Well It Ain’t Shakespeare, Then Again Maybe It Is

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As it does, Christmas comes and goes,

A time to rest from works of prose,

Of writing poems in obtuse verse

On topics often quite perverse.

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Where do those inspirations descend from

Our minds all beat to different drums.

Ideas tempt fancy then take root,

Sometimes sour bitter or succulent fruit.

We didn’t start the fire

Listening to poet ‘We didn’t start the fire’

Word salad of which I never tire.

Ekes strange meaning from dark vision

World wracked by poverty, war in transition.

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To find rhyme with ‘hypodermics on the shore’

Writers block, a word a phrase or more.

Then Tiananmen burst upon the scene

A military putdown quite obscene.

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Though blocked today by Chynese censor

In western consciousness there are defenders

To rhyme with needles ‘on the shore’

Inserted “China under martial law”

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And so I wonder two decades on

Is such wordplay now forlorn?

Can such a melange of random facts.

Become a poem on which to act?

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And then I read an Ormsby work

Its stunning vista made me jerk.

Capturing the nuances of our days,

All said in most amusing ways.

Shakespeare it ain’t but then again,

T’was written by no lesser man,

Bill wrote of his time in arcane verse,

Importantly writing to fill his purse.

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I wonder how it might have been

Had he an iPad from the Queen.

His works might then have faded away,

Unless WordPress subscription he had paid.

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copywrite © thehobartchinaman

  • thehobartchinaman offers full and clear credit to John Ormsby and mrormsbyatlarge.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


What do you long for, warm or squishy,

perhaps its miso or maybe fishy?

Many snacks to tempt my palette,

or then perhaps a cigarette,

I’ve a bad case of kuckisabishii

editor’s note : kuckisabishii – literally means 口 kuchi- mouth and 寂しい sabishii- lonely, “lonely mouth”, but translates to “longing to have or put something in one’s mouth” or more creatively “eating when you are not hungry because your mouth is lonely”.


ScoMo not known to be too humble,

In PR matters rarely a stumble.

Wears christianity on his sleeve

seeks god’s guidance on his knee,

But shows true colours as a cockwomble

editor’s note : cockwomble – A person, usually male, prone to making outrageously stupid statements and/or inappropriate behavior while generally having a very high opinion of his own wisdom and importance.

Travel Restrictions – Wuhan Virus

As we age we take on new interests. For me it’s been sailing my radio controlled yacht.

Before the Wuhan virus and it’s delta and omicron variants we welcomed couch surfers to our home, 250+ in past several years
Our profile at couchsurfing lists one of my passions as the making of hummus.

It’s a rare choice for a Chinaman, and not shared with my interstate kids or grandkids.

What with travel restrictions and all, the only way they’ll get to enjoy grand dad’s delights now will be if I post hummus.

Atmospheric Writing 17C – 10C (500) 7

Atmospheric Writing – Finale

thehobartchinaman achieved the target seven days of Atmospheric Writing! The format is described below. Its been an experience. The annual NaNoWriMo was the hobartchinaman’s genesis. Go on look it up, you know you wanna. This was just a decade ago. http://www.themeanderingmatriarch.com was a luminary then. Her light lead me through those early days, sadly no longer.

In these days of Atmospheric Writing topics have varied. The initial break away from pretentious poetry and its formats did not prevent ditty’s on numerous topics. In fact the respite provided the opportunity to develop new formats such as Pythagorean and the Binomial Expansion Poetry*. These forms have a reason for their metre, its mathematically based. thehobartchinaman’s engineering roots shone through neatly thus completing the cycle of his writings.

At the end of the seven days the writing tended diaretic**. The sources everyday events. F’rinstance two days ago a first ever podium finish in radio controlled yacht racing was put down to visualizing that success. Readers will be spared the detailed minutiae, but not a shot of the flotilla.

It was however, poetry challenges which provided a context to write against. The cleverness and creativity of some of the writing was truly inspiring. Being able to write succinctly, to turn the mind to a word or phrase prompt opened my eyes. Slowly, and with some trepidation I entered a few lines here and there. Eventually apparently my words struck a chord, and not discordant. It was a revelation.

So what now of Atmospheric Writing? The days of 17C-10C [100] 7 are over. Tomorrow’s forecast awaits. What is the appropriate time length between challenges? How will the daily word limit be set? Should I chose another meteorological parameter for both? The process daunts me! Seems I’m overthinking this.

Closing in on the end, the sense of completing my initial NaNoWriMo envelops me. Desperately trying to achieve an arbitrary self imposed word limit recalls a pre retirement world. Others goals and deadlines to be meet. Unnecessarily anxiety producing tension now a thing of my past.

I’m glad to be old and retired.


.**diaretic- the diarizing of events is not to be confused with diuretic the production of urine

the hobartchinaman has invented a new form of short story. Its an auto challenge. The challenge you set for yourself, unique to your current circumstances. On the day of writing, the title is formed by subtracting the predicted low temperature Y, from the predicted high temperature Y. This yields the number of days of the challenge. The daily word limit challenge, set by yourself is the next term in the square bracket. The final title term n indicates the chapter number in the series. Whilst the writer is free to chose, the daily word length challenge must be the same each day. A general equation for Atmospheric Writing is of the form:

Atmospheric Writing : X – Y [daily word target] n

Atmospheric Writing 17C – 10C (500) 6

Atmospheric Writing – What’s It Good For?

The challenge of writing daily was doing him good, or so he thought. Memories of his family flooded back. But it was a radio interview with David Williamson, Australia’s foremost playwright which had most affected his five days of writing. And this was with two days to go, with two days to go.

Williamson regaled the interviewer with his history. As the one of the first mechanical engineering graduates from Monash Uni, he then taught at Swinburne, now also a university. He enjoyed the fresh faces of those he taught fluid mechanics and thermodynamics. I was one of those fresh faces in his Thermodynamics 1A and Fluid Mechanics 2c class. Waiting for lectures to begin we were amused as we gawked out of the windows onto Glenferrie Rd, watching him kerb side park his Austin A30 from the rear seat. He was so darn tall, and still is.

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Austin A30 which Williamson drove from the rear seat

While he loved the teaching it was playwriting where is heart lay. In his first play he wrote about the Swinburne bureaucrats.. When he took up with the married Kirsten Green, [nee Lofven] we established a further link. In the seminal 16mm black and white handheld cinéma vérité epic ‘Gift From a Stranger’ I’d starred, supported by the classic Aussie actor Frank Thring. We were directed by Chris Lofven. Williamson described the turbulence of those times, rancor and disdain from creative colleagues. It was all very public, often raw.

These vague connections crisscrossed my private mind, not anyone else’s. Only those who read this will become aware.

Williamson meandered on, but it was in the excoriating honestness of his self reflections which caught me most off guard. It made me think. When I’d been asked if travelling to the UK for work ‘had been the cause of the marriage breakup,’ I too like Williamson had been thrown a lifeline to rescues the past. The exercise of Atmospheric Writing had lead me to places I’d never explored, and in just four days.

Made me wonder and perhaps as Edwin Starr asked, {War), what is it good for, Absolutely Nothing