Tamworth Rage Page
Helen is no longer updating this website. 

 

"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.

 Here is a picture of part of the Macleay River for inspiration to write a poem

Click here for all Tamworth Ragepage Winning Poems

Click here for Poetry Competition Index page

 

The Winner of 2002-2003 was chosen by Lenny Knight an award winning poet

Winner of 2002-2003 Poetry Competition

Thanks for the opportunity to judge the 2003 Tamworth Rage Page Poetry Competition.

I am pleased to announce the winner of this years competition as, Merv Webster, with his poem 

'The Loo [wd] Conversation'     Poem Number 26.

Congratulations Merv & thank you to all the entrants for their great effort this year.

Yours in Poetry,

Lenny'

Len Knight

A LOO [wd] CONVERSATION 
(Poem
number 26)
The sound of country music rang down town in old Peel street,
While once again I set up camp, amid the throbbing beat
Of guitars, drums and didg'ridoos beside Frank Turton's chooks,
To share with folk my love of verse and sell my tapes and books.

Then strike me pink old nature called, so had to slip away,
And being air-conditioned like Grace Bros. saved the day.
The toilet there was unisex, but thought I was alone,
When to my right I heard a ring ... a flam'in mobile phone.

Some voice then answered, "Campware here.  Oh hello Miss McBride."
When stone the crows ... another ring ... but from my left hand side.
A woman's voice said, "Hosiery, Miss Makim, how'd you do,"
And there I was perched on the throne, caught right between the two.

It's really hard to concentrate with all that in your ear,
In fact I had to come to grips with why I'd come in here.
The conversations going on both had a diff'rent theme,
Which had my mind a wee bit tossed, confusion reigned supreme.

"Two padded bras," Miss Makim asked, "they both must be the same."
"But room for three," campware replied, "with self supporting frame."
"Your pref'rence is convertible and satin finish too."
"Though shade cloth inserts are a must, to let a breeze blow through."

"And do we have some knickers which would match the bras - in black?"
"Of course they've got the bottoms in and zip up front and back."
"You want some with elastic in, but something that will last.."
"We have a range that slip up quick and come down just as fast."

Then as I heard the cisterns flush, I thought ... hell what a pain;
Transacting business in the loo can really be a drain.
I reached out for some toilet roll to wrap up why I came,
When spare me days 'twas nothing there, but cardboard roll and frame.

What was a bloke to do I thought, I'm stuck here all alone,
When suddenly it crossed my mind ... I'd brought my mobile phone.
I dialled the information line to seek the number out,
Then figured I'd ring toiletry, they'd have some rolls no doubt.

But when I punched the numbers in I heard a ring near by.
That's strange, I thought, then heard a voice say, "Toiletry, it's Di."
"Oh Di," I said, "it's Mervyn here, I'm stuck here in your store,
I'm in your loo and out of rolls so could you bring some more."

There was a sudden silence for the phone went kind of dead,
But somewhere close I heard a scream as some sweet voice then said,
"Hey Merv I'd like to help you out, but sweetheart this is true,
You see I'm only two doors down and out of paper too."
Merv Webster (c)
The Goondiwindi Grey

Tamworth Rage Page would like to congratulate Merv Webster and also thank all the other entries.

Click here for new competition now starting

2002-2003
Click on photo to read some of Robert Raftery poetry 
 
Bush Poets Chris and The Grey 

Click here for the last two years - winning Poems

Click here for the 2001 Poems

 

Poem 29

Hi my name is Emma Griffith
I have a passion for writing
I feel most at home when I have a pen in my hand
I just want to create something beautiful
I dont know if this poem will appeal to you it is very sad
It is not a true story but there is so much of this sort of thing in the
world now I wanted to reach out and see if writing this could let me see how
terrible the ordeal of this particular event could be.
I want to understand how people feel.
People might think its strange that I wrote something so sad for no reason
but I dont know why I did it but I am proud of it
So i hope you enjoy this poem


GONE!
By Emma Griffith 14 years old
You seemed so far away,
Didn't know what I could say
What did you need to hear,
For you to still be near
Doctors have tried
To define suicide
I still don't get it though
Will I ever really know
What made you do it
I could have helped you get through it
If only.


You weren't so lonely
You'd be laughing with me
I wish I did see
Now I'm so mad
So very very sad
With what has been
And everything I have seen
Everything you ever knew and all you had been taught
Your last words and your last thought
All gone when I saw you lying on he floor
Your whole life shut forever behind that bedroom door
If only.


You weren't so damn lonely
I'd see you here,
You'd still be near
"I'm not insane I just can't go on
I've been confused for so very long "
That's all it said,
That note lying on your bed,
I don't get why you did it,
Who was it I still don't see it.
I thought you were fine
I was yours and you were mine
Things change I know they do
But what was it you couldn't work through


Is it just that teenage depression phase
Is that why you hear of suicide often these days
I don't need time and I don't need space
All I need is to see your face
Goodbye is what I have to say
Not another "Love you" or even a "G'day"

It's the end now and not the start
I have to help play my part
Look after your dad and your sister
I'll find your mum and tell her you missed her
I'm getting it now
Why, what and how


You're gone because of what she did
She left you when you were a little kid
I didn't realise it hurt you so much inside
Your eyes were dry, you never cried


I'll tell her all the things I know
I'm angry with her and rightly so
My heart is broken; yeah it's true
While it's mending I'll remember you

"Best wishes do I send
For the loved ones of my boyfriend"
That's the add I put in the paper
I'll keep it forever and read it later

Poem28

In Victor harbor, South Australia, a group of ageing hasbeens, shouldabeens and couldabeens, combined with some youthful wannabees and wouldn’tmindtobees put together a band of dubious ability.

Corella’s Revenge
There was a rumour at The Victor, 
It had even reached The Crown,
And at the Grosvenor they were discussing,
The newest, musical act in town.
 
Now if you take the western out of country,
And the rock right out of roll,
You come close to the new genre,
Some of the pundits would call droll.
 
It is this, the very essence,
Of this new and talented band,
That is about to unleash its repertoire,
Upon the Fleurieu of The Great Southland.
 
