Ivor and Kerri

Feature Picture Above: The beginning of “Tullawalla”, me and Kerri having a coffee at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Bensalem, near Philadelphia, May 2019
“Tullawalla”, is now available online at Barnes & Noble .. via this link .. Tullawalla by Ivor Steven, Kerri Costello, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

G’day, I’m Ivor, formerly an Industrial Chemist, then a plumber, and now I write poetry. I’ve had many poems published, and recently I had my book “Tullawalla” published. I started writing about 20 years ago. Then, most of my works were kept private in my desk draws. My wife suffered from severe MS and I was her primary carer. Basically my writings were about her, and our trials and tribulations over the 30 years of her illness. Sadly Carole passed 9 years ago and I’ve gradually become more public with my poems and in June 2017 I decided to start a blog site, and I think 🤔 I’m finally getting the hang of it. I hope you enjoy my humble writings, and I live in Geelong, Australia.

Author’s Statement And Bio

During my younger years I was not a literary person, and I only started writing poetry Twenty years ago. I was originally educated as an Industrial Chemist, but then in my late twenties I undertook a Plumbing Apprenticeship with my father, who was sick at the time, and thus I helped him run his Plumbing Business. Life was going fine until I was in my early thirties, when my wife contracted severe MS, and then my life changed completely. I became a full-time carer, and a part-time plumber.

When I was forty-nine I suffered a semi-severe Stroke, and as well as associated physical difficulties, my reading, writing and speech were affected too. That’s when I took up writing poetry, to assist myself to therapeutically regain my damaged abilities, and as a self-help relief for my ongoing anxieties and depression. Throughout all this, I was still a carer for my wife, and she subsequently became the subject of most of my writings.

I’ve poems published in many anthologies, “Melpomene” (a literary anthology), Geelong Writer’s Annual Anthologies, and a range of other anthologies. I am represented in online magazines such as “The Drabble”, “Poetry Festival”, “Vita Brevis”, “Slasher Monster Magazine”, “Spillwords”, and “Free Verse Revolution”. Recently I had a poem published in an interesting Poetry Chapbook, “Sailing In The Wind”, the result of an Ekphrastic Writing Workshop, at Boom Gallery, here in Geelong, and my poem is called “Waiting Time”. I am a active member of Geelong Writers Inc, and in 2019 I was appointed to the online blog/magazine Go Dog Go Cafe (America).

At the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, I unfortunately had 2 more strokes, however I have been able to recover again, and proudly during 2020 and early 2021 I wrote a book from my poetry collection. The book “Tullawalla” has now been published and available online at Barnes and Noble Books

About Kerri: the Illustrator

Kerri Costello was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2 around the age of 2, but never let that slow her down or stop her from pursuing her dreams. At a young age, she discovered her love for the arts. In 2009, she graduated from Hussian School of Art where she majored in Graphic Design, but also studied Illustration.

Since then, she’s used her skills working independently for several different companies, including Forward View Consulting and Rosenau Beck Inc. Family is everything to her, which is why creating the illustrations in “Tullawalla” for her “Aussie Uncle Ivor’s” book, means the world. You can find more from Kerri on her Blog at https://kerricostello.wordpress.com

Ivor Steven (c) June 2021

Yes, They Know!

Yesterday I sent a comment to Suzanne’s article [The Fork in the Road – Mapping uncertainty (wordpress.com)], and my words were basically the same as my poem below …
Featured Image Above: Bing Images, Nine.com.au

Yes, They Know!

silently waiting

under our sacred Uluru

the ancient rock is ready to erupt

corporate bodies lie

governments lie

banks lie

religious leaders lie

and we the human race

blindly commit suicide

everyday we are damaging mother nature

the lifeblood of planet earth

greed is not a life giving seed

greed only makes the down trodden bleed

and continually queuing up for a feed

greed never listens

to our compassionate or humanitarian pleas

our dreams are being slowly strangled

by mysterious chemicals and noxious weeds

and we are drowning in mercury filled seas

you know what really “Bugs” me

that those despots, who own this stupid world




Ivor Steven (c) June 2021

Horses for Courses

The world is a pool of people, some are sick, some are poor, some want more, and some are at war … The Featured Image Above: by Derrick Knight, and thank you to Derrick for letting me use his photo here …

