Friday, December 31, 2010

Shower leaks, roof leaks and WikiLeaks. Yup. Everything leaks!

From the 24 News Desk, Southbank, Melbourne...
 Making headlines...

International news of the year was that Lindsay Lohan, Lady Gaga and Sarah Murdoch all managed to make doofuses of themselves, to a greater or lesser degree. Of the three, I would invariably choose to be Sarah, as I am neither fond of dressing in wagyu beef nor donning my fingernails with the phrase 'f**k u' in order to be witty. I'm sure in some world, LiLo thought she was...And, like Sarah, one day at some function large or small, I am bound to be the one standing in front of a bunch of people embarrassing myself despite my best intentions. Indeed, this is the stuff of poetry and I applaud anyone who does it with flair and grace.

None of this made headlines in north West WA though, except that, by the end of it, there was an awful lot of mopping up to do!

Happy 2011 all! Thanks to the gang at ABC North West and the Pilbara Echo for all your support and may there be more embarrassments, sillinesses and stuff ups for everyone next year so I might continue to find fodder for this happy foolishness!


A beer and a cheer for a Happy New Year!
were the words that were slowly spoke
by the guy near the log with his gumboots and frog,
yes, a flustered and feral young bloke.

His hair was crusty, clothing musty
his eyes drooped with sandbags hung
with stoic aplomb sinking on and on
like the folds of old cow dung.

This Andrew Collins nibbled stale stollen,
pondered on life here.
Taking time out from his soggy plight
to reflect on a whopper of a year.

Lindsay Lohan lost the plot and
finally had to go dry.
But it couldn’t compare to Marble Bar,
which ran out of beer, oh my!

Melbourne Cup ran hot to trot
with silks and ladies in hats,
but Pannawonica’s rodeo iconica
starred a wild OLD chap.

At seventy six, Jack had the tricks
to ride ‘em hard and mighty.
With his big, wide brim, he rode like sin
and the crowds went wild, alrighty.

Lady Gaga dressed in meat from her head
to her teetering toes.
But she’d nothing on those trucks which run
into beasts wand’ring out on the roads.

Sarah Murdoch looked like a right chook
reading the wrong model’s name.
But at Pilbara Girl, we were all in a whirl
when Synarrah Murphy’s came.

And Canberra scored a “strine PM”
with Kevin and Tony piffed,
but Karratha got a regional cabernet
and you should have copped a whiff.

Of plans for Pilbara Cities,
like London, Paris and Roma
or at least a new gate or at any rate
a brand new garden gnome.

And Julia showed us her fancy hair
which never ever seemed to relax,
but we pricked up our ears and jiggled our rears
when she fiddled with the mining tax.

And with Julia red as a blister,
you’d think HER the colour hog,
but WE had the red dirt festival
and in Dampier, the star - Red Dog!

NZ had the Bledisloe
which went pretty fast yo bro’.
But the Newman guys they took the prize
for the Cup that was pretty bloody slow.

And twiddling thumbs for decades
since Joan in ’75,
Hedland, cool, got its hospital,
so now if we’re sick, we’ll thrive.

Just in time for our summer clime
and the rain La Niña was bringing
and it poured and it drowned and it sloshed all around
‘til Carnarvon was hardly singing.

And he thought about the weather,
the craziest thing of all,
with forty degrees and irukandjis,
oh boy, they have a gall.

And Muddle, fuddle, sitting in his puddle,
sun beating down on his brow,
with his umbrella up and his dacks in the mud
Andrew’s brain was frazzled now.

And finding some shade he flicked on the radio
and listened to the news of the day,
with Julian Assange and his radical plan
for dobbing in pollies, but hey,

Andrew thought, well, funny that,
as the rain brewed again in our zone,
forget WikiLeaks, here it’s EverythingLeaks…

and with his year mopped up, went home.

© Elise Batchelor December 31st 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Naaa Not Writing Anymore

NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and it's actually a rather international affair now. I always knew I had a billion poems in me, but never thought I had a novel. This wacky adventure has proved me wrong. And twice now. Every November, 160 000 people all about the globe aim to write 50 000 words (each) between the first and final days of November. That averages out at 1667 words a day. Now, when I say 'novel', personally speaking I mean two times one third of a novel. Last year, I wrote 72 000 words, or a third of Clear (before my computer crashed and wiped it), so it's sitting on the backburner. This year I've written 52 000 words of a travel book I can't WAIT to finish!

My partner in crime (or 'other genres') this year and last has been Kate Murphy, a writerly chick, hunkered down and HANDWRITING hers in South Hedland, North West WA. That's an inspiration in itself!

If you've ever had an inkling you might have a novel buried in your bowels (or somewhere more sanitary), check out NaNoWriMo and plug it in for November next year. Find yourself a network of co-nutters on the site and dig in. The prize? - Surviving! And a neat little certificate at the end. Oh, plus all the glory....

So, in honour of words, all the words I've overused, all those adjectives I've burdened my page with thus far and every travel tip the Lonely Planet's Clem Lindemeyer ever gave me, here's a litte fiddle with vocabulary...

A Little Linguistic Omphaloskepsis

I glared upon the story I was writing,
describing things in detail rather frightening.
But then, oh dreary me,
was stuck right up a tree
and lost for words and wishing for some lightning

to tell me of this word that I was needing,
my hands bemoaning blisters, nearly bleeding.
I couldn’t think of it,
was losing all my grip
and this was stopping me from now proceeding.

I asked you if you’d help me in my mission
to pick the one I needed with precision.
You pulled out all your best
and wouldn’t let it rest
until there was some mental synergism.

You offered omphaloskepsis. I said “Huh?”
Means ‘navel gazing’, nope, that’s not it, nup.
Then lackadaisical
and pedagogical,
then spatchcock, squelch and defenestration wha?!

And antidisestablishmentarianism,
or how about that Rastafarianism?
“But no, I need no noun,”
thus pulled a frumpy frown
and then you threw in Pastafarianism.

I told you, “It’s a verb I’m searching for,
a doing word, to sing, to dance, to score.”
You threw them like hot darts,
‘twas nonsense off the charts,
just piffing them at me ‘til I was sore.

To sashay, mosey, sidle, waltz or peek?
To ooze or paddle, potter, stroll or reek?
To do-ce-do or thump?
To toddle, limp or bump?
To shimmy, amble, whimper, grunt or sneak?

So getting closer and, in your defence,
I thought you were on track but should commence
to alter things a bit,
so that we might nail it,
for I required a verb set in past tense.

Traipsed? You asked me. Oh please, please, please no!
Done that one to death liked glared and flowed.
Well, how about we sailed,
we gallivanted, trailed,
we waddled, wavered, waggled, gandered, glowed?

