On the wide two seater sofa
Auntie Jo read two stories to
little brother before her hay
fever throat faltered to a halt.
Little brother pressed for more
stories to no avail so played
with his new tractor until
the black and white cat strolled
in jumped up to curl up purring
beside Auntie Jo on the sofa.

Little brother left his tractor
went to the couch, pushed
at the cat who jumped down
whereupon little brother climbed
up beside Auntie Jo, sat there
a while went back to his tractor.

The black and white cat came
back, jumped on the sofa to
little brother’s displeasure.
He left his tractor, spoke
severely to the cat who stayed
where he was, purring.

Auntie Jo went out to the kitchen
to empty the dishwasher.

Issue resolved.


Black Squiggles

The new school year started on
her eighth birthday, to continue
her battle with strange black
squiggles on pages of books,
on whiteboards. Worst of all to
make them with a pencil in books.
Music, art, PE brought relief
but then it was back to the squiggles.

She wrote them large, awkwardly,
not sure what she wrote, seeing them
through strange cloudy distortions.

One day a week after school
she writes maths in her work
book with Auntie Jo who last
year gave her a test which
shook her up badly with so
much to write. Auntie Jo called
out equations, she wrote
them down with her answers.

Yesterday Auntie Jo gave the test
again, the eight year old wrote
steadily though her hand got shaky,
her writing large. She looked
back to other equations, used
counters, worked out answers.

Auntie Jo praised her for
keeping her cool, keeping on
writing. fixing mistakes, gave
her lots of big stickers.

The eight year old is still not
quite sure what she did so well.

Black Squiggles

First Family

First Baby at seven months
went on her first public
engagement with her Prime
Ministerial mother with her
First Man father to commemorations
of the treaty signing between
indigenous tribes and new
immigrant European settlers
joining thousands at the marae
the meeting place for this
treaty 179 years ago.

Powhiri greetings, speeches
formal meetings, impromptu
conversations flowed as
indigenous and government leaders
discussed complex national matters.
Today Dawn Service, marae BBQ
breakfast, formal ceremonies
then races between waka, small
and mighty ocean going canoes.

First Baby returned early
to their hotel, slept quietly
under the watchful eyes
of her devoted grandparents.

First Family

Antipodean Summer

Below the equator sun blazes
on the Antipodes, on the longest
day, on Christmas three days later
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Under the sun umbrella on the deck
with presents opened, breakfast
eaten, children ride new bikes,
scooters, skateboards, trikes
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

BBQ’s fire up for a sumptuous
Christmas dinner – steaks
chops sausages roasts to
accompany many salads
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Last Christmas climate change
struck us as the all day deluge
kept the children inside with
new toys, fizzing with energy
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Mid afternoon in bathing suits
with water guns ready they
exploded out of a shrinking
house into the endless deluge
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Mum did tap duty filling guns
while the sky taps drenched
her through and through.
She shivered after a while
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Finally shivering children were
dried off in the front porch as
loud thunderclaps over head
shook us, deafened us
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Two smallest people were very
frightened but were coaxed
into the shower to be warmed
up rubbed dry dressed again
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

At last they were all warm, dried
dressed. The thunder stopped
though not the rain. Dinner was
BBQ’d on the kitchen stove
in the glorious Antipodean summer.

Antipodean Summer


Our neighbour in the middle
flat visited us in the other flats
to say she had to go with
her partner to visit his
very ill mother overseas.
Her sixteen year old daughter
would visit family in town
reserving her sixteen year old
determination to come home
if she so pleased.

Anticipating our watching out
for her daughter she gave us
New Year boxes of chocolates.


For almost two years I have
focused on my diet to keep
my diabetes blood count down
to reduce my medication and
its dire side effects.

I pushed the chocolates to the
back of the fridge for family
I would see in a few days’ time.

Those chocolates kept beckoning…

until I could stand no more.

I rushed next door gave them
to the family at dinner …

said “Eat them before I do !”


Returning To Writing

Returning to writing
after weeks away feels
strange yet ideas flow
as I look through
my ideas book jottings.

Life intervened with
health procedures, extra
special diets, more medical
appointments so time
consuming though not
major unless I do nothing.

Other family events took
further time as other members
dealt with health issues.
Also out of town visits
and visits in return.

Yet life must be lived
to find fullness, interaction
with others bring meaning
depth to writing so it speaks
to the world around it.

I had to stop writing for a while
but it is good to start up again.

Returning To Writing

When Mum Went Out.

On a wet school holiday afternoon
Mum went out with baby brother
leaving Auntie Jo in charge of his
sisters’ bathing and hair washing.

After the sloshy business of bath
play with many toys in a well
filled tub they added more suds
as they washed them selves. Now
joyousness became tetchiness as
Auntie Jo washed hair and wriggling
feet poked ribs and tummy.

Auntie Jo’s firm response to the
seven year old’s impatience with
adults and younger sister was not
what the seven year old wanted.

The five year old with thick tangled
hair cried loudly as Auntie Jo
tried to brush her hair to dry it.
So Aunty Jo left her to brush it
herself, dried the seven year old’s
hair instead. Loud howls poured
forth from the five year old who
wanted her hair dried right now !

The black and white cat now tried
his luck for an early dinner while
the parents were out, meowing
desperately to say he was fading
away to a skeleton !  He was not.

Auntie Jo knew children
pushed boundaries, but cats ??
A very strange afternoon !

Previously posted November 2016.

When Mum Went Out.