BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - Poetry magazine. Volume 3, issue 14

Vol. 3 No. 14 July 03, 2015
I ope yer sHeeP
geT flblow
I ope yer sHeeP
geT flblow
A ran outsiers vie
Come in numer nine,
our ime is u
MAUREEN CLIFFORD, aka The Scribbly Bark
Poet, and as the editor for The Australia Times Poetry
Magazine. I am really looking forward to sharing
with you some Poetry from talented Australian and
overseas poets. Some write Australian Bush Poetry,
some Haiku and others write free verse. Rhymed
or unrhymed, you will nd it here.
Born in Margate UK this ‘Pommie’ came to
Australia over 50 years ago. By choice I am
Australian and proud of it, and bless every day. I
currently live in Ipswich in Queensland in a home
a mere hop, skip and a jump from the Bremer River
where I have managed to avoid being ooded
out albeit in 2011 by the skin of my teeth.
Bush Poetry is my passion, along with animals
and since retiring and moving back to the smoke
there has been more time to concentrate on them.
I have written poetry for many years and recently
ventured out into writing prose and yarns. When
boredom strikes, which is not often, doing photo
restorations takes centre stage. This is a lot easier
on the body than home and furniture restorations
or wrangling sheep, but plays havoc with the
eyesight. Everything in life has a price.
Backward Bill – Shel Siverstein 57
Read all about it 48
Can you Cuddle? 54
Discover Ipswich/The Ipswich Poetry Feast 40
Slam Poetry 38
I hope yer sheep get yblown 10
The Drover’s Wife 14
Out behind the Shed 16
Ironbark Splinters 18
Byrocks Big Wrought Iron Bed 20
Make a clean get away 24
Chairs 26
Brigalow Mick 28
Hyde Park 31
A rank outsiders view 34
Bells and Bullocks 37
The Untold Story 43
Tribal Beat 46
Chow Hound 51
On my way to Broken Hill 56
When some day 58
Farewell to Anzac 60
The Dead Doll 63
Come in Number nine 67
A pee in the Trossachs 70
Dragons on the Moon 73
The Cowboy that nobody wanted 76
Private Bluey’s last date 80
Hannah’s Birthday 84
The Conversation 85
What do you see? 86
Italian Odysssey 88
The Scribbly Bark Poet
Janine Haig
Gary Harding
Dudley Pye
Betty Redd
Mocco Wollert
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant
Colin Hope
Mary Gilmore
George Herbert Gibson
Leonie Parker
Kathy Figueroa
John Macleod
Hovhannis Toumanian
Cicely Fox Smith
Margaret Thompson Janvier
Barnaby Wilde
Claire Booker
Francis Beldia
Hal Swift
Al McCartan
Clive Sanders
Diana Benskin
David Troman
Photo Courtesy of
Sophie Murtt
Beach to Bush Photography
As I made another train journey to see my Mum I had
plenty of time to reect on the number of people using
public transport and the dierences one observes.
In the main most people were quiet and respectful of
other passengers. There were people of many dierent
ethnic backgrounds on the train – some doubtless
were visitors to our country as the train goes to the
catchment point for the big entertainment venues on
the Gold Coast – eg Sea World, Movie World – and so
there was a lot of excited chatter from the children on
school holidays who were looking forward to their day
out. Other people read, or were using lap tops/smart
phones or chatted quietly. Everyone was pleasant, lots
of smiles and people just enjoying the trip and the lovely
day and the plus factor of having one of the new trains
as well, which are bright and clean and open – so a little
bit safer I think.
And then a handful of yobboes get on board and
completely spoil the mood. Showing scant regard
for the fact that they are in a quiet carriage – where
loud music and loud conversation is not allowed –
they continued to yahoo around like a bunch of out of
control feral pigs, racing through the carriages, talking
loudly and playing their music at high volume. They
seemed to delight in using bad language, putting their
feet up on the seats and generally being a pain in the
backside. Doubtless they think the shock value a
good joke, it gives them their 5 minutes of ill gotten
fame – makes them feel like they are ‘big men’ but
only in their tiny immature brains.
We offer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
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Maureen Clifford
G’day from the Editor
The atmosphere in the train changes instantly.
You see peoples faces close down, parents with
young children become more alert, oldies glare
disapprovingly at their inane antics and the happy
mood of a few minutes previous is dissipated.
Did these young fools care? Not a jot. Did they notice?
I am sure they did and thought it a big joke – probably
exactly what they set out to achieve. The thing is
they not only disrespect others and the rules of the
transport on which they travel but they disrespect
themselves but are too stupid to realize it and also
bring into disrepute other young people who are
probably nothing at all like them (thank God). Just
goes to show how the good work of so many can be
brought down by the few. Something to think about
isn’t it?
What you display in your shop window is what people
make a judgement on – whether it be behaviour,
writing or poetry and rst impressions are always
lasting impressions. So always display your best –
we only get one chance at life – let’s try to make it
memorable for the right reasons.
Sophie has always had a love for the bush.
She was born in Tasmania and raised
by her Mother and Step Father on ve
acres on the outskirts of Hobart. Aer
attending an all girls’ school in the city
she made the move to rural New South
Wales. “I lived with my partner Will, who
had recently moved over to begin work
on a sheep stud in Woolbrook, a town in
the New England Region.” Sophie met
Will, a farmer himself, when she was 15.
“I was envious of his lifestyle, and I guess
you could say that’s where my passion for
Agriculture began”. Not long aer settling
down Sophie picked up a job training
horses for a couple in Tamworth. Sophie
worked there until the end of the year and
then decided to move on and gain some
work on the sheep stud where she was
living. “The New England was well and
truly in drought at that stage so it was a
massive eye opener for me. Saving water
was our biggest challenge. ”
Our Front Cover
Courtesy of
from Beach To Bush
Story by
Maureen Clifford
That’s when Sophie formed Beach
To Bush. “I wanted to educate the city
slickers and share the tough reality of life
in the bush.” Being more isolated than
usual led Sophie to buy her rst kelpie
pup not only for a bit of company but for a
challenge as well. “I read books on how to
train working dogs and went from there;
luckily Nina had a good pedigree so a lot
of it was natural ability.”
She decided to maintain the direction
she was going in by applying to study
a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at
the University of New England through
correspondence. “I knew I still had a lot
to learn about farming so I wanted the
exibility of being able to move around and
gain hands on experience wherever I could.”
At the beginning of 2014 Sophie moved
back to Tasmania to take a job on a
property in the Midlands of Tasmania
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
while Will returned to work alongside
his father on his family property on
the East Coast. “It was tough having
little knowledge and working with a
bunch of blokes. It’s a very rewarding
industry though and being able to
work with animals is an added bonus.”
Sophie currently work’s at Beaufront,
a 10,000ha mixed grazing and cropping
property. “We usually run around 20,000
ewes and 1,100 cows but at the moment
we are destocked due to the last few
months being so dry. I think some people
like to associate Tasmania with high
rainfall and luscious green grass, I wish
that was true.”
As of the beginning of 2015, Sophie
has well and truly found her place in
farming with her passions ranging from
working dogs and women in Agriculture
to Agricultural education and the
Tasmanian wool industry. “I really hope
we can make wool a sustainable and
viable industry in Tasmania. If only it was
as easy as saying if we can market our
natural product correctly we should be
able to sell.”
Since forming Beach To Bush, Sophie’s
photography has been shared across
Australia and throughout various parts
of the world with her most recent
feature being in Queensland’s Rural
Weekly. She has experienced both
sides of the fence when referring to the
misconceptions about those whose lives
are dedicated to farming and continues
to try and bridge the gap between the
city and the bush.
“I plan to complete my Agricultural
degree next year which should help me
achieve my long term goal of becoming a
rural vet.”
TAT Poetry would like to take this
opportunity to wish Sophie every
success in her future endeavours and
also to thank her for sharing her photo
with us for our front cover. The Kelpie
is Sophies dog Nina and the picture
was taken on Nerstane Merino Stud in
Woolbrook NSW during the drought,
so any indication of rain was cause for
great excitement.