When you have a few good men,
And quality musicians to boot,
You can bet that the very first concert,
Is sure to be a hoot.
 
The only thing that may be lacking,
Apart from ability and style,
Is being able to hit the same note together,
Every once and awhile.
 
Now for some, music is a crusade,
With a cause and injustice to avenge.
But that is just not important,
For Corella’s Revenge.
 
If you have heard a wounded parakeet,
Or a crow seriously maimed,
That’s about the choralistic target,
That Corella’s Revenge has aimed.
 
Take the warble out of magpie,
Take the humming out of bird,
Take the nighting out of gale,
And that’s about what’ll be heard.
 
Corella’s Revenge came into being,
Because some men just have to do it,
They can even turn their able hands,
To mould a quartet into a duet.
 
Far be it for us to tell you all,
How to judge what you will hear.
But if you’re all as tone deaf as we are,
None of us has anything to fear.
There’s Terry “The Man” Lewitzka, 
The maestro, we think,
Whose ability and singing improves,
With each glass of red you drink.
 
Then there’s young Johnny “J.R.”,
A singer extraordinaire,
Who with the occasional use of two bricks,
Can get those high notes right up there.
 
There’s Murray the mighty Blatchford,
Whose voice deep and strong,
The dulcet tones keep reverberating,
While we do our best to sing along.
 
There’s John, the guitarist Freebairn,
Known as “Freebie” to one and all,
Whose desire for fame and fortune,
Has seen him answer the call.
 
There’s Colin our master musician,
Who is fondly referred to as C.W.
He plays with a desire to do his best,
Too bad we don’t all take the trouble too!
 
There’s Tyson the violinist,
Whose careful fingers and strings,
To this band of musical misfits,
A touch of refinement brings.
 
There’s Ian the lanky drummer,
Who armed with sticks and skins,
Brings the rhythm and consistency,
That country music’s akin.
 
There’s Luke the bass guitarist,
Who is all slap, pick and tickle,
There’s nothing about his bass playing,
That anyone would call fickle.
 
And I guess that leaves Geoffrey,
Who, although whispering, isn’t Jack,
He plays the digital, electrical washboard,
That is, until his Mum wants it back.
 
So sit right back and take it in,
We’ll say only this to you,
If you reckon it’s hard to listen to once,
We’ve had to rehearse, God knows 
how many times, through. 

G Sullivan (C) March 2003

 

Poem 27

Lewitzka’s Passion
 
Down the way at a harbour named Victor,
Where God Himself has painted a picture,
There lived a passionate, artistic man
With brush and pallet poised in hand.
 
To bluffs, valleys, cliffs and creeks,
Country tracks and every wave-washed beach,
Lewitzka pursued his quest and vision,
Attacking each subject as his personal mission.
 
Two days a week, he’d be transfixed,
Then return to his studio where he would mix,
With budding artists, buyers and browsers,
Mis-guided tourists and cultural wowsers.
 
The latter sapped his energy and passion,
While selling his art, to get the cash in.
Until one day it finally snapped,
The artistic flair was no longer trapped.
 
Out to the valleys, creeks and dams,
Stormed this now un-caged, paint-armed man.
No tree was safe, no horizon beyond reach,
No canvas could hold the style now unleashed.
 
Every branch, rock and hidden chasm,
Was painted upon with enthusiasm.
Kangaroos’ joeys and emu’s knees
Were captured and painted with admirable ease.
 
For seven long days, even into the night,
Lewitzka stroked and dabbed with might.
Until at last God could take no more,
He spoke to Terry, telling him what He had in store.
 
 “My son,” He said, “You’ve painted beyond your limit,
You're supposed to paint what your canvas can keep within it.
Instead you’ve chased my very own creatures,
Painted their habitat and even their features.”
 
Now God had decided, with great deliberation,
How to share Terry’s skill, with the rest of the nation.
“For your overkill,” He said, “There is a solution.
I’ll tell you what you’ll do for restitution.”
 
“Go back to your studio with insight and ability,
And teach all who enter, with the utmost civility.
Even those whom you once considered a pest,
They now shall be, the most to be blessed.”
 
And so today and forever more,
Terry is smiling, chatting is no chore.
School kids and groups through the door are filing,
Because Lewitzka now knows, that God too, is smiling! 
G Sullivan  23/02/2003 (c)

 Poem  26

A LOO [WD] CONVERSATION

The sound of country music rang down town in old Peel street,
While once again I set up camp, amid the throbbing beat
Of guitars, drums and didg'ridoos beside Frank Turton's chooks,
To share with folk my love of verse and sell my tapes and books.

Then strike me pink old nature called, so had to slip away,
And being air-conditioned like Grace Bros. saved the day.
The toilet there was unisex, but thought I was alone,
When to my right I heard a ring ... a flam'in mobile phone.

Some voice then answered, "Campware here.  Oh hello Miss McBride."
When stone the crows ... another ring ... but from my left hand side.
A woman's voice said, "Hosiery, Miss Makim, how'd you do,"
And there I was perched on the throne, caught right between the two.

It's really hard to concentrate with all that in your ear,
In fact I had to come to grips with why I'd come in here.
The conversations going on both had a diff'rent theme,
Which had my mind a wee bit tossed, confusion reigned supreme.

"Two padded bras," Miss Makim asked, "they both must be the same."
"But room for three," campware replied, "with self supporting frame."
"Your pref'rence is convertible and satin finish too."
"Though shade cloth inserts are a must, to let a breeze blow through."

"And do we have some knickers which would match the bras - in black?"
"Of course they've got the bottoms in and zip up front and back."
"You want some with elastic in, but something that will last.."
"We have a range that slip up quick and come down just as fast."

Then as I heard the cisterns flush, I thought ... hell what a pain;
Transacting business in the loo can really be a drain.
I reached out for some toilet roll to wrap up why I came,
When spare me days 'twas nothing there, but cardboard roll and frame.

What was a bloke to do I thought, I'm stuck here all alone,
When suddenly it crossed my mind ... I'd brought my mobile phone.
I dialled the information line to seek the number out,
Then figured I'd ring toiletry, they'd have some rolls no doubt.