“Oh dear, it is no use,” spoke I, quite hollow,
indeed, quite out of words all drunk and swallowed.
Maybe I’d omphaloskep…
and think of something yet
or maybe now stay quagmired, simply wallow.

But sitting there, morose and rather spent,
my story stuck like footprints in cement,
you saved the day, hooray!
Legend – what can I say,
declaring, “Here’s the word you want - it’s ‘went’!”

Yippee! ‘twas it, the perfect verb, past tense.
Quite neat, quite tight and built on common sense.
“We WENT up to the house.”
Ah, wondrous, wicked, grouse!
So, thank you dictionary, your skill’s immense.

© Elise Batchelor November 2010

Thanks to Jean Burton for coining the phrase 'Naaa not writing anymore'
Thanks to Kate Murphy for the words 'Omphaloskepsis' and 'glared'
Thanks also for their many words to the defenstrative George Jones, Rachel 'La Fontaine' Fountain, Sylvia Campbell, Laura Schuijers, Mike Fitzsimon and Sarah Warke for their antidisestablishmentarian nouns, synergistic verbs and quagmire of phrases and lackadaisical links.
Thanks, finally,  to my brother in law Tim. No story could be complete without 'spatchcock'.

Monday, October 25, 2010

About a Boob

My mum, Beth Batchelor, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age thirty nine. What does thirty nine look like? Well, sometimes, believe it or not, it looks rather like this.

During the twenty years she moved through various chemos, remissions, brachii therapies and episodes of the old radiator radiating her vitals until she glowed, Beth learned to call cancer her 'friend'. Fairweather friend perhaps? Indeed not! For it stayed with her through thick wig and thin hair, through donut tunnels and through involuntary eyebrow waxes. Mum had a lifelong companion in cancer and, as such, we had to find ways to laugh.

Indeed, it was very funny when she shrunk her wig.

It was hilarious when we then went out for coffee, me with my handbag and mum with her inch of baby soft grey regrowth, and an old friend bumped into her, 'Beth! Love your hair. Where d'you get it done?!'

It was titillating when her pop in prosthetic breast slipped to her waist during a pertinent prayer time in church one Sunday morning. 'Oh my Lord, 'struth, dear God, please let me rise up, or at least my left breast, to greet your ever present presence. And where is the bloody superglue when you need it? Amen.' (Or something similar. Dad remembers it all too well. And in fact, despite what I've made up here being a little stretch of the truth, what she probably actually said was probably actually more hilarious.)

And it was incomprehensibly hysterical when this happened...

About a Boob

My mum found a teatowel and stuffed it in her bra.
That was back in ‘83 when she drove a bright blue car.
Mum was sick for quite a bit so we had to help out
to clean and do the dishes knowing mum she still had clout,

for if we made excuses like whose turn ‘twas to dry up
she’d just pull out her teatowel which would make us all shut up.
Yep, Mum she just got on with it - on that herself she prided,
the scar went where the left one were - she looked a bit lopsided.

But soon it was now Christmas (the America’s Cup in Perth)
she finally got her plastic jelly boobie, oh what mirth.
So out she chucked the teatowel and in the boob did go
opposite the real one snug and quite incognito.

Rarely did it wibble wobble as with Beth it travelled
rarely did it flip or flop ‘less bra straps did unravel.
And roam it did with Bethie B in her Datsun 1200
through rain and sunshine, heat and when it snowed and hailed and thundered

No Bethie’s boob did never leave her side, well, so to speak,
a matching piece of plastic jelly, complete with little peak.
Mum she made a resolution one day in mid summer,
'I’m going to get fit,' said she, 'take inches off my bum, huh?'

And every Saturday morning from then for years to come
my Mum and I would head out for a swim in the blue Datsun.
Off we’d tootle, 6am throughout the 1990s
off to do our morning laps and burn away calories.

Lap on lap, and lap on lap we swam and were so fit
and mum was proud as punch that very soon she’d lost a bit.
Her bathers were so stylish and the boob sat in its place
and after several years of this mum could have won a race.

And still the years they spun and flew and mum and I kept swimming
fit as fiddles, lap on lap and home we’d drive, both grinning.
And hang our towels out on the line and hang our bathers too
all rinsed and clean and then we’d have a cuppa, as you do. morning, like so many Saturdays, our duty done,
mum emptied out her swimming bag, stood standing in the sun.
Her look was rather quizzical. I could not work it out.
She counted up her togs, her towel, but something was left out.

Until, with horror, finally mum cried, ‘I am a fool!
I’ve left my bloody boob alone and sitting at the pool!'
And so we raced, (we were a pair of nutty looking women)
in our bright blue 1200 back to where we’d been a swimmin’.

I begged the lovely poolguard, PLEASE let us in for free!!
With mum, all matter of fact of course, ‘I’ve left my boob here, see!’
Sure enough, when we raced in, sick with fear and worry,
alone, bereft on the changeroom bench going nowhere in a hurry…

sat Bethie’s favourite boosie, stoic, wet and floppy.
She snatched it up off we tootled in our blue jalopy.
And cried until the tears were pools, ‘til the moon rose up that night
and never ever did again that boob leave Bethie’s sight.

Elise Batchelor October 2010 For Pink Ribbon Day

donate at:

Beth Batchelor, circa 1991.

 PS. That bit about the teatowel threats may have been a stretch of the truth. I adore my sister but despite any teatowelled threats, she was never inclined to dry the dishes (Love you Marg).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Go Pies! Go Saints! Goji berries!

For two weeks in a row now, I've forgotten to watch the AFL Grand Final. It's not that I mind the Australian Football League's determination to plaster itself like, well, plaster, all over the papers for the eight months leading up to the ultimate blokes-with-balls challenge. It's not that brawn, drop kicks and drug scandals offend me. It's not even that I think the teams at the top this year represented the phoenix-risen-dregs of the past forty. No, none of these potentially key issues led me to ignore the Grand Final at all.

Fact of the matter was that the fridge was empty. What better time to do the weekly shopping when NO ONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY is.

For anyone reading from outside our beanie clad nation, you might well have three questions as you read the following two poems:

1) What is a Rob Oakeshott?
2) What the hell does he have to do with a tie?
3) A tie??!

I know. How embarrassment. But yes, the first match was a tie (despite our Prime Minister begging it not to be, ok, like, PLEEEEASE no!) So, do we go to extra time? Do we hold on until someone fangs in one more point or one more goal to end the drought? No. No. Ohhhh no. We play again chaps, next week. Uh huh, that's right. And I have one word for ewes all.

Rob Oakeshott.

