NEET Bennies

NEET Bennies

Are you an Aussie battler? Perhaps your father was one too
Are you working 9-to-5 each day and just barely scraping through?
Perhaps you’ve got a long established business with a solid reputation
Or you’re a baby boomer in retirement happily travelling ’round the nation

Whatever situation you are in for me I know money’s always tight
I pay the bills and rent; buy the food -it’s such a struggle each fortnight
In times gone by without a job unemployment meant you got ‘the dole’
At the DSS public servants handed out paper money that you could fold

But have you noticed how Centrelink quietly morphed into myGov?
Now they’ve tightened up procedure ‘cause they’re made of sterner stuff
You’ll need a Customer Reference Number and a secret logon code
If you don’t have them ready for the electronic lady on the phone she might implode

Later, a dole cheque would be delivered to your house by postie on his bike
Each fortnight just like ‘cash in hand’ to do with as you like
Go surfing up and down the coast? Yeah why not, let’s go now!
For it didn’t matter what you did as no one told you ‘how’

Perhaps you had multiple identities as you moved from place to place
As you registered for Newstart where they didn’t know your face
Today fraud’s a little harder as agencies share their information
It prevents scammers taking precious funds that could benefit our nation

Now the CRN’s tightened things online so this rort has been expunged
There’s no more double dipping now to gather extra funds
Not only that, there’s no more cheques; they’ve long gone by the way
Payments are scheduled electronically, deposited as your fortnights’ pay

Look, I know there’s never jobs for all and I’ve used Bennie’s too
When my life turned slightly pear-shaped and I wound up in the ‘poo’
What riles me though are those who somehow never seem to work
No contribution anywhere it seems- from work, a total shirk

In fact there’s even terminology for this new breed on the street
Young teens who don’t do anything; myGov’s calling them the ‘NEET’
Not engaged in Education, Employment or Training might be OK when you’re so young
But without superannuation in retirement you’re really going to come undone

I wonder how they do it; how do they get away
Without reporting to tick boxes to ensure they get their pay?
For it doesn’t matter what I do (and it makes me quite deranged)
Suddenly there’s a letter in my inbox asking “if my circumstance has changed”

In Australia my voice recognises me- I’d say that’s very true
Perhaps next they’ll microchip my neck or barcode me with tattoo
While the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ gets wider every year
Let’s hope the NEETs will finally see the light and get up off their rear

Bought to tears

Bought to tears 

Have you noticed recently that sentences with danger are quite fraught
Because most folk don’t know the difference between two words Bought and brought
What gets me riled up is when I hear it from our journalists and teachers
These professions should know better; english and grammar their stand out features

But no. The thing that riles me most; it really gets my goat
When I hear it on the TV I want to throttle by the throat
The voice-over man says “Today’s weather, is bought to you by Coles”
But I’m not even listening
I’m screaming “No it’s not you stupid moles!”

Today’s weather wasn’t bought at all unless of course you’re Coles
Who paid good money to Channel 7 to see their sponsorships evolve
No, the weather was brought today; they gave it too you, see?
To bring, and past participle brought is needed here it’s pretty clear to me

Why can’t they put their words together, English classes did they miss?
For it seems no one anywhere understands the difference, their sentence structure is remiss
For this valuable lesson must be taught, I know it to be true
That ‘bought’ and ‘brought’ are not the same word
You can’t interchange the two

The problem with sentence structure today’s that no one seems to care
But using ‘bought’ and ‘brought’ incorrectly is sending me quite spare

Brought is the past tense participle of the word you know as bring
It’s when you take oneself to a place, convey or carry on a thing
So yes, I brought my dog with me his show name’s Sapphire King
If I’d said ‘I’d bought him here with me” it means a completely different thing

Bought is when you purchase; when you’re handing over cash
It’s the past tense of ‘to buy’ its true it’s really not that rash
So don’t say here’s my brother, I bought him here for you
Cause human trafficking’s illegal I’m pretty sure it’s true

So could you kindly take a quick look at your sentence’s construction
Use English in the right way not ensuring it’s destruction
Please use bought and brought correctly; you really need to get it right
Hopefully when you do, I’ll sleep a little better here at night!

The 2016 Australian Poetry Slam

15 October 2016:  

I was a NSW State finalist in the 2016 Australian Poetry Slam

Image design: Christina Lewanski

What a great night! I met up with twenty one very talented poets at the State Library of NSW. We had all won local heats (I was given a spot from Albury).  We performed for the two minute limit that Slam gives you and in between we were brilliantly entertained by Sunil Badimi, and music by uber cool John Maddox…he was awesome! A special thanks to poet Naomi Higgins from Coffs Harbour who helped me get ‘home’ to my motel room. Naomi was bursting with baby and Naomi, I wish you all the very best for the impending birth (if it hasn’t happened already!)  Congrats to Wil Johnston from Albury and Zoe Beaumont from Wagga who went through to the next level which was the National Final held at the Opera House the next night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to that. Performance wise I’ve got a lot to learn and unfortunately Parkinson’s impacts upon my capacity to do so but watching the clever performances at the Slam was so uplifting. (I think that I spied actor Marcus Graham in the crowd as a spectator too!)