If you like the rural lifestyle and want
to see more of the country that Sophie
calls home why not go and check out
her Facebook page and say G’day –give
her a like and share her links as well I
am sure she will appreciate it. Those
of us who support FB pages have a God
given opportunity to share our beautiful
country with the rest of the world
thanks to the photographic talents of
accomplished photographers, many of
whom like Sophie also work on the land.
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Janine Haig lives in her retirement years on her
property near Chinchilla. She is an Australian Bush Poet
who performs at many functions around the state. Her oen
humorous poetry tells stories about Australia and its people
and about country life, and believe me, there is many a laugh
in that as well as tears.
Janine is an award winning poet and has two books of Bush
Poetry: "I Hope Yer Sheep Get Flyblown" and "Always Wear
Clean Knickers". Janine has her own Facebook page -
I am sure our readers will appreciate her poem ‘I hope your
sheep get y-blown’ which was doubtless written tongue in
cheek. Fly blown sheep are not anything any self respecting
grazier wants to see nor would he wish it on any sheep as it is
a condition that is painful and oen causes them to die from
blood poisoning, but sometimes when those darn rain clouds
go around your place and it’s not your turn to be under the
rain cloud – then graziers tend to get a bit narky with their
neighbours good luck. Farming is not an easy game and a bit
of light relief is required oen.
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So you're the mob got all the rain while we got hardly none;
The clouds massed over your place and left us with the sun.
Your bit of sky grew darker, while we just got the heat -
I watched the storms a-building… my thoughts were not too sweet.
I caught a whiff of dampness as the wind began to gust;
It blasted all around and then it drowned us in… red dust.
Lightning lled the heavens, caused havoc with the power;
Yes, we got the black-outs… but we never got a shower.
© By Janine Haig
I ope yer sHeeP
geT flblow
© Robyn Calder
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I hope yer sheep get yblown,
I hope yer eeces rot;
I hope the'roos nd all yer grass
And eat the bloody lot.
I hope yer cattle choke on weed
And then all get the shits;
I hope that when it rains again
Yer roads all fall to bits.
I hope the burr-bush thrives and grows
And spreads across yer land;
I hope yer stock gets nicked when
All that rain dissolves yer brands.
I hope yer fences wash away
And all yer horses roam;
I hope a heap of nasty leaks
Will moisturise yer home.
I hope that big green slimy frogs
Will populate yer loo;
I hope that they serenade you
'till yer ear-drums break in two.
I hope yer dogs all get webbed feet
And keep 'em for all time;
I hope a million bog-holes
Will then turn yer place to slime.
I hope the creek beside yer yards
Will shift 'em from their site;
I hope the hopes I hope for you
Will keep you up all night.
I heard a plague of locusts have attacked your place this
While we, with all our dryness, haven't got that problem
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To book an appointment visit our website
or call Caitlin on:
0433 319 609
Mobile Service
We come to you!
Gary Harding ©
© PRY @ Pool
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The drover rode out in the summer that year
To squeaking of leather and clanging of gear.
A wearisome glance at his wife as he waved,
He galloped away with the grin he had saved.
"I'll be back when the wattle bloom's out my love,
Be back when the wattle bloom's out."
The life of a drover is carefree and strange,
The pleasures of town drew him far from the range.
He kissed other girls for his heart was untrue
Yet sent his wife presents and wrote to her too
Scrawling "Wait for me Jenny my love," he asked,
"Please wait for me Jenny my love."
No man there to help her with cattle and crop.
Blind faith could ne'er weaken nor falter nor stop.
But loneliness haunted the songs that were sung.
Light-hearted and gay though her spirit was stung.
For "He must be returning this week," she thought,
"He must be returning this week."
The seasons passed by and the poor wife 'tis said
Was lost without trace in the bushland instead
While seeking her husband in hopeless despair,
She sleeps in the bush without trouble or care.
But "He's bound to have strayed off the track," she cried,
"He's bound to have strayed off the track."
When stars twinkle bright and the homeless winds croon,
And drifting clouds gather to cover the moon,
A voice you will hear when the creek is a'ood,
o dampen your forehead and cool down your blood.
"Sure he cannot be far away now," it sighs.
"He cannot be far away now."
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Maureen Cliord © The Scribbly Bark Poet
Out behind
the she
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Behind the shed at our place was a huge and wired in pen
divided into three parts, one for dogs and lambs and hen.
Encased in sturdy wire mesh and almost eight foot high.
In the corner a huge prickly pear reached upwards to the sky.
The chooks reposed in humpies made from worn out water tanks,
deposited their eggs in plastic drums to show their thanks.
The drums had once held printers ink but now they held soft straw,
we were master recyclers, and chooks don’t mind I’m sure.
Their roost a ve post bull bar that now was termed illegal
They sheltered underneath it at the rst glimpse of an eagle.
I wondered if to hypothermia my chooks would be lost,
for the metal of that bullbar was oft’ frozen by frost.
The lamb pen had a lamby hole through which the lambs could crawl
to get a feed of fresh green grass, a treat for one and all.
They never ate the peas or beans, but all seemed to like peach.
The windfalls spoil. Those on the tree were quite beyond their reach.
Their humpy made of itches that were cast offs from the mill,
tied with Cobb and Co twitches – fencing wire tted the bill
to join them all together as farmers had done for years.
It was cheap and it worked well enough – our lambs, they had no fears.
The dog pen was much sturdier for ve dogs were within.
A border collie, kelpie, pit-bull, blue, and tall and thin
our Staghound, sweet Samantha –pony sized, a wolfhound cross
who despite her overwhelming size , was never ever boss.
Anushka was a terror, a Houdini with a chain.
Noosh hated being left at home – come wind or cold or rain.
She was a working dog and never one to miss a muster
but sometimes she must stay at home, with Kaddy, Jess and Buster.
So that’s what was behind our shed, plus Bulldozer and Ute,
and Elle the yellow peril, my end loader – such a brute.
I wonder if the silo and the grain bins are still there?
I know the ghosts of our dogs are – I hope they know I care.
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One of our talented poets
Gary Harding
who has a collection of old Poetry
Books, redesigned a dust cover for
the book Ironbark Splinters and
printed it out on his printer at home
and doesn't it look marvellous?
What a wonderful idea to give
those old books a revamp and let
them take pride of place on your
bookshelves again.
Ironbark Splinters was the title of
the book written by George Herbert
Gibson who was perhaps better
known by his pen name of Ironbark.
A solicitor born in England he
emigrated to NSW in 1869 where
he pursued a career in the Lands
Department, a job that by necessity
saw him touring outback areas
and getting a birds eye view of how
things stood on the pastoral scene.
This knowledge of the outback
farming and the hardships suered
by blokes on the land saw him
write with a wry hand some quite
humorous verse such as his spin o
to a popular nursery rhyme –
Baa, baa, black sheep
have you any wool?
Yes, sir, oh, yes, sir! Three bales full.
One for the master who grows so
lean and lank;
none for the mistress,
but two for the Bank!
Like his contemporary much of
George’s work appeared in The
Bulletin. He had no pretensions
about his work oen describing it
as ‘the thistledown and cobwebs’ of
Australian literature.
© Gary Harding
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G Herbert Gibson 1846 – 1921
Oh! The mother of our childhood, she will never come again;
how we used to watch her busy ngers stitch;
when our lives were just like sandwiches of happiness and pain,
it was she supplied the mustard with a switch.
She was kind and she was loving, when we happened to be good,
which was now and then say, once or twice a year .
We were hardened little cusses, and we never understood
if we sometimes saw her brush away a tear.
She was one among a thousand, and though quite unknown to fame,
in her temple she's deserving of a niche,
as the model of a brisk and a domesticated dame,
ad a conscientious artist with a switch.
