Last Updates - Dec 2012 1 Poem Added
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Was in the southern winter months
to cast a line into the sea.
There's more big fish at Quobba
A thousand miles to catch a dream,
He stood upon the jagged rocks
that nature, in ten thousand years
He cast his bait into the waves,
A bite. He jerks. The hook is set.
He reels in line to keep it taut,
Then from the sea, a mighty wave,
For when the wave had passed away
His friends and family later came
For it seems that young men do not heed
For as you come to Quobba,
But signs and warnings go unseen
For the ocean, here at Quobba
They set a plaque into the rocks,
A thousand miles to catch a dream.
A thousand miles to catch a dream.
© Brian Langley 18th May 2000
It would be greatly appreciated if anybody visiting the Quobba area (North of Carnarvon, WA) and stumbling across the plaque (which is located in the vicinity of the HMAS Sydney Memorial) could send me details of the young man's name
wooden blinds and verticals, and tinted mirror glass
|Into the boats and row my lads,
Pull for the hazy shore
Just another mile to go!
You’ll soon be in the war!
The Turkish flares with blinding flash
Turned darkness into day
Machine guns crackled on the slopes
The ocean spluttered spray
The boat, it ground onto the beach
The sand now turning red
The baker’s son lay on the oar
Already he was dead.
The brickies son leapt from the boat
His lusty bushman’s yell
Cut short by shrapnel’s buzzing “Plop”
Three steps he took; then fell.
The blacksmith’s boy stood for a while
Appalled at all the slaughter
And how his mate’s head rolled around
With wavelets in the water.
“Keep moving” yelled Authority
“Pick up his Lewis Gun.
Get up against the cliff’s rock face
That’s it, man! Now run!”
He didn’t make it off the beach
Machine gun’s chattering laugh
Caught him just below the ribs
And chopped him nigh in half
In a bush school in Australia
They sing “God Save the King”
The brickie sometimes pauses
When he hears the magpies sing
The baker in his daily toil
Imagines scenes of battle
In the heat around the oven fires
And in the bread pan’s rattle
The clanging of the anvil
Down in the smithy’s shack
Sounds like some bell’s slow tolling
For sons who wont come back
The teacher, at the end of day
Looks to the setting sun
With clasping hands she softly asks
“Dear God, what have we done?”
Left broken by the racing track,
When I was due, he knew the date,
Now when you cuss or make a fuss Is often because you just seek an outlet. 'Cos some plan you had in mind, comes unstuck and then you find Pure frustration only leads to further upset! And if you find you're in a bind Keep your head and try to stay above it 'Cos solution will be near, if you keep your vision clear And not kick the dog or not tell us where to shove it. So remember it is folly, to ever lose your "lolly" Be reminded you are made of better stuff Do not see "bloody red", Just stop and scratch your head For a clearer head (and a head thet's free of dandruff). (c) Hadley Provis Oct 00
warm smell of bread in the mist and the smoke,
matches the cheer of the grocery bloke,
who is busily setting up shop for the day,
as a wagon comes rolling from Albany way.
On Albany Road as a freckly kid
smiles at the milko adjusting the lid,
of the billy can brimming, so creamy and white;
sister Ivy is stroking the mare on the right.
The penny they spend on the Albany Road,
rattles a purse in a humble abode,
and will jingle the till of the quaint butcher shop,
as the change for old Nanna Brown's sausage and chop.
The Smithy accepting the fish from a man,
passes the penny and takes down a pan,
while his teapot is welcome to one and to all,
with a joke and a yarn for whomever should call.
The penny is warm from the palm of the girl,
who gives with a "Thank you" - grins with a swirl,
running happily home, bringing bread for the toast,
with fresh butter and jam, of which Dad eats the most.
Albany Road as the penny goes round
tables and counters there's joy at the sound,
and a warming of souls at the take and the give,
of reciprocal values of 'live and let live'.
For hundreds of miles from the north to the south,
good local money, is food in the mouth
of the farmer, the postie, the teacher, the nun,
of the kids in the bush and the towns - everyone.
