Voveo Nos



I love a good rebel. especially a good aussie one.

This is my crown of sonnets for Mary Mackillop. A woman of uncompromising values, strength & singularity of vision.

It tells the story of her life & struggle. A brilliant & inspirational story. I hope my poetry does it justice.

8th of August, 1909. 103 years since you left this earthly realm.

I’d say ‘Rest In Peace’ Mary, but that was never your style…

Instead I’ll just say

“thank you”


# A sonnet is basically 14 lines of 10 syllables written in Iambic Pentameter. My weapon of choice is the Shakespearean sonnet. 3 quatrains where the rhymes fall on the 1st & 3rd line & the 2nd & 4th. The end two lines are what are known as a couplet. 2 finishing lines (the 13th & 14th) that rhyme with each other.

# This type of poem is called a Crown of Sonnets. Basically, it’s 15 sonnets written in a row. The end line of each sonnet has to become the first line of the next sonnet & then the final sonnet has to be a sonnet that is comprised of the first lines of the preceding 14 sonnets.

# Voveo Nos means ‘pray for us’ in latin.




Voveo Nos


This rebel born to sweet reforms amaze

This woman that no man will ever tame

This angel touching hearts with saintly ways

This gallant maiden, hallowed be her name


Our Mary walks the walk and fights the fight

This perseverance sets her life apart

Her journey thrust upon the path of light

The passion burns within her sacred heart


She smiles at each awaiting trial and test

A battling brave, the bride of Christ defined

A loving servant dwells within her chest

A skilled tactician lives within her mind


This warrior of heaven fights the holy war

A gentle loving soul within her core



A gentle loving soul within her core

With hearts designed for labour, love and toil

As angels born to spread their wings and soar

To till the common earth of southern soil


Amidst a crisp Australian summers morn

With cloudless heavens shining brightest blue

On January 15th she was born

In Fitzroy, Melbourne 1842


From humblest Scottish folk comes something great

For God has graced this girl with gifts divine

Our Mary born the eldest child of eight

Her Godfather, the kin of Caroline


This youngster’s special spirit soon displays

The soldier fighting errant human ways



The soldier fighting errant human ways

Her dearest dream is heaven’s great reward

Whilst fending for her family she prays

And counts the days until she serves the Lord


She hears the calling of an inner voice

She longs to help the homeless, hurt and lost

But father’s folly leaves her little choice

For meagre earnings barely cover cost


To God one day her life she will devote

But Mary’s kin have problems of their own

This girl must keep her family afloat

Before she serves the steps of heaven’s throne


With love she keeps the wolf away from door

The resolute protector of the poor



The resolute protector of the poor

Our Mary meets the man who brings the goods

A Priest of virtue, vision, faith and more

The young and charismatic Father Woods


The Catholics condemned, to wolves were cast

The government preferred to teach of tools

In 1851 the law was past

To stop the funding of religious schools


A charming priest, a man of great entice

They share a common theme, a dream to teach

With minds resembling lightning striking twice

Their fusion finds these goals within their reach


Penola, South Australia leads to Rome

This Aussie maiden travels far from home



This Aussie maiden travels far from home

With Father Woods her dreams and visions start

To gain the seal of Holy See in Rome

And found the sisters of the sacred heart


For Julian and Mary have a goal

A dream to freely educate the poor

To bring the word of God to common soul

A holy schoolhouse with an open door


On 19th March in 1866

She’s made the orders first and only nun

With problems, monies, rent and schools to fix

The troubled testing times have just begun


For every disease there comes a cure

For love of God and man she must endure



For love of God and man she must endure

For poverty, control and sacred pact

She suffers til’ the pain becomes inure

To keep the orders holy vows intact


Endorsed by Bishop Sheil at first

The constitutions doctrine soon incites

The local bishops want control dispersed

Now Mary battles for the Josephites


She steers the path the orders nuns must take

Refusing wisely to negate control

For convents sake, she puts it all at stake

The bishop excommunicates her soul


This course of action leads to Peters Dome

She takes her righteous fight to holy Rome



She takes her righteous fight to holy Rome

A pilgrim seeking blessings from the pope

By boat she takes the journey over foam

The Vatican’s support her only hope


Delivering her fervour filled demands

With strength she keeps her visions dream alive

Impressing with the weight of her commands

To see the orders doctrine will survive


For wisdom, grace and guidance Mary prays

Her reverent displays dispelling fears