But her hand grew weak and feeble, and before we knew her worth,
she was wafted up to meet a better fate ;
and they told us in a whisper that she'd left her home on earth
for a brighter and a happier estate.
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By Dudley Pye © AM,JP
rocks bi
I’m here to tell a legend,
that I’ve stored up in my head,
about a town called Byrock,
and a big wrought iron bed.
There’s a graveyard in old Byrock,
monuments to those now dead,
the strangest headstone of them all,
one old wrought iron bed.
iron be
© Heather Knight
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Just a tiny little hamlet -
a Pub and just one shop,
where ghting words oft’ lled the air,
when Bullockies made a stop.
A tough and hardy group of blokes,
many bereft of wives,
walked beside the bullock teams;
lived bleak and lonely lives.
Camped by the Byrock waterhole,
a quart pot in their hand,
they pondered on the campre blaze,
and dreamt of damsels grand.
Then, one night dark and gloomy,
with chill winds upon their back,
they heard the sound of plodding horse,
in darkness down the track.
They turned toward the clatter
now not too far away,
Bushman’s ears had told them,
‘twas a big draught horse and dray.
A woman perched on either shaft,
both swayed with the horses tread,
the Dray loaded with varied goods.
On top a wrought iron bed.
They steered the docile draught horse
just past the camp re glow,
to bullockies it’s a mystery,
a secret they’d soon know.
The ladies pitched a brand new tent,
working in a ghostly gloom.
A mini canvas big top,
for the bed there’s ample room.
© Heather Knight
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Silhouetted by the campre blaze,
crinolines a pretty sight,
Said, “Gents, we’re here for business’,
we are two ladies of the night.”
One old bullocky was on his feet
“I’m in a pleasure mode.
You just try and hold me back,
The ladies set the charges
each bullocky had to spend,
promised they’d be active,
‘till the line had reached the end.
And so began a practice,
known before old Noahs Ark,
one by one the bullockies rose,
disappearing in the dark.
Trade persisted many years,
ready cash kept bouncing in -
Notes were folded neatly,
coins kept in a Kero tin.
The ladies became a legend,
in the years that lay ahead,
but no-one ever oiled the springs,
of that old wrought iron bed.
The bullocks lie there restless,
chewing cud and shaking head,
constantly being kept awake
by the creaking iron bed.
Progress wiped the Bullockies …
Semi-trailers now instead.
Much less is the need now
for the much used Iron bed.
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Aging years befell them.
Time to stop this life they led.
Bank accounts showed no further use,
for the much used iron bed.
Then came the big decision,
time for the plug to pull,
not only were they growing old -
the bloody Kero tin was FULL!
The Bullockies accepted fate
there was no more to be said
though they pleaded with the ladies
not to take the iron bed.
The bed head’s in that graveyard
standing rigid and upright,
indicative of time well spent
with those ladies of the night.
Visitors to that graveyard,
at night it’s often said
can hear the un-oiled creaking springs
of that old wrought iron bed!
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
© Betty Redd
Make a clea
et awa
Trying to nd the truth in your words is like trying to pick a lock
from your lies of the bridged up door.
Your mood swings, from lies of promises to the next location
of sweet retreat.
© mkc
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
What is the next on line romance of love you concoct
from one middle age woman to the next?
Does it vary in location or the culture of the country
you say you’re going to settle in?
Are there fty women you romance all at once
or does it depend
on the shift you have to work next on your scheduled work day?
You usually sign on in the afternoon,
must be the afternoon shift.
Let’s see from 3 to 11 pm.
Maybe there are many of you
located in the backroom of an appointed work location
at the various work stations.
Let’s see, today its Marie from Spain
the one you claim,
is the only one for you.
You tell her you will y to her side on the next full moon.
Then you have to plan a new romance with Angel who lives in France.
You will woo her with your knowledge of her language
and by telling her she has your heart.
You will be with her by this summer
when the hot August weather will steam up your nights together.
Looking at the time clock on the wall you say goodbye
to the one love for the day.
You then scoot in your chair and make a clean get away.
© mkc
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© Mocco Wollert
Chairs are cradles,
some even rock,
they are havens to sit in
where you can take stock.
Sometimes a chair
whispers secrets at night
when the covers are warm
and the moon dims his light.
Chairs that are old
have stories to tell
if you fall asleep
to the sound of a bell.
Sometimes a chair
is a child’s paradise,
a throne in a castle
for a princess of ice.
I know a chair
that knows much more than I
for its seen me laugh
and its seen me cry.
© mkc
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a poem by Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant
First published in The Bulletin, 9 April 1892.
Brialow mic
A dandy old horseman is Brigalow Mick-
which his name, Sir, is Michael O'Dowd.
Whatever he's riding, when timber is thick,
he is always in front of the crowd.
A few tangled locks that are fast turning white
crown a physog the colour of brick,
but as keen as a kestrel's, as bold and as bright
is the blue eye of Brigalow Mick.
© mkc
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
He is Martin's head-stockman, on Black-Cattle Creek -
all the boys there are rare ones to ride .
But Mick is the "daddy"; and far you may seek
ere you nd such an artist in hide.
He'll turn out a halter, or stockwhip can make,
as you've seldom cast eyes on before;
and never the "nugget" was calved that could break
Michael's whips, which he plaits by the score.
All the lads on the station are handy enough,
nor are frightened of grafting too hard,
but Mick, if the cattle are rowdy and rough,
is the pick of 'em all in a yard.
A bad colt to tackle - a mad one to steer
through thick timber - you'll hear Martin boast -
Mick yet is unrivalled, there isn't his peer
right from Camooweal in to the coast.
Ay! Long may it be ere the scrubs are bereft
of the clearskins that give us the sport,
and long may the station have stock-riders left,
of the build of old Brigalow's sort.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Colin Hope travelled extensively through outback
Western Australia in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Goldelds and
Murchison regions as a surveyor. At 16 he worked as a
Jackeroo in the Kimberleys. Currently Col lives in Canada but
he plans to return to Australia for his retirement – he has a
poetry page on Facebook where he posts some of his writing.
© John Abbo - Hervey Bay Qld
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Colin Hope © 1991.
Hde par
Sun spears on dappled water
The air caressed by fowl’s wings
A reeking of mud and sorrow
As the ducks feast
Long lime avenues
Tunnels of cool
Willows laughing, how could they weep?
Why should they weep?
As the turtles probe the mud
A child screams
Ducklings cry with hunger
The birds bloated on bread
So monotonously fed
Dogs are on the prowl
Creating a stir
Of whistling wings
Mr. Plod, too lazy to walk
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A precise swan sails by
People out walking their habits
Korean hats and Italian shoes
A certain bitter haunting
Pervades the air
As the skin on the water creeps
A buttery pleads for mercy
From the wind and the wings
Doves hiding in the branches
Now a child on the prowl
While the moorhens are hunting
Certain grubby things
A breezy blowing
As leaves take ight
And carry it to the ground
A splash of white
Traditions held so tight
For those who need it
A few quick shots in the park
Feathers cast off
Left drowning or caught in the grass
As warm vagrant winds
Set the park shimmering.
© John Abbo - Hervey Bay Qld
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© croc, 2004
A ran outsiers vie
There is little beauty, Mr. Lawson, in the rising of the sun;
When it looms up through the black palls from the stacks.
And it pushes weakly ngers down the streets where trafc run,
Finding shadows through a glass pane’s shattered cracks.
While towards its zenith climbing through a foul polluted haze,
Over factories, where at night the workers toil,
Through a single eye it sees all, and it sees all different ways
Of the ways of gaining riches, bounty, spoil.
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Footnote – The Bulletin Debate ran from 1892 and 1893 between Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson and was
closely followed by readers of The Bulletin. There was never a clear cut winner.
On 9 July 1892, Lawson published a poem Up in the Country in The Bulletin attacking the romanticized
view of bush life. It began with the verse "I am back from up the country—very sorry that I went”.