Two words actually or, given Rob Oakeshott's history making speech in his final decision to decide the undecided Australian Priministerial Pozzie recently, more like two trillion words. Words to the power of infinity. In fact, if the symbol for infinity (other than being baggsed by the ABC already) had one true meaning, it would be Rob Oakeshott. Indeed, when, on election day, he had the final vote which decided our Julia as top jobber, and he blabbed on for a decade to secure his place in the arse end of history forever, many young women remained blessed by the fact Rob Oakeshott is not THEIR father and won't be MC at their 18th, 21st, wedding or church fete. I think Rob Oakeshott is possibly handsome.

But that's not relevant, is it?

And so, to two poems, representing two weeks of footy finals in which Collingwood (the Pies) and St Kilda (the Saints) got sweaty, moped a bit then played again, got sweaty and ... finished.

Who won?

Dunno. I was languishing in the exotic food aisle of Woolies, pondering the internal and spiritual benefits of the Goji berry. Not often I get to ponder the Goji berry in silence.

It’s Just Not Cricket

The week is quite unique in Oz,
the world turned upside down.
The Saturday is holy, makes
some buzz and others frown.

But do take note that in this sacred
time, if you don’t care,
there’s one thing not to mention.
Oh no, just don’t go there!

Just keep your trap well shut ok.
Just hold your breath all right,
unless you wish to risk your blasphemy
being met with fright.

It’s like crazy sales on Boxing Day
being held on Christmas Eve.
Like flouting a bikini,
still in winter. How naïve.

Like dressing all in white
to dance around in mud.
Like singing ‘Happy birthday Julia!’
to Kevin Rudd.

Like wearing flannel floppy hats
when everyone’s in beanies.
Like raving about little stumps
to a mob of zealous greenies.

Like snoozing on the lawn
whilst magpies dart and swoop.
Like eating chook for takeaway
in God’s own chicken coop.

Like singing breezy summer tunes
instead of thumping songs
by blokes with voices deep and wearing
knee high socks, not thongs.

Like putting on your coloured zinc
in shades of green and gold
and being mocked, “It should be black
with red or white!’ you’re told.

Indeed, if I have stumped you,
this poem’s all a code,
a mighty ditty for the week,
a thumping bloody ode.

It’s all about the AFL
for better, worse, whatever.
It’s all about the mud and MCG
and Melbourne weather.

It’s all about the footy.
All else will cop retorts.
It’s all about the finals.
Big men. Wide screens. Tight shorts.

So get up off the lawn
and find some muddy puddles
and get that flannel of yer head;
it has the mob befuddled

and put away your string bikini
‘til the furore dies,
until the party heads have slept
and dreamt of Saints and Pies.

And only then, go mention slips
and ducks and runs and wickets.
For lordy be, in grand final week,
such talk is just not cricket.

© Elise Batchelor September 2010

In the Middle of the MCG

Rob Oakeshott he sat like that
in the middle of the MCG
and he called Bob Katter,
‘Do you really matter
in my iddy biddy gang of three?’

For the siren - it had told its tale
and the players all lay stuffed.
And they really wondered
if the scored had blundered
and they’d all been totally bluffed.

Well, old BobKat he tipped his hat
and his voice rang brittle like rust.
‘Carn the Pies!’
rang across the skies.
‘You other lot can eat my dust.’

The crowds they booed and hissed at him
(Well half of them, that is).
‘I’m goin’ back bush!’
And they gave him a push
to Queensland in a tizz.

And Rob Oakeshott sat smirking still
in the middle of the MCG,
caught up in the muddle,
teams now in a huddle,
he could not hide his glee.

Tony Windsor stood up next
and kept it short, if quaint.
‘My great Aunt Hilda
loves St Kilda,
so I vote for the Saints!’

And the crowds they booed and hissed again
(the other half this time).
All disarray
on the field today
and the chaos was sublime.

The Pies they’d gathered in a mob,
their socks all sagged in sorrow.
The Saints meanwhile
were a strung out pile
with wedgies ‘til tomorrow.

And just when there was no hope left,
or so the punters reckoned,
that Rob Oakeshott
they’d near forgot
to the microphone was beckoned.

Well Rob Oakeshott raced to his spot
and gathered up his minions -
those trillion thoughts,
comebacks, retorts
and his vast range of opinions.

He tapped upon the microphone.
100 000 eyes
now glared at Rob
thinkin’, who’s this knob?
as he started to surmise…

And he rattled on about the goal posts.
And he babbled on about the time.
And he praised and bemoaned
as the crowds they groaned
and yawned and slept and whined.

And seven days on down the track
there was no one left there, see,
‘xcept Rob Oakeshott
still hot to trot
in the middle of the MCG.

And soon the place filled up again
with Rob hardly contrite
and they carried him out
on a stretcher taut,
wrapped up quite white and tight.

So the rules were changed forever more
for fear of a tie, praise be!
‘Cause there’s nothing less hot
than a Rob Oakeshott
in the middle of the MCG.

© Elise Batchelor September 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pin the Tail on the Shonky Donkey

In my final (Wembley Primary) school year, the most exquisite girl in our class had an impossibly large birthday party. I remember this vividly, for I was not invited.

There's nothing like being invited to a rocking good party. In Australia, we're totally lucky because every few years (or few months, depending on one's keenness for pin the tail on the political donkey) we're all invited to two parties. At LEAST two parties. Of course, we have a slight problem here in that they're invariably on the same day, at the same time. But our job is to elect one to attend.

For example, a little while back Julia Gillard's party was sort of or not really ok. Tony Abbott's party was not that gay either. No one really liked either and most of us ultimately went to one so we could prove we didn't go to the other.

And the third half was busy scamming illicit tickets for a boat ride out of the country.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

He invited everyone to come to his great party.
Every kid in every class, he thought he was a smartie.
Problem was that she did too, she asked them all to come.
She’d pin the tail on donkeys and they’d have just loads of fun.

He said it would NOT BE HOT! No hotter than last week,
But he’d give them sunscreen and nice party hats with peaks.
She said they would play indoors on her WHIZZ BANG COMPUTERS!
Plenty fun for everyone, even distant commuters.

He soon heard his plan was flawed because some thought him dud.
She soon heard he might have scored because she was not Rudd.
On the day they sat in wait in fancy schmancy clothes.
His mum asked, ‘How many Tony?’ He replied, ‘God knows.’

Tony’s mum said, ‘Ask Him then, I’m baking sausage rolls
and fairy bread -’ Tone interrupted, ‘Can’t have them Mum, no!’
‘Tony!’ his mum glared at him. ‘OK, Mum, just this once,
but fairy bread’s for sissy’s and I ain’t nobody’s dunce.