Convincing Pius of her holy ways

She stays in Europe nearly two whole years


She holds her own, compelling yet demure

A pious woman standing proud and pure



A pious woman standing proud and pure

She stands defiant, shadow looming large

She thwarts attempts to make her dreams obscure

By those that wish to see her not in charge


Though Bishop Quinn expects to rule the flock

A Formidable force he soon will find

This woman’s will is forged from iron rock

No tempest, storm or man can change her mind


For Mary forged a path, she blazed new trails

With power, strength and will she took control

Within a church and country run by males

She redefined a woman‘s place and role


This clever strategist preserves with style

A life of vision, poverty and trial



A life of vision, poverty and trial

A woman of nobility abound

With poise she handles lies, deceit and guile

With quiet dignity she stands her ground


The stones are cast, the accusations fly

In vain attempts to sully Mary’s name

With saintly grace she holds her head up high

Whilst falling victim to unfounded blame


As Mother General she’s forced aside

And Sister Bernard firmly takes the reigns

But Mary’s never one to be denied

She fights to see her vision still remains


An iron fist within a velvet glove

A life of faith, compassion, care and love



A life of faith, compassion, care and love

A life of passion, penance, pain and proof

A walking breathing gift from God above

A living testament to faith and truth


When Mother Bernard leaves this earthly realm

The order soon convenes to make their choice 

Our Mary once again must take the helm

The vote is cast in one united voice


Her spirit strong and true, her body frail

The strain, demand and effort make her ill

Too gallant to accept defeat or fail

She runs on strength of character and will


The ecstasy of God is found in trial

Her struggles met amidst a knowing smile



Her struggles met amidst a knowing smile

The pain within her knees will not abate

She takes her baths to walk the extra mile

Her spirit strong can carry heavy weight


In Rotorua, healing mud anoints

As swollen sinews sting with pulsing veins

The aching hurting deep within her joints

Her ailing body struggles through the strains


This soldier puts her body to the test

She battles ailments with her brains and wits

A mighty muscle beats within her breast

She never gives up hope; she never quits


She stumbles, falls and crawls for church and love

Her life committed to the lord above



Her life committed to the lord above

Her time now ends; she leaves this world divine 

A soul set free, now soars with heavens dove

The 8th of August, 1909.


In grief, the whole Australian nation weeps

Her death is mourned across the countryside

To Mount Street Chapel, where The Mother sleeps

The masses congregate from far and wide


To pay respect to Mother Mary’s name

They come to touch her holy hands and feet

Her life adored by rich and poor the same

At Mary’s funeral they line the street


The sisters grieve the passing of their boss 

The saint of service, sacrifice and loss



The saint of service, sacrifice and loss

Withstanding pain and crippling joint disease

For love of God and heavens holy cross

This pioneer would walk upon her knees


When grieving hearts are lost within despair

And lives do hang upon the slender rope

When there is nothing left for us but prayer

She hears our calls to God and gives us hope


When shattered dreams from broken hearts are cleft

When life seems cruel and tragedies ensue

When hope is gone and we have nothing left

Within the hour of need, we turn to you


As boats adrift upon the oceans toss

Our blessed Sister Mary of the Cross



Our blessed Sister Mary of the Cross

Within your faith and strength we find belief

We pray to you within our time of loss

We pray to you within our time of grief


O’ Mary helper of the sick and poor

With love, we pray for you to cure the ill

Deliver up our prayers to Yahweh’s door

And plead our case to God and heavens will


This nation celebrates its holy Saint

She gives us miracles and hears our plight

She walks the roads where lesser hearts would faint

For even after death she loves a fight


Let each Australian child rejoice and praise

This rebel born to sweet reforms amaze



This rebel born to sweet reforms amaze

A gentle loving soul within her core

The soldier fighting errant human ways

The resolute protector of the poor


This Aussie maiden travels far from home

For love of God and man she must endure

She takes her righteous fight to holy Rome

A pious woman standing proud and pure


A life of vision, poverty and trial

A life of faith, compassion, care and love

Her struggles met amidst a knowing smile

Her life committed to the lord above


The saint of service, sacrifice and loss

Our blessed Sister Mary of the Cross


Voveo Nos




The Secret Life of Crows



Another Monday

& so begins the week

A day no different from any other day

Beautiful… Unique.