But when I punched the numbers in I heard a ring near by.
That's strange, I thought, then heard a voice say, "Toiletry, it's Di."
"Oh Di," I said, "it's Mervyn here, I'm stuck here in your store,
I'm in your loo and out of rolls so could you bring some more."

There was a sudden silence for the phone went kind of dead,
But somewhere close I heard a scream as some sweet voice then said,
"Hey Merv I'd like to help you out, but sweetheart this is true,
You see I'm only two doors down and out of paper too."
Merv Webster (c)
The Goondiwindi Grey

Poem  25

THE RELUCTANT BOOT SCOOTER

 

I 'spose you've heard of Tamworth and the shindig there each year,

Where country music reigns supreme and all it's stars appear.

They're in the pubs and all the clubs and arcades 'round the town

And Peel Street is just full of pics all strumming up and down.

 

In years of late another breed of artists have appeared,

Bush Poets with their rhyming verse, who are now quite revered.

The Longyard and Imperial pubs and Leagues Club host a few,

While golf and bowls clubs house more mobs and Peel street has them too.

 

It happens that I'm one of them and have for six straight years

Performed to folk my style of verse;  the laughter and the tears.

You make them cry, you make them laugh, you keep your tales true blue;

For that is what the folk demand, be Aussie through and through.

 

Most folk they see us poets as the ocker type of bloke

And know we see line dancing as some kind of flamin' joke.

They come to Tamworth ev'ry year and verge on the main street.

These hordes of blokes and sheilas with their fancy prancin' feet.

 

They're simply ev'ry shape and size, no two frames look the same,

With fancy shirt's embroided with the place from whence they came.

They tuck their thumbs behind their belts then line up in a row,

And when the music kicks on in they boot scoot to and fro.

 

Each year they have this ritual, which really is a bore;

They try to break the record they procured the year before.

Like locusts they assemble and I watch them with disdain

'Cause surely they've got buckley's chance of doing it again.

 

But somehow they have done it and you can't help but admire,

The pluck of these boot scootin' folk ... they never seem to tire.

This year the faithful came again though couldn't help but doubt,

No matter how they wanted to, their run of luck was out.

 

The M.C. kept on calling out, "All register now please.

If we don't keep the record folks it could go overseas."

The comment cut just like a knife.  I thought, you man or mouse?

'Cause, what if they were just one short?   You'd really feel a louse.

 

The more the M.C. made his plea the more it gnawed at me,

Until I cracked and ran on up and paid the flamin' fee.

I stuck my ticket on my shirt and joined the middle row

And wished they'd kick the music off and get on with the show.

 

My biggest fear was if my mates were watching in the crowd.

They'd never let me live it down.  The M.C. cried out loud.

"It's time folks," and the music played.  I thought I'd take a punt

And pranced along by following the tall chick there in front.

 

Then when the music fin'lly stopped I made a quick retreat,

Relieved that I had not been seen boot scootin' in the street.

We broke the record once again and felt real good deep down,

But please don't tell me poet mates they'd run me out of town.

Bush Poets Chris and The Grey  (c)

FOOTNOTE: 

Each year as I've sat in front of Grace Bros. Store at the Tamworth Country

Music Festival, performing our show and selling our product, I have observed

the ritual of bootscooters gathering in Peel street to break the record for

the largest number of bootscooters gathered in one place. A record they have

broken annually for some years now in the Guinness Book of Records.  Each

year I have grappled with the thought - what if they were short by one? - so

I had to tell the story.

 

Poem   24 

:"The Piker from Pikers Creek".

 This story is true I’m telling you,
Of a proud wild beast from the bush,
A tale of a Bullock bred out in the hills,
By the banks of old Pikers Creek.

He was tall and lean and he sure looked mean,
Just standing there alone,
With his hips sticking out from his bony frame,
And his eye’s flashing wild and game,

I was taken a ‘back by the hight of his back,
And the size of his four large feet,
I knew this fella would be hard to beat,
As he stood there looking at me.

He appeared to me to be wild and free,
Since the day he was branded small,
A scar on his hip from a scratch with a stick,
Or a fight with a bull In the bush.

The coachers were near so I figured it fair,
To chase him on down to the mob,
With a flick of my wrist and a crack of the whip;
I set my old horse to a jog.

He moved from the trees to where he could see,
The cattle the stockmen and me,
Moving along with an ambling gait,
The pikers tail stretched long and straight.

As he entered the mob he made a sound like a sob,
Like to say this was the end,
Then he thought of his home on pikers bend,
Where the hills rise up on high.

With a toss of his head and his eye’s flashing red,
He charged through the herd like a storm,
As he cleared the ground you could hear the sounds,
Of his hooves kicking stone’s all around,

Dolphin my horse was but slight built of frame,
No match for this bullock so tall,
We pushed on his shoulder it felt like a boulder,
Stuck firmly in the ground.

My boss yelled to me because he could see,
The piker had one the first round,
What shall we do he’s to tall for you,
He shouted with language so blue.

There’s one thing to do and that’s chase him anew,
Till he tire’s and slows right down,
Then I’ll hold onto his tail and hope I don’t fail,
To pull him down to the ground.

With luck he’ll trip, fall down and flip,
To his side on the stony ground,
Then I’ll tie him up neat by his hindquarter feet,
Till you bring the coachers on down.

I took hold of his tail jumped down and hailed,
And the piker turned his head,
Then he crossed his front legs as I hoped he would,
And came right down where he stood.

With a flourish and a flair I sailed through the air,
His tail slipped through my hands,
Down over the bank of old piker’s creek,
I flew and fell to the sand.

Shaking all over I climbed up and over,
The bank to the piker’s prone form,
Then tied him up neat by his hindquarter feet,
To wait for the coachers and men.

For three days and nights he sulked in his plight,
As he wandered the cattle yard grounds,
Then he heard the sounds as the road train came down,
To take him on in to town.

With a sigh and a blubber his legs turned to rubber,
The piker fell prone to the ground,
One final sigh and a twitch of his eye’s,
And the piker lay dead on the ground.

