2006 - 2007 Poetry Competition
Congratulations! Merv Webster -
Once again Merv has been chosen as our winner by award winning poet
Len Knight. Scroll Down
Poem 18 - "The Oriental Cure" by
2008 Country Energy Tamworth Bush
Contact Jan Morris PO Box 3001 Tamworth NSW 2340 Ph: 02 6765 9478
Australian Country Poems
2006 - 2007 Poetry
A Wondrous Journey –
Pitjantjatjara – Ayers Rock
Broken bottles; like broken
lives litter the sides of the highway
The old road runs along aside it; as if it were the shadow of an eye
The kangaroo’s and wild game that stampede the nigh-
Some say the wind carries a little girl’s cry
Some say she appears in apparitions on the coldest nigh-
Beckoning you to run for your life
A dingo howls and cries
The stories the old road could
The aging car wrecks now smouldering in hell
Lives won and lost along the way
Lindy’s baby one of them…resting in a sparkle of a star
Resting in all the dreams of making it to ‘The Rock’
To witness the majesty, awe and blistering beauty of it
The old campsite buried away from peering eyes
The broken dream only seen by the eagles of the sky
Whispered over the crackling campfire tonigh-
The journey to the centre of
Australia can take it’s toll
The long silence of isolation and nothingness
The vastness can just swallow you up
To escape one madness for another
To survive the climb to the top
When over 30 peoples lives have not
The harshness of the sun scorches the earth to red sand
Aboriginals that roam and live in it
Wedged-Tail-Eagles that spread their wings
The endless nothingness that begins
‘The Rock’ burns blood red for a moment, then dims
The madness of night begins
The Spirit of ‘The Rock’ angers to boil
Then begins it’s descent on the unsuspecting traveller
Will it be you?
Will it be me?
The Spirit roams looking…
Trees that grow glass bottles
along the way
Tyre tracks that screech off from the road
In the pursuit of nowhere to go
Bullet holes shot through signs
Camels, horses, sheep, roo’s and cows have their own minds
Life a breadth of time
They roam free in a waterless nothing
In search of something
I ran naked through the ‘Salt
But it did not take me back
I left empty footprints next to the ‘Spirit of the Rock’
For I was already lost
I dared not climb it
For I felt the monstrous ‘Rock Spirit’ and it’s curse
But I knew it would not hurt
If left it alone
Two boy spirits and a snake stood smiling from it
They had summoned the wind, and blocked entry into it
Passing car wrecks were like passing smashed dreams
The gratefulness of you and me
I will remember it like the
softest and hardest kiss
It lights up the earth and everything near it
Believe it – Survive it – Enshrine it
PEDY TO AYERS A ROCK
The sun rose menacing, uncovering a scrub speckled clay,
Eager folk with their planes ,- itchin’ to lift them away.
Shovelled my brecky,-’’ cos’ I’m an old miner, who’s greedy,’’
Hell, we’re all lean and hungry, in this town, Coober Pedy.!
Then we hustled about with a satchel and tore,
As with one glance behind,- we shot for the door.!
Threw the lot in the back, did the usual flight check,
Maz cried ,’’don’t waste any time,-just get off the deck.’’!.
So we flew over red desert, then we flew over red dust,
As the missus yelled out ’’It’s the Ayers Rock or bust’’.!
‘Bloody hell’;- there’s nothin’ below;- it’s damn daunting ,I said.’
Well,! By the look that she gave me ;-I am already dead‘!
And, this scalded desert seems endless, how far must I fly?
This parched, searing vista, on my sun blistered eye.
But.!! , that vastness ;- ‘Down Under’: awe inspiring when seen,!
‘Hell’, we flew over terrain, where no man has been.!
When out in the distance, like a huge dinosaur,
Loomed the biggest damn thing,- that I ever saw.!!
It perched like a crown,- She’s the queen of this land,
The majestic Ayers Rock;- stood splendid and grand.
Landed a greaser I’m sure?, rolled up the tarmac,
Couldn’t wait to return, but we had to unpack.