Meanwhile, out at Julia’s, her mum tried being enlightening,
saying, ‘dydd Sadwrn, gwlad, cors.’ My goodness, Welsh is frightening.
What happened to all the vowels? And when does it not rain?
Anyway, this is digression. What’d she say again?

Oh yes, that’s right, young Julia’s mum said, ‘It’s party day, my dear,
and, as you say, they’re all your friends! I’m sure they’ll all appear.’
So Tony had his fairy bread, despite his inclination
and Julia had done her hair and taken up her station

of standing at the front door, the gates of chance now open
as Tony cycled round his yard, his nerves of steel unbroken.
And soon they all arrived. The guests come out to play.
Some they went to Julia’s and some the other way.

Then some more to Julia’s, then a bunch to Tone’s,
‘til there were just five kids left and THEN kicked in the groans.
‘But Muuuum,’ whinged Julia out loud, ‘why didn’t they all come?
Near half of them are all next door at Tony’s place. Not fun!’

‘Oh stop your whinging little girl, your strine’s like blackboard nails.
Maybe there are others coming, drifting in like snails.’
And Tony, well, now he was sweating, seventy-something counted.
Sort of Mr Popular, his campaign fully mounted.

‘I guess you’re right,’ said Julia, to her mum as kids played,
‘my friends, they all have spoken but who knows what they did say.’
Tony scanned down to the fence upon which five friends sat,
right ‘tween his and Julia’s and he thought…bottom, drat.

The celebrations dwindled and all the kids they left,
quite bored with both the parties, the right one and the left
and waved out to that fivesome perched as if it didn’t matter,
still deciding which to choose, including BobKat Katter.

And there they perched for days and weeks, sore bums, ‘twas rather odd.
Jule’s she offered lemonade and Tony offered…God?
And finally, they all decided which party best fared,
by which time it was footy finals, so no one really cared…

© Elise Batchelor 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Parabola Palabra

The real Elise, the real Suzanne and the real Jeni, c1988,
conquistadoras of the dreaded Maths exam.
I loved maths at school. Just couldn't get the right answers. How about you? When I was in year 8, my school had a Pi-athon for which you raised money based on the number of decimal places to which you could recite this infinite equation. There were also prizes for those who could chant this mathematical mantra the furthest. Believe it or not, at 100 decimal places, my efforts barely scratched the surface of the itch that is memorising infinity. Some kid (no doubt a dork, possibly even dorkier than me) reached into the several hundreds and, as a result of their efforts, also no doubt failed to get a date for the remainder of high school, such was the magnitude of their mathematical dedication.

I didn't either. Get a date after memorising pi. Might be an interesting conversation starter but begins to feel a little repetitive, a tad tedious after a while.

So, when pi failed me as the language of love, what I did do, however, was head in the LOTE direction. That's Languages Other Than English. And that's what this, almost entirely fictional, poem centres on. Suzanne is not fictional. We studied together the night before our year 12 maths exam. I think it was the only time we ever studied for maths. And she doesn't even remember it, so it's obviously too distressing a memory for her contemplation.

Now, for those of you desiring enlightement, a little Babelfish helped me out with the following translations for your reading pleasure:

1. Je voudrais les Pommes frites – I would like fries. (And, much to my chagrin, I can buy them at the golden arches on the Champs Elysees.)
2. Der Tiergarten – This is the largest garden in the centre of Berlin and my account of it in the poem is true.
3. Ich bin ein Berliner – infamously spoken by JFK in June 1963 to his Berlin audience as a gesture of solidarity, ‘I am a Berliner’ can also be translated as ‘I am a jam doughnut'.
4. Ichi ni – one, two in Japanese.
5. Chopsticks - knifu forku in Japanese.
6. Exploradora – Dora the Explorer. What a cutie. Loving the fact it's also the Spanish word for explorer
7. corazon – heart.   No Spanish song is complete, no tune lyrically satiated without this linguistic staple.
8. mochila – backpack en Español.

and finally

9. Pi – 22/7 or


…with decimal places to infinity.

This poem is dedicated to you (because you're about to read it), to Suzanne, to my friend Jen whose mathematical prowess was rather more eloquent, my Maths teacher Neil who organised the most ripper school ski trips, our inspirational, organza draped English teacher, Lorrane, and the following good folk of Facebook who showed off about how good they are at French: Sarah, George, Sylvia, Cate and Phil.

By the way, I'm still willing to memorise pi it to a million places if it guarantees a lay.

Parabola Palabra

Was sitting with Suzanne,
the dawn of our exam,
with little of a plan,
except the plan to cram.

The apple pie now eaten,
eight pieces fully beaten,
with icrecream too, to sweeten,
the morning we were greetin’.

We sighed, exhausted, stuffed
and thought we’d done enough
to call the marker’s bluff,
avoid producing guff

and in delirium,
I thought back with a grin
to all I had packed in
to make the year a win.

Six subjects I had chosen.
My mum had stood quite frozen
and once done recomposing
had challenged my proposin’

that I would choose my strengths,
go to whatever lengths
to climb up in the ranks,
avoiding teachers’ spanks.

So languages it was,
a LOTE star, just because
if I e’er did leave Oz,
I’d order ‘vichyssoise

in France and I would say,
‘Monsier, errr…Je voudrais
les Pomme frites,’ at Maccas, hey,
on the Champs Elysees.

In Deustchland, what a winner,
nude folk in Berlin’s inner,
der Tiergarten, me - grinner
shouting, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’

And Japanese, yippee!
I’d have an ‘ichi ni’
The Pilbara Poet, intrepid and sweaty above Bariloche,
Argentinean Andes
and use chopsticks for tea,
drink sake ‘til I pee.

Then, travelling right on
I’d fill mi corazon
con Español, the one,
a language wicked fun.

(But truly, to my core, ah…
I love Exploradora
so jaunting with my ‘mochila’,
I’d be a…conquistadora?)

And English, well, compulsory.
Not that it made me ulcery -
dressed in organza glory
our teacher told great stories.

Thus, five subjects of six,
I did the sixth for kicks,
just threw it in the mix,
my knowledge, well, was nix.

So here we sat together
hoping for fairer weather,
my heart unlike a feather,
our maths skills…well…whatever.

‘Suzanne,’ I pinned her eye,
‘Oh why oh why oh why
did you pick maths, like I?’
She said, ‘’cause I like pi.’

'You mean,' I said to her,
like, apple pie?' This blur
at dawn now caused a stir
and she said, ‘Well, um, err…

‘NO. I mean…3.14159
I love pi, it is sublime,
I love singing it in time.’