His spirit had flown to the land where he’d grown,
These twenty years or more,
If I had it all over to catch this rover,
I’d let him go free as the wind.
Coda
Yes, I’d let him go free as the wind.
VIC STURGEON. c/write 15\7\87.
FOOTNOTE: 
This was a real event that happened to me when I was Head stockman On 
MOUNT AUGUSTUS STATION about 300 miles Inland from
CARNARVON In Western Australia. In the 1960’s
Poem 23
CoUnTrY GiRl At HeArT
Although I live in the city
I’m a country girl at heart that’s for sure
I love those cowboys and rodeos
Hell I want more
 
Although I live in the city
You won’t find me at the beach
Or dancing at a club
You’ll find me at a rodeo
And soon to be at the local pub
 
 I listen to most country music
That sound goes right down into my soul
I can’t wait to get outta here
Right now that is my only goal
 
To live on the land
Thousands of acres, cattle, horses and I can’t forget my Ute
Yeah the life I wanna live
It sure will be beaute
 
But right now, that’s all just a dream I’m in
Some say I may live in a fantasy world
Although I live in the city
In my heart I know I’m just a lil country girl
Written by Megan Quintal 17yo,Sydney 2002
 
Poem  22
The Road Outta Here
I have this dream; to one day leave the city
One day I hope it sure does come true
Cos that’s the only thing
Causing me so much blue
 
I’m heading for the country
I’m packing my bags pretty soon
I’ll be leaving in my Ute
And I’ll be backing outta my driveway like a hoon
 
Where ever the road will take me
I’ll just keep driving away from this lonesome place
I won’t ever be looking back
Cos I’m leaving the city without a trace
 
My destination could be Tamworth
Walgett or all the way out back of Bourke
Wherever I may go
I’ve gota find myself some work
 
Maybe on a cattle property
Mustering horses or even sheep
I sure ain’t staying in the city
That’s one promise I will always keep
 
I hope my dream will soon
Become reality pretty quick
Cos I’m rearing to go
Like a horse chomping on the bit
 
No more city guys
Wogs, skaties, and surfies who think there all cool
Its all about cowboys and country guys
They’re the only boys who rule
 
When its time to leave, I’ll say my lil good-byes
To my family and all my friends
Sorry everyone but please dont cry
Just remember I’ll try and keep in touch to the very end
Written By Megan Quintal 17yo Sydney (Copyright2002)
 
Poem 21
The River Road.
I call it the River Road, it's only one car wide
That's all it ever had to be in gold rush days gone bye
It winds along a valley floor out of Sofala town
it carried miners, thieves and lords, officials of the Crown.
 
I shan't dwell on its majesty, in those days it had none
more of what it is today, of what it has become.
A pathway back to hardest times that ever came this way
It's sitting here just as it was as we ride along today.
 
For every curve and feature there are stories to be told
how wretches in the camps survived to fossick for the gold.
When first you could just pick it up, no white folks here before
Then to the pits they dug and died, searching for the ore.
 
Yes, finding it was one thing, to keep it and to prosper
when every bend on this here road could be a spot for murder.
That canyon where it's dark and cold I shudder to imagine
the robbers and the evil  deeds but yes, these things did happen.
 
The law was far too thinly spread, you lived a life in fear.
I'm riding now along this road, all these things happened, here.
The making of a country once travelled on this road
they brought in simply everything on foot and wagon load.
 
And now, as is the history of gold and dashing deeds
tortured souls now howl away through she-oaks and the reeds.
Rubble and a water race some ruined miners shack
All help to tell the story but then, there is this track.
 
As we ride this River Road with the ghosts of Cobb & Co
and places that have names that no-one knows
in the gullies and the streams they were digging for their dreams
and I wonder if they ever made it home.
Copyright  Duncan Hill  December 2002
Poem 20
The Shining Star
From the very day that I was born,
I travelled wide and travelled far.
Though many times my heart was torn.
I was followed by this shining star.
 
I’ve searched the highways, and mountains high.
Along the valleys, peaceful still,
Rivers long and desert’s wide,
Lush green pastures, rocky hills.
 
Age shall not weary me,
Death shall not approach my door,
There’s many things I wish to see,
And things to be explored.
 
From city lights, to pitch black dark,
There are things I want to see,
Tall ghost gums, a work of art,
A travelling life for me.
  
The stockmen ride out in the dust,
It’s the work that they must do,
Scorching sun, they make no fuss,
Country bushies, through and through.
 
The cattle move through vast wide plains,
Through heat and dust they travel far,
On the faces of drovers you see the strain,
But in the night, you can see their star.
  
From the very day that I was born,
I travelled wide and travelled far.
Though many times my heart was torn.
I was followed by this shining star
 
Age shall not weary me,
Death shall not approach my door,
There’s many things I wish to see,
And things to be explored.
 
From city lights, to pitch black dark,
There are things I want to see,
Tall ghost gums, a work of art,
A travelling life for me.
 
Tall ghost gums, a work of art,
A travelling life for me.
 Copyright 2002. All rights reserved [Helen Hayden]
Poem 19
Life’s mysteries

Why is life so confusing?

With its weird, mysterious ways.

Why can’t things be so simple?

So I can plan out all my days.

 

It dishes out the rubbish,

It sorts through out the pain.

And sitting here I wonder,

What do I have to gain?

 

What does my life hold for me?

What will the outcome be?

I wish I had a vision,

So at least that I could see.

 

Exactly what my path is,

Or where I have to go.

What I have to really do,

I’d really like to know.

 

I’m sick of all the guesswork,

Of what I’m doing, if it’s right.

What I say or how I feel,

I Just can’t see it in my sight.

 

I just need some answers,

Or someone, to reassure.

To tell me now, that things are right,

That I’ll make mistakes no more.

 

So sit I will, and wait again,

To see, what happens, when?

I just hope I last the mile,

Well let’s see what happens then!
 Copy-Right 2002. All rights reserved [Helen Hayden].
Poem 18 
No Rain.

Not a cloud in sight, clear days again,

Rain may come don’t know where, don’t know when.

The stock find it tough, the farmers do it hard,

The ewes and their young ones are down in the long yard

 

Mother hangs out washing, only done here once a week,

There’s just no water anymore, left here in the creek.

