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7th September 2013

A Wayside Shrine Austria Scarlet geraniums glow in the sun, Above them a Calvary, carefully painted. A shaded bench offers travellers rest And refreshment for body and spirit; Well-chosen verses point to the beauty of Creation around, And He who provided it, Along with hope for this life And the next. Although no village or chalet is close, Someone has watered the flowers. England Taped to a lamp-post, The flowers are dying or dead In tarnished and tawdry wrappings. A sun-bleached photograph, from which No-one could recognise the face, Hangs beneath the hay of the stems. Those who travel along the road ignore the sight; It is too familiar. There is no rest nor refreshment, Only a wordless warning. other-memorials 17th November 2013 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

Mimp v to behave, esp. to speak or eat, in an affected, over-precise, or fussy manner. To purse up (one's mouth). Lek n a collection of male animals gathered together for the purpose of courtship or display Hand’s turn n a piece or stroke of work. Chiefly in negative contexts: not done any work whatsoever. Cross Swords v To quarrel or argue with someone, to have a dispute with someone. Wingsuit n a full-body garment having „wings‟ formed by fabric between the arms and legs that inflates to give lift and enables the wearer to glide when in free fall. Skyclad adj from the Wicca religion: to be naked out of doors. Covenstead n A permanent circle or temple used to meet for rituals and to store religious items, often a mundane location. A Wiccan congregation. Jape v to play tricks, to jest, to joke, to jeer. Ungulate adj having hooves (Ungulates are a diverse group of large mammals, most of which use the tips of their toes, usually hoofed, to sustain their whole body weight while moving. The term means, roughly, "being hoofed" or "hoofed animal". As a descriptive term, "ungulate" normally excludes cetaceans, as they do not possess most of the typical morphological characteristics of ungulates; recent discoveries indicate that they are descended from early artiodactyls, and thus are directly related to other even-toed ungulates such as cattle, with hippopotamuses being their closest living relatives.

LIFE OBSERVATIONS Never play with bread knives. Tummies can have too much of a good thing, especially plums. Caring for someone with dementia really isn’t easy. Being patronising often comes with an unexpected price. But being kind isn’t always being patronising, it’s often just being kind. Some folks really don’t take rejection well.

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The next Stoke Stanza meeting is at The Leopard, Burslem on Tuesday 10th September at 7.30pm. Admission free, all welcome. Come and share your work or listen to some of the most insightful discussions around. Assignment research: Tongue-twisters rely on rapid alternation between similar but distinct phonemes (e.g. s and sh) unfamiliar constructs, or other features of a spoken language in order to be difficult to articulate quickly. Popular Examples: The seething sea ceaseth and thus the seething sea sufficeth us. She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore. The shells she sells are sea-shells, I'm sure. For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore Then I'm sure she sells sea-shore shells. Betty Botter bought a bit of butter. The butter Betty Botter bought was a bit bitter And made her batter bitter. But a bit of better butter makes better batter. So Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter Making Betty Botter's bitter batter better

Cecily thought Sicily less thistly than Thessaly. Irish Wristwatch, Swiss Wristwatch. Peggy Babcock. The bog above Bob Gorman's bog. Red Leather, Yellow Leather. Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry. Rubber Baby Buggy Bumper. Smiley shlug with Shloer. Albanian: "Kupa me kapak, kupa pa kapak." (The cup with a lid, the cup without a lid). Bengali: "Pakhi paka pepe khai." (Bird eats ripe papaya). Danish: "Ringeren i Ringe ringer ringere end ringeren i Ringsted ringer." (The bellman at Ringe rings worse than the bellman at Ringsted) French: "Tata, ta tarte tatin tenta Tonton, Tonton tâta ta tarte tatin, Tata." (Aunty, your apple tart tempts Uncle; Uncle has touched your apple tart, Aunty.) Latin: "Te tero, Roma, manu nuda, date tela, latete!" (I will destroy you, Rome, with my bare hands, arm yourselves and hide!)

