This poem was inspired by my recent trip from Yaraka to Isisford in Western Queensland but it could be any country road out west … Continue reading
I have recently participated in a tagalong of motorhomes as we made our way to Blackall in Queensland for our Solos Rally. I started my journey to catch up with the tagalong in Melbourne on the 13th April 2019 and it finished at the Blackall Solos Rally on the 10th May travelling just under 2,500kms.
This poem is about some of our adventures along the way. Sometimes there were only a few of us and in other places the group grew to just under 100 motorhomes and campervans. You can probably imagine it was a lot of fun!
The aborigines have their Rainbow Serpent that travels across the land
And it gathers tales and legends of inland seas and sand,
And lofty mountain ranges and fertile camping places,
And they tell the stories of its way in dance and painted faces.
The Solos have their tagalong that travels across the land
And it gathers tales and legends of their happy nomad band
That met the Man from Snowy River and in Wagga Stoned the Crow
And everywhere it travels, the stories tend to grow.
I caught up with them at Wyalong out at the Poppet Head Mine
Where they started their morning with yoga, and then danced in a line.
At Bogan Weir we dressed the part in our daggiest bogan wear,
Then it was off to dusty Nakadoo and a wonderful campfire there.
The camp was split in Lightning Ridge and our growing tribe was scattered
But we made the most of the tourist sites and saw the ones that mattered.
Some of us went to the opal fields and dined at the Pub in the Scrub
While others enjoyed Mel & Suzie’s place and savoured their camp oven grub.
We camped along the Minor Ballone just out of Dirranbandi
And discovered the showers at the truck stop, and boy, did they come in handy!
The bakery was popular, with vanilla slices and pies,
The coffee was good and the jam drops were huge so we feasted with more than our eyes.
Each night we entertained ourselves with happy hour till late
Gary would often bring out his guitar, and Jean would bring us all up to date
With what was planned for tomorrow, and “Will we go to the pub for tea?”
Ad the numbers would be counted to warn the next town what they might see.
The cook at the Bollon Hotel walked out when he heard there’d be 80 or more
But the publican rallied the staff around and provided food galore,
So we all turned up in our Op Shop Glam looking so gorgeously fine
And the locals came out to gawk at us – and we drank the pub out of wine!
Well, the word got passed on the bush telegraph of this mad solo crowd on the move
So Wyandra planned a night on their town and the locals all got in the groove
They bought in food and closed the road so we put on our dancing shoes
But what the pub forgot to do was buy in more supplies of booze!
So the pub ran dry by half past five, they were out of bubbles and wine
But how could anyone get upset when they’d looked after us so fine.
Our travelling band was rolling along with Charleville our next port of call
And a fancy dinner was held in the Bush Camp and more fun was had by all.
See, we all wore our undies as ‘overs’, like Clark Kent when he becomes Superman,
And just like super heroes, raised money from an auction we ran.
On our last big night together, the sausage sizzle added some more
$500 was raised for the cancer ward, now that’s worth raising money for.
The muster begins on the weekend and our tagalong comes to an end
We’ll have one final night in Tambo, camped out at Stubby Bend
For months we have travelled together making memories and friendships to last
Thanks to Jean and her Adventure Team, this whole journey has been a blast.
Rosemary Robinson 2019
Augathella, Thargomindah, Eromanga, Yaraka –
I’ve been out in Western Queensland, travelling on and off the tar.
Where everything is dry as dust, both the locals and the land,
They haven’t lost their Aussie humour, but they could do with a hand.
At Isisford and Blackall, Windorah, Quilpie, Tambo
If they can’t keep their stock alive they’ll pack up and they’ll go.
The drought is devastating as it sucks the country dry
And the wind blows off the topsoil, and the wild dogs multiply.
So they’re building dog proof fences to keep wild dogs at bay
And they’re hoping this will keep their stock alive another day.
A farmer told me recently he’d lost seven hundred sheep
And that was just one pack attack, it’s enough to make you weep.
The long paddock is well stocked with beasts grazing the stubbled ground
And stockmen and their horses and their dogs move them around,
I’m not sure where they’re taking them, there’s no relief in sight,
There’ll be many miles to cover before they rest up for the night.
Cunnamulla, Eulo, Toompine and on to Bourke
This drought’s affecting everyone, not only those the land they work.
The little towns are dying, although they’re struggling to the end,
And shops are closing one by one without a local spend.
The “nomads’ keep their hopes alive as they buy their fuel and food
Any dollar spent in town can only do some good
So on your travelling adventure to our outback Aussie land
Spend up in little country towns, it’s a way to lend a hand.
And leave a little something in the RFDS tin
Or other outback charities, it’s a chance for them to win.