Paterson published his reply in July 1892 with a poem titled In Defence of the Bush. Henry had accused
Paterson and other writers of being "City Bushmen", whilst Banjo claimed that Lawson’s view was full of
doom and gloom, nishing his poem with an appropriate dig at Henry in the line "For the bush will never
suit you, and you'll never suit the bush."
On a journey through the heavens, its seen hell where tempers chafe;
And when it’s turned the corner in the noon,
Poking surreptitious shadows from a place they felt was safe,
Its bed lies in the colliery wheels, its night light in the moon
And the city moon sees much the same, the clandestine nocturnal rush
Of the villains borne of avarice and lust.
In quick set deals by fashioned folk, the ‘Sydney-sider push’
Overnight the dreams of many turn to dust.
The very infrastructure of a city, Mr Lawson, may I say
Is tenuous. The only nature there,
Is the nature of the liars, and the thieves and those who pay
Large sums of ready money out of ‘scare’.
And the city has its poor folk who live in late shadows damp;
The ones who have to really beg and scrape.
They have no choice of where to go, locked up in urban cramp
Mantled by a foetid city’s lthy cape.
There is no beauty, Mr Lawson, in the plants life turned corrupt
Through ingesting benzene fumes from city living, where
The song of lark and thrush and blackbird comes to a frightened halt abrupt,
As passing trucks and trains and busses rent the air.
The city Mr Lawson, if you’ll pardon my allow,
Is a place where decent bushmen fear to tread;
Therefore I will follow ‘Banjo’ with his bullocks and his plough
And leave you to the city folks instead.
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© Mitchell Library
by Mary Gilmore
Bells an bullock
Ben the Bullocky sits by the re,
on the long slow hours adrift;
bowed is the back that never could tire,
whatever the hoist or lift.
Ask him stories of the teams,
only get him talking;
He will waken from his dreams,
on the roads go walking.
There, though the body sag to the knees,
his mind is out on the road,
watching the play of the axle-trees,
marking the swing of the load.
“Bullicks ? Ay I knowed ‘em, then;
no one knowed ‘em better;
Spelt ‘em just the same as men,
letter after letter!”
Once in a while we ask if he hears
the sound of Mennicke’s bells,
Deep, in the pits of his ancient ears,
repeating their olden spells.
“Mennicke’s bell?” Then he’ll say,
“Never heard none like ‘em’
Mennicke, he had the way;
no one else could strike ‘em.”
Bred to the yoke, Old bullocky Ben;
Bullock-boy, that was his start;
Says with a laugh, remembering men,
“Them were the days they were smart !”
Written in his own queer way,
bullock – whip for his scriver,
He made history in his day –
Ben, the Bullock – driver.
Footnote - Sometimes referred to as the Wagga Pot the Menneke Bell holds historical signicance to the
town of Wagga. Livestock bells were once common in Australia, the rst ones coming from England and
America, but gradually local blacksmiths started turning out their own bells.
The story goes that a test was held to nd the best bell maker in Australia. The two rivals were August
Menneke of Wagga and Anthony Mongan of Albury. Menneke won when his bell could be heard ten miles
away from the top of Mt. Kosciusko.
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is a competitive poetry performance in which members of the
audience are chosen by an M.C. or host to act as judges for the
event. Selected audience members score performers, and the
winners are determined by the overall tally of points. Probably by
using this format it at least means to a degree a level playing eld,
as since the judges are unknown up until the event, and then chosen
at random, poets cannot slant their poetry towards a particular
judges preference and no poet is beyond critique, as everyone is
dependent upon the goodwill of the audience
Most slams have a series of rounds, which progressively eliminate
low scoring poets. A "Theme Slam" is one in which all performances
must address a specied theme or genre. Slam Poetry combines
elements of poetry, storytelling, theatre and performance. The
origins of slam poetry can be traced to Chicago in the early 1980s.
Since then, slams have been held in venues across the world. The
rst National Poetry Slam was held in 1990 in the USA, and now they
are a regular and popular event across the world.
The 2015 Poetry Slam will be coming soon in Australia – you can
check out dates and details for each state on this link -
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Here's a clip of the champion entrant from the
Australian Poetry Slam 2012/13 - CJ Bowerbird
with his prize winning poem - "Clicktivism"
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Maureen Clifford
Boardwalk alongside the Bremer River Ipswich
© Ipswich City Council
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I bet you didnt know that we still have dinosaurs in Ipswich. If you want to see their
footprints then take the kids to the Denmark Hill conservation park in Quarry Street up
near the Water Tower, and follow the bush track down to Triassic Park. Here you will see
the footprints of dinosaurs as well as fossils from 250 million years ago.
e earliest evidence for dinosaurs in Australia comes in the form of theropod tracks from
the Blackstone Formation of the Ipswich Coal Measures near Dinmore, in Queensland,
dating to the Late Triassic (around 210-220 MYA). e smaller tracks have been assigned to
the ichnogenus Grallator. ese prints are no longer than about 7 cm (2.7 inches).
Would you like to see the Ipswich Dinosaurs? eir names are Ippy, Limey and Stoney and
most nights if you are having a BarBQs in the Bob Gamble Park they come out. Maybe its
the smell of sausages cooking that entices them from their lair, but you can only see them
at night when they emerge from beneath the murky waters of the Bremer River underneath
the Bradeld Bridge at the River Heart Parkland on Bremer Street.
ey are part of the Water and Light laser display which is just one of the new Riverside
Walk attractions, the littlies love them. e River Heart Parklands now also has a beautiful
water playground and waterslide area for the kids a bit further along the riverbank from the
Bob Gamble Park. Just take a stroll along the boardwalk.
Just another three of the great free attraction that we have here at beautiful Ipswich, along
with our showpiece Queens Park and we are only 40 minutes west of Brisbane.
Nerima Gardens Queens Park
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is already underway and entries are now being taken for this prestige Poetry event, one of the
highlights of the Ipswich yearly calendar. It covers all poetry styles – is open to all poets not just
Australians and if you write free verse as well as bush poetry you might like to hedge your bets.
The ultimate winner will receive a replica of The Babies of Walloon statue which would be a
wonderful addition to your collection of trophies if you already have a collection and if not, what a
great trophy to aspire to win. The Babies of Walloon is the title of the Henry Lawson poem about
the two little Broderick girls who drowned at Walloon here in the 1890’s. A statue commemorating
the girls is the centrepiece of the Henry Lawson Bicentennial Park at Walloon just 15 minutes from
the Ipswich CBD. Lawson wrote The Babies of Walloon after hearing this sad tale while working as a
journalist on The Boomerang newspaper in Brisbane.
Entries to the Ipswich Poetry Feast close at 5pm on the 24th July so get your entry in now if
interested. You can do it all on line an pay with Pay Pal or credit card. Entry details can be found on
the following link -
Babies of Walloon statue
© mkc
Entries to the Ipswich Poetry Feast close at 5pm on the 24
July so get your entry in now if interested. Leonie Parker
won 3
prize in the open section with this lovely poem in the
2015 IPF. Application forms for the competition can be found
on this link and it is open to all poets, not just Australians –
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© by Leonie Parker
The untold stor
Just a simple wedding band, plain gold and unadorned,
he wore it on a chain close to his heart.
I wondered at the story but my nursing colleagues warned,
“You won’t ask any questions if you’re smart.”
I paid them no attention when they told me not to snoop,
so sure I knew it all at seventeen.
His, “Mind your own damn business” really threw me for a loop;
I wondered what the hell made him so mean.
Admittance applications made no mention of a wife.
He claimed to have no living next of kin.
I questioned what had led to such a sad and lonely life,
his surly disposition - or his skin?
He left this world behind him where nobody held him dear,
too many bridges burned along the way.
His mostly untold story might have never found an ear
if someone else had been there on that day.
I found the ring discarded in a drawer beside his bed,
removed so they could knot his only tie.
I searched for an inscription but found nothing to be read
until a battered notebook caught my eye.