That dusted and done, time to jump on the bus,
For those,’’ what were comin?’’, and then there was us.!!
And we sat window glued-, to this view now unfolding,
The awesome Olgas before us, the colours beholding.
Ochres on rust , lay these strewn rocks ,of time past,
Marbles of giants:- dwarfed a landscape, as vast.
And then it was time, for our champagne o’clock,
For a wee little tipple, at a place called ‘The Rock’.
Thus we gathered around, all smiles;-glasses clinking,!
As one took in the view, while the sun started sinking.
Suddenly, right there before us, in red through to blue,
The graphics start changing,--and right on damn cue.!
Kaleidoscopic colours, Hell,- you’d never expect ‘em,!!
You couldn’t believe it,- ‘ the whole bloody spectrum.’!!!
First yellow then ambers , as it turned to late day.
Next, browns deep and rich, as they melted away.
But that didn’t last, as so quickly we learnt,
‘Cos then she gave way, to deep orange:- but burnt.!
‘’Yet wait, here comes more’’, hell ‘that wasn’t the lot,’!
These colours were churning, like in an old earthen pot.
For then lastly she rolled on, to a rich fiery red,
This huge Aussie giant,- was now ready for bed.
So, we all held our breath ,what a magnificent sight,!
As we toasted the grandeur,- and wished it goodnight.
Thus the rock turned away, mantled cloak of dark blue,
And slipped ‘neath the stars , as we bid her adieu.
And just as I spun, from this last light and hue,
I swear I heard Maz say,’ Farewell, Hooluru’’.!!!
THE ORIENTAL CURE
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
I found the leather wallet in a
street that was called Hope
and folded in a window was a well-worn envelope.
The date was nineteen forty four, as far as I could tell,
and legible, though only just, an address there as well.
The scented “Dear John” letter to one
Michael did convey
that though she loved him dearly, Hannah then went on to say,
they could not see each other, as her mother made it clear,
the match was quite impossible, he was too cavalier.
The content rather touched me and I simply made a vow
to find the lass called Hannah, though I didn’t know just how,
but rang the telephone exchange and asked could they supply
a listing for the address and explained the reason why.
“We have a listing,” said the lass, “but cannot give it out.
I can contact the number though and tell them all about
your message and advise them and perhaps they’ll talk to you.
I’m sorry but at this point it is all that I can do.”
“That’s fine with me,” I answered her. I saw no other choice.
The waiting was nerve racking, then the operator’s voice
came back and said ,”Please go ahead, they will accept your call.”
“Good morning! Can I help you sir in any way at all?”
“I’d hoped to contact Hannah. Does the fam’ly still live there?
“I’m sorry, but young Hannah had to place her Mum in care.
We bought the house a long time back, some thirty years or so.
The Home knew Hannah’s whereabouts. I rang them, years ago.”
The nursing home advised me Hannah’s mum had passed away,
though mentioned they had heard first hand, and just the other day,
that Hannah now was in a Home, she’d had a nasty fall,
And did I wish the number so that I could make a call.
I thought … this task is futile and why bother to return
a letter sixty years of age, it’s hardly my concern.
But something urged me on and when I found they did concur
that Hannah did live there I asked if I could visit her.
“It’s10. p.m.,” the nurse advised, “she could be still awake.”
I reached the Home and walked as fast as my poor legs would take
me, to the third floor day room where I found a silver haired
old timer with a gentle smile and thought – I’m glad I cared.
I told her of the wallet that I found and then expressed
I’d hoped to find the owner or at least I’d do by best.
The contents that I found inside have led me here to you.
This envelope and letter are my one and only clue.
When Hannah saw the envelope she took a real deep breath
and whispered, “After all these years I thought I’d reach my death
and never hear of him again. This letter was the last
I saw of Michael Goldstein. How so many years have past.”
“He was my one and only love, but I was far too young.
Yes, cavalier and handsome was my Michael. Still, I clung
so tightly to those mem’ries. They have lasted all these years.
