“YOU SPEAKATALIANO MATE?”
The words dance around and around in my head.
They fall into rhyme when I’m lying in bed.
For hours I lie there, my brain’s in a riot,
When all that I want, is some peace and some quiet.
But when I get hold of a thought, it won’t go,
So I try not to fight it, I just let it flow.
It might be a chat that I’ve had with a friend
Or a view from the car as I drive round a bend.
A storm in its fury, the sea when it’s calm.
Of happy days spent, as a child, on the farm.
Of God in his glory, a baby newborn.
The beauty of sunset, the awakening of dawn.
Whatever it be that runs through my mind.
A picture I’ll see, a poem I’ll find.
There’s music in words, if we just mix them around.
Try them here, try them there, ‘till they have a good sound.
But one word of warning to those needing sleep,
You’ll end up like Mary – just counting sheep
You won’t even count, you’ll want them to match
So turn out the lights, close your eyes, and relax.
I’m learning Italian, I think I’ll go mad,
I’m sorry I started, will I ever be glad.
An Aussie I am, and an old one at that.
My friends say I’m crazy, a silly old bat.
They call it Italian, but I’m no soft touch.
I knew from the start it was all double Dutch.
There must be some rhyme and some reason somewhere,
To these tongue twisting words that raise up my hair.
I sit here absorbed in my book and my tape.
My brain reels in shock at the sounds that I make.
“O Sole Mio” – he’s singing some bars
And I’m having trouble just rolling my R’s.
I speak perfect English ya know, and that’s beaut.
And I have an accent, in Italian, that’s cute,
So I’ll keep plodding on ‘till I’ve got it all beat.
I’m an old Aussie battler who knows no defeat.
But I’ll always give credit where credit is due
And the words of praise given new Aussies – too few,
So I dips me lid to those over the sea,
There’s no doubt about it, they’re clever ... like me.
“I hate to admit, but it had me beat
And I have to say,’twas a bitter defeat.
This old Aussie battler just wasted her time,
So I gave up Italian, and turned to rhyme”.
I have a grandson called Matthew Lee Downes, no finer a lad could be found.
He entered this world just ten short years ago, a feather weight, all of three pounds.
His first weeks were spent in crib all alone, cut off from his mum and his dad. He won all the hearts of the angels in blue, they called him their ‘Silver Haired Lad’
A real little battler, this Matthew Lee Downes, he just took it all in his stride.
They drained out his old blood, replaced it with new, no anti-bods dared to survive. They turned him so often, as quick as a wink, ‘twas done with a flip and a flair.
It seemed his favourite position of all, was nose down, with his tail in the air.
All that he knew of his mum were her hands, that comforted, soothed and caressed. Her fingers it seemed, told a beautiful dream of the warmth and the comfort of breast. He healed and he grew, the time came at last, when dream hands were holding him tight.
He snuggled into, and the heartbeat he knew ... Oh yes ... it was well worth the fight.