The notebook was his journal and it told a sorry tale,
a tale that’s not uncommon to our shame,
a stolen child who spent a lifetime in and out of jail
and never knew his people or his name.
The day the troopers came and tore his carefree world apart
his mother pressed the ring into his hand.
Although he never spoke of it he wore it near his heart
and nally I came to understand.
I put the ring into his hand and closed his ngers tight
around the only comfort he had known.
I never knew his heritage but prayed he’d nd the light
and when he did he wouldn't be alone.
When he returned to Mother Earth nobody else was there.
The sky was heavy with impending rain.
A common koel’s mournful call was drifting through the air
joined by another in its sad refrain.
And for a eeting moment as the sun broke through the gloom
I caught a glimpse of rainbirds on the wing,
with feathers black and glossy like some Gothic plant abloom
and round the leg of one - a golden ring.
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© hp://www.ickr.com/photos/8755224@N07/
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Maureen Cliord © The Scribbly Bark Poet
ribal eat
He doesn’t walk his tribal lands, this soil he doesn’t own.
He walks hard city sidewalks, and to coppers is well known.
No smoking ceremony held to welcome to country.
He smokes a dhurrie, hand rolled weed, and cares not who should see.
His Father is an Elder, a man who holds respect,
a gentle man who walks a path ‘tween one time and the next;
who now feels growing helplessness and is consumed by rage.
Fears for this child not yet a man – who reads a different page.
And one can see a wasted life that is slowly unfolding.
Another school has kicked him out; he won’t hear what is told him.
His days are spent in aimless play, of self worth there’s no trace.
He’s letting down not just himself, he’s letting down his race.
The clothes he wears are tribal clothes, the tribe of U. S. streets.
The talk he talks has not his song but the harsh rappers beat.
Ask him about his country and he looks at you, eyes blank.
Ask him about his culture – he can’t tell – shot memory bank.
We wander how it happens that these children lose their way
when their family connections are still strong and every day
they’re surrounded by their families who truly love and care
and yet the city’s winning. Drugs and alcohol, despair.
Now his father is a broken man who sees this child in need.
His second child to second wife - a very different seed
from his sister who has tribal ways and songs deep in her heart.
This child knows neither song nor skin. This child, he stands apart.
He stands there in the shadows with a foot placed in each camp
but the day of reckoning is here. Which dance will his feet stamp?
He must choose between his culture or the culture of the street
We all dance to different drummers. Will he hear his tribal beat?
© hp://www.ickr.com/photos/8755224@N07/
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Poets please ensure that you register initially
through our main page and get yourself
added into our list of contributors and submit
your work either through the preferred
option of
e Australia Times
or direct to me at my TAT Poetry email
Inspiring MindsIndependent Media
Have you checked out our Facebook Page yet?
If you are on Facebook why not come on over and say G’day
and ‘like’ our page as well – wed love to have you come visit
and your support would be appreciated.
Sharing our links will help spread our poetry around the world.
It is updated every day and events of interest that miss the magazine
will be on our FB page – along with some shared poetry.
I have noticed that there are not many of our
poets showing up on our Contributors page and
this is why. If you wish to show on that page
and your picture/name is not on this list please
go and register now. And just an extra bit of info
because that page is dual usage and not just for
Poetry It asks for a CV. In relation to Poetry all
we need there is just a brief biography to put with
your poetry when we use it - doesn't have to be
personal - just what you are happy to share.
Inspiring MindsIndependent Media
This poem was published in The Bancro Times
newspaper on April 12, 2012, and in Kathy
Figueroa's books, "Paudash Poems" (2012) and "The
Cathedral of the Eternal Blue Sky" (2014).
© K Figueroa
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© by Kathy Figueroa
Chow ound:
a oem abou a do
Some people praise dogs that have long pedigrees
because they look picture perfect - like they'll never have eas.
Others might laud a particular canine
Because its nose and tail form a straight line.
But, if the truth of the matter now may be told
The qualities of any dog can be extolled.
And a ner four-legged friend could never be found
than my trusty and faithful ..chow hound.
His palate isn't particularly rened.
On a bit of everything he's probably dined.
He samples this and craves a bite of that.
(The result is he's getting a little bit fat)
He isn't discerning about what he devours,
cat food for him is delightful at all hours.
(For purloining cat chow he's developed a knack
and knows how to do it behind my back).
Sometimes he shocks me when we're outside
as he digs up things that might've once died.
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..Stuff that has an awful smell
he nds delectable and rolls on it, as well.
He's really delighted by different avours.
Cantaloupe is something he truly savours.
Peanut butter on anything makes it taste just right
and greatly stimulates his appetite.
Olive oil adds that special touch.
(But sometimes I think he insists on too much)
He can be a fussy with his demands
and has me well trained to all his commands.
I have to learn to be stern whenever I eat
since he always assumes that he'll get a treat.
The food I'm having is what he wants to try
or else he stares at me with a mournful eye,
and his nose slowly inches towards my plate
but, until I'm nished he must try to wait.
Or else it's one bite for me, one bite for him
..And dining that way might make me too slim.
From coveting my food perhaps he'll never refrain
unless, while I eat he's outside on the chain.
Then, without interruption I could have a meal
but sneaky and unsociable is how I'd feel,
knowing that he knew that I dined alone
while he had to eat dog food and chew on a bone
It's hard to be strict hence, I often give in
that's why he's getting chubby and I'm getting thin.
My dog is a companion of a most agreeable type
when I don't leave my food where it's easy to swipe,
but if he snacks on something he wasn't supposed to touch
I always forgive him because I love him so much
I'd now like to thank you for taking the time
to read these words that I've put into rhyme.
Just a few more words ere I end this poem …
May every animal shelter dog nd a good home.
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Maureen Clifford
am sure that there are many
of our readers who can relate
to every word that Kathy has
written in her poem. Our
animal shelters are under terrible
pressure worldwide. e shrinking
economy makes it harder for them to
source donations to keep the animals
well fed and housed, and donations
of tinned and packaged food oen
dwindles to nearly nothing which
causes great concern as to where the
next meal for the ‘residents’ is going
to come from…Shelters are usually
run purely by volunteers who are
dedicated to their charges wellbeing.
Can You Cuddle?
Many shelters these days also have
a ‘no-kill policy’ unless an animal
is very sick or beyond saving. Even
the senior animals are re-homed or
fostered wherever possible. Foster
homes are always in short supply.
Fostering may be an ideal solution
also for someone who loves animals,
but cannot aord the upkeep of them
long term. You can foster animals
in periods of time that suit you – so
your family life is not disrupted. All
vet bills are paid by the shelter and
sometimes the food costs as well. You
supply the home enviroment and the
© mkc
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love and can take comfort in knowing
that the animals that have been
fostered are usually much easier to
then place in their furever homes.
So next time you do a grocery shop
why not pick up a couple of tins of
dog food to put into the Animal
Shelter collection bins that are
outside most supermarkets these
days. And if you are clearing out
your linen closet and cupboards – any
old towels, sheets, blankets etc are
greatly appreciated. Little puppies
and kittens are messy little things and
bedding needs frequent changing.
Old jumpers and TShirts can be cut
down to t the dogs. Jumper sleeves
make excellent coats for little pooches.
Every little bit helps.
Donations of cash are always
appreciated to help with medical
bills but even the simple things are
appreciated. ings like Disinfectant
– used when cages are scrubbed out,
Dishwashing liquid – all those food
bowls to be washed every day, Washing
Powder to wash the sheets, towels, dog
coats etc., Paw Paw ointment to soothe
sore skin, clean bandages. Dog collars
and leads, Dog shampoo and ea wash
…. the list is endless.
And if you can help in a more physical
capacity that would be beaut because
shelters always need volunteers BUT
even if you are not physically active
enough to do the hard work, or walk
the dogs they always need puppy and
kitten cuddlers. You can do this job
sitting down and it is very important
because it helps to socialize and calm
the animals and if it is one thing
that you hear over and over from
volunteers it is their sorrow that they
dont have more time to spend with
each lost soul that nds itself in a
pound or shelter, usually through no
fault of their own.