I never got to marry. Would you please excuse my tears.
“Per chance you find my Michael; tell him that I love him still.”
I wiped the tears from both my eyes and promised, “Yes, I will.”
You wouldn’t credit it. I told the night watchman on guard,
how giving back some property could prove to be so hard.”
He looked down at the wallet and exclaimed, “Sir, I would swear
that’s Mr Goldstein’s property . I’d know it anywhere.”
Red lacing ‘round the edge. Yes, that’s a sure dead giveaway.
He’s always losing it. I found it just the other day.”
“A Michael Goldstein. You are saying he lives here as well?”
“Why yes, a gentle old man, and as far as I can tell
you’ll find him in the day room on the eighth floor. Loves to read
and stays up late. I bet he’ll be there.” That he guaranteed.
There, in the only room that had a light still burning sat
an old man reading. “Mr Goldstein is there a chance that
you may have lost your wallet,” asked the Nurse. He put his hand
down to his pocket and expressed, “I don’t understand.
It was there.” “Don’t you worry. This kind gentleman has found
it and he wishes to return it.” Michael turned around
to face me with his gentle smile suggesting I should be
rewarded. “Thank you. Finding you though is enough for me.
I have to tell you though; I read the letter that’s inside
your wallet Sir to find you.” Michael did not try to hide
his hurt. “Not only did I read it, but I found your Hannah too.”
“You know where Hannah is? How is she? Tell me this is true!
I loved that girl so very much and when the letter came
my life seemed all but ended and then nothing seemed the same.
I never married. Hannah was my life, my only love.”
“Then finding your lost wallet sir was sanctioned from above.
I took old Michael to where Hannah sat watching a show
and not to startle her the nurse gently asked, ““Do you know
this man?” Poor Hannah fixed her glasses but she did not say
a word. Then Michael whispered to us “Please Sirs, if I may.”
It’s Michael Hannah. Do you remember me Hannah dear?
She gasped. “My Michael? Tell me, is that really you I hear.
He walked towards her and they both embraced. The nurse and I
then left, both unashamed that neither of us could support a dry
A phone call three weeks later asked if I could break away
on Sunday to attend a wedding to be held that day.
A fairytale come true I thought and deep down in my heart
I’m chuffed I found that wallet and I played my little part.
© Bush Poet and Balladeer - Merv Webster
My Country, My Bush and the
I have travelled around from the shores to
From England to Cornwall and Scotland
I've travelled to Wales, south, north, and the west
But I always come home to my homeland
For Australia is where I belong
For she is my homeland for ever
If ever I wondered where I do belong
Australias my homeland forever
Now I am not a bush poet, for reasons of rhyme
I just tell the truth and the stories of time
I reckon I know where I'm coming from
But do you know where you are going?
I am going to the hinterlands - where all angels live
I am going to Sydney where the big tower is
I am looking over Sydney and looking so far
But I want to go back to where the crocodiles are
I've been to Melbourne - and that was a hoot
There were cattle on the main road so I gave em my boot
I called the police and told them the tale
They didn't listen so someone landed in jail.
Now, that wasn't my problem - cus I just drove on
But, blimey and crickey - just twelve miles on
Another blooming cow came out of the sky
and I just wondered why?
From Melbourne I travelled right up Birdsville Track
I wandered and wandered around the outback
Got into Birdsville and what do I find
A thousand old fella's totally blind
For this was the year of the Equine flu
And nobody knew what they should do
Should we bring out the camels and race them around
Or should we get blasted and fall on the ground
Stuff it mate, I'm going back to Lightening Ridge
Maybe I will score the black opal
Or maybe I could go to Emerald to score a diamond
Or maybe I would just stay in Queensland because that is where I
hard or go home'
The spurs buckled in the wind as the cloud
of dust rose from the ground,
the rope tightly gripped my hand as the
hind legs of the bull spun,
the crowd rose in fear.