A Proper Copper Coffee Pot. Betty bopper's battering batton made bertie bopper bite her. The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.

Random Words: with, loose-strife, badger, Shakespeare, world-record, nativity, behove Assignment: Indian summer

2012: RBW FREE e-books PUBLISHED on RBW and DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52

Steph’s & Clive’s FREE e- books published on and on RBW main site DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52

2013: RBW FREE e-books PUBLISHED on RBW and

RBW team are delighted to announce the RBW 2013 comedy, King Harffa and the

Slightly Oblong Table of Trentby, which has a knavish chuckle at the expense of our Arthurian heritage, has now been published as a free ebook on Facebook, risingbrookwriters and the main RBW website: http:// DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=78

RBW team are delighted to announce the RBW 2013 memories collection, has been published this week as a free e-book on Facebook, risingbrookwriters and the main RBW website: http:// DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=79

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Submissions for the RBW 2014 Short Story Collection Roads Less Travelled are now invited. All contributors must be registered with RBW Library Workshop or be weekly email pdf recipients Submit in the usual way. Closing date for submissions

Have you sent in your submissions for FOOTPRINTS the RBW 2014 poetry collection?

Strike a light, there's another combustible collection of hot vocal expression, live literature and news uploaded to us, recorded by us, and sent to us on cd in this month's re.Lit on Radio Wildfire. We'll be joined by Sara Beadle, talking about the forthcoming Birmingham Literature Festival; and talking to Brian Dakin, aka Billy Spakemon, about his new book of stories Frum The Coal 'Ole - from which he'll also be reading. There'll be poetry newly uploaded to the Radio Wildfire website by Zoe Piponides, from Cyprus; and from Dwane Reads in Derby, tracks from his new cd The Annoying Megaphone Pigeon. There'll be poetry with music from the international duo Kinsame based in Montpellier. There'll be stories and memoir from Ron Runenborg in Minnesota, a great talespinner and a great voice submitting his work to Radio Wildfire for the first time; and from Sylvia Millward in the West Midlands, full of nostalgia for her Toxic Garden. This month's contribution from the Bunbury Banter Theatre Company is Hell Hath No Fury by Bruce Shakespear, a true*, satanic and hilarious warning about ambition set in the Victorian art world (not for those of a nervous disposition). And there'll be music from Surreal Realm in Indianapolis USA. Plus we'll be looking at cd tracks and material from our archives giving a selection that we can guarantee that you won't hear anywhere else. The show is presented as always by poet and performer Dave Reeves. Join us: Monday 2nd September from 8.00 pm UK time at Radio Wildfire: combusting a guttural. re.Lit Live! is produced by Vaughn Reeves with backroom support from Ali McK.

Why not send your own tracks to Radio Wildfire by going to the „Submitâ€&#x; page of our website and uploading MP3s of your work. Spoken word and music, comedy, storytelling, poetry, song and aural art, they are all part of the eclectic mix we are looking for when we create Radio Wildfire Live! Follow Radio Wildfire on Twitter @ Radio Wildfire is an independent online radio station which blends spoken word, poetry, performance literature, comedy, storytelling, short stories and more with a novel selection of word/music fusion and an eclectic mix of musical styles. broadcasts live 8.00-10.00pm (UK time) on the first Monday of every month. * Well, the script says it's true! Listen to Radio Wildfire at where The Loop plays 24 hours a day.

Some More New Plants.

NB Editor Note: These blogs began in 2010 and are still running to the present day. We are publishing from the beginning as they provide an insight into a yearly progression.