Oh boy, she had gone nuts.
No ifs, no maybes, buts
and sleepless now, my guts
were churning, filled with ruts

of inverse differentials
and all my maths potential
which might well be essential
when I picked up my pencil.

‘Elise?’ Suzanne asked back
'What’s with you and Maths?
Was not your subject track
for languages? Your knack?’

Indeed, I faced her query,
my eyes now fully bleary,
my body spent and weary,
my armpits even teary.

‘The thing, Suzanne, you see,
this Maths is language glee,
I love it like boats the sea,
but it’s all quite…Greek…to me.

We eyed the apple pie
then gazed towards the sky
until was time to fly
to our exam quite nigh

and we passed with fine aplomb,
parabolas now done,
whence I flew towards the sun…
Santorini…that’s the one.

                                                                                           Santorini Windmill © Rob Whitehead 2010

©Elise Batchelor August 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Children's Book Week bonanza!

This week I had the rambunctious pleasure of performing a few of my poems (with a kiddy slant) for children in Karratha visiting the library for National Children's Book Week. I'm popping this collection up together in case you too have children or the desire to read about ironorasauruses, piddling puppies, sunburnt armpits or pearls accidentally flushed down the loo.

Oh, and an ever so gentle warning that if you come across things like what happened to Van Gogh's ear, Cold Chisel and novocaine, or the difference between cleanin' and shaggin' in a car, you can either explain it, ignore it, or deflect it!

Happy reading! Go on, a bit of nonsense is good for the soul. :)

My Backside - how to get burnt in orrible orrifices.
Into the Sunset - a long drive to Broome and flying snot
Captain Roast and Custard - sailing through the high seas of peas, gravy and peaches
In the Olden Days (when there were dinosaurs) Last millennium, last year or yesterday...
Little Big Dwiving Dweams - Dweam cars as pondered by prepubescents
Wally's First Day at School - of dogs and wee and strange loyalties

Thanks to Dorothea Mackellar for her famous Aussie poem, ‘My Country’.

My Backside

I love a sunburnt backside
its dimpled, charred remains
its ripping raw sensations
and tender skin tight pains.
I love it when it wizens
and I can’t sit to wee
the blistered, chafing terror
that burnt red bum on me!

I love my sunburnt foot soles
when I can’t walk or stand
or even hop from foot to foot
especially on hot sand.
I love it when the heels singe
and I need aloe vera
when nothing but those frozen peas
could be to me more dear…er

I love my sunburnt ears
(I thought I’d put on cream?)
they stick out like red Pringles
and make me want to scream.
I love it when I shower and
the water burns non-stop
just like Van Gogh I wish I had
a knife so I could chop.

I love my sunburnt armpits
I don’t know what’s with that
I had my arms down when I swam
and on the beach, lay flat.
But somehow all that sunshine
it burnt my pits with passion
and now I walk, my arms stuck out,
I’m calling it a fashion.

Core of my head, my scalp,
its scorching is untold
a roaring-red smoked salmon
a sizzling fireball scald.
I love the way I feel as if
I’ve been electrocuted
and that my brains have sizzled too
is one fact undisputed

I love my sunburnt palms…
Come on, give me a break!
I used them to put on my cream
Burnt hands?! For goodness sake!
They feel like they’ve been ironed or
just left on the equator.
They look as if I’ve taken to them
with a carrot grater.

I love my sunburnt eyelids
they’ll keep me wide awake
they feel as if I’ve shredded them
with my blunt garden rake.
I love the way they will not move
that sun, it really fries
now I can neither blink nor wink
I cannot shut my eyes!

I love a sunburnt backside
and foot soles red and raw
and ears which burn to blisters
and armpits charred and sore.
I love a scalp that’s cindered
and palms – now that’s absurd
I love a pair of eyelids fried
and just one final word…

I love the beach in summer
I love the Aussie heat
I love to stay outdoors all day
and swim and bathe a treat.
But now that I’ve been sunburnt like
a terracotta brick
I’ll use my thirty plus instead of
board wax lathered thick.

And now, to a poem about getting TO the holiday (with the mandatory vomits, references to cows, poo, wee and the occasional flushed Broome pearl).

Into the Sunset
(A postcard to the far north)

Dearest, greatest Grannie, I’m writing this from Broome.
I’ve got so much to tell you so I hope I can make room.
It’s been a big adventure with such awesome things to see
and I reckon at least dad would abso-lute-ly agree.

It’s a long drive from the Pilbara - much longer than your hair -
and the sky’s rinsed blue, just like yours too, but grey streak free, to be fair.
We kids sat in the back seat and sang songs the entire way,
‘cause mum, she broke the stereo (she swore a bit that day).

I sang ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, a thousand times in rounds,
with ‘Twinkle Star’ and the ‘ABC’ - should hear how sick they sound!
And funnily enough (although don’t reckon mum thinks so)
they have the same tune. Wicked, hey? And over and over we’d go.

Then when we all got wearisome, my dad put up his hand
to sing our favourite lullaby, a song he calls ‘Khe Sanh’.
I will admit quite frankly that it made mum look more strained
‘cause it woke us up, but I loved it. Grannie, what is novocaine?

We stopped at a place called Pardoo. Wow, what a groovy word!
It sort of rhymes with cow poo (Mum says I can’t say turd.)
Pardoo it was awesome. There’s grass to run about,
with dad still singing Khe Sanh and Mum giving him a clout.

And then we stopped at Sandfire. The whole thing had burnt down.
Don’t ask when it will be rebuilt, they’ll whimper, sigh and frown.
But Sandfire it’s just awesome, with peacocks running wild.
I offered them my icecream, but my mum yelled, ‘Stop that child!’

I don’t know what’s the problem; she says that sharing’s good
and on a hot day I can’t think of better peacock food.
The whole day it took ages. My sister puked. A LOT.
Three times on the carpet and once on the window, SPLOT!

And one which was quite green you know, projectile stuff no less,
when mum was in the driver’s seat, it made a brilliant mess
all over mum’s new hairdo. She winced, but didn’t scream
and kept on driving…Grannie, what does persecution mean?

So that was just the drive up. I’m running out of space.
But the whole week has been fabbo. It fully rocks, this place.
We’ve been to Cable Beach each day, made castles in the sand
and traipsed them through the unit. What’s exasperation, Gran?

Last night we went to dinner and watched sunset with a breeze.
I think mum said at least six times, ‘Another cocktail, please’.
I don’t know why, I’m sure, I thought she’d be preoccupied
with cleaning up the mess of chicken curry sauce which flies

quite quickly through a drink straw if you give it enough force,
unless you get some rice stuck, which inhibits you, of course.
I’m really getting tight for space. I better wind things up
and tell you about Chinatown, the pearls dad bought mum. Nup.