Animals like humans suer
terribly from depression and being
incarcerated day in day out oen for
months or years is intolerable. at
human contact, from someone who
can oer them love is SO important.
Do you have a little love you can spare?
© mkc
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John Macleod ©
on my way to
roken ill
The Earth’s at, well… at out here.
Scarred by time, sandy red, dotted
with saltbush. Saltbush: saviour of stock
in times of drought. The roots
of saltbush are baked by hot soil, cattle
chew the tough leaves--survive.
Ned, fetlock boots dusted with peppered
paprika— ‘brrrs' in the bore trough,
sucks up water, lifts his scraggy head,
and utters a smile. Drips drop down to
the powdered earth, a plate of raspberries
in blancmange appears between hooves.
Angling a chipped mug downwards
I balance, then sip a mouthful of water:
tangy mineral wetness. I can taste Ned
in the water. Not to worry, Ned’s habits
are cleaner than mine. A moist muzzle
slips by me, and brushes the water.
We’ve a few hot hours before Menindee--
the lakes, vineyards, and habitation. I push
a plastic bottle under water, bubbles, big
ones, escape then smaller ones ‘plipping’
upwards vacate the scene—cap
screwed down— we are ready.
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Sheldon Allan "Shel" Silverstein AKA Uncle Shelby who passed away in 1999 was a
writer of many books of prose and poetry, beloved by American children. He was
a poet, singer-songwriter, cartoonist, screenwriter, and author of children's books.
He was in fact quite a prolic song writer and his songs have been recorded by
Johnny Cash, Gordon Lightfoot, Dr Hook, Loretta Lynn and Marianne Faithful
just to name a few – and yet I don’t recall hearing his name here in Australia at all.
I found some YouTube clips of the poetry he wrote for children and thought them
very good – I hope you like this one…..Backward Bill
Hovhannis (Tumanyan) Toumanian
was born in a village of Lorga in 1869. He received little
schooling, but educated himself. He was an Armenian
author and public activist who is considered by many to be
the national poet of Armenia. His work was mostly written in
tragic form, oen centreing on the harsh lives of villagers in
the Lori region.
Hovhannis (Tumanyan)Toumanian
When some a
Sweet comrade, when you come some day
to gaze upon my tomb,
and scattered all around it see
bright owers in freshest bloom,
think not that those are common owers
which at your feet are born,
or that the spring has brought them there
my new home to adorn.
They are my songs unsung, which used
within my heart to hide;
they are the words of love I left
unuttered when I died.
They are my ardent kisses, dear,
sent from that world unknown,
the path to which before you lies
blocked by the tomb alone.
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Cicely Fox Smith (1882-1954) was a prolic
English poet about who little was known. She wrote
childrens stories and war poetry and was born in Cheshire.
She published her rst book of verses when she was 17 and
it received favourable press comments. She spent some time
living in Canada but returned to England on the eve of the
outbreak of WWI living her last years in the village of Bow in
Devon and buried in the small churchyard nearby.
She published well over 650 poems. The Government awarded
her at age 67 a modest pension for "her services to literature.
She continued writing many things and many places right up
to her death but always with the accuracy and knowledge of
an expert.
She chose her own epitaph from Sir Walter Raleigh’s poem
“The Conclusion”:
But from this earth, this grave, this dust
My Lord shall raise me up, I trust.
© mkc
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Cicely Fox Smith
Oh, hump your swag and leave lads,
the ships are in the bay
we've got our marching orders now,
it's time to come away -
and bid good-bye to Anzac Beach
where blood has owed in vain
for we're leaving it,
leaving it game, to ght again!
But some there are will never quit
this bleak and bloody shore -
and some that marched and fought with us
will ght and march no more;
their blood has bought ‘til Judgment Day
the slopes they stormed so well,
and we're leaving them,
leaving them, sleeping where they fell.
Leaving them, leaving them –
the bravest and the best -
leaving them, leaving them,
and maybe glad to rest!
We did our best with yesterday,
tomorrow's still our own -
but we're leaving them,
leaving them, sleeping all alone.
Ay, they are gone beyond it all,
the praising and the blame
and many a man may win renown,
but none more fair a fame;
they showed the world Australia's lads
knew well the way to die;
and we're leaving them,
leaving them, quiet where they lie.
Leaving them, leaving them
sleeping where they lie.
Leaving them, leaving them,
in their glory and their pride.
Round them sea and barren land,
over them the sky.-
Oh! We're leaving them,
leaving them, so quiet where they lie.
© mkc
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By Margaret Thomson Janvier
(Margaret Vandegrift) (1845–1913)
The Dead Doll, and Other Verses. By Margaret Vandegrift. 1888.
The dea dol
YOU needn’t be trying to comfort me—
I tell you my dolly is dead!
There’s no use in saying she isn’t,
with a crack like that in her head.
It’s just like you said it wouldn’t hurt much
to have my tooth out, that day;
And then, when the man ’most pulled my head off,
you hadn’t a word to say.
And you must think I’m only a baby,
when you say you can mend it with glue!
As if I didn’t know better than that!
Why, just suppose it was you?
You might make her look all mended—
but what do I care for looks?
Why, glue’s for chairs and tables,
and toys, and the backs of books!
Margaret Thomson Janvier who wrote
under the non de plume of Margaret Vandegri was a writer
of poetry and stories for children…born in New Orleans she
lived in Philadelphia.
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My dolly! My own little daughter!
Oh, but it’s the awfulest crack!
It makes me feel sick to think of
the sound when her poor head went whack
Against that horrible brass thing
that holds up the little shelf.
Now, Nursey, what makes you remind me?
I know that I did it myself!
I think you must be crazy—
you’ll get her another head!
What good would forty heads do her?
I tell you my dolly is dead!
And to think I hadn’t quite nished
her elegant new Spring hat!
And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night
to tie on that horrid cat!
When my mamma gave me that ribbon—
I was playing out in the yard—
She said to me, most expressly,
“Here’s a ribbon for Hildegarde.”
And I went and put it on Tabby,
and Hildegarde saw me do it;
But I said to myself, “Oh, never mind,
I don’t believe she knew it!”
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But I know that she knew it now,
and I just believe, I do,
That her poor little heart was broken,
and so her head broke too.
Oh, my baby! My little baby!
I wish my head had been hit!
For I’ve hit it over and over,
and it hasn’t cracked a bit.
But since the darling is dead,
we must bury her, of course;
We will take my little wagon, Nurse,
and you shall be the horse;
And I’ll walk behind and cry;
and we’ll put her in this, you see—
This dear little box—and we’ll bury her
under the maple tree.
And papa will make me a tombstone,
like the one he made for my bird;
And he’ll put what I tell him on it—
Yes, every single word!
I shall say: “Here lies Hildegarde,
a beautiful doll, who is dead;
She died of a broken heart,
and a dreadful crack in her head.”
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Barnaby Wilde is the pen name of Tim Fisher. Tim
was born in 1947 in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, but grew
up and was educated in the West Country. He graduated with
a Physics degree in 1969 and worked in manufacturing and
quality control for a multinational photographic company for
30 years before taking an early retirement to pursue other
interests. He has two grown up children and currently lives
happily in Devon.
Visit www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk for the author's blog and
more information about the world of Barnaby Wilde.
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Barnaby Wilde ©
Come in numer nine,
our ime is u
Hey there. You with your nose in the air.
You with your feet on the ground.
Have you ever thought you might be
Living your life upside down?
When you’re in love are there wings on your heels?
Do your feet touch the pavement at all?
How do you walk with your ear to the ground,
And still keep your eye on the ball?
© mkc
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
When you have a cold does your nose ever run?
Do your feet ever smell (tell the truth)?
It sounds to me like you’re built in reverse.