Unlike most people with their first allotment who usually plant potatoes, onions, carrots, beans, cauliflower, cabbages, etc, I thought that I would try some different vegetables. So, although I planted some carrots, one variety was “Purple Haze” and yes they do have purple skins, but are a bit of a let down as the first picking the other day showed me that underneath the skin they are just ordinary carrot colour. Some Kohl Rabbi, that is a member of the Cauliflower/Cabbage family, proved very successful though, both at home and on the allotments with other plot holders. Giving the odd “Stem?” away was a great way to have a chat and make friends, but now sadly, the whole batch of about 70 or 80 plants have been cut. Being a very quick growing crop I thought that I would re-plant and see if I could get some more to maturity before the Winter comes, so having sown some seeds a couple of weeks ago, I planted the young plugs out into the same patch with some more pelleted chicken manure scattered liberally on to the soil. At the same time as buying Kohl Rabbi seeds, I saw some “Chicory” seeds and thought that I would try those. Apparently you grow the plants as any other plant until the late Autumn, then you cut the plants down, dig them up and store them dry as you might a Dahlia Tuber until they are wanted. Then you plant the roots in something like a bucket and “Force” them as you might early Rhubarb, but in a frost-free place like a garage. As they shoot, the “Chicons” are blanched with another bucket over the top so they lose their bitterness, (like Celery) and then when big enough you cut them to use as a Winter lettuce replacement. They can even be boiled and served up in a sauce.

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After pegging down some branches on my newly acquired Mulberry the other week, I thought that maybe I could do that with some other fruit trees. Most fruit trees are grafted, but a few are not, so I inspected my mothers big old Fig tree. The hard Winter had knocked it about very badly and forced it to “Break” from many dormant buds to give new growth to replace the damaged branches and this has resulted in lots of new shoots developing very low down on the main trunk. Normally, it would be best to cut these off, but this year I have pegged every one of these floppy new shoots down into the ground in the hopes that most of them will root and give me some new small fig trees next year. Looking at our other small trees it seems that my Medlar tree is not grafted, although sometimes they are, and likewise my true Quince (Cydonia) isn’t grafted either, so with both of those having some low branches I hopefully pegged those down as well. While pushing some soft stems of the Quince into the soil, I remembered that the Quince will throw up suckers as well, like most grafted fruit trees will. On looking for information about grafted trees I found that many Pear trees are actually grafted on to a Quince rootstock. If you are growing Pear trees you don’t want the Quince suckers, but obviously the suckers on my Quince will be a welcome bonus. Two years ago I removed and dug one up that is growing nicely now. As a crazy idea, I thought that I would try exposing some of the roots of the big Quince tree in an attempt to make it throw up suckers. I don’t know if it will work, but it as interesting idea and if it does It will be an interesting way of propagating new trees and means I may well have even more new and “Free” fruit trees to plant on my allotment next year.

