Water bombs contains lots of poems about growing up, school, shopping, the spit-induced joy (horror!) of kissing, and other important stuff. Most of the poems are based on my life as a youngster in Queensland, surrounded by brothers, sisters, aunts, witches, and school-mates.

Water bombs
University of Queensland Press 1992.
ISBN 0-7022-2807-9

Cover by Gregory Rogers
Joe at nine

My name is Joseph
or Joe.
My Mum calls me Joseph.
My brother calls me Josephine
but not when my Dad's around.
I'm in Year 5
Mr Dunstan's my teacher
he's all right for a teacher
better than Mr Jackson, the principal.
Jacko the wacko, we call him.
The things I like about school are
luncthime, sport, &
Debbie Austin.
The things I don't like
are everything else.
I wish I was taller.
I wish I'd get picked in the cricket team.
I wish teachers didn't insist on making
me learn mathematics when I tell them
I'm going to be a footballer when I leave school.
My favourite car is a Holden.
Iv'e only kissed a girl once in my life.
It was Debbie Austin.
It was kind of fun
until she opened her mouth
and I could feel the spit on her lip.
She said that's how people kiss.
I'm going to ask my big brother about it
He kisses Jane Simpson from down the street
all the time.
The best thing that's happened
in my life so far
was when my parents
had a big party.
Me & Debbie Austin
2 chocolate puddings
a bowl of corn chips
6 party pies
a packet of peanuts
3 Sara Lee cheesecakes
4 falafels
and 2 sausage rolls.
Debbie wanted to try kissing again
I wanted another party pie.

Debbie at 9

My name is Debbie
Mum says I was named
after my Aunt Deborah
who was on television once.
I wish my name was Desiree
or Delilah
something romantic
Debbie sounds ok I guess
I like school
I get good marks in everything
but English
I tell my teachers
I donít talk proper at home
and I ainít going to talk proper at school!
I see my boyfriend Joseph
every lunchtime
We share a packet of cornchips
I make Joe buy them of course
My favourite pop star is Madonna
If one more person mentions
Kylie Minogue around me
I swear Iím going to hit them
me and Joe kiss sometimes
but he doesnít know how to kiss
Heís got lips like a dead fish
I tell him to go home and
practise kissing the mirror,
but I donít think he does
The best thing
thatís happened in my life so far
was the day Kate, my best friend,
and I went over to Hooperís Paddock
to feed the horses
Kate dared me to ride one
It was easy
I only fell off once
thatís how I got this broken arm
Joe reckons the plaster cast is cool
I reckon it makes me look lop-sided
The doctorís going to remove it on Friday
Iím going horse-riding again on Saturday.