Miss Murtle the Turtle (Fortnight of Funnies)

Miss Murtle the Turtle (Fortnight of Funnies)

Poem by Helen Ross

Miss Helen

Miss Murtle the Turtle

A cute little turtle
Named Miss Murtle
Loved to sit and knit

She knitted a lot
But no matter what
Nothing seemed to fit

A hat for Rose
Ended over her nose
Then she knitted a jumper for Steve

Its colour was bright
The neck too tight
And his left arm didn’t fit the sleeve

A pair of socks
For Rox, the fox
Were too long and far too wide

And some mittens
For two cuddly kittens
Were big enough to hide inside

Then a scarf
Caused a laugh
As it turned out too small to wear

But Murtle just smiled
Like a naughty child
And put it in her friend’s hair

Though never furious
Murtle was curious
To discover why nothing would fit

So she asked a friend
On whom she could depend
To sit and watch her knit

But her friend, Irena
Laughed like a hyena
She thought Murtle was being a clown

For little Miss Murtle
The cute little turtle
Was reading the pattern book upside down


Helen Ross is a talented ‘Brisbane-based published children’s author, an award winning children’s poet, freelance writer-photographer, and blogger.’

Her new releases include:

Bubble Gum Trouble and Other Giggle Poems


10 Yellow Bananas


She loves to visit schools around Australia and conducts ‘giggle poetry workshops’ 😉

The kids call her Miss Helen.

You can find out more about Miss Helen over here.

Thanks Helen for your lovely giggly poem 🙂


Citrus Fiesta (beeblue)

Citrus Fiesta (beeblue)

naughty lemon by bb


I thought it really quite absurd
(and way too weird) when I heard
the 70s band Hot Chocolate sing
about the very strangest thing –
wild lemony love in Cadillacs,
the joys of lemons in the sack!

One day it dawned it wasn’t ‘lemons’
of which they sung, but rather ‘heaven’s’
and so the song proved less obscene,
and my mishearing, a Mondegreen


Original lyrics here – http://www.mp3lyrics.org/h/hot-chocolate/heaven-is-n-the-back-seat-of-my-cadillac/


Poet and blogger beeblue has presented me with a mondegreen citrus poem and picture – haha – which fits in nicely with a previous blog post.

Thanks beeblue 🙂


Guest Blogger – Mark William Jackson

Guest Blogger – Mark William Jackson

Mark William Jackson

Today I would like to introduce you to fellow blogger Mark William Jackson from Sydney, Australia. Mark’s blog showcases his unique style of poetry, but also short stories, reviews, art, and photography. Some of his posts can also be found lurking at the Overland literary journal.

He has publicly struggled with the addictive nature of blogging, but is currently off the wagon and well into imbibing of the blog juice 🙂 so I thought it was as good a moment as any to ask him a couple of questions.

Why do you blog?

I’ve been scribbling sporadically for 20 years. Throughout this time I’d write some poems, send one to an editor, receive a rejection and give up for a few years. I started my blog in 2009, firstly on blogger (now I think it’s called blogspot), then I migrated to wordpress. Initially it was just another phase in the sporadic writing cycle, but then I started receiving comments – for the first time people outside of my immediate family were reading my poetry. It was exhilarating (and addictive). It was this encouragement that gave me the drive to keep going, helped me to handle the rejections and work on my development.

What do you like best about blogging?

I have a relatively well documented love/hate relationship with my blog. I have built it up and broken it down three or four times now. Once it starts ‘rolling’ I find myself drawn into it too much, I become blinkered to all else and the tool becomes the product. And yet, when I’m not actively blogging I feel a lack of connection.

I like the interaction with other writers, the back and forth feedback, suggestions and interpretations of my work that I had never considered.

I like the blog to serve as a central online repository, a place where, if people are interested in my work, they can look through previously published poems, links to where I am currently being published and works created exclusively for the blog.