Too many farms have closed their gates, they’ve just packed up and gone
Where they’ve farmed for generations is worth nothing but a song.
Longreach, Winton, Isisford, Jericho and Jundah
Aussies need to band together, stop these towns from going under.
So while we all appreciate a cloudless, clear blue sky
Think of the west that needs the rain to put an end to this long dry.
It was when we were camped up in Broome
Geoff took us for a drive
And he pointed to something on the road
That used to be alive.
He’d taken us to Willie Creek,
And along this sandy track
A shape lay flattened in the sand
And Geoff said “Look at that!”
Well it was thin, like a template made of tin,
And I thought it had a quite familiar look
A rounded face, a pointed ear – a second glance was all it took
To work out what this animal had been.
It was so flat, squashed on the sandy track
By tyres that travelled back and forth all day
The heat had dehydrated it, but you could tell when it was hit
That once upon a time it was a cat!
Rosemary Robinson November 2016
What did I do on Halloween Eve?
The answer you may not want to know
Because I made a quiche – and squashed a leech –
I tell you, everything was all go!
I rifled through the recipe book,
(I had made the quiche before),
But the leech was a surprise to me
When I squashed him on the floor.
I was busy at the kitchen bench
Cutting up the silver beet
When I stepped away and something squished
Beneath my clumsy feet.
A little bit of fetta cheese
Was what I thought of first
But when I saw the mess I’d made
My God, this leech had a thirst!
He’d gorged himself upon my blood
Until he was bloated and fat
And when he could fit not another drop in
He let go of my leg and went splat!
The blood shot across the kitchen floor
On the cupboards, the oven and wall
And ran down my leg where the blood sucker had been
Until his fat bloody body did fall.
Apart from it feeling disgusting
To have your blood sucked out by a leech,
It leaves behind a reminder
– A little hole with one hell of an itch!
So what did I do on Halloween Eve?
Well, I did finish making the quiche
And I washed the kitchen from top to toe
Thanks to the mess from that bloody leech.
This is my version of the Big Bang Theory…. take one hairy huntsman spider, watch him run under the fridge, hold can of insect spray and spray liberally under the (gas) fridge. KABOOM! Fell out of my van backwards running around yelling Holy Shit! and beating out my eyebrows. No great damage done and one huge lesson learned …. and I still don’t know where the spider is!!
The Big Bang Theory
A hairy huntsman spider
Came visiting one day
And I knew I wouldn’t be happy
Until I’d hit him with insect spray.
I kept my eye upon him
As he wandered to and fro,
And I reached carefully for the killer can ….
He really had to go!
I think he knew what was happening
As he scampered across the floor
And I pressed the nozzle of the spray
Once, twice, and then once more.
He now became quite erratic
As he staggered around the room
Looking for a hidey-hole –
But I got him – yep- KABOOM!
You see, he skittered under the fridge
Thinking he was clever,
But I was so much smarter than he
He was off to the Never Never!
Unfortunately, I soon found out
Insect spray and gas combined
Create a mighty explosion
Of the fiery, blue flame kind!
I think my eyebrows will grow back
And my pride will heal I’m sure
Because when the gas exploded
I was thrown clean out the door!
My heart was palpitating
As I scrabbled off the ground,
Holy Shit! were the words I stuttered
As I ran round and round.
Well, I’m camped beside this river,
There’s not another soul in sight,
Who would think that a hairy spider
Would give me such a fright..
I’m blaming him for the mighty bang
(I was lucky no damage was done)
And the spider might now be vaporised
But I concede – This battle he won!!
I wrote this simple little poem sitting at the Lake Cowan free camp about 17kms out of Norseman before I started my journey east, across the Nullarbor. Last year, when I attempted the same journey, Brutus (my old campervan) played up about 160kms east of Norseman and I had to get towed back to the beginning, hence the reference in the poem.
I think it’s time to make a list
Before I cross the Nullarbor
I’ll pop into Norseman’s IGA
And see what they have in store.
I need some drinking water
And I’d better get some ice
It makes my gin and tonics
Some fruit and veg go on the list
Though not too much I think
Because when I hit Ceduna
They’ll put it in the bin.
Salads will be the way to go
Then I won’t have to cook
And I can spend my daytime travelling
And have a real good look.
I’d better get some Bushmans,
The flies were bad last time,
And I must hunt out that fly net
To make my journey more sublime.
Brutus will have a service
And I’ll replace any worn part
I don’t want a repeat of last year
When I was towed back to the start!
Well, I think that’s it, I’m ready to go
Across that long, long track.
I’m so sad to be leaving WA
But I know that I’ll be back!