Tamworth Rage Page
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"Australian Country Poems"
The Winners
Scroll down for
all winning 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.

For inspiration, here are some country scenes of a place not far from the Macleay River, called Rennie's Range. and also the Macleay River

Here is a picture of part of the Macleay River for inspiration
to write a poem.  Thank You, Evonne Pick for writing this poem

 Macleay River
New South Wales

Macleay, a gently winding river,
Her riverbanks serene,
Shady, sloping native gums,
Nature's vista supreme.
A snap shot of Australia
To reflect upon for hours,
Distant, dark-green covered hills,
Magnificent, small wildflowers.

Afternoon shadows soften the haze
On a blazing summer's day.
Picnickers seek her cooling shores,
While children run and play.
Ripples on the Macleay River,
Blackfish breeding ground,
Trevally and Blue Swimmer fish,
Mud crabs fresh and sound.

Historic Macleay River
Evokes many a scene long past,
Old timers recall the Punt Service,
The current running fast.
Echoes of 19th century cedar cutters
Are heard if you quietly listen,
Stuarts Point, a fisherman's paradise
Where the Bream and Whiting glisten.

Apex Historical Lookout
Affords a magical view,
Of the journeying Macleay River
To restore the soul anew.

Yvonne Pick,
Norman Park, Brisbane.
May, 2004. (c)

2006 - 2007 Poetry Competition
Congratulations! Merv Webster - Once again Merv has been chosen as the winner by Len Knight.
Poem 18 - "THE ORIENTAL CURE" - by Merv Webster
Poem 18
I was at a local festival and walking down the street
but my poor old bones were battling and the pain near had me beat.
All the years of riding Rodeo and wrestling toey steers
were now coming back to haunt me and reducing me to tears.

Then my youngest lad he pointed to some oriental chaps
in a tent who did massaging that could help me out perhaps?
But the thought mate had me cringing and to me it seemed quite clear
that he somehow had forgotten what had happened late last year.

This old Chinese bloke called Wong Fu, who lived up my street away,
said he did that u beaut massage thing for little or no pay.
He suggested that within an hour he’d rid me of my pain
and I’d think that I was wrestling steers and feeling young again.

Well I thought I’d give the thing a shot, as I had nought to fear,
when he threw me on a table and his hands flew into gear.
His old fingers they were digging to find muscle ‘neath the fat
and within the first ten minutes I was purring like a cat.

All the aches and pains subsided and my head went kind of light
and I did feel like a young man and old Wong Fu had been right.
In my mind I’d dreamed I’d drifted back to days of long ago
and I had a headlock on a steer at some night Rodeo.

I could hear his raucous bellow as he struggled to get free
and he darned near tried most everything to rid himself of me.
But I sucked in one last breath of air and twisted his old neck
and he went down like a bag of spuds and hit the flaming deck.

I could hear the crowd all cheering and I cherished the esteem
til I felt a sudden surge of pain that woke me from my dream
On the ground and fairly winded was old Wong Fu near half dead
and the headlock I’d put on the bloke sure left his ears bright red.

Then with lightning speed he sure let fly with some beaut kung fu kick
that had landed right between my legs and man it did the trick.
He then rabbit chopped me with both hands and bellowed in Chinese,
“You go loco bloss or someling!” and he dropped me to my knees.

Well I walked off worse than ever and was aching twice as bad
and I never have forgotten that darn massage that I had.
So forget those Oriental cures; they’re far to troublesome.
I’ll just numb me pain the Aussie way, with good old Bundy Rum.

© Bush Poet and Balladeer - Merv Webster
Click here Merv Webster Artist Report Page
The 2005/2006 Poetry Competition is a Draw!!!!!
Lenny Knight an Award winning poet has judged the 2005/2006 competition
He could not decide between these two Poems

Vivienne Ledlie - "MY BOOMERANG HOTEL" Poem 42
Merv Webster (The Goondiwindi Grey) "SOMETHING FOR OUR STEVIE " Poem 15
Congratulations!! Vivienne and Merv

"Where is the Boomerang Hotel?" they asked with eyes awide,
"We've never seen it advertised in any tourist guide.

