I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

16 April 2016

At Jeanette Davis's Birthday Party

We wore our best dresses
and ribbons in our hair.

My hair was left unplaited
to flow down over my shoulders.

They had butterfly cakes
with cream and jelly.

They had thin-sliced bread and butter
dotted with hundreds-and-thousands.

Everyone (except me) passed the parcel
and pinned the tail on the donkey.

I was very happy all afternoon
in the armchair under the window.

I’d found the treasure! I was allowed
to have it as long as the party lasted.

When my Dad came to pick me up,
Jeanette’s father said to him (he told me after):

‘What a strange little girl. She didn’t want
to join in and play with the other children.

‘She just sat in a corner all day
by herself, reading a book.’

‘I had to finish the story,’ I said.
‘I had to read it all before the party ended.’

Dad explained about trying to fit in,
behaving the same as everyone else

(if I wanted people to like me).
I was seven. I tried for a long, long time.

It never worked. I’m still peculiar
in my idea of fun. (But some people like me.)

Digital Photograph - Six Little Girls Lined up in Party Dresses, Northcote, 1948
Source: Museum Victoria. This image is: Public Domain

Written for Day 7 of Dark Poetry for the Cruellest Month: 'Peculiar fun and me'.

No use trying to pick me out in the photo. I would have been inside, reading. Besides, I lived in Tasmania, not Melbourne, and in 1948 I was 9. (Oh all right – I was quite a lot like the little girl on the right.)

PS Now some people seem to think that little girl WAS me. No, just quite like. Below are pics of me with my family: the first when I was probably six, the second when I know I was eight.


  1. Oh! This is absolutely delightful :D I can almost picture you sitting in a corner completely absorbed while reading your book. Beautifully expressed!

    Lots of love,

  2. At such an early age you knew exactly what was good for you. That was a lot of determination shown, Rosemary, certainly good for the future. Ideal background for a dark story too!


  3. Inquiring minds need to know.
    the title of the book
    perhaps if I read
    I can become 7

    1. Alas, lost in the mists of time. I recall it was a collection of fairy stories, but not Grimm or Andersen. Something non-classic and surely long out of print.

  4. Yep. Totally recognise that little girl...maybe we are all peculiarly the same :D XXX

  5. Reading over parties! My kind of girl!

  6. Oh the blessing of not fitting in, I can relate. Wonderfully-expressed! And are those little girls cute...xx

    1. It did indeed prove to be a great blessing. :-)

  7. Oh, Rosemary, I picked you out right away - SO CUTE!!!!! And so vibrant. I preferred books to parties too. Still do. Smiles.

    1. Yes, she's very like. My hair was a lot fairer, of course, like the girl on the left, and I maybe wasn;t quite so plump any more at the age of seven.

      I was thrilled to find this photo online which, albeit in a different city, came from the same era.

  8. I so adore that you still have the same smile and the same sense of self. Had I been invited to Jeanette Davis's party, we would have probably winked at each other... you from the corner with your book, me on the branch of a tree near a window having a party with a book.

    Love the tone of these poem, Rosemary.

    1. Ha ha, yes I did the up a tree with book thing too.

      Have now added some photos of the real me around that age, so you can see the real smile.

  9. LOL - yep that was my idea of fun as well. Still is as a matter of fact!

  10. Absolutely delightful and of course can do very much relate ❤️