I love bush style poetry I guess; rhyming and meter, which I still work at. To me (now remember people, this is my blog and opinion only!) slam poetry is more like rap music. It’s got a different rhythm and I can no more recite in this style than fly to the moon! Besides, I think I’d look ridiculous. My style is the bush poet of old, in a story style.  From what I’ve seen slam often has a very powerful political message, but it doesn’t have to. I’m pretty sure it was Elliot Cameron from Wollongong who slammed his life using gaming as an analogy. How funny was it? Apparently he’s stuck on the wrong level because he didn’t read the instructions properly!  Other favourites were Bhupen Thakker or “Mr Sparkle”; Vince Stead who very cleverly used the letter A to his advantage; Derek Motion whose heartfelt writing left an deep mark on my heart; hell, they were all good! I think my personal pick of fellow slammers was Ursula Da Silva from the central coast who reduced me to tears with her powerful words on reconciliation and our need to move forward. Bottom line, she was saying let’s not keep focusing on the horrors of yesteryear but move forward to preserve heritage, stories, family values and most importantly culture. By this, I took it to mean any culture, civilization or race. Hate and blame don’t move us forward. This chick gets it.

Why don’t you get involved in Slam Poetry?  To find out more go to:    or find the Australian Poetry Slam on Facebook.

Cheers ears.


The Op-Shopping Towney

The Op-Shopping Towney

I’ve got a little issue with my wardrobe- it’s too small
It’s packed right to the gunnels; there’s no room in it at all
But I grateful it’s a walk-in, ‘cause I put in a stand
But now that’s chockers also; lucky I don’t have a man

I think clothes are my obsession and I just can’t get enough
But I op-shop and I justify and say it’s all pre-loved
‘Cause you’re the silly person who pays for it full price
But I clothes at Vinnies and I think they’re just as nice

But instead of paying half my wages I just pay five bucks
But Op-Shopping is a lotto and you have to have good luck
Some days you’re empty handed, some days you have a win
They’re the days you come out smiling with a Cheshire grin

But I’ve also got a hankering for anything RM
I wear their gear from head to foot which always gets a grin
From graziers who pass into town; they find it quite a hoot
That I’ve got golden horns emblazoned on my RAV4 boot

I’ve got enough RM stuff to kit out a whole yard
Of farmers and producers- it really wouldn’t be that hard
But when the catalogue comes out I’ll be waiting by the door
Of my local RM clothing shop so that I can buy lots more

But if I’m in the Op-shop and I find my holy grail-
Some RM on a hanger, well I’ll never ever fail
To pay the money, give a cheer and run right out that door
It’s almost better than the DFO* and cheaper too, for sure

But if you’re in the country and you see me driving in
Don’t worry that I’ll go “off road” or cause you any din
For I’ve only got the faux wheel drive; the RAV4, she’s a two
This towney’s on a mission and she’s only passing through

*Direct Factory Outlet

What’s a “towney?” I’ve called a city dweller who goes out into the county dressed from head to foot in RM Williams a towney!



Christmas…the very sound of the word, it fills my heart with fear
Although it comes around the same day, December twenty-fifth, every year
You’d think the sky is falling or that the world had come to an end
It’s the time of year when grocery shopping can send you completely ‘round the bend

For although the shops are going to shut for only but a day
The scrum for loaves of bread and milk put football games to shame
I’ve seen one lady get knocked out, another loose an eye
As she made that horror, fateful leap to reach the last mince pie

And Christmas just gets earlier; it’s coming ’round way too soon
Surely it must be illegal to erect Christmas trees in June?
For Christmas is the day we should celebrate our dear Christ Jesus’ birth
Not some middle aged beared man’s commercialised expanding girth

 And I’ve never really understood why Christmas visions show
Reindeer standing ankle deep in drifts of pure white snow
For Christmas here from where I stand is forty three degrees
And only frosting I will see will be in my deep freeze

 And Mums’ and dads with screaming kids please stay at home I pray
To buy Christmas vouchers while on-line and your presents on eBay

But hurry!
Let’s clear those shelves at Boxing Day sales to make room for the new display
Of Easter eggs and hot cross buns just in time for……..Australia Day!


