resized duckling smucklings



something mellow
that gets the yolk,

the buttercup duckling
wrapped in chubby fingers, cradling,

it don’t mean a thing
if it ain’t got that lemon zing,

butter creaming,
icing sugar dreaming,

sunflower beaming,
Coldplay streaming,

cows milk churning,
cheese wheels turning,

banana paddle-popping
corner shop-a-stopping,

sunbeam slating
the unhappiness, deflating,

so tie a welcome ribbon
round the old oak tree,


sinister like yellowcake in the hands
of anyone,

a fever lingering in the blood
of mosquitoes,

the sheen of the underbelly
of a suspect snake,

the label of a coward in the face
of fear,

the jaundiced hue of the face of the man
with a failing liver,

and the phlegm from the lungs of the one
with emphysema,

or the ageing letters cramped in the diminishing space
of the nursing home,

as well as the caution sign on the door,


Note: A repost poem from my colour series and in honour of the ducks and ducklings now cavorting around our property – and a reminda that you gotta take the good with the bad 😉

Psychologist Discovers Cure for Depression – Ducklings!

Psychologist Discovers Cure for Depression – Ducklings!

In the news for the day, less than eminent psychologist Dr Gabrielle Crook has discovered the cure for depression

When faced with this 😦


prescribe one or more ducklings 😉

resized zacharyquack

IMGP3208 (1024x768)

Note: Please consult with your own psychologist or doctor before following this advice from a Quack


nuddernote – top duckling is Zachary Quack 🙂 and haven’t got a name for the other two yet – bought them on the weekend – it’s working so far – hahaha (quack, quack).


Why did the duck cross the road?

He was looking for his Quack 😉


Oh dear ….

I’m in Trouble Again

I’m in Trouble Again


My ransom note poem about Gina Rinehart ‘Listen up Gina’ has been published in the Australian Poetry’s Sotto Magazine (November Edition).

This makes me very happy but slightly apprehensive 😉 as Ms Rinehart (the richest lady in the world) is on the search for more coal (like she hasn’t got enough already) and has bought the local pub (5 minutes drive away) on the promise of a seam of the dirty stuff. It is more than likely that the coal is there and that she’ll be employing people (at the lowest rates possible) to dig it out of the ground.

Never mind! There are heaps of other pubs around. And I have heaps of aliases – haha.


Gabe Killer Crook xo




Very proud of my cousin Anna Burke (the Federal Member for the Melbourne seat of Chisholm since 1998) who was yesterday elected to the position of Speaker to the House of Representatives.

She is only the 2nd woman in the history of the Australian parliament to be voted into this prestigious position.

I’m so excited I’m doing the happy dance 😉

Anna is my Mum’s brothers daughter. My Mum (an Irish/Australian catholic) was born in Melbourne and had 3 sisters and 6 brothers. Between the 10 siblings were born a fair few children; so I have a lot of cousins (you can imagine – haha).

Congrats Anna!


ps. If you missed Julia Gillard’s spectacular and spirited speech in Parliament yesterday pointing out Tony Abbott’s sexist comments and behaviours over the years, it’s a ripper and went viral on the internet. The Australian media was embarrassingly quiet on the subject of her speech but the media around the world quickly cottoned on to the significance. The New Yorker has a great article about it here.


A Creative Vision: A Solar Field of Dreams

A Creative Vision: A Solar Field of Dreams

A Creative Vision: A Solar Field of Dreams

It’s my birthday today!

For those who are under the impression I am a young thing (guffaw) I will reveal that I was born in the sixties. Hmm – I just had a thought – that might explain my strange brain 😉

Gabrielle and Daniel Crook

That’s my brother Daniel on the trike and me on the plastic tractor – haha (I was a Crook back then – Crook by name, Crook by nature) in the backyard of our little house in Indooroopilly, Brisbane.

The kids and I have been a bit sick with the flu. It started with Michael, followed shortly by Tessa and then me. Husband – Andy the Great – rarely gets sick, which I think is highly unfair given he is a smoker and fond of the odd beer or two or …

Tessa and I are still a bit under the weather but I’ve had worse flu, so can’t complain. I might be able to struggle to the shops in the afternoon to buy a cake of some sort and maybe a bag of wild raspberries (lollies that is).

Just ignore me – I am prone to a life of exaggeration.

Since it’s my birthday I think I will give myself permission to have a little daydream into the future.

What do you think of this as an idea? A mere seed which may or may not germinate (depending on the prevailing winds, rain, sunshine and finances).

A Solar Field of Dreams

Or to be more precise, a field of solar panels – an array of solar panels on sunny land, shaped like the sun or maybe forming a word like poetry or art.

The solar panels would collect energy from the sun and transfer that energy to our house to be used as the main source of electricity. Our car would be electric with the ability to be plugged into the domestic supply (ala solar powered car).

Excess power will go back to the Grid and we would be paid as a supplier of solar energy.

But, there’s more!

The solar array would also be a work in progress Poetry as Art installation.

Every solar stand (think solar panel on legs) would have a place for one of my weather-proof poems and maybe some photos and commissioned art.

The array then becomes a solar field of dreams:

Solar Field of Dreams

Collecting energy,
collecting poetry and art.
Synergistic solutions
to save the environment
with creativity in the sun.

Gabrielle Crook at Holy Family (Primary School)

What would the Brigidine nuns (if they were alive) think of me now 😉

Insert cliché title

Insert cliché title

'Crook by name ...'