On second thoughts, I’d better not because, well, you know loos.
They tend to flush things down for good. Yep, ones…and pearls…and twos.
I told mum I was sorry. I told dad I would pay.
He said he’d send me down the mines and that I’d better pray

to the highest, farthest skies for that most sinful, bad ablution.
I’m stuck on this one, Grannie, too, what is self flagellation?
Mum, she called for timeout, to have a bit of peace
and dad he let us sing ‘Khe Sanh’ and eat hot chips with grease.

Mum she rode a camel to the sunset, wild and free
and when she’d done that, came back home and cooked us all s’getti.
My time is up. I’ve done my dash. One postcard’s not enough.
Mum says she’ll hand deliver it and I’ve just called her… bluff?

So in the nearest future Gran, expect your daughter home
and just one final question, you get snow in Greenland, no?

A little something to remind us how fabulous our imaginations are. And there’s plenty of onomatopoeia in this one, which I love - words which imitate the sound or actions they refer to, like slurp, slosh, thump and clonk!

Captain Roast and Custard

He picked a paddle up and ploughed through
wild pulsating seas
of gravy lapping round the chicken,
nudging floating peas.
He rowed, a mighty sailing man;
he fought the pumpkin tide,
cascading, bumping, chunky thumping,
taken in his stride.

He stabbed the mighty army built of
string beans slapped together,
separating one from t’other;
fierce work in this weather.
His ship he kept it undulating,
crashing through sharp peaks
of blister bursting hot potatoes,
white hot crispy cheeks.

He wound his way through rounded buoys
all orange luminous,
guiding smooth his paddles through these
carrot markers thus.
He launched himself upon the turnip,
pummelling it down.
He kicked gargantuan Brussels sprouts
and mashed them with a frown.

This mighty vegie ocean was a force
which to him beckoned.
Yet here was he, the captain grand,
and wicked cool, he reckoned.
And when he’d licked the lastest slurp
of gravy from the shore,
he peered up to his mum and dad
and begged, ‘Can I have more?’

But they were busy, both of them,
caught in some reverie.
So he was stuck, this captain,
on an empty plate of sea.
His dad was itemising peas,
and commandeering staff,
arranging them in munches,
united on one path.

His mum was planning jogging routes
for local parks and streets,
dividing and reorganising
paths of roasted beets.
And then there was his sister,
chatting amidst roars
to green broad beans and chicken chunks,
soon gobbled dinosaurs.

And so he sat there watching as
a captain does the ocean,
staring at his family, these
stories all in motion.
And when the four of them were done,
with every plate licked shiny,
he knew that if main course was fun,
then next, dessert? Cor blimey!

And sure enough his custard pools were
giant water slides,
his sister bathed her pears and sent them
off to beddy-byes.
His dad inspired employees all
with zippy slurpy sounds.
His mum inspired the whole electorate
handing peaches round.

Or maybe he invented this?
Maybe they just ate?
But maybe, maybe, maybe,
maybe, wouldn’t it be great,
if all this stuff was going on
instead of simply dinner
and they were all on grand adventures...
What a total winner!

Oh well, he thought, maybe just me,
I’m Captain Roast and Custard
and maybe they would laugh at me
and I would be quite busted.
Yet as his Dad told a bedtime story
‘bout a boss called ‘Thunder’
who led his tribe through wilderness
the boy, he thought, I wonder...?

Whenever my family and I take long drives, we see who can invent the quirkiest dinosaur names. There’s nothing like wordplay and punning to inspire invention and imagination. My favourite’s definitely the ironorasaurous. Yours?

In the Olden Days (when there were dinosaurs)

She’s sitting with her block tower
and buildings, shops and parks
and I asked her more on her design -
this plastic landscape art.

‘It’s Karratha in the olden days,
a long, long time ago,
last year, when there were dinosaurs’
(She’s four, so she should know).

And so, we two got talking of
which dinosaurs these were
and out spewed forth a litany
which soon became a blur.

Well, first, the saltosaurus
spraying salt into the air
and then myfeetarsaurus,
sick of walking everywhere.

Then there was the longest one
which wound through Pilbara miles;
Its name was ironorasaurus,
munching huge dirt piles.

It was from a larger group
who roamed the land to dig,
‘explorasauruses’ they were
with jaws and teeth quite big.

There was the one who tried to run
away from school and hide,
busted by the teachasaurus;
that dinted its pride.

The one who went out fishing on his
boat where hot sun passes.
His name it was eyesorous
and he should have worn sunglasses

Then there was that funny one,
liked hanging down from trees -
really not good for the knees.

He played with mates down in the park
upon their friend, that’s right
young Seesaurus sprang up and down,
liked giving them a fright.

And then they’d take their bikes and boards
to that new ramp in town
and hang out with skateboardasaurus,
whizzing up and down.

Always so much stuff to do
until each dinner time,
like playing hide and seek
‘til mummysaurus every time.

The toddler dinosaurs did not like
trundling off to bed.
‘onemoreasauruses, they all liked
story time instead.

In the night they’d listen to the
loudest dinosaur -
a daddy snorasaurus,
nostrils flaring through the floor.

Both day and night beasts flew about
and landed near the bay
with tails of red and white they flew
in Soarasaurus play

Some dinosaurs you’d say were always
questioning their parents.
Defiant, the whatforausour?
just whined in gushing torrents.

Meanwhile, those arty dinosaurs
in Cossack had much flair.
Decorasauruses they painted
pictures everywhere.

Dinosaurs with swine flu said
‘the doctorsaurus saw us’,
but whinging ones were banished off to the

There also was a bunch who loved
that metal music, LOUD!
They were called hardcorasauruses,
a crazy crowd.

Of course, there was a tamer group of
singing dinosaurs -
the dinosauruschorus loved to
dabble with old scores.

Well darling, I retrieved her from her
Lengthy explanation,
Karratha in the olden days
seemed a dinosaur’s vacation.

Where did you ever get these names?
These beasts from olden day?
I thought kids aged just four liked having
tea parties? No way!

The little girl just pierced me with
the wisdom of old eyes
and pulled out my most treasured book
so old and very wise.

Mummy, here, your dinosaur,
the book with all their names.
I read its cover carefully,
‘Thesaurus’…that explains.

We all like a new car. Or maybe any car for that matter. My dream car is still a 1989 Corolla Seca. day. If you're going to dream, dream LARGE!

Little Big Dwiving Dweams


When me grows up me wants to dwive
a firetwuck what’s wed
wif a honking horn and the hugest hose
to spway my garden shed.
I’ll polish it wif turtles and the
wax you get fwom them.
I don’t know where they keep their wax
but I’ll just have to ask ‘em.