"We've travelled through this country, we've trekked from coast to coast
We've crossed the desert Sturt explored, we've seen McGinty's ghost.

"While camping near the Cawnpore Hills we saw the Min Min light -
So eerie and uncanny as it faded in the night.

"We've searched for gold and sieved for gems in ancient river beds,
Where Nature's fervid turbulence with fiery beauty weds.

"We've fished for barramundi in the Gulf and at the Cape,
We've seen the town of Cowra where the prisoners made escape.

"We've been to Uluru, the Olgas, sailed across Bass Strait
Where gruesome tales are told of how the convicts met their fate.

"We've crossed the plain called Nullabor, we've visited Lake Eyre
Where bird life after flooding rains leaves nothing to compare.

"We've seen the billabong of which The Banjo wrote the words
That waltzed Matilda round the Globe, by which our souls are stirred.

"Rain forests of North Queensland where the leeches sucked our blood,
To remote, western properties of brahman cattle stud.

"The gorges of the Kimberley, the pearling town of Broome
Whose azure waters cover depths where divers met their doom.

"But all throughout our travels 'neath Australia's Southern Cross
The Boomerang Hotel, my friend, we've never come across."

"The Boomerang Hotel," I said, "is easy to locate,
You'll find it just where'er you want in any Aussie State.

"My Boomerang Hotel is by a western waterhole
Whose beauty and serenity quite captivate my soul.

"Where river gums caress the land, where vibrant bird life teems,
Where each shade of the sunrise on the water softly gleams.

"Where I can pitch my tent and watch a pelican swim by,
Where I can boil my billy and catch fish with bait or fly.

"This fav'rite spot of mine with which I have a love affair
I call my Boomerang Hotel and keep returning there.

"It's where I'd like to end my days, from city stress afar,
To camp amongst the river gums and native coolibah.

"To ponder on this ancient land where Time has cast its spell –
Yes, here beside this waterhole's my Boomerang Hotel."
© Vivienne Ledlie   http://rustacryst.net
Poem 15
My name is Rowdy Rawlins and I run a Roadhouse, folks
and bias isn’t my concern when hiring girls or blokes.
But Stevie had Downs Syndrome and it played heaps on my mind
that serving in a Diner might be tough for that lad’s kind.

The lass from Social Services said, “Mr Rawlins, Sir,
young Stevie is reliable, to this I can concur.
He may have smooth face features and be thick tongued in his speech,
a little short and dumpy, but this job’s within his reach.”

The Truckers weren’t concern to me as most I must confess,
ignored who brought their tucker out: in fact could not care less.
So long as it was edible and plenty on their plate,
they’d chat and drink their coffee and would then head interstate.

It was the four-wheeled college kids and all the yuppie snobs,
as well as white-shirt workers with their fancy paying jobs,
who came in here quite regular that might put on a show:
so … hell … I’d have to watch him, for the first two weeks or so.

I didn’t need to worry as, within the first few days,
young Stevie had the staff wrapped ‘round his finger any-ways.
The truckies, who were regulars, adopted the young lad
and made him truck-stop mascot and that really made me glad.

He loved to laugh and please folk, but he fiercely did his job,
which helped me to stop worrying about the other mob.
The salt and pepper shakers were aligned and all in place
and not a breadcrumb, or a spill, was left that you could trace.

In fact I had to ask him if he might just slow things down
and let the folk first leave the place before he went to town.
He lingered in the background and his frame moved to and fro
and Stevie scanned the Diner for a table right to go.

In time we learnt our Stevie lived just down the road a-ways,
and shared the public housing with his widowed mum these days.
Disabled and on benefits from cancer surgery,
his mum used Stevie’s pay packet to keep them family.

Then Stevie never showed one day: the first time in three years.
Apparently his heart was crook, which left the staff in tears.
The road stop was a gloomy place without our Stevie there
and how we waited anxiously and slipped in the odd prayer.