The excitement grew as the two seconds now
turned to three,
The blue red and black glossy chaps flapped
in the wind as the akubra fell to the dirt.
The frustration on my face started to
as I took an instant glimpse at my farther
knowing id have to win this one.
My eyes where cold and restless and the
sweat and tears fell from my face.
A vest that lasted me a life time was now
starting to fade
with the stickers pealing and the once
perfect smell of leather was now gone to dust and dreams.
The bull spun to the left and now to the
right my back bended as my hand remained in the air.
The horns were long and sharp just looking
at them made me feel
the pierce penetration they would make if
struck into me.
In a sudden instant I heard a loud crack
they were rounding up the next lot of bulls
into the shoots knowing that the time was
In those few moments there was 1 second
on the clock
the time was ticking
and the bull was spinning, the thunder rolled and the crowd cheered.
Dawdling across the firmaments
Showered droplets of rain
Over the escarpments.
A stretch of brackish water
Meandered through the bulrushes
Into the gulch.
In the midst of the mist,
Herons and Coots
Defy the odds
To stalk Halibuts,
Auks and Hawks
Hovered over the dale,
A stranded Hake
Wriggles in the jaws of a
The tide was high,
Waves rose and fell,
Numerous ripples and bubbles
Whirled with gurgling sounds,
Crustaceans and eels
Fed on weeds,
Dainty flippers on seals.
Macdell Kofi Sackey (c)
I watched the rain hit the window,
The droplets running down fast, without a care in the world,
Leaving its mark on the trees and grass as it falls.
The sun trys to sneak through the gaps in the clouds,
The clouds soon cover the light shining down,
But it still finds a way to shine through.
The rain looks so magical with the light shinning through.
The creeks and lakes slowly take on more water,
The grass becomes greener so quickly,
The water drips from the signs and powerlines,
onto the road living small visible puddles.
People close their windows and curtains, turn on their heaters,
Do they realise the beauty of what they are missing?
As the rain slowly comes to an end,
Some droplets remain falling from my surroundings,
Until the rain starts to fall once again.
Russell Island Moreton Bay
The area is at the south end of
the island - near the park the Lions Club provided for
the island people and visitors.
Russell Island Writers Circle
Russell Island Writers Circle
St Peter's High Street Church Hall,
A warm welcome and a cuppa
Is kindly offered to all.
From Brisbane's mainland,
'Scribblers on Sunday',
Share in fellowship and verse on
Russell Isle in Moreton Bay.
Our thanks to Mary and Margaret
Their Moreton Bay stories beguile,
Also Joyce and Patricia
Who spoke of their beloved isle.
Memories will always remain
Of pink and grey galahs flashing by,
Tall, tall trees and wonderful wetlands
And noisy curlews who cry.
Sun-glistening Moreton Bay
Bay Islander ferries and salty air,
Residents and visitors alike
Are welcomed with friendship to share.
Black swans bobbing on the Bay
Thunderstorm brings welcome showers,
Kookaburras laugh and sing,
Abundant bright yellow wildflowers.
I must return to the isle once more
Where nature still holds sway,
Protective mangroves and beautiful bay views,
And grey-coloured ducks roam and play.
(who went to Russell Island Writers Circle)
Inspired by the poem “rain
from nowhere” by Murray Hartin
A Long Way Back
From the far flung reaches of the outback
To the low coastal plains by the sea
This drought is as long and as biting
That anyone a-lives ever seen
Stock numbers they are all dwindling
Not from selling them now at the yard
But because of lack of tucker and water
They’re dying and that’s really hard
We’d sell what we can if we could
But no money for them is to be
So more expense and being humane
A bullet is better for them don’t you see
Thru the tears as the cocky fires shots
Looking in the eyes of his stock one by one
As he presses the barrel to their foreheads
And pulls the trigger of his hot smouldering gun
He can see all his work fall before him
He can see his son’s future lost just as well
As he continues to shoot his starved cattle
And curses everything he knows all to hell
There appears to be nothing left for them
But to abandon the family farm in one call
And leave it all to the bank man
That’ll see him end up with nothing at all
The generations that have all gone before
His father and grandad alike
Had all done it hard he remembers
When he was just a small tyke
But to endure what he has now for years
That the toughest of tough couldn’t do
To destroy all you love and have worked for
His pain and desperation just grew
When finally the job that he started
Was completed and all was quite still
He sat down there right beside them
And cried until he was ill
Finally he raised his bent head
As he slowly walked back to the homestead
With thoughts running rampant like crazy
To tell loved ones of what he now dread
To say to his wife and his children
“No longer the farm life for us
We’ll now have to pack our belongings
Were now town folk”, he said with a cuss
But the cocky he is very resilient
And some time had elapsed fortunately
As he slowly put dollars together
To get his farm back now can’t you see?