A Glut of Everything! My purple dwarf French beans have cropped very impressively producing pounds and pounds of small, round beans that do not seem to go stringy however big they get. The plants themselves don’t look very big in the ground, but get absolutely covered with beans, so much so, that mom has been topping and tailing them before blanching and freezing bags and bags of surplus. Consequently, when I wanted a little space to make room for some autumn planting vegetables, I removed the earlier planted row, leaving the later planting to go on a bit longer. One of the local garden centres was giving vouchers away and had a promotional offer on Autumn vegetables as well, so being lazy, we got some trays instead of sowing seed! These included some varieties of Cauliflowers, Cabbage and Broccoli that can be planted now along with some rather “late” Spring Onions, as I call them, White Lisbon, that will just crop before the winter. have also bought some Autumn planting (Japanese) onions, to go in where I have cleared a little more space. Curly Kale will grow through the winter as well, but mine went in far too early on in the season and it would have been much better to have planted only few at time. It has matured far too early and in such quantity that we are having difficulty finding enough people to eat it. We have even resorted to giving the odd plant to a neighbour for her Guinea Pigs that has developed quite a taste for it. However, I think it would probably live on one plant for a week and we have dozens! What I have done is cut the tops off the plants, leaving just the stalk in the hopes that they will shoot again with some nice, soft, fresh, new growth through the winter. Even the beetroot has developed into nice sized roots, although they were sewn in cells with 3 seeds to each for an early start and then transplanted, which the gardening aficionados always used to say you shouldn’t do with “Root Vegetables.” We have been pulling a couple of clumps of beetroot at a time to fill a saucepan and boiling them up so that they last for a few days at a time and we can have fresh, cooked, beetroot every day instead of pickled. The Pumpkins have been growing everywhere as they have gone rampant and would have covered half of the surrounding plots and paths if they hadn’t been ruthlessly hacked back and composted! We are still a few weeks from Halloween, but are finding willing takers for them. One local school was having a harvest festival and all the little children were carrying in cans vegetables of this and that, when a Lady teacher I know walked in with a rather large Pumpkin I had given her. She said that the children’s faces were a picture! Another Pumpkin went to a local shop for a Halloween display. I think some people have tried eating them, but they take a bit of eating as they are so big and we have a half eaten one in the fridge that has been there for over a week! Now that the weather has turned a little cooler and wetter, (ignoring our short “Indian Summer!”) the Leeks are coming on better and the “Runner Beans” are still flowering, but one, odd, cold night, a couple of weeks ago, did tip them causing many of the top leaves to shrivel. The change in weather also brought on the red and yellow Autumn Rasberry canes that were planted very late on in the season. I lost all the yellow canes at my other allotment site and 2 out of the 6 at Hixon. However, when I dug up the remaining 4 canes, I Actually ended up with 10 nicely growing plants! The Autumn “Red’s” all ended up being given away as I had far too many canes. I made a lot of friends on the site that day!

Me teef are looking better Me teef are looking better, and I brush them every day, New electric toof brush, and some paste that looks like clay, Me misses getting onto me, n‟ the dentist gives a hint, Break a habit of a lifetime, to brush me teef I dint. Mornings are so busy, after breakfast rush right out, Then think I anna brushed me teef, n‟ rules I mustna flout, But then I conna turn right round, cattle got to feed, N‟ I‟ll do in the morning, n‟ I‟ll brush them till they bleed. Conna see the point of it, once a week enough fa me, Twice a year is what om used to, n‟ the dentists got the key, To count them every visit, and to scrape then there‟s no need, Cuz I eat an apple every day, and my mum she (set that creed,) (did breast feed.) Please don‟t put the pressure on, om not feelin very well, The verbal and advice okay, but too much I will rebel, So to the dentist I have a message, count me teef and clean, N‟ chat about the weather, n‟ whatever else in-between. Countryman (Owd Fred)

In over 60 years I had been in a dentist chair only once, and that was when I was 7years old at the primary school when the school dentist examined all pupils‟ teeth, and in those 60 years never ever clean my teeth or had a tooth brush. When I had both knee replacement joints done eleven years ago the surgeon insisted I see the dentist, and I see them every six months, but all they do is count them and scrape and polish. I do brush them now just twice a year an hour before the dental appointment. (Much to their disgust)

I Worry Every Day I worry every day, bout appointment that I got, Six months it‟s on my mind, even when om in me cot, It‟s the dentist they are scary, every day it is the same, Its on me mind day and night, then they call me name. Reminder day before, that that dreaded day has come, Me hair is falling out, and I conna eat a crumb, A mere shadow of me sen, and it‟s all of them to blame, Shaking in the waiting room, o conna move om lame. They offer me an easy chair, nother room with light, Give me a pair of glasses, much to their delight, Expressions on their faces, tip the chair down low, Ya teeth is what were looking for, open up y,owd crow. Me tongues held down pushed aside, counting‟s now began, Top and bottom front and back, record them on the plan, Scrape and polish rinse and spit, rear me up agen, Just a funny sort a routine, in their little den. It‟s over in couple a minuets, and I‟m heading for the door, Dint know what the worry was, might pan out on the floor, Cannot see me ass fa dust, heading fast for home, Back into me arm chair, in me mind, no more to roam. Countryman (Owd Fred)

FOOTPRINTS You left your footprints on my heart, Or at least you tried. Oh, I felt it when you ground your heel, I nearly died! You tramped me down, so hard, so deep You thought you‟d won I saw the look of triumph on your face, To you it‟s fun.