What else do you need as a proof?
Have you ever put your foot in your mouth,
Or tried to stand on your own head,
While keeping your nose to the grindstone?
Can there be any more to be said?
You say you’ve a nose for a bargain.
You say you’ve an ear for a song.
But I think you’re base over apex,
Head over heels, just plain wrong.
Maybe you think it’s no problem,
But when stood to your ankles in shit,
It’s a matter of utmost importance
Which way up you are standing in it.
When you’re told to come in, that your session is done,
Just be sure that you’re not counter clockwise.
Much better to be number nine right way up,
Than be six who has recently capsized.
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Claire Booker lives in London where she practises
as a medical herbalist, but tries to escape to the coast for
some sea sanity as oen as possible. She loves the way
poetry can say a lot in a very few words. Her stage plays have
been performed in Australia, America, Europe and the UK.
She blogs at www.bookerplays.wordpress.com
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Claire Booker ©
A Pee
A wise old ewe (she's weathered some winters)
watches me pee; her cornet-coiffe
and Pierrot face square on to the intrigue.
I let the amber trickle: a tributary lost
in the softness of moss, silenced
by yells of ice melt scouring granite gullies.
When I rise with a zip she's still there.
Must I explain to this old dame - whose droppings
lie scattered in piles of glistening licorice,
who wears last winter's eece slattern on her shanks,
lime-scale wet from a nonchalant bladder –
must I explain the pulling up of jeans? I unzip;
whip up a moon hakka, ash her the ags
of my bare buttocks. When I turn again, she's udder
hindmost, lips slowly winnowing grass.
in the
© mkc
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Frances Beldia enjoyed a career in the
publishing industry for more than 15 years and later
handled various positions as a communications
specialist and college instructor in literature, art
appreciation and English as a second language (ESL). In
the last four years, she has been devoting her time to a
meaningful career as a full-time homeschooling mom
and freelance writer. Frances writes poetry inspired by
her travels, life experiences, her life as a mother and
teacher, and as a struggling newbie in the word of yoga
and meditation. She is close to completing a graduate
degree in communication management.
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Flaming sun
plunges to kiss the skyline
I, a gust of wind ,
sweep through the empty hallway
every step a throb.
One more breath, I’m beside you
Stride after stride
our journey continues.
I caught a glimpse of you
many moons ago.
Lost you …
the ebb that left my youth
like water.
You’ll slip through my hand …
Tears are unknown to you,
and still the endish universe watches.
Frances Beldia ©
on the
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Here now,
this lonely table rocks
to your side and then mine.
Smoke lls the innite space between us
and Dragon Mouths - yearning,
desire to meet across
this one rocking table
veiling a familiar banal desire.
I jump from the dark sky above.
Your gaze catches me,
I slide a trembling hand to touch yours
but the rocking table startles you.
We move from place to place,
rocking tables between us.
We nd it funny for a minute or two,
until it almost spills our brew.
The last moon,
the last rocking table.
I close my eyes,
hearing your call on the wind.
Darkness envelopes us
and clearly I see
there will be me,
there will be you
and we will win.
The endish universe watches,
I turn around
and unexpectedly,
you come.
© unsplash
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Hal Swift was born in
Speedway City, Indiana—the home
of the annual Indie 500 Memorial Day
Race. His family moved to Phoenix
when he was seven. He started in
Broadcasting at KPHO in Phoenix when
he was 16.
During his late teen years he played
string bass in many local music
groups. In one of those groups, he
worked alongside Marty Robbins,
internationally-known country singer.
At 19, he joined the US Navy, and
served as a shipboard Morse code
radio operator in the Japan Occupation
Forces, and the Korean War. On his
honourable discharge, Hal returned to
broadcasting, from which he retired
in the year 2000. In 2005, he was
inducted into the Nevada Broadcasters'
Association Hall of Fame.
Since then, he has written Cowboy
Poetry and Western Stories. A novel,
Ballad of a Small Town is available
online, and at book stores by request.
He now lives with his wife, Carol, in
Sparks, Nevada, a close neighbour to
the city of Reno.
At age 86 he is a survivor of bladder
cancer, as he says, “So far.” His doctor
told him it was his more than 60 years as
a smoker that was the cancer's cause.
Hal tells us: I got the idea for this poem
about 15 years ago, when I was 71 years
old. I'd just quit broadcasting aer
some 40-plus years and, decided to go
to the local Employment Oce to see
what they had.
I got into a conversation with some of
the men there and, when I read aloud
an oering for a cowboy job at a nearby
ranch, all the men laughed. They
were considerably younger than I, and
thought it tremendously humorous
that an "old man" like me would even
consider applying for a cowboyin' job.
I le the oce feeling old and unwanted.
When I got home, I wrote "The Cowboy
That Nobody Wanted." By the way, I
did nd a job shortly aerward at the US
Census Bureau, helping with the year
2000 population count.
You can nd this and others of my poems on my page at the website of The Center for
Western and Cowboy Poetry, Saint Helena, California. ? http://www.cowboypoetry.com/
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Hal Swift ©
he cowo
At the railroad station one hot summer day
This ragged ol' cowpoke rides in
He's dusty an' sweaty an' smells like 'is horse
An' he looks to be older than sin
He climbs off an' comes over t'where we're at
An' he sez that he's seekin' a job
I sez, Seems t'me you're 'bout all worked out
An' he smiles an' sez, Folks call me Bob
that nobody
© Hal Swi
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
I come up from Yuma, an' rode all the way
An' I spent ever cent that I had
If any you gents got a job I kin do
I'd sure be obliged, an' real glad
Jeramy Coolidge sez, I might be hirin'
Jist whatta you got on yer mind
Jake Miller chimes in an' sez, Hold on a bit
This feller is purty near blind
What'll y'do, have 'im bustin' yer broncs
This cowpoke is way past 'is prime
An' Bob sez, Now boys, I ain't askin' too much
Lest me bein' old is a crime
When it comes t'ranchin' I've done all they is
All I need is a chance fer a berth
T'do some real work, an' t'help someone out
That's all that I want on this earth
Some other cow bosses was part a' the group
But no one spoke up fer Ol' Bob
Jeremy allowed as how he'd changed 'is mind
So the ol' cowpoke still had no job
Jake Miller's wife, drove 'er buggy up then
T'meet with the train from Saint Lou
Jake was jist reachin' t'help 'er git down
When a switch engine whistled 'er crew
The Miller horse nearly jumped out of 'is skin
Miz Miller fell back in her seat
Ol' Jake lost 'is grip an' the horse took off
Right straight fer the sage an' mesquite
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While we was all thinkin' about what t'do
Ol' Bob showed he wouldn't be rattled
Before we could sort out the best way t'go
The ol' man jist up an' skedaddled
That cayuse a' his went straight t'full speed
He leaped right over the track
Bob got to the buggy, an' jumped off his horse
T'land on the runaway's back
Miz Miller was hangin' on, sayin' her prayers
An' Bob's doin' much the same thing
Then all of a suddent, the runaway stopped
An' it looked like Ol' Bob had took wing
He ew through the air, like he's shot from a gun
Then dropped like a sack full a' lead
Miz Miller was cryin' an' not hurt at all
But the cowpoke who saved 'er was dead
We buried Ol' Bob in the Miller's front yard
In the grave that he'd got fer 'is berth
He was lookin' fer work, an' t'help someone out
An' that's all that he sought on this earth
Jake Miller, he planted a big shade tree
An' t'make sure Bob's not alone
Put a picnic table alongside 'is grave
Got a carver to make 'im a stone
The Cowboy that Nobody Wanted, it said
With thanks from 'is cowpoke brothers
Ol' Bob saved a life, when he lost his own
And changed about three dozen others
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©al mccartan 2002
Private buey's
las date
Gunna go ter the show tonight
Me and me china
Got me boots all shiny, Sarge reckons I'll do
Got a couple o' quid in me kick
Gunna 'ave a bonza time.