Thanks Mark 🙂

Guest blogger – The Querulous Squirrel

Guest blogger – The Querulous Squirrel

The Querulous Squirrel

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my all time favourite bloggers who I go way back with in the blogosphere – The Querulous Squirrel – a writer in the USA who is, and I quote myself:

‘An intriguing little fluffball this one. A critter not to be messed with. So many dark and dangerous traps to be found in her neck of the woods. This little squirrel madly gathers little nuggets of delight from all around, hides them in assorted places, and retrieves them when she needs to create a delectable feast of flash fiction.’

The squirrel has branched out since I described her way back then and she now blogs a varied selection of non-fiction stories (including familial stories about the holocaust), along with her fantastic flash fiction (she is queen flash fictioneer), and regular updates on the Japanese nuclear disaster and nuclear issues in general. I would describe her writing as thought provoking, entertaining, often dark but never dull.

I asked the squirrel a couple of questions before she goes into her annual hibernation 😉 :

Why do you blog?

I blog as second best to being a really, successful published writer which had always been my goal. I am learning as I get old to settle for less and that doesn’t mean giving up on your hopes altogether, as long as it is enjoyable

What do you love most about blogging?

What I love most is the interaction with fellow bloggers. I also like that I can change my tone, depending on my mood: short flash fiction sometimes and serious essays about nuclear disasters at other times – all things I care about.


Thanks squirrel – have some nuts and a good sleep (and keep on blogging)

ps. You must take the squirrel seriously – she has the license to practice:

Writer’s License to Practice

All material covered under Massachusetts Poetic and Fictioneers’ License #007,
a subsidiary of the Intergalactic Poetic and Fictioneers’ Union.
(The Querulous Squirrel)

Guest Blogger – Val B Russell

Guest Blogger – Val B Russell

Today, I am guest posting Canadian writer and poet Val B Russell who blogs ferociously at Words.

There is not a blogger like Val. She has led the most extraordinary life and shares snippets of her reality with us via her poetry, prose, ‘diatribes’ (to quote herself) and photography. She is brutally honest, wise, and talented plus she can make you laugh yourself silly.

She is also a writer in need of an agent and publisher – that’s a heads up for any talent scouts out there after a gritty memoir.

Val has kindly allowed me to reproduce her poem:


You cannot gain distance
on the road
with the ball and chain
of wants
of another
You cannot make it from here to there
on the road
carrying the burden of a self made cripple
who envies
your strength
You cannot brace yourself
on the road
against the cold wind of envy
from the storm
in another heart
Sometimes the only method
on the road
is to remain unfettered
and travel in peace as a solitary soul

written by V B Russell


To find out more about Val the blogger, I pitched a couple of questions her way:

Why do you blog?

I started blogging as a way of putting my shingle out as a writer looking for a career.  I’d been away from it for a while and my writing credits and clips were so old they qualified as museum artefacts.  I also felt that blogging would ease me into a daily writing routine and discipline my errant ways.  It worked.

I write everyday and I feel my focus is clearer and my work cleaner than if I’d just cloistered myself away without the input of others, which segues nicely into the most important reason for my blogging: other writers.  There is no resource more important for any artist, than the company of their peers.  To begin any project is daunting for a writer and the self doubt can kill a story before it gets from your head to the paper/screen, therefore it is so important to commiserate with others who share the unique summits and valleys inherent in this profession.

If it weren’t for the other writers I’ve met through my blog, I don’t believe I would have advanced this far on the road to my ultimate goal of supporting myself full-time with my words.  I can never say thank you often enough for the encouragement and honest critiques I’ve received from everyone, in addition to the verbal jousting matches we writers are known for and which keep us on our toes intellectually.

What do you like best about blogging?

It is immediate.  If I write something, I can know if it is utter crap within a matter of hours because the silence in the comment section is deafening.  I have saved myself a lot of time and effort by using the blog as a testing ground for plot lines, character development and of course poetry.  It is planet sized classroom, packed to the rafters with people from everywhere and sometimes they stroll by and stop to drop in their two cents, or they read and leave.