When I gwow up oi’d lok to droive
a mini mowwis minor
because I’m small (I’m only foive)
there would be nofing foiner.
Oi’d wiz awound the park outsoide
my house and do some donuts
and coz’ I’m small oi’d hoide behoind the
wheel fwom all the gwowups


When I’m a big girl I will drive
a soft top black Mercedes
and I won’t pick my nose at all,
just poke it up at ladies.
I’ll drive it to my boyfriend’s house,
but, hang on, boys are yucky,
so, no, I’ll drive right past him
and I’ll splash him if I’m lucky.


When I grow up I’m gonna buy
a big old station wagon
just like me Dad who said they are
the bestest ones to shaggin.
is shaggin just like cleanin’ Dad?
'cause you help Mum a lot
with shaggin or with cleanin’ son?
ahh…I don’t know? I forgot?
(I really truly am confused
So, when I buy my car
I’ll clean it and I’ll shaggin it
on lawn and dirt and tar.)


When I grow up I’m going to be
the very fastest ambo,
say things like, ‘Move away now folks!’
and save the day like Rambo.
Except that white’s a boring colour
an ambulance must shine.
So I will paint mine polka dotted
purple, pink and lime.

Little Patty

My Dad he drives a sports car
and the back seat’s built for zero
so it gets hot on long, long drives
but he thinks he’s a hero.
Mum says he’s had a crisis
but I don’t know what that means,
I just know it’s a stupid car
although it’s red and gleams,
so, when I get old, about eighteen,
I’m going to drive a bus
so I don’t get all squished up
in the back with five of us.
For I’m the littlest, in the corner,
Jack and Max both smell
and Ruthie’s eight and sweats a lot
and Tom, well, he’s always spewing up carrots and jelly which is so gross and repulsive and really utterly horrid, you know.


When I grow up I’m gunna drive
a train that’s really long
because I’m always losing things
like just now, my left thong.
Much bigger than my Leggo trains
like the ones in the red north west,
a hundred carriages all linked up -
more like a billion I guess!
When I lose stuff my mum goes nuts
and things go bang and clatter
but if I lost a carriage or ten
it really wouldn’t matter!


When I grow up, I’m going to buy
a ute and a harmonica
and sing and drive out all the way
to sunny Pannawonica.
From there I’ll trade my ute right in
and buy a special truck
I know exactly just the one,
which’ll wait for me, half my luck.
It sits just on the roadside
and no one seems to care.
They drive right past each day and I think
that one’s mine, wait there.
It’s just a little big for me,
about two storeys high
In fact it’s got these tyres that touch
the bottom of the sky.
But I love it coz it’s cute and in my
very favourite colour
The brightest yellow, but I’d love it still
if it were duller.
When I sit on the driver’s seat
and tootle past the shops
I’ll wave to all my friends below
and even to the cops
who won’t give me a ticket
’cause the windscreen’s way too high
to check the registration
‘specially if I start to cry.
I’ll drive my kids to school in it
when they are my age now
and park it in my front yard
so the neighbours go, ‘Oh wow!’
When I grow up and drive to
Pannawonica one day
to trade in the old ute
for my dream vehicle, I’d say
200 tonnes of haulpak truck
will suit me very nicely.
I’ve got five dollars saved right now,
but, um…are haulpaks pricey?

And now for the tail [fully sick] of a prepubescent pet. 

Wally’s First Day at School

Wittle Wally waltzed awong the
wittle winding woad.
He weed upon the wildflowers
which caught the sun and gwowed.
His owner whistled wight beside
and watched as Wally wandered
aww the way to doggie school
on Wed-nes-day and wondered,

Jolly Wally what gweat skills
will you weveal today?
Well, wittle Wally’s ears pwicked up
as he heard master say:
‘Maybe you will sit or stand
or maybe you’ll woll over
or maybe you will find a fwiend
named Woofy, Wex or Wover.’

Wittle Wally couldn’t wait
to see what he’d do either.
he dwibbled with excitement
and he wouldn’t take a bweather,
bursting and a’wond’wing ‘bout
his vewy first school day.
He felt a wittle dwunk with joy
and couldn’t wait to pway.

Well, when they weached the oval where the
doggy school was wun,
wittle Wally widdled one last time
out in the sun.
He saw, aw, twenty doggies with their
owners all out there
and wiggle-wagged his wittle tail
just thwilled beyond compare.

He couldn’t wait to intwoduce himself
and wight away.
He pulled his master by the lead
and wouldn’t sit or stay.
But just befowe our Wally
had the chance to wace wight over
to intwoduce himself to dogs named
Woofer, Wex and Wover,

a whistle bwew which pwicked up Wally’s
ears and made him wince.
‘Twas all eyes on the twainer
and his tummy felt like mince.
Ok, I am a wittle nervous,
thought our wovely Wally.
But hey, I am a fwiendly chap,
I’m sure they’ll wike me, golly.

He watched as all the doggies
with their masters gathered wound
and made a gweat big circle
and all sat upon the gwound
and as he joined in with the west
he saw, just two dogs down,
a pwetty pomewanian
weawing such a fwown.

She had a wittle wibbon wound her
soft and fwuffy mane,
but looked like she was cwying
and her nose shone with the stwain.
She seemed to be oh so forworn,
with what he couldn’t guess.
Her master wooked quite happy
but, well, she wooked quite a mess.

As they sat and wistened Wally
weaned acwoss right then.
He winked his eye and whispered
to the pomewanian.
‘Hewwo pomewanian
and how are you today?
You wook a wittle sad
as if you do not want to pway.

‘Can I be so bold as if
to ask you what is wong?
You are so vewy pwetty
with your wibbon pink and wong.
I noticed you were teawy
and I’d weally like to help-’
But suddenly, a snarl, a growl,
a bark, a wincing ‘YELP!

The dog between the two of them
was towering over Wally -
a wotten wooking wottweiler’d
have none of Wally’s folly.
His eyes were wild and cwazy
and our Wally he spwang back,
put two and two together
in this thundewing attack.

The pwetty pomewanian
was fwozen to the spot.
Her wild wottweiler boyfriend
weally seemed to have forgot
that manners weally make the dog
(they say at doggie school)
and pouncing on a dog who likes your
girlfwiend isn’t cool!

So Wally made a gawwant stance
and stood up to that woofer.
‘Carm on, bwing it on I say,
you bully headed doofer.’
Wittle Wally wondered if he’d
weally made a blunder
with the war he’d waged against
that dog he now stood under,

but Wally thought of wibbon girl
and, chest puffed out, perspiwing,
he barked the bark to end all barks
which was quite awe-inspiwing.
‘Look!’ he barked, ‘You mean old dog,
you make your girlfwiend cwy.
There’s snot upon her wittle nose
and tears come from her eyes.’