The dams are getting low, but most are nearly dry,

The bank statement came in yesterday, the farmer has a cry.

 

The crops were sown a while ago, but most are all but dead,

What was the flaming use we cry, there’s nothing left to head.

The cost of feed to feed the stock, keeps us running at a loss.

The tractors need new tyres, boy that’s gunna cost.

 

“”Not a cloud in sight, clear days again,

Rain may come don’t know where, don’t know when.

The stock find it tough, the farmers do it hard,

The ewes and their young ones are down in the long yard.””

 

The kids were off at boarding school, they better come back home,

There’s just no way the banks will give another loan.

The creditors came here yesty, to reposes the car,

I suppose now with only 2 legs we wont be going far.

 

The fences need some mending; the lambs need to be marked,

The tractor hasn’t moved for weeks, its in the shed still parked.

The workmen here have all but gone, because there is no pay,

So I’ll sit on the porch and pray, for rain to come one day.

 

“”Not a cloud in sight, clear days again,

Rain may come don’t know where, don’t know when.

The stock find it tough, the farmers do it hard,

The ewes and their young ones are down in the long yard.””
Copy-right 2002. All rights reserved [Helen Hayden].

Poem   17

Before, Then, Now.
Before there were green branches
Spread out far
Before there were flowers
Sprinkled everywhere.
 
Before there were houses
Of mahogany wood
And tall iron fences
Proudly they stood.
 
Before there were families
Happily running along
Assured nothing could happen
They couldn't be more wrong.
 
Then there was orange
Flames burning high
Ashes and smoke
Littering the sky.
 
then there was black
No more sweet flowers
no more happy families
They're defenceless of power.
 
Now there are ruins
A blackened smoky mess
So many homeless people
No-one to confess.
 
Now there are charities
The Salvos and Red cross
So please donate something to them
To compensate their loss.
Jessica Howard
 (Copyright 2002)
15 years old. Newcastle  
Poem 16

The Bushman’s Horse

The Bushman's horse stood tall, and bold;
He had courage in the carriage of his head; not showing that he may be old.
Yet fire, and flooded waters, had he seen for more than twenty years;
And as the wiry bushman lead him in, his eyes were filled with tears.
 
His old mate had had his day, and the time had come to say farewell;
He'd brought him to the auction with a heavy heart, not really wanting to sell;
Yet he knew it was for the best; and a kid might want an old horse to learn;
That he'd go to a good home was his main concern.
 
When he came into the ring, and the auctioneer started;
The Bushman realised with his old mate he'd soon be parted.
Who'll start the bid the auctioneer called; for a horse that has done it all;
Yet only one bid was given, for the hammer to fall.
 
The bushman lead the old horse away;
What a pity he heard someone say;
That the butcher should buy such a fine old steed,
And to finish as dog food makes my heart bleed.
 
The bushman stood firm as the new owner came through.
He held tight, and told the man straight; "I'll not sell to the likes of you".
"Too late", the butcher said, "the deals already done; I've paid good cash".
"Collect your money, and go"; the bushman said; "or it's you that I'll bash".
 
The butcher knew his rights, and prepared to stand his ground;
So the bushman hit him so hard, it took him an hour to come round.
When he awoke the bushman was gone; and the old horse as well;
They'd galloped away; and in what direction, he couldn't tell.
 
As the sun was setting across the plain;
The bushman promised, 'Never again'
Would he take his old mate to such a place;
Where people could kill such a friendly face.
 
Though the trails be long, and the hills be steep;
He'd take them slowly; and his old mate he'd keep.
What a scare they'd just had, in that place of death;
Now, together they'd be, till either's last breath.
Brian Lamb (c)
 
Poem 15

"Lonesome City Girl"

There's a feeling inside me
I just can't erase
It's hard to get rid of
it's driving me insane
At night I think about it
Its in my dreams too,
how I wanna leave for the country
Oh it's giving me the blues
The freedom, the wildness & the space
I'll see ome cows and I'll go on a chase
with my good ole horse Johnny
he's my one and only pal
I'm gunna be wild, oh tha't me a country gal
Living in the city just gives me the blues
no one's gunna be stoppin me i'll be on the loose
To the ute, jump up the back I say to my dog randy
In the country there's no way I'll be drinkin brandy
It's all about bundy, bourbon and beer
I'll have a drink for my friends and folks
I'll give them all one big cheer
And you can't forget those wild B 'n' S balls
with those good lookin' country lads
circlework, dust and smokin up the tubes
I'm gunna leave them for dead those city dudes
 
Oh the life I wanna live is far far out west
where only country boys and gurls are better than the rest
So when it comes to sayin' goodbye
I'm sure there'l be a few tears in the eye 
but this is the life I wanna live
I just wanna breathe it and eventually die
Megan Quintal (c) 16 yrs. Sydney
Poem 14
PADRE
Padre, I'm not from your church
You're the only one around, and I've been left out in the Lurch.
Why was I abandoned in the way,
I didn't do anything wrong, I didn't stray,
It's so cold walking the streets at night all alone.
But you don't understand Padre,
I don't have a home.
My Mum and dad, well Padre, they both died.
Please padre, I've got no-where else to hide.
I ran away from my foster home
and I ran away from school.
But there's no-where left to run
and I feel just like a fool.
Padre, can you help me.
I'm really in a fix.
It's real tough out there Padre,
for a boy who is only six.
Come on Padre, please, in you I can confide.
I need someplace to sleep tonight
'cause its bitterly cold outside.
I need somewhere just to lay my head.
It's been almost a year since I slept in a proper bed.
I can't afford a house in which to live,
they charge me rent and I have no money which to give.
Please Padre, just a pillow and a blanket,
and a corner in which to stay.
Just let me stay warm tonight
and tomorrow I'll be on my way
Allan J Baker copyright 2002
 