The sparkling lights of dawn enshroud the silver morn

They bring forth majesty, a golden tapestry of clouds that drift

They offer up a mystery

A truth to seek

A gift


A solitary bird salutes the sky

It somehow seems connected to the tree

Perhaps a mere illusion of the eye

Perhaps just symmetry


But underneath this dappled sun

Their natures’ dual, become as one

The withered branches nest as shadows light deceives

For feathers black as night give flight to barren leaves


What once was dead… now breathes!


I wonder what a person ever really knows

About the secret life of crows




This world is glorious in its beauty. Nothing is ordinary. If you think I’m wrong you’re just not looking hard enough. Yes, I know. It’s not a crow in the picture… it’s a magpie. but sometimes magic doesn’t need to be explained. sometimes a bit of mystery & innocence is the magic. sometimes we need to make magic out of nothing. sometimes the mere illusion of hope is the key that brings us back to life. sometimes all we need to do is believe. for if a dead tree can have life, leaves & a heart that sings. & a lone bird & a sunrise can give our imagination wings. then a mind in full flight can do wondrous things!  









They burnt us to be pure

Their superstitions darker than their fears


In the woods we hid like rabbits

We ran beneath the shadowed canopy

And danced sky clad to the wind


Our ancient words gave us magic

Our herbs gave us the power to heal

Captured in the red firelight of morning

The purple skies of night held us entwine

The foxes knew us as friends

& the wolves howled

our names to Hecate


Older than God

Older than Zeus

Older than Ra


We are Woman


The earth turns

& we dance upon it in circles


Forever the same




Why is God not envisioned as a woman?


This is a question that has often perplexed me. In nature it is the female of the species that has the capacity to produce new life & bring about birth & new creation. But for some reason we do not like to envision God as a part of nature. We like to see him outside the circle of things. We prefer instead to envision him in our minds as an omnipotent wizard waving his wand and creating life & living out of nothing.


The earliest and most primitive societies worshipped female deities.


It was only much later that man found the advantages of having a patriarchal God.


But I wonder what was lost in the process?


My question for you today is:

Why don’t women rule the world & what would happen if they did?


Let’s take a look at our closest genetic ancestors. The Bonobos & Chimpanzees. These curious primates share 99% of our DNA. Chimpanzees live in a patriarchal society that is rife with violence & confrontation. Intruders are dealt with in a harsh & hostile manner & there is much infighting amongst the ranks. It is a society that in a lot of ways sadly mirrors our own: males clamouring for power and position & in constant conflict with one another for who can possess the most bananas.


Now let us look at the Bonobos. Scientists hypothesize that the Bonobos or pygmy chimpanzee came about when the Congo River was formed nearly 2 million years ago. The two sets of chimpanzees were separated by these waters & their fear of swimming. But the Bonobos on the southern side of the river developed into a matriarchal society. They are peace loving promiscuous creatures & their society is free from the hostilities of their aggressive cousins.


How strange that basically the same creature can behave so differently when ruled by compassion & not conflict.


Elephants live in a matriarchal society. that’s why they never forget anything!


& what about bees. One of the most productive & advanced societies the world has ever seen. A colony happily ruled by Queens. Take away the queens & we are left with drones & a lot of angry stingers. Put the Queens back in and we get lots & lots of yummy honey & violet crumble bars.


Which would you rather??? A No Brainer, really!


& then there is the humble jellyfish, thought by many people to be asexual. But scientists have just discovered that male & female jellyfish do exist. It’s just that when the usually flaccid male jellyfish becomes aroused they tend to sink to the bottom of the ocean & drown; thus leaving the female jellyfish to happily float about on top. Actually, I just made that one up, but really what’s a jellyfish going to do with a penis anyway???