Horses for Courses

there is something about the freedom of horses

beyond green pastures and steeple courses

there is something about the purity of life’s sources

from the snowy mountains down the river courses

there is something about the madness of wartime choices

beyond bloodstained lands of the killing forces

there is something about death’s silent voices

riding in wooden coffins down the hearse’s brief courses

Ivor Steven (c) May 2021

Flying Bricks

Featured ImageAbove: Gaza Strip border, Kibbutz Netiv Ha’Asara, Israel © Kai Wiendenhofer

Flying Bricks

There is a divisive brick wall

That stands harsh and tall

To stop people breaking their fall

Then the leaders in ivory towers

Ceased talking about peace and flowers

And hurled bricks into that sandy strip

One brick after another brick

Flew from one side to the other

Crashing innocent children and mothers

Flying bricks crumbling to dust

Creating dirty clouds of mistrust

The walls of Babylon fall again

As brick upon brick adds to the strain

Brick upon brick fills the bloody drains

Brick upon brick kills and maims

Ivor Steven (c) May 2021

A Line in the Sand (Revised)

Here I have revised yesterday’s poem ‘A Line in the Sand’ … by adding a stanza at the start, and a change to the final line … I’m not sure, but maybe the alterations are Ok…

A Line in the Sand (Revised)

Did you hear the latest hocus pocus?

About the world’s leaders lack of focus

And resembling old smokeless dragons

Can you sense the reloading of guns and cannons?

In my mind, I am searching for the olive tree

Please come walk with me

We will go to the seashore

And watch the dove’s soar

Hold my other hand

As I scribe a line in the sand

A message to the sky

Love and peace I decry

Will I receive an honest reply?

Or nothing, but more blind eyes?

Ivor Steven (c) April 2021

A White Wall, Whiter Than White (Re-whitewashed)

This Weekend on Weekly Prompts, it’s their first Colour Challenge of 2021 and appropriately they have chosen the colour: White. Please go over and visit their fabulous site by clicking >> Here. My poem is a “Re-Whitewash from 2 years ago..

A White Wall, Whiter Than White

I’m lying here in my white-walled bedroom

My body’s been feeling white-hot

The white ceiling fan is cooling me down

Laying under only white sheets

Covering my white skin

This is not the White House

I don’t lie that much

I’ve not white false hair

So my white halo stays on

Without looking like a silly clown

Outside, my great side wall is white

The back courtyard is safe and secure

No non-whites can’t get in or out

Unless they desperately needed to

The great backyard wall

May be easily scaled

With a sturdy white ladder

I’m trumped, here in Australia

Walls don’t even keep out the flies

I’ve been reading my history books

The white walls built in the past

They have never lasted

Over they climbed

Or under they crawled

The walls were eaten by dust mites

Resilient as a feather duster

And pulled down by liberators, in disdain and shame

Ivor Steve (c)  2019

The Quill and Self-will

Tired eyes slowly open

The room is blurrily sloping

My lips are numb and dry

And I cannot see the sky

Three weeks I’ve been here

While my body is in recovery

Nurses say I’ll soon be out of this wheelchair

And I’ll be home with community health care

How will I cope I despair

My arm is idle and I cannot weight bear

And my speech is impaired

With a memory drifting in mid-air

I am unable to read or write

And daytime may as well be midnight

Three months have passed by

I am doing a morning crossword and my smile begins to cry

But there is a knowing sparkle in my eye

Upon my notepad I’ve scrawled lines of rhyme awry

Ivor Steven (c) Nov 2020

Faerie Pantomime

Mid morning and here comes the sun

The Wala* goddess smiles on everyone

Enriching the bloody goodness in our veins

And saturating our skin when the sky rains

Is your blood the same colour as mine?

Does your skin drip-dry under the same sunshine?

Are your dreams moonbeam snippets of time?

Do you imagine the world to be a faerie’s pantomime?

And we the audience, laughing at their mystical rhymes

Together dancing and ringing the city’s peace chimes

*Wala: Aboriginal mythical sun goddess.

Ivor Steven (c) October 2020