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mandln3a.gif (1309 bytes)"Australian Country Poems"
Please send a poem to me by e-mail to ragepage@bigpond.com  At the end of the year each poem will be 
judged and the winner will receive a small prize.
 
 
The Winner for 2001 -2002 was chosen by Lenny Knight an award winning poet
 
Hi there Helen,
Finally got a chance to judge the poems this week
And the winner is........
Poem No. 2 -   'I Remember When',  by Bert Wilder.
Thanks so much for the invitation to judge the 'Australian Country Poems' Competition for the Tamworth Rage Page for 2001.   
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the poems. 
Unfortunately there can only be one winner, however, Ralph Emerson sums up perfectly with his words,  "The reward of a thing well done is to have done it" 
So I would like to pass on my congratulations to those who entered and encourage them to be proud of their achievement, I hope they enjoyed the process & keep on writing.
Yours in poetry,
Lenny Knight
Helen congratulates Bert Wilder who now has won it the two years this competition has been going
I REMEMBER WHEN
(Winning Poem no. 2)

When I was just a little kid my mother used to say
Each time you want to cross the road you ought to look each way
Don’t walk under ladders and never walk on cracks
And when the train is pulling in be sure to stand well back
I recall that just as well as most of what I learnt at school
I wasn’t quite the brightest kid but I wasn’t any fool
I remember all my teachers’ names and much of what they taught
And the fun we had, win or lose at school and weekend sport
 
Then just before I finished school I took a part time job
In a servo and I remember a gallon of petrol cost four bob
Back when there were gallons, shillings and pence on the meter
If my sums are right that calculates to about eight cents a litre
I remember most of those I’ve met and the places I have been
What I learnt at college and work and the sights that I have seen
The punch line of a lot of jokes and the words of many songs
I remember peoples’ faces though with names I’m sometimes wrong
 
We build a bonfire every May in time for cracker night
And let off roman candles and catherine wheels so bright
They gave us all a day off school when world peace came at last
And people got on with their lives as they did in the past
I thought I’d never hear again that evil word called war
But we didn’t know what Korea and Vietnam held in store
Important dates in history and even in my life
But when it comes to birthdays I sometimes need help from my wife

The names of many childhood friends are in my mind it seems
And many fond rememberings sometimes come to me in dreams
I wonder if in twenty years I’ll be truthful when I say
I remember everyone who’s here and what’s happening today
I recall the finest details from back thirty years or so
Yet I can’t recall a single thing from half an hour ago
And as all these memories stick with me as every new year passes
I wonder why I can’t recall just where I put my glasses.

Bert Wilder
*

Poem No.  15
"CROCODILE”
Early morning sunlight creeps silently o’er the land,
Shadows slowly shorten, as daylight comes to hand, 
A lone Kite hawk soars up above the scene spread out below, 
No stir of wind to whip about the glistening waters flow, 
 
Beneath the backdrop of the sky a dark gray form lies prone. 
Upon the muddy riverbank he watches still as stone,
With mouth ajar and eyes wide open, he looks a lot like marble,
This prehistoric creature, which one can only marvel.
 
Lying near the shore he now looks peaceful and serene, 
         As a small bird flutters in and out picking the large teeth clean,
This amazing quirk of nature for centuries it has been,
A respected mutual partnership by bird and beast it seems.
 
Suddenly this bird is gone, to greet the newborn day, 
As the creatures of this outback scene greet the new suns ray,
The tidal river starts to rise as fish dart to and fro.
And the mighty word of God has said that this is so.
 
Tucker time is here again for the creatures’ great and small,
And this plastic skinned prehistoric lizard has woken to the call,
Slowly, moving forward, with no ripple he submerges,
To the murky fish filled water to appease his primitive urges.
 
Gliding swiftly, silently, he stalks unwary prey,
As they come down to the water, to drink swim and to play
Floating gently to the surface not a ripple does expose,
The presence of this awesome beast as silently he goes.

 
A mighty lunge, a snapping mouth, a pig is in his jaws,
A survival mode often repeated and one of nature’s laws,
In nature’s natural order, this scene has come about,
The struggle for existence an awesome devilish route.
 
