Mrs Jo Roberts of Flowerdale, Tasmania

wasn't going to take no bullshit
from no upstart Pommie poet
in bladdy residence! Mr
Nice-Guy my arse! She would test
that self-image. You have to earn
the bladdy right to be as genuine
as he is making out. She would

test it to destruction. And with what
wormwood sarkiness! They all said
what cracking form, applauded
the sniping and the skirmishing.

Her kids harum-scarumed me on
a bumping buggy ride around the paddock:
I came off laughing like one of those
giggling kookaburras I heard
on the banks of the Yarra at Warrandyte.

But in her perky game of flusterings,
she did not allow for a parallel
Scouser's paranoid taste in me
for debunking anything pretentious,
anything that smacks of posh. She
was not the only one could take the piss.

Yet she was dogged as a dingo
until that what-thankyou-poem? I wrote
for Barney, her father-in-law, who one day
showed me a green breathing place of man ferns
where he would sometimes go to sort his mind
by the clucking waters of Quartz Creek.

She demanded to read it, wanting to pounce
on bladdy Old World decadence
It clammed her up.
                       She kissed me,

The Pope himself could not have given
such confirmation of the things I'd come
twelve thousand miles to find. No lottery loot
could ever have been so welcome or so sweet.