Capital Seasons

In Canberra each season begins with a Capital.

The four bold acts ignore dress-rehearsals.

In the dead-shock deep of winter
the low-swung blue sun effaces.

In the bud-blossom break of spring
the young-fun yellow sun smiles.

In the oven-press high of summer
the bee-stung red sun burns.

In the after-taste still of autumn
the gentle-face gold sun sighs.

This continual role play often draws the curtains
to catch a Canberra citizen
acting out of position.

© Richard Scutter 24 May 2009

Led Astray

it’s a dog’s life with lead attached
I had it tracked in the mind
she coming along just for the ride
for me, vacuum nose full-on
hoot-scoot to the show-room door
for the sports model and the sun-roof
she only seeing her pretty colours
not giving one whiff-sniff
and I would have made it purple
it’s a dog’s life
always being led away –
but at least there’s food in the bowl

Richard Scutter 14 December 2008

Animal Thoughts

this morning I woke up dreaming
when a browned-off cow
put it’s head through my bedroom window
uttered that she was tired of being milked dry
and ready to jump both sun and moon
in order to have a little fun

and on the fridge door
there was a message from the cat
said she had gone to London to see the Queen
and that she might take a little boat-trip too
and that I’d better check both the larder
and my wallet

and before I could gather my thoughts
twenty-four blackbirds started chirping
a long line on the telegraph wire
saying they had escaped from the palace
and were eying off my blackberries and apples
and after a poetic revenge

what a nightmare,
what were they thinking
did they want to become human
change natural order
cause confusion
be sinking thick

© Richard Scutter 11 February 2008

Stopping One Day

'I remember one day in June
the height of summer and the sun
still rising on one of those days
that calls all nature into song

biking the back lanes of the Hampshire countryside
stopping on a bridge over a stream
the clear sparkling chatter below, while beyond
the fields praising their contentment.'

© Richard Scutter 3 January 2009

Marriage Mathematics

each one bending
to a heavenly plus
couple greater value

1 + 1 = 3 + ...

... and serious if a series starts
but the minus of hell
when one leaves
nought left

2 – 1 = 0

Richard Scutter 18 June 2007

Hair Like Shoes

hair like shoes defines a woman
there is something so primeval
as if the sun conspiring creates
in cohorts of stranded shafts
that unravel to the flesh-line

blonde brunette, raven, and red
every follicle a flame to passion
brushed aside manipulating
colouring the mind of man

and like shoes her flowing tresses
sway suggestive of the way ahead

© Richard Scutter 11 March 2009

Summer Ends

heat dissipates like an ice-cream melt
colours disappear as swimmers desert the sand
the last couple converse at the beach-end
while only seagulls are left to peck at car-park chips

© Richard Scutter 28 February 2009

The Anonymous Poem

the writing on the door
is an invitation to enter
no one at home

but left behind
are the faceless letters

complain or praise at will
it's all the same
for the forwarding address
is in your hands

these furnishings -
the homeless remnants
of the hidden.

© Richard Scutter 5 January 2009

A Rare Sighting

caught in it’s natural habitat
Maureen quick to capture
at South Durras, before disturbed

this very rare specimen
yes, none other than a …
Eucalyptus Animalatta Rhinosnorta!

notice in particular the
circular markings on the trumpeted snorter
sign of growth struggle in early life

yachts off the coast of northern Queensland
in electronic scan of images
would surely wonder at such a find!

© Richard Scutter 12 June 2007

Rue On Rhubarb

This is the RHUBARB
joke. As a poem RHUBARB

All the lines of the RHUBARB
poem end in the word RHUBARB
except the tenth line. RHUBARB

may well ask RHUBARB
why this is RHUBARB
the case. RHUBARB

This is the tenth line. Celery

I ran out of RHUBARB
on that line. RHUBARB.

© Richard Scutter 28 November 2008

Footnote …

Written for the Pink Rock Poets Christmas Meet 2008. This poem must be read using ‘iambic laugh’ for all RHUBARB words, those that remember Harry Secombe will know exactly how. Does anyone remember the film Rhubarb?