Wottweiler wooked at Wally,
as did wibbon girl.
Dumbfounded were the two of them
as insults Wally hurled.
‘I’m not her boyfwiend, toyboy!’
‘Oh my, no!’ she wepwied.
‘Then what the?’ quizzed Wally,
who so warely was tongue-tied.

As it turned out, funnily
(oh ha ha ha, woofs Wal),
the old wottweiler simply wanted
quiet, how banal.
He’d wanted just to wisten
to the twainer’s words so wise,
instead he got some toydog’s
whispers suddenly awise

and as for cutsie pomewanian
she had the fwu,
a snotty nose, conjunctivitis -
you’d look wubbish too!
With that all settled, finally,
the thwee of them were chums
who wearnt to stand up on command
and sit back on their bums.

They were a happy wittle gang,
albeit odd I know,
and evwybody woved those thwee
and watched their fwiendship gwow.
But if ever at doggie school
a bully came their way,
‘twas Wally, bwavest of them all,
whose WOOF! would save the day.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Money's on MasterChef

So, it's time! And it's been a long time coming. The final chop for the final two MasterChef Australia contestants, Adam and Callum. And the biggest question of the day is not who will win, but who gives a stuff about the election debate between Jules and Tony on the other channel. I'm in WA too, which means that not only is the election debate set to come a poor sorry second (or 17th) in viewer ratings numbers, but that here, with our time difference with the eastern states, it's on at 5pm.

5pm on a lazy Sunday afternoon? A fine, sunny, 26 degree Pilbara day? Watching two dullards fight the fight for the battle of the boring?

I think I'll be in the kitchen, whipping myself into a frenzy of eggplant, pear and prosciutto pizza and preparing the champagne cocktails for the drawn out MasterChef spectacle about to ensue. And it will ensue and it will be drawn out and drip with drama and bleeding phalanges and dollops of Callum's oily, pubescent sweat.

And I will love it.

So, bring it on.

Adam, Callum and not Claire
My money's on Julia Gillard nipping off quick smart after her droll altercation with Mr Um...Ah...Abbott and finding herself a little tele of her own in which to indulge in the real main course of this evening's entertainment fare.

And she'll be, like, uh, GO MARION! MOVE FORWARD! 

So, to my poem of the moment. It's Julia, it's Tony, it's Matt Preston in a green and gold sparkly cravat, it's the vibe. It's the great debate, with cameos from the esteemed Laurie Oakes, Kevin Rudd and an auspiciously suspicious pair of budgie smugglers.

Wonder what they're like grilled?

He said, she said
He said he liked Twitter
and speaking in Chinese.
She said she supported him
(like dogs support their fleas).

He said she was on his side.
She said that as well,
right up until smoko
and although she’d never spill,

she said that she wouldn’t.
Then she went and did.
Then when Laurie Oakes piped up she
Current PM, Julia Gillard,
Captain of the Red Team
went and shut her lid.

He said that he wouldn’t                                                 
shy away from questions.
She said, ‘I am speechless
I have nothing more to mention.’

He said, ‘Back to Tony,
the matter of the day?’
She said, ‘Least I’ve shared too little;
what about him, hey?

‘He said that he wouldn’t.
Then he went and stripped -
swam out with his budgie smugglers
Laurie Oakes, ball breaking,
boss busting journo.
in the tidal rip.’

She said, ‘He got carried,
carried right away,
or maybe, well, he should have done
to stop that flesh display.’

Laurie said, ‘I’m Laurie Oakes
and this is all deflection,
then said, ‘Tell us, what of Tony
in this dull election?’

She said her election
would make sure Abbot loses,
for he said, she likes flirting with him.
She can take his bruises.

But Abbott said she’s sneaky
with blood upon her knife and
she thinks he’s a sexy thing,
Vote 1 Marion Grasby from MasterChef!
a truth that Tony likes.

She said, ‘We should both debate
The issues here at hand.’
Tone said, ‘Yep, too right we should.’
She said, ‘What’s the plan?’

He said, ‘Well, a nailbiter.’
She said, ‘Sunday night?
I’m still voting for Marion
for MasterChef, all right?!’

He said, ‘You don’t cook!’
She said, ‘Helps digestion.’
He said, ‘What? A croquembuche?
You fancy that Matt Preston!’

She said, ‘Hah! Ridiculous.'
He said, ‘Let’s move on.’
She said, ‘Let’s move FORWARD.
I think you got it wrong.’

She said, ‘My hair’s better.’
He said, ‘Mine’s more fluffy’.
She said, ‘I’m Altona bred
and you’ve become quite stuffy.’

He said, ‘My voice resonates.
It’s...ah...sort of...more refined.
She said, ‘Mine’s the people’s voice,
it’s Kath, it’s Kim, it’strine.

He said, ‘You’re a heathen.’
She said, ‘Thank the Lord.
You’re a bible basher
Before dirty Julia, there was dirty Tony,
who did the deed on not so fabulous
Malcolm. tsk tsk.
but your scriptures haven’t scored.’

He said, ‘I believe in stuff.’
She said, ‘Tell me what?’
He said, ‘Better stuff than you.’
She said, ‘Bloody rot.’

He said, ‘Why should I tell you,
you’re not the real PM?’
She said, uh, try deja vu,
you’re Malcolm Turnbull, then?

He, he blushed a little,
to match Ms Gillard’s hair.
She thought she’d one up on him
and gave her bestest glare.

He said, ‘It’s irrelevant,
you’re Welsh, what can I say?’
She said, ‘You’re a Londoner,
you drongo.’ Ah…touché.

He said, ‘Oh, you’re right.’
She said, ‘Yes I am.’
And off they sailed in a sinking boat
from dear Van Diemen’s Land.
Tony and the budgie smugglers.
A little underdone.

He said, ‘We are sailing.’
‘She said, ‘Far away’.
He said, ‘Will they miss us?’
She said…’Can’t quite say.’

He said, ‘This boat’s sinking.’
She said, ‘Better row.’
He said, ‘Glad I bought my Speedos.’
She said, ‘Bright red? No!’

And as they were drowning
all was left to see:
two small dots of crimson
sinking in the sea.

She said, ‘I am sorry.
Appears we’re off to Heaven.’
He just smirked, his parting words,
‘Looks like we’re back to Kevin.’

Elise Batchelor July 2010

Mini MasterChef

Adam, Callum and not Claire

Photo: Pilbara Poet in MasterChef apron courtesy Leonie Palmer