Day after day, month after month, this scene is carried out,
And yet this awesome power display sometimes turns about,
As seen by the little bird that was by natures governing laws,
Safe within the prehistoric Estuarine Crocodile’s jaws. 

  Vic Sturgeon   2000

Poem No. 14
"ENJOY YOUR COMPANY." 
 
From power poles to presidents
We've been best of friends for years
No one way conversations
Branching out any old way it seems
For Enjoy Your Company la da da de
Meet each other when young 
Now look back where it begun
All these years & your still a mate
Through lust & desire we never did date ?
Yer Yer You are you see don't argue with me
For your the best of company la da da de
For travelling destination never set in 
Yer smoking drinking partying swimming
They were just some of the things
Infatuation Imagination Illusions
Ice cream Ice tea You & me
Telescopic dreams of futuristic reality
Anything possible it seems
For your the best of company la da da de.
 
COPYRIGHT (c) 2001. PHILLIP DORING.

 

 
Poem No   13 
Christmas in Australia 2001  
        
Christmas in Australia is hot and dry, and fun
But as we come to the end of 2001,and 
Christmas Day had just begun
We heard the news of strife about
80 bushfires had broken out.
They rip thru' the bush, taking all in sight
Thru the day, and into the night.

Echidnas, wallabies, koalas and 'roos
Wombats, possums and birds of all hues
Trying to seek refuge from the searing heat
Perish wastefully on their feet.
They don't stand a chance in this situation
As the bushfires abort our nation.
The thunderous roar is deafening to your ears
As the inferno races swiftly into the New Year.

The stench of burning leaves, fill the air
As the fires strip our bushland bare.
Unfortunately the fire doesn't stay in the trees
As onwards toward the homes it seethes.
That giant monster eats all in it's path
As man is left with the aftermath.
As volunteers work tirelessly to save more trouble
Many homes are reduced to smoldering rubble.

All firemans' leave cancelled, no Christmas for them
"B" team on standby, amongst the mayhem.
36 sleepless hours on duty, no relief in sight
When assistance comes from interstate to fight.
Exhausted fire teams working round the clock
Trying to prevent loss of homes and stock.

The crews come from many a source
All pitching in to help the cause.
Fire crews, SES, and St Vincent de Paul
Wesley Mission and the Salvo's stand tall
Offers from America and overseas brigades
On standby, waiting to come to our aid.
As they hasten to build new water planes
There's another outburst of smoke and flames.
In the still of the night when the wind drops
Backburns are done, to try and stop
The devastation whipping thru' our state
As we watch and wait for the fires to abate.

With a new day emerging, there's another cry to the call
As NSW has a hundred fires and more.
Calls from the suburbs, towns and national parks
As they become covered in smoke, flames and sparks.
Trains, highways and roads have been closed
Due to the danger of driving and the thick smoke.
"A state of emergency" declared Bob Carr
As money pours in from near and far
To support the relief fund, set up to assist
Those who lost everything, including Christmas gifts.
Oh no!!! There goes another national park.
How the hell did one hundred fires start?

To the North, South and West of Sydney
Fires in Nattai, Shoalhaven, Hunter Valley,
Huskisson, Nowra, Wallacia and Oakdale,
Helensburgh, Waterfall, Otford, Silverdale,
Stanwell Tops, Oberon, Springwood, Blaxland,
Appin, Grafton, Cessnock, Sutherland,
Bulgar, Warimoo, Mulgoa, Tomerong,
Warragamba, Spencer, Canberra and Gulgong.
All covered by ferocious flames causing residents to choke
From the thick, grey coloured, angry smoke.
The orange super heli-tankers have come
9000 litres of water each three minutes is dumped
On places firemen cannot reach
'Elvis', 'Incredible Hulk' and 'Georgia Peach'.

There's a knock at the door..."What's that you said?"
"Get up, get up, get out of bed
Get in your car, get out of town
'Cos your house could be next to burn down
No time to gather your things together
Head to the nearest evacuation centre."
The real spirit of Australian's is true blue
As they offer aid and assistance to you.

