Weekly Poem: Oz Poetic Society

My poem “Sounds of Summer” has been elected this week for the Weekly Poem on the Oz Poetic Society site. This is the third poem (also “Jacaranda” and “Lorikeets“) that has been posted there and I’m thrilled.  “Jacaranda” was also placed on the 2012 Roll of Honour. Thank you Oz Poetic Society!

Sounds of Summer

Animated crickets sing away silence;
kookaburras laugh at the day.
Lorikeets whip round in wondrous brilliance
screeching, announcing dusk.
A cool breeze rustles through full-leaved bushes
while wind chimes clang tinny tunes.
Workers hurry home booming and hooning
like an orchestra producing a cacophony.
The storm bird is out coo-eeing again –
geez I wish it would rain.
Hungry mosquitos buzz about
intent on causing pain.
Steaks stop sizzling – just in time.
Dinner on the table.

Copyright © December 2012 Norma Martiri

Form: Free Verse


The Day


This poem was written for dVerse Poets Pub. We were asked to write a poem in a different language so I chose Italian because it is my heritage and I love the language. I wrote a short love poem because it happens to be our 34th wedding anniversary today. To me the poem sounds very romantic in Italian and corny in English. Funny how it can sound so different.

La giornata è stata piena di promesse.
I ricordi in corso,
nuove avventure in programma.
La luna splendeva.

Tu mi hai amato
come nessun altro –
ancora la luna splende.


The day was full of promises.
Memories were made,
new adventures planned.
The moon shone.

You have loved me
like no other –
still the moon shines.

Copyright © 20th January 2013 Norma Martiri

Cambodian Flower

I’m reposting this poem for Human Trafficking Awareness month. This was written in 2011 for the problem in Cambodia but it is a worldwide issue.

white lotus

©Bahman Farzad / lotusflowerimages.com

Falling petals brush her face,
fantasies fill time and space.
Mae’s soft kisses touch her cheeks,
a kind whisper softly speaks.
Desperation tugs and bays,
darkness fills the longest days.
Sweaty faces, frenzied hands,
sunny beaches, waves and sands.
Dirty kisses lick her neck,
torture keeps rebels in check.
Childhood dreams, childhood friends,
heavy breathing, soon it ends.
Lotuses float overhead,
how she wishes she were dead.

Copyright © 2011 Norma Martiri

Form: Couplet

(Mae = mother in Khmer)

Please help educate and empower these beautiful children by donating:

Destiny Rescue
New Hope Cambodia
She Rescue Home
Somaly Mam Foundation

Playtime Echoes

Flickr Image by M. Ribeiro

Flickr Image by M. Ribeiro

I drove past a playground the other day and was saddened as I noticed that there were no children playing. It was a beautiful day and there was not a child in sight, not even on a bike. It may have been the timing but it made me think of the contrast of my childhood. The first part of this poem are some of my wonderful childhood memories. I don’t really believe the last line of my poem but I do worry about future generations.

Heavy wooden swings
sailed above trampled dirt,
and thick metal chains twisted into spirally thrills.
Long silver slides latched on to
Jack and the Bean Stalk ladders
while fearless children climbed to castles in the air.
Cold grey jungle gyms amused monkey kids.
There we viewed our world upside down
and entertained kaleidoscope dreams.
Dragsters wore streamers and colourful flags
as pegged cardboard roared above road noise.
Big brothers revelled in building impressive billy carts
from scraps he’d collected at the local dump
while little ones watched on in anticipation.
On a good day he’d let you drive his masterwork down the hill
with its wobbly wheels and Fred Flintstone brakes.
Tonka trucks dug up back yards
and Matchbox cars drove on dirt roads made by small hands
as neighbourhood kids joined in.
Long ropes skipped over chants and rhymes
as swift feet mastered hot pepper rhythms.
Hopscotch and stones,
broken bones,
skinned knees.
Cops caught dirty robbers
with wooden guns.
What’s the time Mr Wolf
and what did Simon say when
Barbie and Ken threw hip parties
on the latest cardboard furniture?
Miniature houses with black and white chequered tiles
accommodated miniature dolls.
Baby dolls slept quietly in pretty cradles
as mothers drank sugared water
in tiny pink floral China tea sets.
Home-made mud cakes were a delectable treat
that fed innocent fantasies.
Board games ruled and property overlords were born.
Twisted manoeuvres sent everyone reeling
until we nearly peed our pants.
A ball and a wall entertained a child,
and the adventures of The Secret Seven
occupied young minds on a rainy day.

Lonely swings sway
in the quiet breeze,
like an apocalypse has changed the world.
Unsunned kids sprawl on unmade beds
experiencing life through a screen;
sharing a soulless future.

Copyright © January 2013 Norma Martiri

Linked to OpenLinkNight – Week 78 at dVerse Poets Pub

dragster bike

I loved my dragster bike

Saturday Night at the Movies


The drive-in’s
big night was Saturday.
Kids wandered in pyjamas
until they crashed
full of chips, Pluto pups and fizzy drinks.
Teenagers got up to antics
as parents feared,
and beer was drunk.

It was hours lounging
in camping chairs,
takeaway meals,
mattresses in the back of utes,
the occasional storm,
with fogged windscreens.

People went to the drive-in;
Australia was outdoors.

The screens have darkened
leaving excursions down memory lane.
Sites have been devoured
by development
where cars once lined up
and kids sat on pillows
to peer over
mum and dad’s shoulders.
They now sprawl in front of the TV.

Copyright © December 2012 Norma Martiri

Form: Erasure Poem

I have very fond childhood memories of going to the Paspalis drive-in in Nightcliff, Darwin with my family in the late 60’s and early 70’s, most of which are represented in this poem. My mum and dad would sit on picnic chairs in front of the car with a fold-up table full of food, and we kids would sit on a picnic blanket and eat our dinner in the cool. It was too hot to sit in the car in Darwin — it was alfresco even before we knew what alfresco meant. After dinner we’d go up to the shop to buy ice-cream and goodies. By the time the second movie came on we were buggered and slept on the blanket at our parents feet or in the back of the station wagon lined with a mattress while mum and dad sipped cold beer and enjoyed the movie. It was what families did back then.

Taken from an article by Terry Sweetman published in The Courier Mail on Sunday, 23rd December 2012

Taken from an article written by Terry Sweetman
published in The Sunday Mail on Sunday, 23rd December 2012

Being Different

Flickr image by Ksenia Korneychuk

Flickr image by Ksenia Korneychuk

Amusing –
everyone talks.
She is different.
What nonsense!
This is her way,
she is alone,
for herself.
Her clear quiet eyes
wide open
A little figure –
rather striking.

Copyright © December 2012 Norma Martiri

Form: Erasure Poem

Taken from A Bundle of Letters by Henry James

Being Different