So, that’s about it from me. I feel I have well & truly proved my point. Women are by far the greater species. More advanced in every way than their hairy & brutish counterparts. Without them men would still be living in trees & playing with their own bananas!


Who would dare not agree with me…especially today


Happy Mother’s Day xx



The Risen One



The Risen One


Quaint, familiar

Breaking like any other day

No premonitions of what it would bring


No heralding to the new king


In the sleepy town of Le Cateau-Cambresis

Located on the far tip of France just near the Belgian border


New Years Eve 1869

Birth was given to the new world order


Freedom, Expression




He tore the doctrine of their stolid regime apart


In Morocco they say Matisse painted the Sun

He gave colour to the Moon



No; human

Crayon coloured light

Bold contrasts of Reds, yellows & whites

Ones filled with violet, orange, lilac, green & cerise

Paint me a new world Henri Matisse

A landscape filled with colours

Stark, shocking, and innocent

You make things beautiful

The ordinary wonderful

The droll magnificent


A perspective built on perception, of burning glowing light, of vitality

He understands what the canvas longs for, what it doesn’t need

The necessity; its’ organs, the colours it yearns to bleed


He feels

He simplifies

With intuition, emotion

He reduces form to a line

He strips it bare, back past bone

Back to its essence; then he dazzles us with his brilliance

His effervescent shining light, the singularity of his vision


The significance of his heart


 “Without Passion, there is no art…” * Henri Matisse (1949)




I despise being contained by rules & regulations when it comes to my poetry.

Don’t get me wrong…I don’t dislike structured forms of poetry. Sometimes I love writing like that. I actually have quite a thing for Iambic pentameter, Shakespearean Sonnets & Spondee’s. 


It’s not the structure I have a problem with, it’s the mindset…


I was once told by an English teacher that poetry was just a particular amount of syllables arranged in a particular way & the art of it all was making something new out of them. Nothing more!


It made absolutely no sense to me. I felt she had missed the point of poetry & thrown the baby out with the bath water. To me, that’s the talk of a lion that’s lived far too long in the zoo.


To her I say, “There’s life outside the bars! Welcome to the jungle, Sister!!


The first ever poet didn’t know of rules. There were none. They wrote simply because something divine was singing in their heart. This is poetry: that spark, that essence of something intangible. Something invisible. A poet’s heart should never be defined unless they lose that most fragile of all essences – Passion!!


Imagine if you will a magic spell. Is it the form and structure of a spell that is important or is it the power of the magic it creates. Some people would tell you it’s the rules.


I tell you it’s the magic.


a classically trained poet with a university degree. a broken hearted teenager warding off thoughts of suicide. a parent expressing unbearable grief at the loss of a child. Shakespeare whispering words of wisdom or honeyed love. It doesn’t matter who wields these words or in what format. If they speak them with honesty & genuine emotion they will always resonate true. Beauty is found in its most poignant form when accompanied by an honest and innocent heart.


No mathematical equation relating to words will ever disguise this. The essence of poetry is what matters…nothing else!


Some people may call me a beast for this, but I say that puts me in good company.


Henri Matisse & his ‘Fauves’ are a great inspiration of mine. Roughly translated ‘Fauves’ means the wild beasts. The name came about because of a remark from an art critic. At the first showing of their work a Parisian art critic pointed to a sculpture by the great Donatello nearby & was overheard to say, “Donatello au milieu des fauves!” which meant “Donatello among the wild beasts!” The group of artists took the slight & turned it into a badge of honour & proudly called themselves ‘The Fauves”.


I love the fact that they did what they wanted. They defied the establishment, lived life on the edge & set their own rules. They dared to paint things the colours they wanted. For eg: grass could be red, the sky could be purple, the clouds orange, etc… It was all about intuition & freedom & up until then it was unheard of. The establishment hated it. It was brilliant & outrageous. & So Very Very Cool!


I adore Matisse. I love his work. He dazzles my eyes with his colours. He was so bold…he painted with his heart. He coloured this world with the brilliance of his soul.


I guess what I am saying is this:


Listen to that voice that dwells within your heart. Follow it! Fight for it!


Paint the skies purple even if the rest of the world tells you that they are blue!