As an artist, it’s priceless to have that sort of access and for your work to reach such an incredible number of souls from all walks of life and cultures.  It is an unbelievable gift our generation is enjoying, exploring and expanding.  It is probably akin to how writers felt when the printing press was invented; we are liberated by the technology.  This technology has allowed me the privilege of being a guest on your blog Gabrielle and the opportunity to connect with you and the other spectacular writers and human beings who teach me what it means to be an artist.


Thanks Val!

Top 50 Aussie Writing Blogs

Top 50 Aussie Writing Blogs

Ha! Just found out that I’m 51 in Jonathon Crossfield’s ranked list of Top Australian Writing Blogs – so just missed out on the top 50. Don’t know whether this is a good or a bad thing.

The formula for ranking these blogs comes from the three most commmonly used methods of blog tracking; Technorati, Google PageRank and Alexa rankings.

I’m very happy to see my mate Squires at number 16 – his blog gingatao is right up there even though he has morphed into another dimension (probably an angel but we can’t rule out frogs, wombats or honeyeaters). I still like to visit gingatao and hope the blog never disappears, but nothing in this life is guaranteed – I know that much.

Guest Blogger – Stafford Ray

Guest Blogger – Stafford Ray

Today, I am guest posting an Australian blogger Stafford Ray.

Stafford Ray (not his real name) lives on a huge old yacht on the Sunshine Coast (Queensland, Australia) about 2 hours south of where I live. His blog covers limericks and other funny poems, political satire, plays and short stories, as well as humerous posts about his earlier life as a professional musician in Sydney clubs and TV studios (he notes that he had fifteen minutes of fame with the Daly Wilson Big Band).

Here is one of Stafford’s poems about the classic Volkswagon – one of my favourite cars of all time (Aussie’s have been known to call them DakDaks ’cause of the sound the engine makes on the older syle VW).


Icon; Near gone.

Tok Tok Dakka dakka Put-put Put-put,
Tok tok dakka dakka put!

Hear the clatter of a Vee Dub Vee Dub,
With the donkey in the back!

Now the engine’s in the front-front front-front
Water cooled and full of grunt;

Changed forever is the sound-sound sound-sound,
Never more the ears astound!

Sounds like every other car-car car-car,
What a shame they went that far!

Tok Tok Dakka dakka Put-put Put-put
Tok tok dakka dakka put!



Here’s a couple of questions I asked Stafford.

1. What made you start blogging and what do you blog about?

Blogging started for me as a means to an end. A few years ago a teaching colleague noticed that kids doing my drama course jumped in reading age over the time of a production. We were preparing to use standardised testing when he was moved away and the new boss wasn’t interested. Then I retired, so although a lot of material was prepared for the trial it never happened, so I was looking for teachers who might like to run a trial.

Meanwhile, poetry and stories came bubbling up and the original plan became less important. I would still like to do it and it does deliver amazing results, particularly with right brain kids and those who are ‘socially challenged’. So teachers out there, mail me if interested.

After having written about twenty operettas and one novel (and have begun two more), I stopped after numerous approaches to agents didn’t get me anywhere. That was so disheartening I gave up, but after Hughsey sent out a notice she was offering blogging courses as part of her Writer in Residence gig at Cooroy, I enrolled about this time last year.

2. What is it about blogging that you love?

I am such a show off! I just love the making people laugh and GB, you are the best laugher! But I am also a teacher and have been encouraging tryers all my life, so I enjoy reading other people’s work and of course, commenting. It is becoming a community for me with my few closest ‘friends’ and many friendly people I am yet to really get to know and an unlimited number of people I have yet to meet! It is an awesome way to exercise the brain and to socialise.


VW Beetle (not the one with the engine in the back)


Thank you Stafford