Insert Cliché Title

Jim Croce soundtrack
in a leather suitcase –
photographs and memories

do you remember


cameras used film
negatives were stored
photographs were printed
at Indooroopilly Shoppingtown
while we caught up and roamed,


births, deaths, marriages
and aftermaths
were faithfully recorded
on my crappy camera
that I always carried,


everyone thought they had found the one,
then they found the next one
and the next one,


we wore hippy skirts
exotic accessories and footwear,
then moved on to Relax Wham t-shirts
permed hair
and near permanent scowls,


bad hair was everywhere,
our changing styles
matched our way-out friends –
now gone to the dogs
or missing in action,
a few just floated away with the tide …


we were inseparable

Me on the left (the only photo with a partial of the boots)
Eulogy for Mum

Eulogy for Mum

Tessa, Mum, Michael

Eulogy for Mum Monica Josephine Crook, my mother and mother to four children, was truly a wonderful person, devoted to God and family. Mum came from a big Irish family living in Melbourne at the time of the Great Depression. Her mother Mary Catherine Walsh and father Edward Burke raised 10 children. After having 4 girls in a row, her father despaired of having any boys, and then along came 6 of them. Coming from a large family may have been why Mum had such a great love of children – her own and others. In her younger years Mum worked as a Mother Craft Nurse looking after orphaned children. She often spoke of that time in her life and it was clearly important to her. She was deeply religious and would have chosen life as a nun; but her love of children won out and she picked a life of marriage, with children of her own. We are grateful she chose that path. Mum was always strong willed and the type of person to follow a road less travelled. In fact she travelled, literally, all over the world during her life. After her father died when she was in her 20’s, she took off from Australia by herself and travelled to Europe and the United Kingdom. She regaled us with tales of hitchhiking around parts of Ireland with a couple of female friends (not Northern Ireland, she was always keen to point out). She was a beautiful young woman and attracted the attention of a number of foreign men, breaking a few hearts on the way. She would have loved to have married one European man in particular, but he chose the church and life as a priest. She eventually met her husband Paul Crook in England and married at the age of 34 – unusual in those days – she was waiting for just the right person. Back then, Dad was a student studying history at the London School of Economics. Their first child, Lisa, was born in England and shortly after, they all travelled by ship back to Australia to start a life in Brisbane. Mum was never too keen on Brisbane, compared to her hometown of Melbourne. She didn’t like the summer heat and humidity, and missed her family and place of birth. Dad worked at the University of Queensland while Mum worked at home, selflessly raising her children. Peter was the second child, followed by Daniel and then the youngest me – Gabrielle. Four children in five years and we all had our moments. Mum lived her life as a devout catholic – some would say she was more catholic than the pope. She was particularly devoted to Mary, mother of God – Our Lady – and it is of great comfort that we are here today at Our Lady of the Rosary, Kenmore. And today, of all days, is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary – I’m sure Mum planned it that way! Mum was deeply moved by the Marion sites of the world – Fatima, Lourdes, and Medugorje – places where Mary has appeared to the devoted. I travelled in May 1995 with Mum to Bosnia on a pilgrimage to the town of Medugorje. Problem was the Bosnian war was raging and thousands of people had been killed in the conflict. She felt she had to travel to this small village to receive blessings from Our Lady. Well, I just had to go with Mum to make sure she didn’t get blown up. After a very long journey, including two plane flights and a 3 hour bus trip on winding mountainous roads, we arrived at the small town of Medugorje. The largest building in the town was a cathedral. The only sign of the conflict was the presence of NATO soldiers in the cafes, large rifles at their sides, and the odd tank roaming around town. Mum said that Medugorje was protected by God so we would be safe and we were. The pilgrimage was for one week and Mum said the rosary about 5 times a day and went to mass twice a day. There was a trek up Mt Crucifix to worship at the foot of a giant white cement cross. I had to literally push Mum up the narrow paths to get there and I still don’t know how she did it. She was that kind of person – dedicated, devoted and compassionate. Always putting the needs of others before her own. In recent years, she has lived with and supported fully her adult son Daniel who has acquired brain injury from a motor bike accident. She deserved a gold medal for taking on this task of carer, in what should be a grandmother’s peaceful retirement years. But, she would say, ‘that’s what mothers do’. Now I would like to read a poem I wrote for Mum last year.

Our lady of the Rosary

Our mother’s devotion to another mother’s devotion to a son crucified for us all.

A garland of roses a string of prayers to Mary for her son and for her own son.

Joyful Mysteries Sorrowful Mysteries Glorious Mysteries


she douses the flames with meditation while rubbing well worn beads between thumb and finger

Rosary beads worry beads.

Mum – you are admired and loved and we will miss you terribly, but you lived a great and full life and you knew it was your time to meet the Lord. I’m sure that God is delighted to have such a devoted soul as yours enter the kingdom of heaven! This eulogy was written by Gabrielle Bryden for her Mum (Monica Josephine Crook). ______________________________________________________________________________

Monica Josephine Crook (nee Burke) 1st September 1925 – 3rd October 2010

Monica Josephine Crook (nee Burke) late of Kenmore Hills passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on the 3rd October, 2010. Beloved mother of Lisa, Peter, Daniel and Gabrielle. Devoted grandmother to Michael,Tessa, Chanel, Giles, Portia, and Wilhem. Funeral mass and celebration of Monica’s life held Thursday, 7th October (11am) at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, Kenmore Brisbane (feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary).