Saturday, 31 December 2016



You served us well
maybe not every day 
was what we wanted
or what we planned
but here we are,
about to bid you farewell
and welcome in a fresh new beginning.
We've laughed and cried,
worked and rested,
been amazed and disgusted,
thrilled and disappointed..
and still we have hope
for every New Year is full of promise
for our families, our friends,
our future..
We welcome you with open arms
and hope for peace 
and understanding..
for tolerance...
and the ability to appreciate 
all our blessings.

©Crissouli Dec. 31, 2016

Images Pixabay



Where did it go, what did you do with it..
was it treasured, revered, acknowledged
or did it simply pass you by?
It was a bonus, a gift..
something to be valued..
did you notice?
Sometimes, gifts come beautifully wrapped
sometimes, simply thrust forward
as an afterthought, or an apology.
But this gift was well planned
a very long time ago
and it was given without conditions.
I hope you used it well
for you won't receive another
till four years pass by.

©Crissouli 31 Dec., 2016

Image Pixabay

Monday, 26 December 2016


(c) Alexandra Daw


Tired sentinels, waiting
not quite at attention
too many miles travelled
no longer strong
yet so many tales to tell
of days and nights of wandering
of searching and hoping
till tiredness overwhelmed.
Maybe he'll return
one day...
Till then, wait, silently..
life is full of silent whispers!

(c) Crissouli Dec 24, 2016

Note: This poem was inspired by the wonderful photo 
posted by my friend, Alex, 
who suggested it as a writer's prompt. 
I can't resist such a challenge, so, hope you enjoyed this.

Sunday, 11 December 2016



I heard your name today, but no one spoke
I felt your touch, but I was alone
I reached out to hug you, my arms were empty
I long for just one more word, just one touch
Just to hear your name, hear you say mine..
Did I hear your name, or was it my heart missing you..
Just a whisper on the wind....

(c)Crissouli Dec 12, 2016

Image Pixabay

Tuesday, 18 October 2016



I dream of you calling my name
I run to you and you lift me on to your shoulders
How safe I felt then and in charge of the world.

"I can see forever, Daddy.."

"Forever's a very long way..'

"I know and I can see it, way over there.."

I run beside you struggling to keep up
while you laugh and take one long stride 
to my many short ones.

You pick me up when I fall over
brush me off and send me on my way.
You teach me how to bait a hook and land a fish
yet you never did persuade me to clean one
though I was quite happy to fillet and cook.

You show me how to make scones,
and pluck a poor chicken ..

Much later you look me out for driving lessons
and told me you thought I did very well 
getting through that busy intersection..
and were horrified when I said it was easy.. 
with my eyes closed..
till I burst out laughing. 

You soon warmed to my long term boyfriend
and you became great mates after we were married.
You loved our children and grandchildren
without reservation, 
though saddened that Mum missed them..

You were always the first to offer a hand when needed
you taught us all so much..
in particular, the love of family.

Though you stayed with us longer than most
it could never be enough.
We miss you Dad, two years seems like forever
but we thank you for the legacy you left behind,
our memories wrapped in your love.

(c)Crissouli Oct 18, 2016
Image (c)Crissouli 2007

Saturday, 3 September 2016




A little bit of the past was brought home to me today
wrapped in brown paper, caring and love..
black pen on white had captured the spirit of the past 
a once grand hotel, the Belle Vue, lives again
in the glory of the artist's pen
wrapped grandly in old lace
standing in majestic splendour
beckoning to memories of a grander era..
pleading to be remembered, for the years it served
until it was destroyed in the dead of night
complete with memories and the anguish
of all those who mourned it's untimely demise.


 Accompanying it was an even older sketch 
of memories
fondly known as the Windmill. 
Sketched in the old style, with scenes
evoking thoughts of those who knew our town
so long ago.
What would it have been like to live then?
Alas, we will never know, but we can still dream
providing our city fathers leave us some links 
with the past, with our heritage.

A little bit of the past was brought home to me today
wrapped in brown paper, caring and love.

(c) Crissouli 1983

Sunday, 28 August 2016



Quiet, I was
as I sat beneath the tree
dreaming of how the Australian bush
had been especially made for me.
It was then I heard the sound of strangers
coming through the scrub
so, I climbed up, so very fast,
right up that old gum tree.

'Twas no place for an Irish lad
of this I could be sure
but as the folks got closer,
what they said I could not ignore.
For it seemed they were the Kelly gang
and they talked and planned a raid..
I thought of the saints of Ireland
and begorrah, how I prayed.

I moved a little in my fright
and uttered the smallest sound
alas, lack, it was enough
to be heard there on the ground!
They pulled me down from that tall tree
and gave me such a fright
they said they'd thought they'd kill me
till I told them of my plight.

For I was just a starving Irish lad
right down on my luck
I thought that I was finished
but they admired my pluck.
So, in return for vows of silence,
they kindly paid my fare
back to dear old Ireland
and my kin in County Clare.

