letterboxes for every house.

Originally intended for
letters, business used
them to deliver bills.
Now businesses go further
with delivery of blazingly
brilliant brochures into
letterboxes sometimes
pushing real mail out
on to puddles on the
muddy path below.

Much of my mail comes
now through cyberspace
arriving in my computer
where I block unwanted
garish advertising.

Yet still occcasional letters
and cards arrive by mail
as I defend them with
my “No Junk Mail” notice.

Letterboxes

Houses

Our elderly suburb quietly
transforms as old unkempt
houses are trucked away one
by one from yesteryear’s
large sections leaving swathes
of empty ground to send up
rough clumps of herbiage
where vegetables once grew,
hens clucked, scratched for
juicy insects, tender shoots.
Bare soil with random concrete
blocks is all that remains
where family homes once stood.

Fruit trees covered with moss
leaves black with mildew
stand deserted near rickety
back fences, straggly hedges.

Many town dwellers no longer
grow their own food in
this helter skelter century.

Old houses lose their paint
are divided, rented out to
those who use them as a
base to sleep and eat until
at last they are jacked up on
to trucks, dispossessed from
their long time dwelling places.

Several little modern homes
are built on each section
with little earth of their own.

Houses

Gutter And Drain

When the man who cleared my
gutter went to empty the gunge
from his bucket I said not
on my precious garden put it
down the drain so he did
– more than I expected.
………………Oooops ! …………….

We both pumped my yard
broom handle up and down
in the drain put several
bucketfuls of water down
so the gunge and water
washed away down the drain
…………….most of it………………

Over several days I plied
broom handle and bucket
but a stubborn layer of gritty
stuff clung to the gully
trap and the drain’s water
level stayed well up.
……………. Hmmmm ! ………….

I rang the drains company.
Two men came with their
drains snake hose which
one pumped up and down
while the other turned on
taps in my little flat
then checked the other
flats’ drains. At last all the
gunge was gone and the
drain was empty of water.

Soon I  will receive a bill
for two drains people’s time.

Gutter And Drain

Celery Tree

A strange plant rises from
the bowl of water on my bench.
Tall green stems urge from
the thick tap root chopped
short back at its paddock.
A frothy head of greenery
sprouts from the top of these
tall broad green stems like
so many narrow trunks.

New trunks push their way
up inside the older trunks.
Why not put out branches
from on centre trunk ?

What  a confused plant !

Yet its stems add a
wonderful taste to my
food when chopped,
stirred in and cooked.

I forgive celery its oddities.

Celery Tree

Capsicums

Red orange yellow green clumps
of bobbles and bulges display half
a rainbow in their shop display
a spread of many colours
covering hollows squeezed
out of shape by a cook’s hands’
Colourful capsicums setting
our meals ablaze.

Slicing through their bulges and
pockets the pleats round their
stalks, white seeds flicking
out as the knife cuts through
flesh and airy hollows.
So strange after chopping
slicing and dicing worldly
everyday vegetables.

Still they reward us with
unique flavours and colour
when the knife’s work is done.

Capsicums

Territory

Mayhem of loud squawks
shrieks bangs in the driveway
drew me to the window.

Two blackbirds glared at
each other, orange beaks agape,
tails upraised, feet dodging
in little sideways hops.

They shrieked again
hurled themselves at each
other as one dodged
sideways crashing into
the moulded metal fence
with a booming echo then
dropped like a stone as
the other bird swooped
just above its head.

On and on they fought
swooping ducking diving
around each other
crashing to the ground
hurtling into the fence
with unabated screams
shrieks squawks until
one finally flew away
over the neighbours’ houses

…. leaving the prize of
uncontested ownership
to his opponent.

Territory