… for the uninitiated … a fellow walks into a bar 4 days in succession attired with the said object in his ear …on each occasion the barman (of English extraction) does not comment as service is given … on the 5th day and with the change in object he summons courage to enquire but of course asks the wrong question … (however, later on that evening, the client asks the barman to call him a Taxi … the barman without any hesitation shouts ‘you are a taxi!’ … joking based on responding to questions in ways that tease … an aunt asking a teenager … do you smoke … only when very excited … )

One and Zero

‘where is the paint put in?’
… a four-year-old on seeing a computer screen for the first time

ONE is singular as God, standing straight
eyes capped, hands pocketed
the feet hidden from the ground
a figure quantifying every element
but confined to solitary itself

while ZERO is a nothing number
circling itself in endless chase
seeking a change in direction
like a snake swallowing it’s own tail
or an open mouth speechless

but ONE and ZERO concatenated
create one holy couple in binary bond
and where two are gathered
more than two soon gather, and life
defines in ceaseless combinations
that only a computer can comprehend -
… or perhaps God

© Richard Scutter 10 December 2008

Note ... written for the Pink Rock Poets Poetry meet Dec 08 ... the theme 10.

Backpain Tension

slightest wrong movement
elicits pain
excruciating sharp stab
involuntary grimace
a total submission

quick change to posture
subsiding sensation
a long slow sigh,
thank you, thank you, thank you
relief relished

you pay attention to the radio program
the afternoon sun dances on the side window
the dog on side laid-back fast asleep
but the intruder is deep within
with dagger momentarily dulled

it is now time to make a move
and focus all your forces
gingerly separating your body from the chair
the next assault is simultaneous
sharp, severe, penetrating plate -

an untenable pain
normal health is much respected

© Richard Scutter 27 November 2008


death is defined
by a jumping of the gun
which may suit impatient people
knowing the end
at the beginning

no false starts now
the field played
is permanent green
the race over
and names on the board

the final final finished
immutability is
a constant colour
bronze or gold
it’s all the same

© Richard Scutter 10 September 2008

Footnotes ...

Shelley described life in terms of mutability (he wrote a wonderful poem called Mutability) ... so I took the theme of death the reverse ... however the title to the poem is not death but immutability ... this is important.

The poem written for the Pink Rock Poets September meeting ... the theme Despatch.

The poem written at the time of the Olympics ... maybe I had been watching too much TV.

My philosophy on death is not articulated by this poem.

Love and Music

love is the food of music
if music be the food of love

the World’s laughter smiles incoherently in
the sparkle of her eyes

she graces the Summer evening in
capricious contempt of all creation

the stars shed their diamonds falling
in symphonic surrender to see such joy

a thousand notes fire from the flame pulsating
from every cell of her being

but without love consider all music nought
but a banal blast from a gaudy strumpet
the screeching out of her cat-noise yell
in the cold night the cacophony caught
as wet and tasteless as cardboard crumpet
tis but the steam of a madwoman from hell

© Richard Scutter 14 February 2008

Light My Fire

come on baby, light my fire
come on baby, light my fire
try and set the night on fire

(lyrics by The Doors – the song made famous by Jose Feliciano)

you know there’s something I desire
come on baby, light my fire
for the tinder is quite dry
and the flames will surely fly

come on baby, light my fire
and set the night on fire

you know we are a perfect match
and really, you are my only catch
and the wood is piled up to the sky
so don’t be a little shy

come on baby, light my fire
and set the night on fire

now the night is starting to get dark
just make a little spark
and strike while this iron is hot
and take everything I’ve got

come on baby, light my fire
come on baby, light my fire

© Richard Scutter 14 May 2008

Water, Water Everywhere

we called her Mrs Apricot
whether or not that was her real name
as children we equated her with fat tins of jam
Henry Jones IXL from far way Australia
she was to be our landlady on a weeks’ holiday
at Hayling Island, we waited with great curiosity
as she opened the door to her seaside home
to be overwhelmed by a jovial greeting from
a voluptuous lady wearing an orange cardigan
it was all smiles from the family as she showed us the bedrooms
talking incessantly of blankets and the like
and when breakfast would be served

but it was the journey in the back seat
of my Dad’s old Morris that still held my attention
forty miles is a long way for a seven year old
eventually the road crossed over low-tide mud
and then round the Butlins Holiday Camp corner
the sea air coming strong and welcome
when something quite frightening happened
the car had turned down a side road
and all I could see was water, water everywhere
the road heading straight into water with no escape
Mum said ‘you’ll have to turn round’ -
but I still wondered, where did that road go?