(c) Crissouli 1983

 image courtesy of Pixabay


This was based on a story my Great Uncle Martin Dillon told me many years ago in a letter… that one of his brothers was in the bush, looking for work, food, anything and came across the Kelly gang. By the timing, it wasn’t Ned Kelly, but many ‘gangs’ would later claim to have been part of the Kelly gang, so who knows..According to Uncle Martin, they fed his brother and gave him a small sack of money and sent him on his way.

Two of his brothers did come to Australia, Michael and John, known as Jack.  Michael was the first, haven’t found exactly what year as yet, but I think it must have been early 1900s… Ned Kelly died in 1880. Michael sponsored John, then Molly (Mary) pre 1920 and Bridget, along with Susan/Susie in 1923 (though Susan stayed in New Zealand on the way, as another brother, James, was already there). 

Michael returned to Ireland to take over the family farm as their brother, Patrick, became ill. John was killed timber felling in the bush near Coffs Harbour in 1918 and is buried in an unmarked grave there. Molly married a Gerald (Edward G.) McDermott, in Australia in 1917.. he was killed in April 1918, a few short months after their marriage. Molly later married Tom Foley in 1920. 

Bridget was to marry Roy Leonard Swadling in 1924… they were my grandparents. She died when my mother was just 11, in 1942.
(c) Crissouli August 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016



organised by the Cancer Council of Australia

It also happens to be the fourth Blogiversary of
this blog.

I started to write another post,
 but decided to dedicate this post
 to all my family and friends
 who have fought, 
or who are fighting,
against cancer.

You do it with such courage and grace, 
through the good times and bad 
amd I have nothing but admiration 
and love for you all.

My wish is that we will one day be free of this scourge and no longer will we embark on these journeys of troubled times.

 Maybe some of my readers would like to 
Dedicate a Daffodil
 for all those who have been touched by cancer.

 You can do so by going to this link 

Thank you.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
as are all on this blog unless otherwise credited.

Thursday, 25 August 2016



The lights flash, instructions to be obeyed
the thrust of mighty power is evident
no fear, just excitement
rising as steeply as this majestic bird.

Where are they all going
these modern day commuters?
What beckons them to rise to the heavens
in a long, metal case
putting their trust in strangers?
How many even pause
to absorb their pass through Heaven..
So many chat, read,
finish those last minute reports
ever anxious to make a good impression.

Pause, enjoy this land of rainbows
take time to be awed by nature
we are here for such a short time.
Down we go, descending so many miles
yet just a few short minutes to go.
How our forefathers would stare in wonder
as our giant bird takes us safely home.

(c) Crissouli 1983

Friday, 22 July 2016


Courtesy of Pixabay free use


Some of us collect pottery, or stamps
others collect causes
"save this"
or "that"
or "them"
but how many of us
have even noticed the greatest cause of all.
We live our lives in sweet oblivion
dreaming of never ending tomorrows
as if we could stack them
one above the other
reaching to eternity.
When will we notice just how shaky
the foundations are.
We've no guarantee of tomorrows
or todays
unless we all unite
in the only cause that matters
the preservation of world peace.

(c)Crissouli July 2016

Thursday, 21 July 2016


Courtesy of Pixabay free use


Two tiny cheeks were shivering
poised, tiny tears were quivering
silently, they slithered, down.

He stood there, quietly, all day
alone, he watched the children play
then turned, and sobbed
and left.

His tender heart was broken
from words that were unspoken
this tiny child was

(c) Crissouli July 2016

Sunday, 17 July 2016


Creative Commons Licence


They know not the politics of it all
nor can they find it in their hearts to care
it matters not who should be right or wrong
only that the days are ever long.
Through the dust and heat, they plod their way
each stumbling, each with his own internal pain.
Is there no one who cares, who wants to know?
These are people, our fellow beings, with no place to go.
We see their images, from our colour screens.
How they make us squirm in our comfortable chairs.
'Enough to make you cry' we say
'did you get that extra wine today?'
The mother lays her babe to rest, beside the road.
She has no strength to carry on, nor the will.
All days tumble, one into another..
Just a few hours ago, she laid down this small girl's brother.
People of the world, please care, 
if not for this woman, for all those who suffer still.
Let the politics be pushed aside
for understanding and compassion
must reach the whole world wide.

(c) Crissouli July 2016

Thursday, 7 July 2016


Sawtell, NSW 
(c) Crissouli 2008


Rise and fall, rise and fall, o gentle ocean
Beat a pathway to the shores around the world
Carry hope and love and dreams to all who watch you
Gently lap away the ravages of time.
With sunshine that does bless your far horizons
Giving diamonds to rich and poor alike
With seagulls hovering over you in splendour
Guarding the mysteries of your depth.
Rocks, as silent sentinels, support you
Reflecting your playful spray in pools of life.
Oh, how the wind does love to tease you 
Lifting your surface far and wide
Oh, never stop, o mighty ocean
Keep rolling until the end of time.

(c) Crissouli 15th August, 1980



We're all so busy these days
running to and 'fro
no one has time anymore
to sit and chat awhile.

We're too busy chasing pots of gold
but we've forgotten the rainbows
that lead us to them.

They have many colours
and always are magnificent
but seldom do we care.

We're too busy to stop and admire..
there's this and that to be done..
as if it would be remembered when we are gone.

What others will recall
are the words we left behind
the times taken to help one in need..
the unexpected call to a friend alone.
For our greatest gift is part of ourselves
our time, so precious, to one and all.
With this, we can give rainbows
more precious than any gold.

(c) Crissouli July 7 2015

Image free to use by Pixabay

Sunday, 3 July 2016



What a time they must be having
for how they loved to talk.
I can see them gathering
maybe ambling side by side.
Surely it would have to be in a garden
for it was in a garden
that each of them was happiest. 
To touch the earth 
and let it fall through their fingers..
they were then content.
Even those I did not know
they tell me they, too, loved the soil, 
the wind and rain upon their face..
or the sunlight playing on their hair.
Can you imagine the conversations - 
who did what and when and where?
Their laughter shall echo through time
for they all had such a sense of humour. 
What a gathering they must be having, 
our loved ones, in Heaven.

(c) Crissouli 1982

Image free to use by Pixabay

Monday, 20 June 2016



I can hear your laughter and see your smile..
and see you tilt your head to one side
I watched your eyes light up 
as he entered the room 
and see that quick glance you shared.
What a couple you were
so happy in each other's company.
You always had such pride in your family
and delighted in all they did. 

Still, I remember you as a girl
with that lilting laugh 
and that easy warmth you happily shared.
You never pushed me aside
or told me to go away.
Rather you knelt with me 
as I looked for that piece of broken glass
in Nona's path, we called it a clock.

You helped me to pick fruit from the trees
and suck honey from nasturtiums
and even played tea parties with me,
though I was so small. 
You understood my love of words
and gave me my first ever dictionary
(I treasure it still) 
and a bluebird necklace.

We were more than cousins
we were friends and confidants..
You were my little big sister
always supportive, never judgemental
We laughed, we cried, 
we shared family news
and solved the problems of the world.

Thank you for your guidance
your caring and sharing
and for being the girl and the lady I so admired..
Rest in peace, sweet Stella..
you will live on forever in the hearts 
of all who knew and loved you..
We will hear your name and smile
'Of course, I knew her well!'

(c) Crissouli  March 8, 2016

Image free use courtesy The Old Design Shop

Sunday, 19 June 2016


Image courtesy of Pixabay  free use


Not for him the comfort
of a warm, cosy hearth
on a chill autumn night..
rather the deceitful friendship
of a cheap flagon
unopened - full of promise
emptied - full of nothing.

Few were his hopes, or wishes
or dreams.
Cold wet grass doesn't lead
to aspirations
or thoughts of grandeur..
rather to chilblains
and eternal desolation.

Tinned soup, cold,
his daily sustenance
at least for the first few days
after the fortnightly pension
and then -
whatever he could scrounge 
wherever he could find it.

The report was stark,
brutal, horrifying..
It came with our morning cuppa
we read it
shook our heads
and turned the page.

(c) Crissouli May 22, 1984

Saturday, 18 June 2016


I sit, listening to your voice
How warm and loving it sounds
even as you tell my small son
"Not like that, don't do that.."
interspersed with praise
as he struggles through the intricacies
of the organ, much larger than the one he's used to.

We take these occasions
a simple gathering of family
so much for granted.
You, and Dad, instruct gently
but firmly, while my younger brother,
the owner of the organ, shivers, quietly.
In the background, the voices mingle
each with their own part to play
in this family theatre.

For so long, I haven't heard your voice
we no longer have the same gatherings
though we do gather, without you.
Our family is still just that
but how we miss you
your presence, the sound of your voice
and how grateful we are
for the memories of a simple family gathering
recorded on a cassette.

 (c) Crissouli June 4, 1983

Sunday, 24 April 2016



As the cold grey blanket of dawn lifted
he shivered, just as he had so long ago. 
He couldn't get the noises out of his head
nor could he forget the smoke or the screams.
Yet, today, his eyes were filled not with smoke, 
but with tears.
They rolled silently down his cheeks
as memories flooded back.

He started to shake, just a little
then she took his hand in hers, 
warm and comforting..
he felt a little easier. 
"Grandad, all these people are here because of you,
because of your mates, because of all you did for us."

She led him to the memorial 
and they laid their poppies, 
then, as they turned to leave,
the small crowd parted and one,
raised their candles in salute.
The last of their ANZACS 
passed peacefully that evening
to rejoin his unit. 

 (c)Crissouli 24 April, 2016

Image free use courtesy Pixabay