Our concrete and bitumen highway today
serves as a means to whisk dollars away
to a man overseas, with a screen and a mouse,
who is raising the lease, on what once was her house.
The sight of the old copper coin in the sand,
is warm to her heart, and warm to her hand,
as old Ivy Jean Amity nuzzles a mane,
and is skipping down Albany Road once again.
I'm quite amazed at what I see When, with a shopping cart I wander down the freezer aisles Inside the super-mart There's packs and packs of frozen meals For each and every taste They're boneless and they're skinless So there's very little waste There's Chinese, Thai, Italian too And good old Aussie pies There's honey mustard chicken breasts And spicy curried thighs There's roast lamb with some veg'tables There's sweet and sour fish There's something there for everyone There's everything you'd wish And they're not all that expensive For if you buy them when The're on the super special list Which happens now and then They only cost about two thirds The average going price And so it's cost effective and They're also very nice So now I am the cook at home This once quite useless geezer Each day I cook a different meal I get it from the freezer No need to spend an hour or two preparing beef or mutton I pop it 'em the microwave And press the re-heat button (c) Brian Langley 22 Feb 2007
never driven cattle herds across the great outback
nor sat astride a favoured mare along a bushmans track.
I’ve never picked a guiding star above the fire at night,
enjoyed the wonder of the sounds so far beyond my sight.
never watched the morning sun rise up to meet the sky
to bake the hardy Spinifex that just refused to die.
and never saw the evening glow drape over dusty plain
to cloud me in a velvet cloak as darkness fell again.
life was filled with city streets and choking traffic fumes,
with non-descript, square, boxy homes, and tiny little rooms;
I looked upon a plain brick wall outside my windowpane
and hated all the muddy mess that followed winter rain.
worked behind a desk all day with walls two feet away;
and answered phones and typed out words to earn my weekly pay.
I sat alone within my car on crowded freeway lanes
then, once at home I’d hide behind the strength of lock and chains.
often when the days were fine, I’d wander to the park
and there I’d find my solace underneath a paperbark.
A book of verse by Ogilvie called Saddle for a Throne
would take my mind to places that I only wish I’d known.
drifted with the souls that lie in lonely graves out west
and gently placed a single bloom upon their place of rest.
I felt the strength and power of the racing Rosalind
as we sought to greet the rising sun against the morning wind.
rode beside the cattlemen and joined their lonely camp
and snuggled under canvas when the night was cold and damp.
I felt the silent magic of a chilly outback dawn
and watched her ride the Rebel as another tale was born.
mind was filled with wonder as I read that treasured verse
and took a special journey through a country so diverse.
So thank you Will for sharing all the places you have known
as I recall the beauty of ‘A Saddle for A Throne’.
(c) Irene Conner 11/05/06
the lonely common room I see you sitting there,
a shrunken ghost of younger days, no family to care.
I see the wrinkled skin that tears with ev’ry careless grip,
the useless hand, the twisted leg; the endless dribbling lip.
watch you in your silent world as people come and go
and sorrow for the loss of tales that now we’ll never know.
You cannot speak to ask for help, nor tell us how you feel
but underneath the outward wreck, who knows what you conceal?
seen the well worn hat that sits upon your greying hair;
the moleskins folded in your room you never get to wear.
I’ve seen your battered riding boots that once adorned your feet;
the calloused hands that tell of work in dust, and dirt and heat.
love to sit and hold your hand and talk to you awhile
and let you know that someone cares enough to make you smile.
I’d love to listen to the yarns you’ve gathered through the years;
to know the stories that have fed your laughter and your tears.
you among the drovers who would travel dusty plains,
who slept beneath the canvas in the midst of winter rains;
a cattleman who did it hard, from sunrise through to dusk,
a man who never wasted words – aloof and sometimes brusque?
you were a horseman who was known throughout the land
for skill within the saddle, and a gentle, kindly hand.