More than 170 homes have been lost
Some things not replaceable at any cost.
Photos of past holidays, pets and children growing up
Photos of weddings, parties and that new pup.
Imagine returning back to the family abode
To rubble, ash, and half-burnt clothes.
Losses can't be washed away by tears
So they cling to the memories from the past years.

A lost wallaby at the roadside not knowing where to go
Dazed and bewildered by the blinding smoke.
The eerie silence, no rustle of the leaves
Nothing, but the starkness of the blackened, naked trees.
What would you do, if you caught the bastard
Who's lit many fires and was then charged with arson?
Some have homes gone, some have lost stock
But, be thankful, Thank God no lives have been lost.

Carolyn Dalton    
2001
Poem No 12
Mates
There when I need you, even when I don't.
There to talk to, even when I won't.
There to spend time with, no matter how long.
There to laze with and listen to a song.
There to keep me company, even if I don't need it.
There to walk to school with, and help me through it.
There to cook a feed with, even if  I'm not hungry.
There to help me, if I need money.
There when times get really tough.
There when others start to get rough.
There to listen, when no one else will.
There to give advice, and help me through.
Alway's around and I know you'd help,
'Coz your me best mate Kell, Luv Stef
written by Mark Black
 
Poem No. 11
Jessica
The first time that we saw you
Tears came to our eyes
A brand new life unfolded
A girl for the family ties
 
A family that is scattered
And sometimes seems so rough
But a family that has good times
And knows how to breed em rough
 
First there is your old Nan
Who knows all the tricks?
Remember when you need advice
She’ll help you with the ticks
 
Then there is your nana
Who likes to play it tough
But will end up your favourite person
 When you’ve had enough
 
Your great aunts and uncles
They all seem so old
But they’re whenever you need them
For help or just to hold
 
Then come’s your aunts and uncles
You’ll never have to wish
They’ll keep you through the hard times
And hey!! They’ll teach you how to fish
 
19 wonderful cousins
Join in all the fun
You’ll get sick of all the kisses
But you’ll love every one
 
Then your mum and dad are there
To make your family complete
Welcome to our family
Jessica Ellen,Our sweet 
 
By Leeanne  Davidson
copyright.

 

Poem No. 10
A gift for you
 
No one can ever tell you
'What its like to become a mum
The feelings that engulf you
When you first hold your little one
9 months of building a life
Can sometimes be so tough
The sore backs and stretch marks
Until your body’s had enough
 Then the big day arrives
 For the new life is yet to come
The months of waiting is over
And at last you are a mum
The first time that you hold this gift
And look into their face
Will change your life forever
And forge its special place
You can begin to imagine
What you feel the day you meet
Now you have a little one
Your world is now complete
Motherhood is like a dream
From which you never wake
Its what you’ve always waited for
And now its yours to take
Enjoy the ride, Elisha
For nothing will surpass
The love between mother and child
It will forever last
By Leeanne  Davidson
Copyright
Poem  no. 9
I'm A Truckie
 
Tattoo's cover my skin
I have side burns
Brylcreem in my hair
You would think I was a rock star
But no I'm a Truckie
Stubbie shorts, blue singlet and thongs
That's my uniform
I'm happy in my job  it may be hard
But hell I do not clock on clock off, I'm my own boss
Time on the highway may be lonely at times
But when I'm home my family makes up for it
My vocabulary is not so great
So I did not go to school
I wanted to be a Truckie!
 
-Steve (Rags)Morris 
copyright
Poem no.8
Heroes...

It aint just a job, workin' the land
I'ts a way of life, and you lend a hand
You're up from dawn workin' till late
Tryin' to earn a bob to fill up the plate

It's something we all take for granted
But somebody has to get the crops planted
And when the workin' week is done
You head into town to have some fun

You're my heroes, the folk I like the most
You'll stop to have a yak, leanin' on a post
You're honest blokes through and through
And I can't help but likin' you

You're always ready to tell a story
You tell them with pride and you tell them with glory
You'll always be there to fight the fires
And you help change the old woman's tyres

You're my heroes the folk who get drunk the most
And you're the ones who make the best host
When Saturday comes and the work is done
You're the ones who have the most fun

You're the ones workin' in the heat
Because somebody has to shear the sheep
You've been drovin the cattle through the long cold nights
You've got to ring the herd when the lightning strikes

You're my heroes the folk I like the most
And you're the ones at the end of every toast
You'll be out all day huntin' with the dogs
And when waters about, out come the rods

You've been workin' up a sweat in the heat and dust
Crackin' the whips to load the trucks
You battle the droughts and you battle the floods
But it ain't gonna change, the countries in your blood...