It’s taken a long time to deliver
To get back his roots and all his zest
To the place that he was brought up on
Where generations of family graves rest
So now they are back at their homestead
“But by Christ it’s been hard”, he would say
“It’s a long way back when you’re flat as a tack
But the fights worth every penny today”
Don Stratford © 11 / 4 / 2007
UNDER A CAPRICORN SKY
Above the tropic of Capricorn,
Is a place called hell.
I’ve been there, he said.
I know it well.
The only smell, is that of heat,
Wavering across the savannah.
Sucking the life out of your bones.
Glaring sun, beating down in a manner;
So foreign to our European blood,
It boils under this Capricorn sun.
I’ve mustered the cattle,
Ribby and weak.
Across anthilled plains.
The situation looked bleak.
And I prayed for the rains,
To take away their suffering.
Then the deluge would start.
Rivers rising, bogged down, muttering;
Curse this place of terror and pain.
But I’ll come back to that Capricorn plain.
For she takes no prisoners.
It’s survival of the fittest,
In this land,
Of trepidation and bitterness.
In everything you do up here,
You know your alive.
Then one day you will see,
A glimpse of paradise;
In a rainbow, or a blade of fresh grass.
Capricorn, I’m home at last.
We all belong in this world.
Nature holds us to a place.
We strive to survive there,
And run out our race.
To a young fresh face like you,
This may seem somewhat daunting.
But accept your home when you find it.
For that is your calling.
This is where I will die.
Under a Capricorn sky.
Therese Smith (c)
I strolled down to my local vet
With troubles on my mind
My kelpie, Fifi's such a nymph
A cure I had to find.
For years she's sent me up the wall
With all these going's-on
She simply has no taste at all
Her innocence long gone.
"Don't worry ma'am" the nice vet said
"There's a great scientific find
A doggy pill is now for sale
To take lust from their mind"
"Oh, marvellous" I said with joy
"My troubles now are over
No longer will my yard be packed
With Fido, Gruff and Rover"
"Come on sweet Fifi ,home we go
To have your little lollies
Your lustful, nymphish days are gone
With all those vampish follies"
As months went by the pills worked well
And Fifi acted sweetly
She sometimes went for little walks
And glanced at me discreetly.
Then one dark night I heard strange sounds
From Fifi's cosy bed
I raced in panic to her side
And nearly dropped down dead
There in her box were six wee pups
All sweet and soft and fluffy
"How could you Fifi..you darn nymph"
I said to her, real huffy..
She looked at me with such a grin
That up my spine sent chills
Behind her bed my stunned eyes spied
(An Aussie saying when saying goodbye)
Is what I love to hear,
It's Australian as the gum trees
Or a barbie and a beer.
Sausages, steak and salad,
The choices simply supreme,
"G'day", "Crikey" or "True-blue", The sayings are a dream.
Life is good 'Down Under',
So meet up with a friend.
Blue skies, sunshine, the 'Great Outdoors',
So long mate, and Havagoodweekend.