Poem13
BIRRABURRA SHOW
Wild Willie and Billy Joe set off down the track past Dawson's Gate and headed south, each with 
swags strapped upon their backs.
They were off to see the Agricultural Show at Birraburra and whilst they were in town Billy Joe had 
promised his Mum that he'd buy himself a brand new pairs of dacks.
They tramped along the dusty roadway mile after bloody mile with the sun burning down on 
an already dry and parched ground.
Three days walk to Birraburra and it's a tough hike with not too many water holes to be found.
As they came up to the railway crossing at Chapman's siding Willie heard the whistle of 3839 
steaming it's way up Blackbutt Cutting.
"Run" said Willie, "We'll jump on at the siding, this freight train really flies".
They were ready when the locomotive slowed to transverse the points.
They jumped on board an opened boxcar that rattled and sounded like
 it was to fall apart all it's joints.
3839 steamed on through the mountain range and then on down across the wide open coastal plains.
The land here was greener, closer to the ocean and lush from constant summer rain.
The locomotive idled down and the carriage clinked to a stop at Birraburra's Station in the centre of town.
Willy and Billy Joe peeped out, then ran for cover when they realised no-one was around.
They were early, the free train ride had got them to Birraburra two days before the Agricultural Show.
Willie suggested "We'll camp under the bridge at Challenger's Creek and no-one will ever know".
They rolled out the swags, lit a fire and made tea in a billy.
They had little funds between them any food caught would only serve to make their monies last.
Billy Joe had brought his Mum's handicrafts, exhibits for the competition held in conjunction with the show.
They had to be kept clean, neat and presentable, they had taken his mum a long time to sew.
When they arrived at the Showground  Pavilion, Billy Joe pulled his mum's work from his backpack.
They were in no state to put on show, no longer white but multicoloured, red dust and dirt oh so black.
'I'll have to buy those new strides now" said Billy Joe.
There's a great big mushie lump 
inside the ones I'm wearing and when mum gets ahold of me there'll be two.
Bloody hell Willie, Tell me what to do".
"Maybe we can wash them in Challenger's Creek and then hang them under the bridge to dry".
"Yeah" said Billy Joe, "We gotta do something or else when mum gets me I'm surely gonna die".
Billy Joe's mum always had a back-up plan just in case something went amiss.
Billy Joe's mum had mailed some work ahead on an earlier day.
The exhibits were donated to charity at the end of the show anyway.
The muddy waters of Challenger's Creek  had transformed the goods to a muddy mess.
Billy Joe's mum's goods on show would now number but a few less.
But, what there was, it was enough to win first prize.
They just wouldn't tell about the mishap, yet still they'd tell no lies.
There was no train back to Dawson's Gate on Sunday night after the show.
So the two boys walked back, the moon above all a glow.
A first prize ribbon and a trophy in the swag upon his back.
Both wrapped in plastic to ensure they don't get home the colour black.
It was three nights later when they returned to the homestead just out of town.
Billy Joe handed over the trophy and the ribbon and then went off to lay on down.
His mum would never know that whilst the coveted trophy stood on top of the fridge,
Her best work was black and brown and was still there hanging underneath the bridge.
Allan J Baker  copyright 2002
 
Poem 12
AT WHAT COST
Counting sleepers to relieve boredom as we trudge along the railway track.
We are running away from everything and we ain't never coming back.
The hassles, the hell, Life’s day to day grind.
We’re looking for a better place and maybe even peace of mind.
It’s not the same anymore, It’s not how it used to be.
We’re trapped within Society’s confines and we are no longer free.
You can go by train but you must pay the fare.
You can go by road but you’ll need fuel if you really want to get there.
If, but only If, you say the right words, talk is free.
You can walk for nothin’ but you’ll have to be fit to walk into eternity.
Nothing is for nothing, you pay the price for whatever you want to be.
Galleries and Shows will display it all but you have to pay to see.
Survival is expensive and it puts you to the test.
You have to work to survive and then there’s no time left to rest.
Who made these rules, why did they make it so?
Moving right along, We can’t stay here but yet, we can’t afford to go.
Across a bridge, Is it those troubled 
waters down below.
It doesn’t really matter, there’s some 
water everywhere you go.
The farmer prayed for rain, he awaits the crop to sprout.
He got the rain he asked for, 
followed by a crippling drought.
It never ends, always trouble and always strife.
The circle goes ‘round and ‘round, I ask the question, “At What Cost”
Life.
Allan J Baker   Copyright 2002
Poem no. 11
Ode to the Morning Shift
 
Old age ain’t what it’s cracked up to be!
Cried Rosy with a mouth full of tea
Her room’s a mess in total disaray
Where she tried all night to get away
Olive has powdered her face once more
Including her glasses, her sights pretty poor!
Mary’s false teeth are in her abode
With night deposites in the commode
With plastic tweezers and boiling water
They’re with her now, where they oughta
There she sits, with her smile
My only thought, Oh how vile!
Sally’s picked a fight with Phil
Give her another little yellow pill
Where’s my toast cry the impatient ones
Some days, they really give us the runs
Just as I’ve got Maud in the shower at last
Old Bert decides to give the Buzza a blast
Quick dry and and gentle pat on the arm
I race to Bert, dam! there’s The Fire Alarm
Sweet Bess who can’t see a thing past her nose
Caused the alarm with steam from the hose
Run to the board to reset the alarm
Reassure the others there is no harm
Bert has buzzed with several more calls
Hope he’s not had another of his falls
This morning he just wanted to know
Could he have a pill, to make him go
Back to Maud to finish her shower
She’s not impressed and looking sour
A smile, a hug and a promised tray
Hope she settles for the rest of the day
Time for the pills, morning coughs in chorus
Oh God I wish there were more-of -us
I’m really behind now breaky dishes not done
You’re right Rosy - Aged Care ain’t no fun!
Robyn Carter (c)
Poem no. 10
The Battle of Breakfast
 