Angelique Burns 17yrs Goroke  Victoria.(c)

Poem no. 7

The Dream of Dreamers

 
Oh how I long to live in peace,
where nothings right nor wrong nor why,
to live a life that's worry free,
and dream of days gone by.
 
To hold my dearest close to me,
and peace with love remain,
with hope, trust and charity
and profanities refrain.
 
To walk a road that's straight and true,
to think with peace of mind,
to love all and one together,
for the best of all mankind.
 
To love my God, and him love me,
with no ill at all at ease,
with only love, trust and charity,
and all live a life of peace.
 
Michael Vincent Pisani 
copyright (c)Michael Pisani)
Poem no. 6
Full Circle
 
When I was young and learning about life
my old mum gave me some advise,
she said son be strong and stay out of strife
stand tall be good and get a good wife
I listen to her and tried to be
the man I thought she would like me to be
the only mistake I made on the way
married too early, for something's you pay
Make your bed, lie in it she said everyday
It turns a Full Circle, Done wrong you'll pay
Time has gone by some days have been long
some things I've done right, some a bit wrong
Her words forever linger inside my head
I hear her voice when I go to bed, Full Circle
I was the last to see my mum alive
I felt cold but warm at her bedside
she whispered don't look so sad I've seen the
light and the stairs it not so bad
I'm leaving soon but remember well 
Don't ever forget that Full Circle
Michael Vincent Pisani 
(copyright (c)Michael Pisani)
Poem no. 5
It's Time again
 
My gear is packed
My bed is made
The oil and water has been checked
Tyres kicked
Turn the key, start the engine
Black smoke pours out of the stacks
In gear, where of its time again
The afternoon sun shines in my face
Mile after mile the tyres hum to the road surface
The sunsets in the horizon
Police ahead checking log books
Better make a entry in my fib book
They wave me on
Just my luck
It's night time the air is cool
We'll he dip his lights
Bloody motorist must be blind !
Time for a break, streak and eggs and chips sound good
It's time again
Another mile another 50 cents
 
Written by Steve (Rags)Morris
 
(c) copyright

Poem no 4

The Battle of Barcaldine!.
 
The Eureka Stokade we know about,
And now the time has come,
To tell a greater story,
The battle of Barcaldine.
Around and outback Queensland town in 1891,
The Government sent the army and the Gattling gun.
No longer good enough is what the shearers said,
Poor food bad pay and stinkin' water
So they walked out of the sheds.
It was a revolution on its way for 15 years,
And they worked damn hard,
Through all the blood, sweat and tears.
Its time the people heard us, we dont want this anymore,
And so they all united and walked out the door.
Although they had some funds
to do 'em through the fight,
The government brought in the scabs,
And tried to stop the strike.
In those six months they did it tough,
Ran low on money too.
But in the end they went to ruin,
There was nothing they could do.
So six months after the strike began,
The shearers were starved back to work.
Their leader had been jailed,
And others badly hurt.
And never could you shout.
Their strike fund near exhausted,
And food was running out.
Still the scabs from the city, could not be stopped,
And the sheep kept getting shorn,
But under that tree of knowledge,
 
Written by Helen Hayden (C) copy-right 2001
Poem no. 3

Where has old Australia gone.