The "MAN" - Lee Kernaghan
The bush now is in, a dire time of drought
And to lend a hand, and so to help out
And to give of his time, as he does so often
To make the burden of hardships, so to soften
Comes a legend known, to all country blokes
And also too, to the big city folks
That he will do all, that is in his might
And to never surrender, without a fight
The No.1 member, of the Outback Club
Whether he be on the land, or in the pub
The crowds all rally in, from miles around
To listen and party, to his country rock sound
And although the times, they may be a bit grim
Their hopes get raised, just by bein' near him
As they sing along awhile, and let their spirits soar
That gets 'em up dancin', and to yellin' for more
For he has that special gift, as you can see
Of makin' everyone, includin' you and me
To be forgettin' our woes, and to live it on up
And never back down, and never give up
A more genuine bloke, you wouldn't wish to find
And he most certainly is, just that 'one of a kind'
And that's what makes me, to be such a huge fan
Of that Country Music Legend - "LEE KERNAGHAN"
Dave Eaton 2006
I hear their voices calling as in my
mind they merge,
borne by the desert breezes and the ocean's swelling surge.
The melody of bird songs which blends with each new day
the fragrance of the bush with its nocturnal wild soiree.
The colours of the Outback where ancient dreams are born,
the clouds which promise rainfall but whose promise is withdrawn.
The shifting sandhills' mysteries whose cryptic clues elude,
the coastline seas whose colours complement each changing mood.
The wildlife in the billabongs, the inland waterways,
the relics of the gold rush years and copper mining days.
I hear their voices calling in nostalgic rhythmic strains,
I can no longer disregard the lure of these refrains.
I'll shed the bonds of city life, its mad, chaotic pace,
throw caution to the wind and so my erstwhile steps retrace.
I'll view again the Outback and absorb its vibrant shades,
Meander through the countryside till my last sunset fades.
Can you feel my pain
Can you feel my pain
Is this all there is
Do we expect to much from love
Love has no beginning
It has no end
Can you feel my pain
All I ask is a love that's real
That lasts forever more than a year
Love has no beginning it has no end
Can I find this love that never ends
Can you feel my pain
By Shelley Rudland
Oh beautiful Townsville what a place to be, sitting by the
waterfront looking out to sea,
Sun is shining on the watertop,
Boats are gliding along not wanting to stop.
People are bustling to and fro, trying to decide which way to go,
Palm trees are swaying gently in the breeze, aligning the boardwalk,
whispering come see me please.
It looks like a scenery from Bali Hi one you should come and see
with naked eye.
Visitors all sitting at the waterfront Coffee Shops, clicking their
cameras for a better shot.
So come and visit this wonderful place and be part of the never
ending human race.
Oh tropical Townsville what a spectacular and glorious place.
By Lorraine Fahey
WHITE RIVER CHILLY
Over the last four or five months I had back packed across
Canada starting from the East coast city of Toronto and had ended up
in a town appropriately named Hope, for I was out of dough, in
British Columbia, a hundred miles East North East from the West
coast city of Vancouver.
My journey had taken me through many places including Niagara Falls
Where the boat aptly named Maid of the mist sat just out from where
the water fell and as she carried about fifty or more people safely
around in their blueish purple wet weather gear, she looked nothing
more than a toy. After touring around Ontario and some beautiful
lakes, without a fishing line I am sorry to say, I went through
Saskatchewan and partied with some folk that I had met.
Unfortunately for him, a man much larger than me had to pay a quick
visit to the local hospital, as his manners had a lot to be desired,
for I was not a boy. Then when it was time, after saying goodbye to
my hosts, the nice priest, his wife and his two daughters I once
again hit the road. Some of the places that I remember from there on
are, for one a town called Indian head, which is announced by a
‘big’ colourful Indian head on the side of the road as you come into
the small settlement. This was a nice little town where I renewed
the battery in my camera, and talked with some locals over a couple
of cold, Moose head beers. Then there was the farmland that was in
crop for as far as the eye could see though I don’t remember the
name of those Plaines. White river is a town whose claim to fame is
a giant thermometer, which reads 60 degrees below and is accompanied
by a sign declaring that it, the township of White River, is the
coldest of all at that time of the year. Moose jaw is an out of the
way place where if you are not careful you’d miss it and here I
slept in a sort of, prohibited spot for it was warmer, only til dawn
though then I was back on the road with my thumb out, which by now
was becoming pretty worn. I was picked up Presently by a shy man who
did not like to talk so after we were through Medicine hat and into
Red deer I once again had to walk.