Breakfast is but such a "Happy" time
This is when residents are at their prime
Staff brace themselves, with all their armor
Lots of coffee keep them calmer
Here comes Bertha ,she has to be first
To drink all the OJ - what a thirst
Fingers in the prunes, three by three
Whack! a walking stick around the knee.
Katie has cought her in the act
They despise each other- that’s a fact!
They continue with the push and shove
Between these two, there is no love
By this time there’s more arrive
Wonder how many are still alive
gertie’s there with half a cheek
Parked not so safely on the seat
Terry’s in the folded arm position
And not so willing to gossip listen
With pot of tea in hand Pearle wanders
Where’s she going? one ponders!
Edna’s voice now loud and clear
Even the deaf can plainly hear
Mary has chipped her once or twice
The response was not so very nice
Aggy’s makeup can’t hide the face
As she scowls - where’s my place?
Where’s my coffee comes a yell
That’s Lyla, a voice we know well
The toast brigade has now begun
They won’t wait, to serve one by one
"I want two brown and make it light"
Yells Jen, who likes a morning fight
I’ll get to you in just a minute
Then a voice calls - What day is it?
Here comes Abby with her plate
I’ve never known her to wait
We’re over here, what about us!
Doesn’t toast, create such a fuss
Dolly by now, has spoken out
Insulting May, who’s in a pout
Phil’s scissor hand, known never clean
We avoid to touch, no it’s not mean
The thought of all the germs on there
Infection Control - what a nightmare
As I’m racing to clear the dishes
I hear a resident, voice her wishes
"You’d think she’d slow down, she’s creating a draft"
For her being picky, it’s a practiced craft
All the while there is this noise
No, not the dishwasher as I poise
I closely listen, to the clacking
Don’t worry, ’tis only Daisy’s jaw smacking
Maud is tired of all the din
She’s now table tapping, with her ring
And just to keep the rhythm going
Ann’s finger snapping, displeasure showing
Mal has started to clear the table
Juggling plates, he’s not able
There’s slops of food, tea and toast
Breakfast served - the floor got most!
Robyn Carter (c)
Poem no.9 
WWW - Dot.
 
Felling depressed, fat and fifty
My movements now not so nifty
Feminine attraction, non existent
The loved one, he’s quite resistant
Self esteem it’s all but gone
I’m feeling awfully forlorn
On the Web, I see an add
Free Membership, to lose the flab
Courage found, I’m through the door
Not alone, there’s plenty more
Waiting there with bated breath
Weighing in, is living death
Home I come with new found vigor
On the road to my new figure
Recipes and pure points agenda
I’m now a new ,Weight Watches member
Week by week the weight is easing
And to my eye, this is pleasing
My clothes becoming trifle loose
Buy some more - good excuse
The scales they do not ever lie
If I gain, I nearly die
The Leader cries what have you done
You’ll have to do another run
The romantic scene is not yet over
No man will ever call me "Rover"
With target clearly in my sight
For my pride, I will fight
With this shape there’s ammunition
I’ll soon light his old "ignition"
Confidence, self esteem - I’ve got the lot
And it’s all due to the WWW dot
But no it’s not the World Wide Web
That helped my weight to slowly ebb
And shape this body I show with glee
It’s WWW - walk! water! wee!
Robyn Carter (c)
Poem no. 8
For What I’m Worth
 
As I drive through the village gate
I know they’ll know if I’m ever late
I see the flags are at full mask
That’s a sign a good night’s passed
I approach the office mind full of thoughts
There’s a line up and some out of sorts
Read the notes, answer the phone
The cook has the flu and must stay home
Glance at the roster ring for relief
This conversation just has to be brief
They’re at the door demanding a hearing
I feel the blood pressure already searing
Dressings half done and script orders taken
The wanting of some can’t be mistaken
Phone has rung several times this morning
Why is the fire alarm giving false warning?
Down to the manager to answer his call
He wants me to check a report on a fall
Back to the dressings all finished at last
By now my valuable time has passed
I speak to the staff with a brief overview
Then head up the corridor there’s plenty to do
Someone’s shower has fallen to pieces
Yes dear, I know, you’re one of the nieces
Check on the ones reported as sick
Hope this round I can do pretty quick
Appointments with families who need a report
Relying on me for lots of support
Emergency call, yes I ’ll go
Where’s your keys, I do not know
Call the Ambulance, I need it today
OK I understand there’ll be a delay
Time for the family anxiously waiting
Now my nerves they really are grating
They’re worried because mother’s too frail
Don’t they know there’s no Holy Grail
The paperwork is mounting up
By this time I’ve lost my cup
Head feeling light, fluids depleting
Lunch forgotten with the meeting
Staff report that they can’t find Rosie
She’s in someone’s bed, snug and cosy
Call her Doctor and request medication
Before there’s any further complication
The manager’s called his mood’s pretty rotten
The message I gave him he’s forgotten
I run down the hall with my note
My thoughts right now I dare not quote
It’s time for tea, they’re on their way
Looking well fed I dare to say
I’m out of here and going home
Before I’m wanted on the phone
I give the office one more glance
I view an old photo not by chance
A cherished resident in my care
Her spirit inspires me everywhere
I walk into my home and look around
Sheer bliss, there’s not a sound
I go to the garden and there I see
That wonderful man - he married me
We reflect on the day with a drop of red
Now I don’t feel that I’m so dead
A hug, a kiss and gentle embrace
Recharged with love, tomorrow’s in place.
Robyn Carter (c)
 Poem no. 7
The Enema
 
He said what ! I ask in surprise
Oh dear, bowel trouble I surmise
Of the details he’s not sure
Goodness, -don’t tell me there’s more
What could cause this dilemma
He claims. Giving him the enema!
With a pair scissors , you say
You want a meeting, when, today
Now that’s a serious accusation
For someone in this occupation
What do I propose to do it seams
What else - call the Psychiatric Teams
Dementia screen, regular neulactil
This should settle down dear old Phil
For me, I feel I need assurance
Are enemas covered by insurance?
Robyn Carter (c)
 