A ripple of excitement then revived the place to life
when word came that our Stevie had survived the surgeon’s knife.
Old Frannie, the head waitress and a grandmother of five
let out a war-whoop when she heard and danced a little jive.

Joe Ringer and two truckie mates were somewhat mystified
and wondered what old Fran was on and watched-on goggled eyed.
Fran blushed and smoothed her apron and revealed young Stevie’s plight
and three big, rough necked truckies held back tears of sheer delight.

They wondered where the lad had been: they’d missed him sure enough
and guessed that Stevie’s mother would be doing things real tough.
The boys had just walked out the place when two more mates turned up
and asked Fran ‘bout the words upon the napkin ‘neath the cup.

Fran went to clear the table down and as she did she cried
Just ... something for our Stevie … said the words and wrapt inside
were three new twenty-dollar notes and both the men quizzed Fran
what did it mean … the words and notes? Fran’s story then began.

Those trucking men left napkins too, with notes and words inside
and three months later Stevie rang. The tears were hard to hide.
“I’m ready Mr Rawlins sir, to start my job again!”
He rang five times that day, I think, repeating that refrain.

When Stevie came to work next day, I took him and his mum
inside to shout them breakfast, but I gave young Steve the drum.
“You’ll have to clear the table first!” Which seemed a bit unkind,
but when he saw the napkins … well, it blew his little mind.

Beneath the plates and saucers were white napkins ev’rywhere
with ... something for our Stevie ... from us folk who really care.
Truck companies and drivers all donated in some way
and all the staff and Diner guests were moved to tears that day.

While everybody partied and expressed sincere delight,
none noticed Stevie’s absence - he had disappeared from sight.
But Stevie hadn’t ventured far - just down an aisle or two -
engaged in clearing tables … as our Stevie liked to do.
©Bush Poet
Merv Webster
The Goondiwindi Grey
Lenny Knight an Award winning Poet has judged the 2004 - 2005 competition
The Winner Meg Hayes from Queensland who goes to St Mary’s Primary School,
Congratulations to Meg Hayes poem number 1

Drought Breaker
As the farmer knelt down on the salty sand,
He needed rain to save his land.
The crops were wilting, the cattle all dead,
He looked around, not a word was said.

The ground was dry, where is the rain?
What could stop this worthless pain?
The farmer cursed in sheer despair,
He did not have a drop to spare.

A thundercloud covers the western sky,
A bolt of lightning explodes near by.
The farmer looks up and begins to pray,
Hoping that the rain will come his way.

Then drip-by-drip it starts to fall,
The crystal water like a clear glass wall.
The trees and flowers all in bloom,
Then once again, gone is the gloom.

The water fills the old parched creek,
The rivers bulge as the waters peak.
The mud squelches through the farmer’s dry old hands,
As he thanks the Lord for saving his land.

By Meg Hayes (c) Year Seven
St Mary’s Primary School,
Lenny Knight an Award winning Poet has judged the 2003 - 2004 competition
The Winner 2003 -2004 Poetry Competition
Congratulations to Graham White poem number 25

The chimney in the paddock
Now shelters cows and birds.
The grass has grown so there’s no trace
Of children one time heard.

When the land was first selected,
Was he waiting for a bride,
Did he devise the plan with love alone
Or was she at his side.

I guess he worked the land back then
Choosing food to feed his love
A cow, some sheep, a garden (hers),
And crops for all the above.

Did the fireplace share their sorrow
When a cherished baby died?
Did the mantle hold his elbow
As he gazed and dreamed and cried?

Did you watch the beginning of young true love?
Did you see the start of life?
Did the house protect just two again,
Or was it one, man or wife?

Did the crops go bad, or drought set in?
Why is the house not there?
Was it fire or flood or something worse?
Did they just lose their care?

You remind me, chimney, of an old, old man
Sitting gazing through a frown;
Remembering things that no one knows
soon gone and not to be known.

