Gabe Feathers McGee

poetry, stories, puffnstuff

Penguin Cafe Orchestra


I hate to be a pushy penguin, but you have to listen to this video 😉


‘In 1972 I was in the south of France. I had eaten some bad fish and was in consequence rather ill. As I lay in bed I had a strange recurring vision, there, before me, was a concrete building like a hotel or council block. I could see into the rooms, each of which was continually scanned by an electronic eye. In the rooms were people, everyone of them preoccupied. In one room a person was looking into a mirror and in another a couple were making love but lovelessly, in a third a composer was listening to music through earphones. Around him there were banks of electronic equipment. But all was silence. Like everyone in his place he had been neutralized, made grey and anonymous. The scene was for me one of ordered desolation. It was as if I were looking into a place which had no heart. Next day when I felt better, I was on the beach sunbathing and suddenly a poem popped into my head. It started out ‘I am the proprietor of the Penguin Cafe, I will tell you things at random’ and it went on about how the quality of randomness, spontaneity, surprise, unexpectedness and irrationality in our lives is a very precious thing. And if you suppress that to have a nice orderly life, you kill off what’s most important. Whereas in the Penguin Cafe your unconscious can just be. It’s acceptable there, and that’s how everybody is. There is an acceptance there that has to do with living the present with no fear in ourselves.’

Quoted from composer and brainchild of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra Simon Jeffes.

You can find out more about the orchestra from the Penguin Cafe Orchestra website here.

I love the backstory to the making of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra -an inspiring way to create 🙂

The Flight of the Penguin


On land the penguin reminds us
of the portly Hercule Poirot,
quick little bird steps and jerky
body roll, in black and white.

Ungainly chubby shuffle,
wings flare with a scare,
squawking and screeching
squabbling and beseeching,

like a malodorous kindergarten,
(that’s being polite)
of flamboyant youngsters,
who haven’t washed for a while.

But the sea is where they shine,
‘better out than in’ – not for a penguin.
Who said they cannot fly?
In the chilled deep they soar.

They belly glide on an ice slide,
launching into an azure slushy
that would restart an arrested heart,
graceful arc and near silent entry

into the dark blue big easy
(marine milieu connoisseur).
Consummate deep diving pro
with the ultimate gear to go:

flipper wings and slickest body,
heavy diver’s weight belt bones,
waterproof suit and insulating blubber,
paddle-like feet to propel.

Born to be seaborne flying
and dining on the tastiest krill,
fresh fish, and succulent squid,
and all of these perfectly chilled.

Penguin Parenting (The Egg)


Pass me our treasure, dearest one,
he said, manoeuvring the egg
to rest upon his feet
to be covered with thick blubber,
blanketed with white feathers.

What a precious and fine egg it is,
my sweet – the House of Fabergé
would be sending a search party,
if they only knew
we were charged with such a jewel.

Now cherished one,
be gone
to the deep waters of the ocean
to feed as in your wildest dreams.
Our sequestered chick is safe.

I will turn my back
to agonising winds that threaten to excise me
from this icy landscape
cruellest terrain, a place of waiting
for love to return.

I will protect our future.

Be gone,
feed your body and spirit
as you will need the strength
and soon we will raise our chick
together, in this frozen world.


Note: The male penguin incubates the egg for months while the female has an extended feeding session in the ocean. She comes back when the chick has hatched and looks after the chick while the very hungry male (who hasn’t eaten for months) goes off to feed. When he gets back, they both raise the chick, keeping it warm and feeding regurgitated seafood. Sounds very progressive to me!

Note: image from Microsoft Office (Images and More)

🎇Happy New Year 2017🎆


2016 was one of those mixed years of highs and lows! 😁😭

I began my PhD in psychology and finished my first study which was published in a peer reviewed journal. I have almost finished my second study. Two years to go, if all goes well #yikes

I did two short online statistics courses to help me analyse my data #ouch

Andy the Great had a heart attack which nearly killed him early in the year, but survived and as is now a non-smoker, a healthy eater, a cardio walker and a gym junkie. In fact, I have a brand new husband – better than ever – so the heart attack turned into a blessing. He has inspired us all with his cardiac rehabilitation, and is the star of his heart support group – they even recently got him to do a pep talk to the whole group 😎

There were untimely deaths for several people I knew. A suicide from a young relative with mental health issues; a car accident resulting in the death of a lovely girl I went to school with 😦 #tragic

There were illnesses for grandparents on both sides.

There was overseas travel for myself and my son – an ancient history study tour of Greece and Italy – much knowledge was acquired, much fun was had, and a great quantity of food was eaten 🙂🍕

A school year came and went quite successfully for all involved.

The duck apocalypse came under control – now we only have 9 girl Muscovy ducks (down from over 30).

The cows, goats, and alpacas are healthy and content.

Molly and Sheba, the labradoodle dandy dogs, are as spoiled as ever.

David Bowie died 😭

I could go on …

I’m happy it’s 2017 😀

Big hugs to you all in the blogosphere 😍

The Architecture of Water – Book Release Day

The Architecture Of Water, a collection of poetry written and compiled by the late and great Brisbane poet Paul Squires, is now available for purchase.


The Architecture Of Water, a collection of poetry written and compiled by the late and great Brisbane poet Paul Squires, is now available for purchase.


Paul originally submitted this manuscript to the judges of the 2010 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize for an Unpublished Manuscript; the prize, had he been successful, $3000 and a publishing contract with University of Queensland Press. Sadly, Paul died a few weeks after submitting it, but not before indicating that he would like to self-publish it (or possibly an alternate version) if it proved unsuccessful with the judges.

For the many of us who were touched by the beauty and intelligence of Paul’s work, and by his generosity of spirit, The Architecture Of Water will be an essential purchase and the truth of this will be self-evident. For those who are newcomers you might be asking, “Why should I buy this book, and…

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Happy Christmas😍


To everyone in the blogosphere,

🎄 Wishing you all a happy Christmas 🎄

Gabe Feathers McGee

Frog in a Bromeliad


petite pond
sequestered deep
within a robust plant
bromeliad embrace
cool refuge for a fragile frog


Song of the Cicada

Some creatures sing until they die,
the cicada being one

blase insect
indifferent to fate

singing is what matters
to the cicada

to live life crooning
among the strawberries
in spring
then chanting in the summer,
resonating through the heatwaves

reverberating in the garden forest
like the wind on the sea in a shell

one is joined by many
and a choir of cicadas
roar their pleasure

feel their song
vibrate to the centre of your being


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