Have ter catch a train from Liverpool
An' a ferry to Mosman an' back agin.
Then a tram from the Quay ter the show
The tucker's not bad don't ya know.
Bloody hard on the pocket though.
Ere's a joker sellin' 'ot dawgs.
Some new fangled Yankee food.
Reckon I'll give it a burl
Me china might like one too.
'Ot dawg - amin' 'eck
Look like boiled savs t'me.
Savs like me ma cooked up on Sat'dee night
After the footy game.
(Apologies to C.J. Dennis' “Ginger Mick” and
TheSentimental Bloke”)
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'Ot dawgs they call 'em.
Strike me. it's just a sav
'tween two 'unks o' bread for a trey.
A zack if yer want it on a bread roll.
Six bob a day is wot the Army pays me.
I'm orf termorrer to do me bit.
In France, with me mates.
Australia'll be there, no worries.
I've got me cnina 'er name is Rose
an' she's as sweet as one too,
" 'ere mate, I'll 'ave a coupla them dawgs
with some dead 'orse - on a bread roll thanks mate."
Nothink's too good fer me Rosie.
Me Rosie's gorn all giggly eatin' the dawg.
She's got dead 'orse on 'er nice white dress.
Rosie gigglin' reckon the dawg looks like 'er pony.
Can't see it meself. Don’t even look like a dawg.
'Ot dawg - nah not a patch on me mum's savs
Reckon I' shoulda 'ad a pie.
' Ey 'ere's me mate, Snowy. G'day mate.
Wot am I eatin', bloody 'ot dawg mate.
Me sheila likes 'em, gets 'er all giggly tho'
Ya saw the sarge? ya reckon, 'e was eatin' wot?
A steak sammich - bloody 'ell. Noncoms get all the luck.
"Yeah mate see yez."
Me an' Rosie go 'and-in 'and to the fun fair.
I'll win 'er a doll an' a stuffed Koala.
Then I'll take 'er on the ferry 'ome
an 'ope fer that last kiss goodnight.
Jeez I'm gettin' orl weepy like.
I'm orf ter France Tomorrer to do me bit.
We'll be eatin' bully beef.
Reckon I'll be lookin' forward
To an' 'ot dawg. Yeah with lashin's o' dead 'orse.
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Sav: saveloy a frankfurter type sausage - bloody awful.
Bluey: A redhead (male).
Snowy: A blond (male)
China: Girlfriend circa 1916
Trey: A silver threepenny piece.
Zack: Sixpence or a nickel.
Bob: A shilling - roughly 10 cents. Aussie WW1 soldiers were
paid six shillings ($1.10) per day, Five shillings was equal
to one American dollar then, thus making the Digger the
highest paid soldier in the world. Uncle Sam and Canada paid
their guys $1 a day. UK 2 shillings per day.
Quid: One pound = 20 shillings approx $2.
Bully Beef: Tinned meat (of dubious origin)
Dead Horse, or 'orse: Ketchup or tomato sauce.
Royal Easter Show: Sydney's equivalent of a state fair.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
by Clive Sanders
It was Hannah’s one-hundredth birthday,
And they brought in a huge birthday cake,
That the staff in the home’s small kitchen,
Had planned and then worked hard to bake.
She was surrounded by friends and by carers,
As she blew out the cake’s bright ames.
She smiled as she looked at the faces she knew,
But could no longer remember their names.
She really didn’t like all the attention they gave,
Or the noise and the loud chattering sound.
She would be much happier just left in her room,
With her few last possessions scattered round.
The new manager of the retirement home,
Tapped her glass with the cake cutting knife.
She thanked all the people for coming along,
To help celebrate and praise Hannah’s life.
She spoke of the years Hannah lived in Warsaw,
And asked everyone to help celebrate the day.
But Hannah was thinking of those years of the war,
When the Nazis took her parents away.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
by Clive Sanders
The conversatio
The young man sat beside old Fred in the gloomy public bar,
He looked the old man up and down and saw the facial scar.
He also saw the veteran’s badge pinned on his old tweed coat,
And the regimental tie he wore around his age-marked throat.
“I see you served your country, was it in the last world war?
Or was it in some foreign land where you served years before?
Or were you just conscripted and then forced to do your time,
Or perhaps a judge enlisted you to pay for some small crime?”
The old man sipped a little beer and smiled back at the youth,
“I would never volunteer to ght and that’s the simple truth.
Though it’s true I was enlisted when my name came out the hat,
And then I fought in World War 2, but I’m not ashamed of that.”
The young man asked the veteran, “Do you think that it was right,
For all of you to go to war, when it was someone else’s ght?
Did all those years of suffering make the world a better place?
Or did you ght to stop the Germans wiping out the Jewish race?”
The old man thought a little while and then answered with a grin,
“We didn’t ght to save the world, we simply fought so we would win.
If someone tries to kill your friend, you ght hard to kill them rst,
And then make sure the enemy always knows he’ll come off worst.”
The younger asked the elder, “So was it worth the friends you lost?
Do you think those years of suffering really justify the cost?
Why is there no memorial for those killed in World War 2?
What benets are left behind for the sufferings you knew?”
“The benets we gave the world are around you every day.
You can criticise your government and not be locked away.
You live in peace and freedom, without fear of racial harm,
And no one walks around with yellow stars sewn on their arm.”
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Born in Trinidad of Barbadian parents, Diana McDonald
writes under her maiden name of Benskin. A graduate of Mercy
College in New York with a BSc no less, Diana has always enjoyed
writing and is inspired by the works of Maya Angelou. She is
currently involved in writing some books for children and has penned
her own life story "Per Ardua Ad Astra" (Through diculty to Success
… The life story of one West Indian Girl.)
Diana also likes to travel and has our Australian shores on her
bucket list.
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Poem by Diana Benskin ©
What do ou see?
When you look at me
who do you see?
Before we met
all you had was a name.
Now you've met me.
Am I still the same?
Will you forget
this magnicent person you've met?
When you look my way
what do you say?
How about hello or good day.
Instead you smirk and look away
and begin to scrutinize
me with your eyes
when I'm in front of you.
Here's what you should do.
A smile and rm handshake
and my acquaintance seek to make.
Now, when you look at me,
tell me…don't you see
another human being?
When I look at you that's what I am seeing.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
David Troman has been writing poetry for over 10 years
and has been awarded several commendations in a variety of poetry
competitions. He also received an Art Council grant to undertake a
poetry mentorship. As well as writing poetry David also writes short
stories. He is a member of WritersDock - an online community
of poets, writers, playwrights and has written several articles for
them. http://www.writersdock.com/tag/poetry-tips/
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
by David Troman ©
Itaian odsse
In Venice I thought I was in love,
in Milan I knew it a lie.
My heart broke at parting from my turtle dove
I wanted to curl up and die.
My brain hauled back its Doc Marten boot
and gave me a kick up the tail,
so I dressed myself in a whistle and ute
then went out in search of a frail.
La Scala her backdrop, stood at ease,
an aria sung from the heart,
her eyelids descended in time honoured tease
and Cupid struck home with his dart.
Church of San Marco happily wed,
a gondola waiting outside,
we closed all the curtains and snuggled in bed
as the gondolier sang for my bride.
In Venice I thought I was in love,
In Milan I found the real thing
and then back to Venice’s watery groves,
full circle like my wedding ring.
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Emily Dickinson
If I feel physically
as if the top of my
head were taken off, I
know that is poetry.
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
Dont Forget to say
you have seen it in
We hope you have enjoyed reading the selection of poetry
in this issue both from Australian and overseas poets.
Please bear in mind we are a family friendly magazine
and poetry of an overtly explicit sexual nature
or containing profanity will not be used.
Poetry written by our children is always welcome.
The Australia Times looks forward to receiving submissions from our readers.
Please submit with a brief bio and any links you want included –
e.g. blog/web/book page.
This address should see it head o in the right direction –
or email The Editor at