©Graham White 2003
The Winner 2002-2003 Poetry Competition
Number 26 
Congratulations Merv Webster

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

The Winner 0f 2001 -2002 poetry competition 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
Winner of 2001-2002 Poetry Competition
Entrant 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 2001
Winner of 2000- 2001 Poetry Competition
Entrant No.4     
We bought this new TV you see and it has remote control,
but when its in my darlin's hand she really has a ball.
She waits til there's a commercial break and then gets on a roll
and flicks through every channel and it drives me up the wall.


If you have a good antenna here on the Central Coast
you get up to thirteen channels and this is not a boast,
because we're on a hilltop we pick up more than most,
with Capital, SBS and Prime and not one with a ghost.


Now you may not have noticed but I suspect a plot.
cos when one channel runs the ads, they're on the bloody lot
And when she starts her flicking we see'em all in just one spot,
they're all mixed up together as she goes through them like a shot.


There's a weirdo eating Twisties think he's a great scene stealer
and a blind guy drives a motor car with the help of a blue heeler.
The Mitre Ten dogalog has Selleys bathroom sealer
and the Harbour Bridge is falling down thanks to the Nissan dealer.


Kmart has an annual sale 'bout forty times a year
and driving a Toyota makes you jump into the air,
and several shampoos promise they give soft and healthy hair,
I tried them all some years ago and can't find mine anywhere.


Just what is a nutritionist? That's what kids want to know,
Oarsome Foursome flogging fruit Goulburn valley farmers grow
and footy players are all dressed as cheap as chips at Lowes
and a fellow stripped the fret on his G.O.G.G.O.


In an add break in a movie thought I'd check the footy score
but I found, foreign movie with bare bums and much more,
but she caught me watching it as she came back through the door,
it took me twenty minutes to get back up off the floor.


She has it mastered now and can watch three shows at a time
and I just get more confused as she flicks from Ten to Prime.
I see John Wayne in The Bill, Cavanagh with Harry Lime
Captain Kirk and Judge Judy and The Wiggles talk in rhyme


We got tips on building bookshelves from a fellow named Rex Hunt
Shirly Straughn and Michael Whitney were fishing from a punt
Jonnie Tapp told tiger snakes and we heard a crocodile grunt
Paul Clitheroe at the Olympic pool with Kieren out in front


Oprah back in uniform in NYPD Blue,
Ray Martin, the bush tucker man was cooking up a stew.
Geof Jansz tells us of happenings that may seem strange but true,
Don Burke and Ralph on the ABC in The Taming of the Shrew.
Now just when signs were showing that the novelty had passed
and soon we might return to normal viewing at long last
a letter came to tell us cable TVs coming fast
with forty seven channels and a range that will be vast


My wife walked down the shop this week to get the Sunday paper
so I thought I'd have a go at this remote controlling caper
‘cos when she's out's the only time the controller can escape her
if I touch when she's home I think she'd blast me to a vapour.


Well I found it on the kitchen bench, it lay clearly there in view,
I went into the lounge room and sat where I always do.
I had switched the TV on at least to do that much I knew,
then I watched and pressed a button but I must have made a blue.


I pressed the button once again, I thought now that seems strange I
cos even though I pressed it hard the channel didn't change
and the Volume didn't alter nor the picture rearrange
I've broke the bloody thing don't you think she 'll be deranged.
So I moved into her lounge chair and I pressed it once again,
I turned it upside down and even tried it end for end
I tried to change it manually and it seemed to work right then,
I’d better give it up before it drives me round the bend


I'd tried all I could think of when I heard this clicking sound.
She's home I thought, I'll put it back or will she go to town.
When she walked in I cringed 'cos she was wearing such a frown
she said I wonder why the garage doors are going up and down.
BERT WILDER (c) 2000      

Click here for year 2001- 2002  Poetry                            

images/range2.jpg (15578 bytes)

images/range1.jpg (14103 bytes)

The Photo's.
It's up the coast and just inland,
Miles away from sea and sand.
During summer it's a nice cool trickle
But with the storms becomes dull and fickle,
The photo shows all nice and quiet,
And best of all is the noise at night.
I've seen a creek many times before,
They're not as peaceful as this front door.
And as both photos show natures best,
Rennie's Range is a nice place to rest.

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