It was not a long wait as a car full of young people is the same
world over and I managed to get a lift with them all the way to the
winter Olympics city of Calgary in, Steve’s full, red rover. Here I
caught a train at a pleasant ladies advice and slept at a back
packers hostel for the night and let me say that the comforts were
nice. After leaving Calgary I eventually reached the town of Banff
which sits neatly at the foot of the Canadian Rocky mountains, where
I said farewell to my friends in the red and grey Datsun Ute and
arranged for them to take half of my belongings to a place that we
could later on meet, as the lighter my pack from now on the better,
for I intended a walk through the mountains and knew that, that
would be no mean feat. So at someone’s suggestion I visited the
ranger’s station for permission and a lesson about bears, as it was
autumn, the time when they, the bears, eat before their long sleep.
Next after being armed with guidance from the ranger and information
that I had seen on a compulsory video on what to do in an emergency,
concerning bears both Black and Grizzly, into those famous hills I
strode. Carrying with me I had my tent, sleeping gear, and my
cooking things, protective clothing as far as cold weather, rain and
snow were concerned and supplies in the form of medical equipment,
dried food that to consume required a dash of water, which was
“Everywhere” the ranger assured me.
So subsequent to seven days and six nights of lighting fires,
pitching my tent and on foot for seventy nine kilometres through the
most full on country that I for one could ever have imagined, I
arrived at the top of the Lake Louise ski hill, a truly invigorated
man. I met a guy named Eric who was headed to the town site of lake
Louise who asked me if I was OK for he reckoned that I looked like I
was on my last legs. “Forty four kilometres to go” was his reply to
my question and I took him up on his offer of a lift.
While staying at Eric’s and Enid’s house I met L.C a rock climbing
guide and agreed that I would go along for the thrill, by the way
Eric Meertns was the manager of the Lake Louise ski hill. The next
day as I sat attached to a cliff face, one hundred or more feet off
the ground over looking the beautiful deep green water of the lake
which sits surrounded by snowy mountainous country, I was truly
BLOWN AWAY! On my coming back to Earth I Surprisingly met up with
two blokes who I had befriended in Toronto and another walk through
the Rockies was planned. So once again after more supplies were
bought, off we went into the mountains and another fifty five
extreme kilometres were covered, then a lift with them in their
giant black yank tank to the town of Clear Water, where we once more
parted company. While I was here there was talk of a hitch hiker,
who had murdered the driver of the car that had picked him up a
couple of months before, a few days camped by the river with the
other folks and next I decided to get a lift West early one morning.
Actually it was in the afternoon of the next day, for it appeared
that people were still weary.
Eventually I got a lift with a pretty cool black man with a
lip-smacking bottle of whiskey but he didn’t offer, so I didn’t ask.
I was with him until he dropped me near some more mountains, another
twenty four kilometres and a week and a half later, I found myself
in a town called Hope appropriately named as I was out of dough in
British Columbia a hundred kilometres East North East of the West
coast city of Vancouver!