Poem no. 6
Brown Dog the Shearer
 
Brown Dog, the shearer
Larriken known far and nearer
From Burraga to north west
He gunned it with the very best
Each day he’d cause commotion
For him there’d be no promotion
He ‘d liven up the shearing run
Then race to be the daily gun
A big red setter dog one day
Misbehaved and got in the way
Brown Dog grabbed the big hairy mutt
Clean skinned him with a long blow cut
"Who be the brown dog shearer?"
She couldn’t have said it clearer
Pack your gear, you’re off the team!
Yelled the owner with a deathly scream
Brown Dog liked to be the first
This caused a dying thirst
He drank faster than a leaking Sub
So he bought himself a country Pub
The Pub and the shearing run
Forever hard work, loads of fun
But breathalyzer reduced the fold
And the Pub had to be sold.
The shearing game was failing
Brown Dog not one for wailing
Courted a nurse to be his wife
Together they faced a different life.
Today his flock’s a different class
Silvertails, turned out to grass
They didn’t know how life would beam
With Brown Dog on The Aged Care Team
He loads them onto the Village bus
They know it is done without a fuss
Their trips are full of fun and laughter
On the road to their, there - after
Brown dog the shearer
The larriken known far and nearer
Shore the big red setter one day
The name will forever stay
 Robyn Carter (c)
 
Poem    No.  5
Winter.
 The seasons changed from hot to cold,
Heat wave shimmer to the stillness of frost.
The burnt brown of the land has become a frigid tan, 
yet winters not death….its sleep.
 
The sisters of steam emerge from the dam,
They dance the dance of the earth in the air, 
with ghost like grace they warm the pockets of space,
winters not death…..its sleep.
 
The morning’s cold, dew turns to frost,
It covers this land in a veil of white,
Sunrise turns white into a glittering pink
There’s fire in ice…..winters not death its sleep.
 Mark Buckland (c)
Poem No. 4
Dawning
 
The purple clouds of the dawn 
become kissed by the sun ‘til pink,
the day is cold but not frozen,
the dew on the leaves still drip.
 
The cattle graze in the fields,
roos nibble grass by the road,
the wild dogs become silent…
and slink into the dwindling grey.
 
The land is dry, real dry,
the drought has just begun.
I see the cycle of deepening browns,
when will the rain come?
 
The spirit of this land calls,
I do not know its name,
but I feel it in my heart,
it keeps my vision strong.
 
People have walked this land,
since the beginning of their time, 
I feel their presence strongly…
now it is my turn.
 
The day and I begin our journey,
finding warmth in the sun, 
but we know the worth of balance,
when will the rain come?
Mark Buckland (c)

 Poem No. 3

HAT UPON HIS HEAD
A man who’d seen the best and worst of this land,
Alongside him his horse… so proudly he’d stand.
Droving the cattle many a mile,
Stopping by a billabong to rest awhile.
Kneeling to fill his hat with cool water while he could,
Alongside him drinking his strong horse stood.
Another week or two’s travel with this lot no doubt…
We’ll camp here the night and do a head count.
He sits by his fire and listens to the songs of the night…
He rolls out his swag to lie under the beauty of outback moonlight.
A man so quiet and proud…
You’d never seen him in town or in a crowd.
As he lay down to sleep… his hat rests upon his face.
To Mother Nature he thanks for this gracious place.
Throughout the night, settled and calm is the herd.
With morning brings the sweet songs of a native bird.
As the sun begins to rise in the east,
He lifts his hat and smiles with endearment to his horse
“Good morning you ugly beast” 
With his hat now back in its rightful place upon his head,
“It’s time to move this herd” to his friend he said.
The years had come and gone,
This trip … it seemed to be so long.
Slowly mounting his horse to move this lot, 
Deny their aging they could not.
The love of his droving had taken him way out west,
They had seen each other at their best.
This run was to be their last of a legacy left behind…
It was to reach home they both had in mind.
The herd moved unusually slow…
Deep down he knew it was time for them to go…
Down by a billabong they found them it is said,
They knew it was him only by his hat upon his head…
Written by    Tracey Beggs 
641 Blende st
Broken Hill 2880
Poem No. 2
Ghosts at the Station
 
The wind blows from the south up the silent track.
Yet if you sit, and listen, you may be taken back;
To a time not so long ago; barely one life;
And hear the cries of a young and lonely wife.
 
In 1916 Maggie farewelled her sweetheart here,
And three years later, while others rejoiced; stood and shed a tear.
So proud, and straight she stood, to greet the hero's then,
Tho' her love was not among the men.
 
He lay beneath a Flanders field; his spirit at her side.
She held a letter that told of how he died.
He gave his life for King and country; she should be proud it said.
But as she watched the joyful lovers; she wished he wasn't dead.
 
Many a cold and lonely night she came, and sat upon the platform seat,
And recalled their parting moment; the kiss that was so sweet.
She held the letter tight, and cursed, and wailed, and cried;
His spirit tried to help her, and wished he hadn't died.
 
For over fifty years she came to pledge her love,
And plead for mercy from her God above.
Then on that fateful night, she heard her lovers call;
And as the train came in, she took her final fall.
 
And now on a winter's night; or autumn afternoon as well;
If you sit alone, upon the platform seat; near where it was she fell;
You may hear again the cries of a time long past;
The pain of separation; and the joy of being united at last.
by Brian Lamb   (c)

Poem No 1 

"ALRIGHT."
 
North West Slopes & Plains, New South Wales,
Little towns off every beaten track,
Jump out of that swag, down that six pack,
Yer cattle fenced off, horses too,
Not many girls attractive, yet there's a few,
One dropped her dacks & showed her ______ ,
Impressive clean shaven & a tat of a baboon,
Well down by the Namoi under moonlight,
Campfire blazing, no sign of a fight,
Quiet a crowd, party, party, bright spotlights,
Couple kegs on the ute, beer is light,
Farming, footy, getting in strife,
Good old country, country life, alright,
Pig chasing, double dating, fishing & bbq's,
Yer cotton price up so says the news,
Gossup some's best friend & it can drive you round the bend,
For bob lost his licence, Bro's dog tyson goes like lightening,
Fred in the red, Mary dropped Ted, what's that you said?,
Sally pregnant, strike me dead, who's the father then,
Work the land to put cash in hand,
Jack & Tom have a band,
Well city folk don't understand,
Rain is always in demand,
Hopefully business will expand,
No more second hand, time to get up take a stand,
For functions & balls yer all come all,
Love it or take a fall, Hit'em like a cannon ball,
Farming, footy, getting in strife,
Good old country, country life,
Yer it's alright.

(C) Copyright.2002. Phillip Doring

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