© Richard Scutter 11 June 2008

Image to be inserted ...
Hayling Island, The Parade looking west, 1950s


God and the Devil are the best of friends
and sweet old heaven needs
a lemon thrown in now and again
to give a little zest
God appreciates the difference
although spitting out pips occasionally
but that’s Ok as long as his Mother doesn’t catch him
and they don’t land on you or me

yes, God and the Devil are the best of friends
sometimes having one hell of a time together
I’ve heard them banging around upstairs
on days like that it’s best to stay in bed,
till it’s safe to move around
with one foot firmly on the ground

© Richard Scutter 6 June 2008

Church Building

the roof is blue
the rafters long gone
the cobwebs taken by fresh air
even the old owl rarely heard
and at night
God winks knowingly
creating a smile within

© Richard Scutter 13 August 2008

Cycling Along

you came through a tunnel years ago
unaware of where you were
screaming on wobbly wheels
with everyone cheering on
especially maiden aunts
not knowing such pain
coo cooed in admiration
as you moved into the light

not a pedal punishing pace
never another Napoleon
you stayed firmly in the saddle
until teaming with a mate
riding new curves an unexpected pleasure
on roads you never dreamed of taking
the low pass and the high pass all in one
with chattering river in between

but now you’re slowing down
your bell rings out a lonely note
you know around the bend
a darker tunnel awaits
but there’s time to view the scenery
and even if you do come off
you have it in the legs
you’ll get going again

© Richard Scutter 13 August 2008


this ghost walks through my mind
red lips behind veil
traffic light red


one way pleasure
one way pain
do not kiss

the sun brightens the night crack
morning shakes the sense
impending work detracts
and life moves on
but not without an ache

but believing without knowing
that the pain in for-going pleasure
is less than the on-going after pain
from temptation taken -

so of the two kisses on the road divided
the kiss not taken has made all the difference

© Richard Scutter 31 May 2008


love old creates anew
something before is now that never was

from God gold with love, in gold God and love
life returns, the sinless gift

product of time from the timeless room
this first day built from many

but the centuries cast a shadow
rocking the cradle with both a warning -

and the hope eternal

© Richard Scutter 9 July 2008

On Wet Days

on wet days morning scratches
like a dog at your door

the close-in tight encounter of cloud
the mesmerising knock of rain on tin
mitigating any movement
the bed hard to break
the snug warmth of your own body
gives a lulled contentment from just being

on wet days morning scratches
like a dog at your door
reluctantly you know you have to answer

© Richard Scutter 11 June 2008

The Maybe Words

the maybe words arrive
in the dark tunnel of the mind
a sudden train of thought
shocks your sleep station
the doors thrown wide open
words tumble from bright-lit carriages
people late for work

are any meant for you
as they quickly depart
dropping their spent tickets
maybe a few friendly faces

but will they keep you company till morning
will you ever see or hear of them again –

maybe, maybe not

© Richard Scutter 7 May 2008

This Flame

this is no wobbly flame
that wavers with the wind

this is no match flaring up
striking an instant light
before dying without warmth

this is no fireplace comfort
that in the morning is cold white ash

and never is this an Olympic torch
protected lest choked
by angry voices

nor even is this some flash comet
seen in the heavens momentarily
then long forgotten in the daily grind

this is the all conquering morning shaft
that shoots its arrow into every heart
the purification by fire
the ceaseless burning of the Sun
the consummation of humanity
in the inescapable life-cycle

© Richard Scutter 14 May 2008

An Unearthly Perspective

the photograph shows
the beauty of Saturn’s rings
taken at that point in Cassini’s orbit
with the Sun blocked behind

Earth is a mere speck of light left of centre
someone thought it a blemish
when the image was first released
and tired to remove it …
someone did likewise a long time ago
decided this was not a good idea …
but the rings are quite stunning

she turns and grins … not quite
the mirror grins back without thought
a hair out of place is snipped
“I’m off … see you tonight” she calls
a retort from the open door
“… your hair looks nice today”

7 billion bodies
exploding within a pinhead
pricking the consciousness of matter
painfully incubating a microscopic eternity
while everything that is you and me
is absorbed in the space that is hidden within

many light years distant on another planet
a strand of hair holding her DNA is unravelled
recreating the beauty of her heavenly body
image and image maker merge
something so spectacular –

beyond the stars
beyond imagination

© Richard Scutter 12 march 2008

For a photograph associated with this poem see this link