A man who raced with brumbys over mountainside and plain,
who held his pony steady with the lightest touch of rein.
wonder if you’d tell of droughts that wither scrub and grass,
of cattle that lay dying on the tracks o’er which you pass,
of waterholes that shrink beneath the harsh relentless sun;
the dying throes of wildlife you must silence with your gun.
have you fought the waters of a raging, swirling flood
that left your land beneath a coat of slowly drying mud;
that took away your livelihood – your crops and all your sheep
and forced a change of life so you could try to earn your keep?
you travelled outback trails with wagon, kids and wife,
or maybe you could tell us of a lonely swaggies life.
And have you lost a family for whom you’ll always care?
It seems I’ll always wonder as I see you sitting there.
Copyright I Conner 20/01/07
Joshua (Age 9)
Van Diemen’s Land
masters cruel and owners vile,
Cause their slaves to curse and rile,
The servants tend to steal and rob,
And gather in an angry mob.
all these rebels as they stand,
Are shipped off to Van Diemen’s Land.
Because they never understood,
That stealing isn’t ever good.
are turned to bandit thieves,
And only gold their mind relieves,
For their hearts are full of strife,
As hard as stone and sharp as knife.
they are sent to deathly fate,
To save them, it is far too late,
Now that their lives are dead and done,
They live no more under the sun.
now their bones are grey and dull
Like the bottom of an old ship’s rotting hull,
While others were put into dank jails,
With iron bars and metal rails.
Hanna (Age 11)
In Search of a Mine
winter morn on a cold cold day,
Met two old bushmen on their way
With shovels high and thumping feet
They walked along the dusty street.
time came and noon time went,
Now the day was almost spent
And still no sight of that treasured mine
That is, until they saw a sign.
whoops of joy, they began to race
Both bushmen to their destined place.
For this finally was their precious mine
Of silver, gold and tourmaline.
thus with excitement they pitched their tents
And quickly to bed they both did went.
Finally the day dawned bright and clear,
And the chance of a find seemed very near.
having eaten their fill,
They walked joyfully up the hill,
To enter their most precious mine,
Of silver, gold and tourmaline.
picks and axes and shovels and pans,
The two old bushmen quickly ran.
Into the black mine they did go,
How the wind did howl and blow.
evening tide both men came back,
They dug all day till both turned black.
But merry they were despite all that,
Because their gold looked big and fat.
mining affair continued, for four and twenty days
And finally their money bills could soon all be repaid
They came home lugging a heavy load of gem,
And everyone cried “Just take a look at them!”
Alanna (Age 11)
smoke billowed down from the cannons
In a strong and mighty roar,
We drank water in large gallons,
And our clothes are all a tore.
of us are scared,
Although some are quite brave,
But no matter the courage you bared,
You would still end in a grave.
of my friends have died,
But I may still make it through,
For many nights I have cried,
And do not know what to do.
war was soon done
I had written a letter to my wife
But then I saw the gun,
That would shortly take my life.
4th place was shared by two poems, both by the same young lady
Ee Faye (Age 11)
Australia’s Awesome Arrange of Animals
many a native beast
Quokkas and wallabies are not the least
Much like hedgehogs and porcupines
The marsupial echidna has many spines.
koalas sit in their trees
Munching on eucalyptus leaves.
All platypi have slick brown fur
A male platypus has a poison spur.
emu is a bird with no flight
But to see it running is quite a sight.
The roo’s strong legs let it hop around
The tail keeps it balanced to leap and bound.
waddling wombat is slow and big
Its powerful paws help it dig.
This is a part of our great Aussie array
Now go and meet them to say ‘G’day!’
Australia’s summer, in the bush
Bushfires smoulder, often and long
Delicate, natural plants it will crush
Firemen help to right that wrong.
fire, sirens ringing
Bushland aflame with a terrible light
Fire, fire, people screaming
Volunteers rush to begin the fight.
the trees the fire rages
Turning majestic plants to ashes
The sparking flames, so contagious
Among the twigs and leaves it dashes.
fire, animals fleeing
From their bright and perilous foe
Fire, fire, animals escaping
From their charred and burnt down homes.
Bushfire’s calmed; it will no longer roam
But it turned plants brittle and black
No more are the bushes rooted in loam
The damage is done – they wont come back.
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Last Modified Sep 8th 2007