Just another reminder about my competition. To go in the running to win a signed copy of my book Leap Year: 366 Days of Poetry (or something like that) which will hopefully be released early next year (after my 366 days are up), you can do one of four things…

  1. Comment on any blog post, weather is is a poem or anything else. This will get you one entry in the competition.
  2. Share any post on Facebook. This will get you five entries.
  3. Retweet a post. Again, for five entries.
  4. Or reblog one of my posts. This will get you an amazing ten entries.

If you do a combination of the above you will get bonus entries– how many probably depends on how generous I am feeling and wether I can remember how many I gave to the last person.

I’m getting a few likes, and I do appreciate them, really, but they won’t get you any entries because while I may feel the love, it doesn’t help spread the word.

So there you have it. I will have to do these reminders every how and then in case new people come along, so please excuse them if you know all about the compeition and are doing everything in your power to actually avoid putting in an entry.

Have a nice day and I’ll throw another poem in your direction tomorrow.


The Funny Thing About Rape

Before anyone comes around to lynch me, I don’t think there’s anything funny about rape. Not one thing. Ever. I think boys/men should be taught to respect the choices made by girls/women. I don’t think women should have to change their behaviour to avoid rape. The title is just one of those controversial titles designed to get attention.

Right, not that I’ve gotten that out of the way let’s talk about rape jokes. Because they are out there. There’s been a few things on the net recently about just that. There was a comedian who hoped a female heckler would be raped or something similar. There was a female comedienne doing stuff about rape and it made everyone uncomfortable.

I just wonder why that is, really. I mean, from Frank Capra to the Cohen’s, there have always been movies that had us laughing at murder. But rape? I’ve only seen one movie where there was a rape played for comic effect. I think the title was Grégoire Moulin contre l’humanité or, for those of us who don’t speak French, Gregory Moulin versus Humanity. (Don’t start sending nasty emails to the director as I could be wrong about the title– I saw it in about ten years ago, I think, and my memory isn’t perfect. Don’t send nasty emails to the translator either– I don’t know anything much about the French language.)

Anyway, in the movie, a man is having a bad night (chased by people and stuff like that) and one way or the other he ends up at a party and gets tied up and gagged in the kitchen. A man comes in and finds him there and takes advantage of the situation despite the fact that Greg (if that’s who it is) makes it obvious, even with the gag, that he really isn’t interested.

chalk-outline_fairyNow, I’ve seen a lot of movies where death and murder is hilarious but that one rape scene made me very uncomfortable. And with all the brew-ha-ha on the net recently I was wondering exactly how I, and seemingly many other people, are fine with one and not the other.

As far as crime goes, I would say murder is worse than rape. Don’t get me wrong, rape is horrible and terrible but, with time and counselling, you can at least (probably) paper over the cracks. You can’t do that with murder. But I think we are much more comfortable with murder than we are with rape.

I think rape makes us (or is it just me?) more uncomfortable not because of the impact on the victim, but because of the impact on us. It has to do with the fact that it is much easier for us, the audience (in life and movies) to move on from murder. Once a person is dead, we don’t have to deal with their trauma any more, just ours. We don’t have to listen to the victim. We don’t have to witness the ruined relationships. We don’t have to hear about the nightmares or the ongoing fear. Yes, we can see some of these things in the relatives and friends of murder victims, but they are just like us, right, watching from the outside? They aren’t the actual victim, so we can pretend to understand what they are going through. (And death is going to happen anyway, one way or the other so, you know, it natural.)

It isn’t the same with rape though. That person is somewhere every day, a living, breathing reminder you of how bad people can really be. And they don’t have to say a thing.

I’m not sure what all of this means (apart from don’t rape or murder people, or rape and murder people, because it isn’t nice), I was just thinking, that’s all. And.. well, I’ve got no momentous thought to end this on, no grand scheme to fix things. I just write some stuff occasionally.

Do you want to buy a book?

Phil Hughes…

I just heard about half an hour ago that Australian cricketer Phil Hughes has died.

Now, this shouldn’t be any more tragic than any other public figure dying. Or anyone at all dying, for that matter. Soldiers die in wars every day. Women die from domestic violence every day. People die in car crashes. All these events are tragic but the death of a stranger has never effected me like the death of Phil Hughes has.

Phil Hughes scored a lot of runs in Shield cricket, mainly for NSW. He should have had the chance to score a lot more for Australia, in the past and in the future. He shouldn’t have been dropped the first time and he certainly shouldn’t have been dropped after he scored 80 odd in England while Agar stole the show at the other end.

Cricket was a major part of my life for a long time. I played a season of Under 10s, a season of Under 12s, then went to senior cricket and missed one season in the next 25 or 26 years. That is a large part of my life. The current season is the second since I retired. It is still a game that I love. I think it (especially the long form– test matches and first class) is the greatest game there is. (You can read other posts about cricket here and here).

For most of my cricketing career I didn’t use a helmet, though I did start to a bit as I got older.

I was hit on the head a couple of times while batting, but my main method of batting was backing away and cutting just about anything from middle stump to as far outside off as I could reach. It wasn’t out of any text book but it worked. I scored a couple of 80s and a dozen or so 50s using this method. Phil Hughes had a method much the same, though it worked quite a bit better for him than it did for me. Maybe that was why I liked watching him bat so much.

I also did quite a bit of close in fielding over the years, again, without a helmet most times. That is probably even more dangerous. At the levels of cricket I was playing the batsmen often didn’t know where the ball was going to go– how was the fielder supposed to know?

