Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm an author and poet

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in books, 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.


38 thoughts on “Phineas McGonagall

  1. Dear Alys,

    I liked how you put hard words in the poem and how you put the meanings for the hards words.


    • Thank you, Ranulaka. I wanted to write a poem that included lots of Australian slang. I wasn’t born in Australian and didn’t understand a lot of the words, either! I’m happy to know that you liked it. Alys

  2. Hi Alys
    This poem really rhymes there are a lot of words in here that i don’t know about i lick this poem a lot😊.

    • Hi Vinuk. You make a good point. I wrote this poem because there are so many Australian words I don’t know. I thought it might be fun to learn some. I’m glad you like it! Alys

  3. It was a interesting 🧐 poem very Aussie tipe I liked how you put lots of slang words in it 😄😄😄

    • G’day Yehanya. Aussie slang is such fun to learn. When I first arrived in Australia, I didn’t understand what some people were saying. 😅😝 Alys

  4. Dear Alys
    That poem had some cool words that I have never thought existed.Thanks to your poem it taught me they did exist. Where did you learn Australian slang from?

    • Hi Thinara. I’m really glad you enjoyed learning some new words. I hope you get to use some of them 😅😄 I didn’t know any slang when I arrived in Australia, so I bought a slang dictionary. It was fun learning some of the strange new words. Alys

  5. Hi Alys ,
    I liked that you added the meanings at the end of the poem because it made it easy to understand the poem. And it was a lovely poem.😊

    • Thank you, Ishrit. It took me ages to understand all the Australian slang and I decided to write a funny poem that included some of my favourites. I’m glad you liked it. Alys 😊

  6. Hi Alys,
    I liked the poem. Really funny that there are small cocktail sausages in his beard and he wears a wig made of food. But it was bit hard for me to understand few words. Thanks to tell the meanings at the end of the poem,I really didn’t know that words.
    Thanks japleen

    • Yes, Japleen, when I began this poem I didn’t know these words either – that was one of the reasons I wanted to have a go. Australian slang can be so very interesting. It was a lot of fun trying to work out what each word meant 😂😝 Alys

  7. Hi Alys
    These words are very new to me I only know only some of these words. I’ve read a poem before called I love words and it had a lot of words that I didn’t know before and they were really hard to pronounce as well like your words.

    • Hi Nuwin. Many of these words were new to me, too. I was born in the UK, so I was really fascinated by Australian slang. Such fun to learn 🙂 Alys

  8. Aussie slang is quite strange indeed. I never knew there was so much that I didn’t know even though I’ve lived in Australia all my life. This poem is amazing as usual and I enjoyed it a lot.

    • Hi Chomilka. Aussie slang is so different and I love finding out how and why words started out. I’m glad you enjoyed this poem – I am reading it out during the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which will be lots of fun. And a little scary, too. 🙂 Alys

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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 🙂

    • 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

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

    • 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 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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