Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
August 2020
« May    

Visitor counter

Visits since May 2016

Recent visitors

A Bushwalker’s Prayer

I wrote this poem back in August 1990, but it came to my brother’s attention a day or two ago via a time capsule (long story). He set the poem with one of his amazing photos of Russell Falls. We both have a soft […]

A quieter day

The accumulated effects of the previous days’ gallivanting took its toll on Mum, who was feeling a bit less than her usual chipper self this morning, so we had a quieter day. I spent the morning reading another chapter of a PhD thesis that I am examining (unfortunately I really did need to do some work […]

The quantitative vs qualitative debate

There was a Faculty post-graduate research conference held on Saturday, which allowed our students to present aspects of their research to an audience of staff, fellow students, and others. Someone decided it would be a good idea to conclude the conference with a humorous debate, tackling the classic topic about which research methodology is better: qualitative […]

The 100 days challenge – the Princess Bride crossover

As I mentioned at the start of the 100 poems challenge, it was Lee Sargent whose 100 days drawing challenge provoked the whole poetry-writing exercise. I followed his artwork picture by picture as he pursued the challenge — he was about three weeks ahead of my own journey, which meant I had to try to avoid […]

Grooks (gruks)

I have discovered that some of the poems I have been writing verge on kind of approximately being “grooks”, or, as they were originally coined in Danish, “gruks”. A grook is a short aphoristic poem, a form made famous—and named as “gruk”—by Danish polymath Piet Hein (an aphorism is a pithy saying that whimsically captures a […]

Epilogue – Reflections on the 100 poems challenge

It’s now nearly four months since I embarked on the 100 poems challenge, and four days since posting the last poem. It’s probably a little early to have a full sense of perspective on the collection (not that I expect that this is a matter of any great consequence) but I do have a gut feeling […]

100. Relaxation [100 poems challenge]


100.          Relaxation

A deep
Breath to start,
With no idea
How much of a year
Would pass, and show my heart
And quiet thoughts; how much sleep
Might be lost to gobbledigook.
One hundred poems, all on show,
Filled with rhymes and awkward wit;
Don’t know what I will do
Tomorrow. I’m free
Since finally
It’s time to
Let it

3 August 2013


Comments: This one’s too clever for its […]

99. Solitude [100 poems challenge]


99.          Solitude

Some days
The sky above
And ground beneath
Are company enough.

29 July 2013


Comments: … although I must say that I do like a vista-filled horizon thrown in for good measure as well, of course … except that the corresponding words wouldn’t have fitted into the poem particularly comfortably! I enjoy the company of friends and believe […]

98. Puzzle [100 poems challenge]


98.          Puzzle

The universe—
Wonderful, strange and mysterious—
Hiding its secrets
Quirky and serious;
Answers come slowly
For questions perplexing;
But one puzzle lingers,
Perpetually vexing—
Enigma, a cipher,
That no one can master:
How come, as we age,
Do weeks pass ever faster?

2 August 2013


Comments: This was the second last poem to be written, and I hadn’t had any inspiration for an angle for the […]

97. Safety First [100 poems challenge]


97.          Safety First

Here is a warning
That you should read carefully,
Sometimes the metre is
Missing a beat.

Caveat emptor
Beware of the half-rhymes,
Their small imperfections may
Feel out of place.

Content advisory:
Parental guidance is
Here recommended for
Mild adult themes.

And should you swallow
Those tales quite implausible
Or indeed overdose
On this long list,
You should quite urgently
Seek the advice of a
Qualified medico
Ere it’s too late.

Please be advised […]