But that was cricket. You knew there was a risks but… seriously? This? For a young guy just playing a game that he loved. A guy with so much ahead of him. Everything ahead of him.

Cricket is a very social game. You spend half the game sitting on the side lines chatting (well, I did– I wasn’t a very good batsman, remember) and the other half giving your team mates shit on the field. You get to know a lot about your team mates.

I didn’t know Phil Hughes– I watched him play on TV but never in person– and I’m devastated, so I can’t imagine how his friends and family feel. I can’t imagine how the guys he played with feel.

One thing we have to do is think of Sean Abbott. And help Sean Abbott. We can start by making sure we don’t refer to the “vicious bouncer” or the “brutal ball”. Because it wasn’t those things. It was a bouncer like hundreds of others that are bowled around the country all the time. They are bowled– and hit for four, and blocked, and ducked and taken on the body– every day. All over the world. This one just went wrong in every way it possibly could.

Apparently everyone liked Phil Hughes. He was just a quiet county guy getting paid to do what he loved. He died doing what he loved, but who cares about that, really. In the end, he just died. Way too soon.

RIP Phil Hughes.

Tengama that all of creation is a tree, a very big tree, and each leaf is a universe all on it’s own.

Now, imagine an ant.

If the ant wants, it can get to any other universe on the tree by walking along the stalks and the twigs and the branches and the trunk, but that takes a lot of time. Or, if it likes, it can jump from one leaf to another, but even a little jump takes more energy than most ants have to spare.

But sometimes, just some times, one leaf may be touching another. One leaf may brush against another as the tree dances in the breeze. It may be a leaf on the same twig or it may be a leaf on an entirely different branch.

And, when that happens, all it takes if timing or a bit of luck and an ant can slip from one universe to another.

Good luck or bad luck? I don’t know. That depends on what type of ant it is, exactly. And it depends if it’s our leaf.


Long ago, I used to write poetry. (I think I may have posted some on here at some point.) My first published work was actually a poem which was accepted by a highly respected intellectual magazine. I was just 13 years old an I was sure I was going to make a living as a poet. Yeah, still waiting for that to happen.

I haven’t written anything for a while, but yesterday, I suddenly did. The main probelm with poetry is that I am not a very good judge of my own work so in a moment you may be wishing that I still hadn’t written anything for a long time.

Anyway, here is my latest poem for your enjoyment. Or not. I does not yet have a title. Feel free to tell me how terrible it is.

Crow, sleek and black,
watching my breakfast
from the windowsill.
Dark eyes. Cold regard.
It heckles me
in some obscure
eastern European language.
Midnight caller.

Body Piercing for Babies

I took my kids to their regular swimming lessons today (not that that is really relevant, but anyway) and saw a baby girl, about 5 months old, with pierced ears. And… Well, I think it should be banned. Seriously. No body piercing of any kind until a child is old enough to see the piercing gun and think, “There’s no way you’re doing that to my ear.”

I know my view is going to offend a lot of people, but that has never stopped me in the past.

Does anybody really think the mothers (yes, I said ‘mothers’. I doubt the fathers have any say.) do it because it they think it will be good for their daughters? Do they do it because their daughter has been at her for months to get it done? Do they do it because they want to save them the pain later on in life?

Pretty sure the answer to all those questions is ‘No’.

The mothers do it because “Oh, isn’t she cute,” makes the mother feel better. It’s the same as all the makeup and hair styling and whatever else that goes on with those crazy beauty pageants in the US.

Mothers, don’t try to live you lives through your daughters. Don’t cause them pain just so they make you look better. Don’t think that your idea of beauty and what a littel girl wants and needs will mesh with what they think.

That’s all. I probably didn’t express my disgust all that well, but anyway.

Nice House, Shitty Mailbox v7

I’m up to 4 followers on my blog now (okay, maybe a couple more than that, but not a whole heap). Woo hoo. I think they’re coming along for Nice House, Shitty Mailbox. Who’d have thunk? Anyway, I have recently discovered posting by email. So, what I need to know from those who have chosen to follow (and thank you very much to those who have– you know who you are. No, really, you do) is if you would be annoyed receiving two or three (or sometimes none) emails a day from my blog telling you that I’ve posted one of the Instagram pics (or a normal pic) that I take while wandering* around for work. There probably won’t be any Shitty Mailbox (I want to save those for special occasions), just one’s similar to those visible down on the side panel of the blog (not the little yellow guy– that’s Breakfast Man [he takes my place at breakfast for my son when I have to leave for work early]).

So, let me know, if you can. I don’t want to be annoying the few followers I have 🙂

Is there anything else you’s like to see? Not sure if I can oblige, but I just might.

Anyway, to the mailboxes. Today’s theme (don’t expected one of them every time either) is creatures. Enjoy.


This is just unfortunate. A real turkey. (Jeeze, I’m hilarious.) It’s an animal, which is normally a terrible start. But then, it’s a turkey. And a badly done one. Oh well.

4 cow

I could almost give this letterbox a pass. if it was on a farm. Or even acreage. But no. It’s on a tiny little block on a suburban estate. And you have to use a handle (the ring in the bull’s nose) to open the moth and put in the mail. Do you know how annoying it is, having to use two hands ot put something in a mail box?


This one is great. It isn’t the old cliche of putting the mail in the mouth. But the alien isn’t just holding the letterbox. He’s ripped it out of the ground and is going to use it to assault anyone who tries to put in anything other than Christmas cards.

* ‘Wandering’ make it sound like a leisurely stroll, not 5 or 6 hours of solid, fast walking.