& To Yourself Be True!



Haiku for a Poo!


Haiku for a Poo!

My search for the perfect Loo!!

At the Easter SHOOOOOOOW!!!


Some people search for The Holy Grail. Some people search for true love. My quest is for the perfect toilet at The Sydney Royal Easter Show. Ahhh! Such are the dreams of a simple man. My search began in earnest about five years ago. We had promised to take the kids to the Easter show & they were super excited. About 2 days before the big day I came down with one of the worst stomach bugs I have ever experienced in my life. I won’t to go into too much detail except to say that it wasn’t very pleasant. Anyway I dragged myself out of bed & off to the shoooow! Throughout the course of the day I had to make several trips to the loo & what I encountered were small grubby toilets with an endless procession of people waiting in line. I found myself thinking that there’s got to be a better way than this. There’s something very obscene about waiting in line to go to the toilet. I kept on thinking to myself, “It’s not a frigging ride people!” Especially when the guy two in front of you is still eating a hot dog & then after his turn leaves the cubicle & greets everybody with an apologetic, “Sorry Dudes!” 



NO!!!! I went home from that Show with singed nose hairs & a burning determination that things had to change. Never again would I be subjected to another, “Sorry Dudes!”

& So began the quest…

The next year I was lucky enough to find the adequate toilets located in the Howie/Dog Pavilion, just across the road from where they sell all the showbags. Very clean, well maintained & hardly used. This Pavilion is truly the pooping place of Champions – Portraits of all the past greats adorn the walls!! But, unfortunately they’re just not the two legged kind!



The year after that I got serious in my endeavour & became a member of The RAS. They had much better facilities, but they were still a bit over used & a tiny bit grungy for my liking. I knew I could do better than this…




The following year I stumbled across the little gem in bewteen buildings on the animal walk. Very nice for public toilets & hardly ever used. But, still… I longed for something with a bit more tranquillity, style & ambience. Are magazines & elevator music too much to ask for?




Last year I came close to perfection. Definitely, the best toilets I’ve found so far. The private toilets in the animal housing enclosures off Clarence Avenue. Very large. Very spacious. Luxurious even & also comes with the option of a shower if one so desires. Not bad, but still my heart or should I say my bottom yearned for more…



Then this year whilst looking for the Skyview Ferris Wheel I spotted it. Eureka! El derado! The Legends were True! THE JUDGES/COUNCIL SECTION of the main arena. I noticed they had burly security guards on the front doors carefully monitoring people’s comings & goings. The place looked harder to get into than Fort Knox & I thought to myself what could they possibly be protecting in there? Fruit cake recipes??



I took this photo of the front entrance. Sorry it’s a bit grainy, but I was trying my best to be covert. Notice the people being moved along by the expert people movers. You can almost hear them cooing, “Keep on Moving People! There’s nothing to see here!”

My arse there’s nothing to see here… what’s with the big expensive looking flower arrangement then!

& then it came to me like a flush of yellow lightning!! Like a bolt out of the poo!!

Those cagey buggers in their flash R.M.Williams suits & boots were keeping guard of the most precious thing at the Royal Easter Show. The perfect loo! I knew in a second what it looked like. I could see it all in my mind’s eye. The opulence. The Grandeur. The Sheer Theatre of it all!! Gold plated toilet seats. Marble bowls. A guy called Geeves to give you mints, comb your hair & perhaps even wipe your bottom. Music, magazines & perhaps even a little trickling waterfall.



I always thought the sign on the door. R.A.S stood for The Royal Agricultural Society. But now I know better. Yes, my friends! They are mocking us!!! They’re secretly laughing at us & telling us what they’ve got inside their facilities.

For what R.A.S really stands for is:

Royal Arse Shitters!!

That’s right, that’s where they keep The Royal Arse Shitters. The really flash ones!!

& I knew at that moment that I had found my Everest & that my climb would not be to the top, but to the very bottom of things. & next year I promise you this, that I shall gain access to the inner sanctums of The R.A.S. or at the very least give them the shits trying!! either way, I’m going to give these toilets one damn fine crack!!

Wish me well my friends!!

For it’s going to take luck & a hell of a lot of arse!!