I'm often asked the question, my opinion of the way
changes to my country are taking place today
and as I sit & ponder my mind it takes me back
to times when things were different way back down the track
and as I think about them, the changes good & bad
I recall my childhood & the different life I had
where has old Australia gone, the days that I once knew
the days of peace & freedom, the days that were true blue

where has old Australia gone those days that's long gone by
when twenty cents was florin, two bob or a swy
ten cents was a deener, a tray was half a zac
gee I miss those old days, I wish we had them back

where has old Australia gone when everyone had work
when there was no free hand outs to encourage one to shirk
and what about our products, the ones Australian made
I wonder if it's all been worth the price that we have paid?

where has old Australia gone when your word was worth your name,
 when deals were made with hand shakes, before the contracts came
and what about fair dinkum, fair go & g'day mate
I wish those days were back again but I guess it' all too late

where has old Australia gone when Policemen had the right 
to kick  your tail & send you home from off the street at night
when every child had a home & respect for mum & dad
yes those were the good old days, the best we ever had

where has old Australia gone, those days before T.V.
when we sat around the radio each night after tea
and listened to the programmes & the adds they made
the days of weekly serials, the likes of dad & Dave

where has old Australia gone, when things were made to last
made of iron & wood & steel, & food was not so fast
when show bags were a sample, & never cost us nought
and football, bowls & cricket were only played for sport

so when you ask for my advice on what's happened to my land
I hope that you'll be patient & try to understand
that for me it's not so easy to agree with all I see
for I have lived in both times, this & one that used to be
and if I was the person to have the final say , 
I'd bring back the old days & throw the new away
but I still have my memories of those days true
and I'm glad I had the chance to live  in those days that I once knew

John Seers (c) Marjak Promotions

 

Poem no. 2

I REMEMBER WHEN

When I was just a little kid my mother used to say
Each time you want to cross the road you ought to look each way
Don’t walk under ladders and never walk on cracks
And when the train is pulling in be sure to stand well back
I recall that just as well as most of what I learnt at school
I wasn’t quite the brightest kid but I wasn’t any fool
I remember all my teachers’ names and much of what they taught
And the fun we had, win or lose at school and weekend sport
 
Then just before I finished school I took a part time job
In a servo and I remember a gallon of petrol cost four bob
Back when there were gallons, shillings and pence on the meter
If my sums are right that calculates to about eight cents a litre
I remember most of those I’ve met and the places I have been
What I learnt at college and work and the sights that I have seen
The punch line of a lot of jokes and the words of many songs
I remember peoples’ faces though with names I’m sometimes wrong
 
We build a bonfire every May in time for cracker night
And let off roman candles and catherine wheels so bright
They gave us all a day off school when world peace came at last
And people got on with their lives as they did in the past
I thought I’d never hear again that evil word called war
But we didn’t know what Korea and Vietnam held in store
Important dates in history and even in my life
But when it comes to birthdays I sometimes need help from my wife
 
  The names of many childhood friends are in my mind it seems
And many fond rememberings sometimes come to me in dreams
I wonder if in twenty years I’ll be truthful when I say
I remember everyone who’s here and what’s happening today
I recall the finest details from back thirty years or so
Yet I can’t recall a single thing from half an hour ago
And as all these memories stick with me as every new year passes
I wonder why I can’t recall just where I put my glasses.
 
Bert Wilder

 

Poem no.1

THE OLD GREY

She looked up and saw the old saddle on the wall.
She gazed at it and memories came back.
Strange how one thing should stand out among the rest.
Especially in a room that was full of tack.  
 
She remembered all the horses: the colt, the gelding, the black.
She remembered too, the one that got away.
 But the fondest of her memories were reserved for just one horse,
Her favourite: the beautiful old grey.
 
Tears welled in her eyes as she stroked the old worn leather,
 And splashed into the dust upon the floor.
She slowly turned around, and through the mist and tears,
Looked sadly out through the open door
 
She could see there on the hill the old cross that marked the grave
Where the poor old horse was finally laid to rest.
She remembered all the good times: the rides, the gallops, the trots
 Oh yes! she certainly was the best.
 
She remembered as well the good times down by the old deep creek,
When she rode there on a long hot summer's day
And she knew who would be waiting as the sun went slowly down, 
 Her friend, the beautiful old grey.
 
 But that was long ago, back when she was quite young,
And memories were now all that she had.
She dried her eyes and slowly walked back towards the house,
Wondering why she should be feeling so sad.
 
 For out there in the paddock, so peaceful and serene
Was another horse enjoying the new mown hay.
 She gazed at it and smiled ; she was looking at the horse
That was the daughter of her beautiful old grey
Pancho @ Bungwahl

Click here for Year 2000 winning poem

Click here for new competition now starting for 2002-2003

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