As I sit thinking quietly I recall a certain North West boab
tree and a thousand memories come flooding back to me! I follow my
mind freely as it meanders back through its channels of time and I
find myself swimming in a seldom visited water hole, to get to which
I steadily had to climb. As I cruise its coolness I taste from it's
untainted body and understand how in the outback heat it would be
seen to be worth far more than gold. A few memories further down the
track I visit a place where I could never go back, for the love? Of
that girl and the strife that I found there are two things that I
don't ever wish to retrack. Suddenly a thundering gallop on a good
horse as we race to turn some breaking cattle, the ground is good
and as we cross some stony country, his hooves let out a resounding
rattle. Suddenly I am happy to see myself working on a large fishing
boat away way out at sea, the ice boxes are full as we begin our
long journey home and from there my thoughts leave as further on
they roam. To a place where other mariners go another man wanted to
have a go, so we danced together but not for too long for we were
soon on our bums and then we were gone. Through Matteranka via a dip
in it's hot springs and then down through Catherine where I lost a
few things. That was my own fault I suppose for I shifted my eye and
that meant the end of my wallet, my money, ID and my pie! One
morning I woke only to find that a wall of bars I was locked firmly
behind but the reason why? I just couldn't bring to my hung over
mind. Still wandering round my thinking is lead to a place where I
could earn some food and a bed, by the Murry River I picked those
grapes fast and now with some change in my pockets I could afford a
cold beer at last. Then up along the East coast to an outback
Queensland town and onto a station where the black soil gets so
sticky when the rain decides to finally come down. I was young there
yeah not much more than a kid and as a sort of hobby I shot razor
back pigs. Now I am fishing for Barramundi in a North West wet,
which they say you, get used to, but that humidity I don't think
that I will ever forget. Continuing on I pass through Darwin where
there was a lot of fun to be had but now even in my reflections as I
run out of money, to leave there again I'll be glad.
Now I am tired and am beginning to fade so I reckon that there is
just one thing left here to say. That is that all of the people in
Australia are truly fortunate to live here with the freedom to cross
any border at any old time and with the opportunity to prosper, in
just about any way that may cross through their minds.
As I travel the countryside,
I am captivated by the wonders I see.
The beauty of the wildflowers
Growing freely in the fields.
The various mixture of colors
Of the leaves of many different trees.
Watching the wind dancing
Through the trees and wheat fields.
Watching the animals run through the forest
As if playing a game of tag.
Watching the feeling of freedom
Being displayed before my very own eyes.
As I walk through the forest,
I enjoy closing my eyes and breathing in the clean air.
The beauty of the slow moving streams of water
Are both captivating and soothing.
At night, the trees seem to be
A silhouette against the sky and the stars.
There is peace and solitude
In the dark of night.
Info for Poetry writers
TAMWORTH POETRY READING GROUP
PO BOX 3001 WEST TAMWORTH 2340
Organisers of The Blackened Billy Verse Competition and
The CountryEnergy Tamworth Bush Poetry Competition
As Tamworth once again starts to gird up its loins for the onset of
Music, the bush poets are again stirring. It is time for all the
poetry scribes to put pen to paper again for the Blackened Billy
The competition has been running for about 16 years and has gained
reputation as one of the most prestigious competitions in Australia.
Blackened Billy trophy has been much prized by previous winners and
sought after and there are cash prizes as well.
Bush poetry is a traditional type of verse written with rhyme and
that reflects the Australian way of life, and themes for poems
the past have ranged from the old droving days to the problems and
experiences of modern living, both in the city and the country.
The Tamworth Poetry Reading Group, which runs this competition,
entries from new and old writers. For an entry form and information,
write to Jan Morris, PO Box 3001, West Tamworth 2340 or email
email@example.com . Entry forms will be available from
and entries close November 30. Winners are announced during the
Country Music Festival in January.
Blackened Billy Verse Competition
Scribblers on Sunday'.
Venue at Carindale Library
Meeting Room in Brisbane, >
Book is out now.!! $15.00 plus postage. One of the poems is 'The
Slim Dusty Way'.
Scribblers on Sunday
Kindred spirits who love to write,
Express our hopes and dreams.
Poetry or prose to delight,
In Sunday Scribblers' schemes.
Friendship, a cuppa, and laughter
Unite the group each week.
Carindale Library's Meeting Room,
Quiet venue to seek.
Monthly topics challenge our minds
A love of words the way.
January to December,
Scribblers on Sunday.
The members of Scribblers on Sunday are a varied and versatile group
who meet monthly to
share their works and enjoy the company of other writers. Ages range
from teens to retirees.