The Kangaroo Collective

kangaroo collective

The Kangaroo Collective

Motionless Eastern Grey mob
of kangaroos,
frozen with fear,
landscape gardening statues,
twitching ears
the only clue to life,
rotating at seemingly 360 degrees
like a periscope
trying to shake off the sea,
ever alert to the slightest whisper of danger.

Adrenaline overdose,
fight or flight.

Like a tightly wound spring that uncoils in an instant, one flees,

the agoraphobic escapes the shopping centre.

A sudden thumping alarm,
set off by the bolter,
catapults the mob outwards.

There is no synchrony
like a flock of parrots flying kites in the sky.

The kangaroo collective
mindlessly explodes in all directions,
erratic zigzagging across the plains,
confusing predators with

Muscles of leg and tail store energy
like the springs of a pogo stick.
Elastic storage of hopping energy
in tendons, released into
effortless bounding motion.

Large muscular males
traverse the ground
at speed
with powerful hind legs

Females, most weighted down
with joey-filled pouches
– not so fast.

Out-of-pouch youngsters
struggle to keep up with their mothers.

Instinct has kicked in
the brain of the mammal takes a back seat.

One kangaroo apart from the collective
hops into the path

of traffic

– Collected –

instant death

Beauty in motion, motionless corpse.

A crow’s meal lays waiting.

The mob reforms
to graze again.

kangaroo woodgate


The Maestro

concert black tuxedo with tails, perfect attire,
baton hand for grammar (tempo, dynamics,
articulation) and the other hand guides poetry,

true ear for sound and eye for detail,
both slave and master of the composition –
favouring and fighting the arrangement,

shaping the sound of the ensemble,
crescendo, diminuendo, staccato, legato,
nuances of phrasing and expression,

dramatic language of the body for dialogue
between conductor and musicians,
cueing entrances with gesture or look,

he is leader but they are one, in group vulnerability,
a shoal of fish, morphing in concert
with fear feeding the energy of the form,

but the maestro stamps his signature to the performance,
standing naked to the spectators,
exposed yet ecstatic with the truth.


‘The art of conducting requires a longer learning process than almost any other human activity, and most of it is done whilst feeling you have no clothes on!’

‘In a nutshell, the baton hand is for the grammar and the other is for the poetry of the music.’

quotes by Peter Stark

Note: This is a poem in my sensory professions series – I have done the perfumer, the artist (a poem with fishy fish), the artist (a poem with fleurs), the sculptor, the floral artist, the wine connoisseur and the baker.

Recipe for Benedicte’s Rainbow Chicken


rainbow chicken dancing
skinny legs are prancing
fluoro feathers trancing
coloured stars are blazing
spiffy comb amazing
green-eyed monster crazing
tail feathers shaking
tough beak bellyaching
cutely wings are quaking
the artistic way


This wonderful picture is by French speaking Canadian artist Benedicte Delachanal, who blogs at Carnet De Dessins.


He’s nearly 15 and shaving now 😍😁



and there you were,

soft, black haired baby with closed eyes, opening mine,
curled up lump of sweet smelling newness, sleeping miracle
swaddled to recreate the womb that you relinquished, sadly I am sure,
for what a perfect world in utero, with that heartbeat rhythm and maternal waltz,
we danced, you and me, and the dance will continue, in the fresh air of a new world,
spinning on its head, in an ungainly but glorious departure from what was, the sun sets
in the west, a dali-esque timepiece melts in the distance, but rising in the east,
a sunflower dazzle,





We know Migaloo.

We’ve seen him on the TV
on his trip each year.
Awesome sight
white whale.

Migaloo migrates
south to north
north to south
coast completed
land vibrates from his heart beating
feeding, breeding
like he has time on his hands
in Hervey Bay.

Safe place for humpback whales
tranquil waters
sheltered by K’gari
largest sand island
away from whale hunters
so called researchers
far from Orca
who would rip his succulent tongue out.

white fella
we keep the tourist boats far from you
nothing must hurt Migaloo.

We know you.


Migaloo was published in the July edition (2010) Speedpoets magazine (Vol 9.4)

Note: They believe that Migaloo may have fathered two albino calves (photos and story here) 😍 #yay

NudderNote: Migaloo is an Aboriginal name meaning white fella. Migaloo the whale is a completely white humpback that can be seen in the annual humpback whale migration along the Eastern coast of Australia.