Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm a poet and writer

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in magazines,

anthologies and online.

Phineas McGonagall

Phineas McGonagall was very strange indeed,

For the manner of his feeding and for where he kept his feed.

Upon his head, he wore a wig of lamington and cheese.

His beard was full of ‘little boys’ that dangled to his knees.

Among his friends I must say there were many most disgusted:

And so would you be if you knew just where he kept his custard.

To critics Phiny simply smiled and said, ‘Now look here sonny!’

Stamped a dusty boot from which erupted blue gum honey.

‘With a narnie in me pocket and some damper in me daks,

I’m never short of tucker as I tred life’s sandy tracks.

From Alice Springs to Zanthus I have never ‘ad the munchies.

-Thanks mostly to me grundies where I keep a stash of crunchies!-

And I betcha when I cark it and am carried out feet first,

The tinnies in me pocket slake the undertaker’s thirst!’


Test yourself. How good is your knowledge of Australian words? 

Lamington = an Australian sponge cake coated in chocolate and rolled in coconut.

‘little boys’ = small cocktail sausages.

Narnie = a banana.

Damper = a traditional type of soda bread.

Daks = a pair of trousers.

Tucker = a slang word meaning ‘food’.

Munchies = to be hungry for snacks.

Grundies = a slang rhyming word for ‘undies’ or underwear.

Cark it = to die.

Tinny = a can of beer.


22 thoughts on “Phineas McGonagall

  1. This should go in a movie in the introduction in my opinion. I really liked it a lot. Thanks!!! Regards, Jameson. P.S. I really like all of your poems and story’s.

    • Hi Jameson, I’m so pleased you like my poem (and stories). Wow! A movie. I love that idea 🙂 Thanks Alys

  2. Hi its Leah here, i think its really funny that there are small cocktail sausages in his beard and he wears a wig made of food. Imagine how annoying the flies would be if you really had that much food on your head.
    Thank you
    From Leah

    • Hi again Leah. I hadn’t thought about the flies. You are very right – it would be incredibly annoying!! Thanks for all your comments, Alys

    • Hi Abbey, I’m so glad you like the poem. I wrote it because I wanted to use some of our amazing Aussie vocabulary. 🙂 Bye Alys

    • Hello Jack. I’m so glad that your pop uses Aussie words; they can be such fun. Thank you for your comments. Bye Alys

    • Hi Emma, Goodness me, that sounds like it would be pretty difficult to do! I’m afraid I don’t really know what a Russian accent sounds like 🙂 Bye Alys

    • I’m really pleased that you like this poem the best Natalee because it is my favourite too. Bye again Alys 🙂

    • That’s a very good point, Dinethri. Although I’m not sure you could use the words in the poem too often. I’m glad you enjoyed it though. Thank you, Alys

  3. Even though I’ve lived in Australia for all my life, I’ve haven’t heard most of the Aussie slang. This was a very intriguing and enjoyable poem.

    • Hi again Thenumi. Aussie slang is fun to learn – almost like a secret language! And so many expressions I’d never heard of! PS: I’m sorry this reply is so late!! Bye Alys 🙂

  4. Hi Alys,
    This poem reminded me Captain Hook from Peter Pan. I can’t think of anything else I could possibly add in to t his poem but I didn’t know those words other than couple. Thanks

    • Hi again Tirath. Goodness, that is a surprise. Captain Hook, huh? I hope the poem wasn’t too confusing. I deliberately used lots of Aussie slang. The truth is, I didn’t know some of the words either. I’m not originally from Australia so they were new to me too. 🙂 We’re never too old to learn… 🙂 Bye Alys

  5. Hi Alys
    I really like this poem when I read this poem it reminded me of the nursery rhyme this old man. I really liked how at the end you put the meaning of each word. I would definitely give you a A+ for this poem.


    • Thank you for the A+ Yenuli. It was so much fun writing this poem because I didn’t really know any Australian slang. I had to learn a lot of words before I could even start writing it 🙂 Bye Alys

  6. Now for my comment, which I leave in cryptic code.
    I would not be a writer; I could not take the load.
    That’s why I admire those who write for us,
    Who are not afraid of the paperwork that I think is Superfluous.

    Seriously though, I loved your poem and would mark it ”A” (the point off is for the flies. they’d be a damn nuisance.) Anyway lovely poem.

    • Hi Dieter. I’m so sorry this reply is so late! I love your cryptic comment 🙂 And completely agree that paperwork is superfluous. Thank you for the A, too! Bye Alys

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