In Praise of Podiatry

In Praise of Podiatry

I’m referred to Dr Kingsford; he’s going to fix my feet
‘Cause I‘ve got awful bunions and a hammer toe complete
And just as I hit fifty I swore I’d never be
That middle-aged lady wearing runners down the street

I’d bought the odd orthotic with the special insert for your heel
But until designers got them right their shoes had limited appeal
Except my dog who loved them and consumed them with delight-
Buying replacements monthly gave my Visa card a fright

Kumfs, Clouds and Ziera, they’ve all been on my feet
My penance for years of Army drill and policing on the beat
But when you’re young you never think of corns in years to come
Because you’re ten-foot tall and bullet proof and don’t think of damage done

So Dr Kinsgsford says I need an x-ray just to see
The extent of damage I have done by living fearlessly
And there, just to top I off, I even heard him say
“That’s the most magnificent heel spur I’ve seen until this day”

Luckily he travels from Melbourne to our Albury Wodonga town
To keep our feet nice and straight and our bunions all ground down
But I know why he really does it, ‘cause he likes to eat the dinner
The Commercial Club’s Golf Club chef- he truly is a winner!

So now I lie in surgery and I really am quite scared
Cause the doctor and anaethatist are grooving ’round my bed
They didn’t think I’d hear them, ‘cause they thought I was asleep
But Gregorian chant was blaring together with those monitors that beep

Now I’m sure he’s done a lovely  job of deconstructing all my crimes
And I just can’t wait to wear “real” shoes more suited to the times
Cause there’s nothing worse than going to a party in a dress
With runners on your feet that simply fail to impress

And young ladies just remember as you teeter on those heels
Of this warning that I give to you to prevent your later squeals
Not necessarily from the surgery or the pain that you may rue
But the lack of podiatric rebate from the stingy Medicare crew

The Aldi Centre Aisle

I have a small confession called the Aldi centre aisle

I know I shouldn’t go there or even pause a while

Because I come out with lots of stuff I simply just don’t need

But I buy it ‘cause it’s useful- not because of greed


When I go in I try to shop just around the sides

But it really is quite futile for the Aldi centre aisle

Is calling me to come and see what specials on today

You never know what you might find inside those Aldi bays!


Some shoppers get up bright and early before the crack of dawn

They’re waiting for doors to open on a Wednesday or Saturday morn

There’re the ones you’ve got to watch; they know what’s going on

For they’ve scoped the Aldi catalogue and made shopping lists quite long


Well, I’ve bought silicon bake ware and I don’t even cook

And a Wonder Woman DVD collection (the acting was truly crook)

And an adjustable impact hammer drill for $19.99

Although I’m not a handy man I’m sure it will be fine

Last Saturday I bought a motor cycle jacket and a pair of pants

And today I got a ballet outfit and look at me; I can’t even dance

But shopping there is lots of fun, it really is quite fine

Where else can you buy Pferrenusse when it’s Christmas time?


By the time you’re at the checkout I’m sure that you will find

That your shopping bags are fuller than what you had in mind

Don’t stress or worry, when you get home put those impulse buys away

I’m sure you will use them……one rainy winter’s day!



My Mother Said

My Mother Said

My mother gave another sigh
Her bosom heaved in sad reply
And as she leaned upon the sink
She said “What will the neighbours think?”
There are many sayings my mother taught us
And some I’ve passed on to my daughters
But some are old and seem to be
Fading to obscurity

You see there’s no such thing as in-between
As kids twitter, twerk and blog their screen
Children used to read upon my lap
Now all they need is a smart app
And I do hate it when they sit and stare
At my Motorola Flare*
For even grannies seem to have it made
With every iPhone they upgrade

In my day at twenty-one I got “the key”
But now all open electronically
Things have changed at such a rate
That children cannot demonstrate
Such things as chasey, hide and seek
Or run through willows by the creek
When I was four I used to skip
Milk bottle in hand, my daily trip
Through underpass just near our shop
Past the homeless man…..and there I’d stop!
“Is there anything at all you need today?”
And then I’d run and skip and play

I’m sure that if I did that now
I’d not return (I know not how)
And all that there’d be left of me
Would be Crimestoppers on TV
My lifeless body with red strings and lines
On a detective’s whiteboard intertwined
To show that children should never stray
From parents safety, far away

And God forbid, if I should slip
With glass in hand, well, then I’d sit
In A&E for thirty hours
Just to feel life’s fateful powers
In years gone by all I would see
Were Dettol and Band-aid on my knee
Perhaps a tetanus injection for my crimes
Mother’s words ringing “How many times…….”

My mother said for women like me
Over thirty five no skirts above knees
And red and green should never be seen
And white at night is just not right
But sometimes I wish that mother had said
“Don’t marry that man, you’re in over your head!”

Cause, quite frankly I don’t care what the neighbours might think
With my Parkinson’s I know life’s too damn precious to be chained to that sink
Just remember on Earth all families are like yours
They take the good with the bad, celebrations and wars
Just remember as my Great-Granny said:
“£2 to find out and £200,000 to hide it instead”

* a chunky mobile phone from 1995