But still I triumphed in the end! Because you see Mere flesh is just as strong as steel. You can‟t dent me.

Chariots of fire transport me Beyond your power. And I‟ll rise way above you, Hour by glorious hour!

New Library of Birmingham opens 3rd September 2013 First Exhibition:

Reference Works

3 September – 29 December, Library of Birmingham Gallery Issue 302 Page 10

The Library of Birmingham presents Reference Works, a major new exhibition of photographs by Michael Collins, Brian Griffin, Andrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps. The exhibition is the product of the largest and most important photography commission ever undertaken in the city and will be the inaugural exhibition in the new Discovery Gallery at the Library of Birmingham when it opens to the public on 3 September 2013.

Saturday 7th September 10.00am to 4.00pm Dancers, musicians, and artists will be taking to the streets of Stafford for the boroughâ€&#x;s 3rd Arts Festival. Promoted by Stafford Town Centre Partnership, a collaboration of around 120 Town Centre businesses and organisations, this event showcases all aspects of the arts including music, dance, painting, sculpture, textiles, literature and more. Iconic buildings such as the Ancient High House, County Buildings, Shire Hall Gallery as well as commercial and business properties, will open their doors to the public and welcome visitors to enjoy a whole host of activities. The festival takes places in various venues and locations, both indoor and outdoor, around the town centre, with the main performance area being in Market Square. The event will include a range of FREE art and craft workshops as well as dancers and musicians providing a carnival atmosphere. Performers in Stafford Market Square will include the professional samba drummer and dancers group, Art Brasil, live music, as well as local dance groups and The Stafford Morris Men. There will also be some free guided tours to uncover the history behind town landmarks. Music, Dance, Art, Craft or Poetry at the Gatehouse there is something for everyone to come along and enjoy.

Sir David Frost dies of heart attack on cruise liner Queen Elizabeth Sir David Frost, the veteran broadcaster whose career over six decades encompassed cutting edge satire, game shows and the celebrated interview in which Richard Nixon apologised for Watergate, has died after suffering a heart attack alone aboard a cruise ship on the way to the Med.. David Paradine Frost was knighted in 1993. He leaves a wife and three sons. Sir David Frost, born April 7 1939, died August 31 2013

Seamus Heaney dies aged 74 30th August 2013

Obituary: Seamus Heaney 13 April 1939 — 30th August 2013 Without any doubt, Nobel Prize Winner, Seamus Heaney was internationally recognised on the world stage as the greatest Irish poet there has been since Wikipedia image: S. O’Connor the passing of WB Yeats and deserves a place in the pantheon of Irish writers alongside James Joyce, George Bernard Shaw and Samuel Beckett. Although born to a farming family in Northern Ireland, he was a Catholic who resided in Dublin for most of his adult life. During the twenty-five years of the Troubles his writing faced the conflict always seeking to set the strife on the streets of Belfast against a wider, and in an historical, context. Born on 13 April, 1939, on the family farm in County Londonderry, Heaney never forgot his roots. During his career he worked as a translator, broadcaster and writer, but poetry was his raison d'être. Romantic poems, poems about memories, urban conflict, the natural world and the importance of things of everyday life, e.g. picking blackberries, were all part of his cannon of work. Much quoted is the first poem in his first collection, Digging, which told of his father digging potatoes and his grandfather digging out peat (turf). At the age of 12 he won a scholarship to St Columb's College and later studied for a degree in English at Queen's University Belfast. He became a teacher, then a lecturer at Queen's and later head of English at Carysfort College, Dublin. Beginning in 1985 he spent part of each year at Harvard as a visiting professor and later Boylston professor of rhetoric and oratory. From 1989 to 1994 he was professor of poetry at Oxford. In 1972 he became a freelance writer and poet. His first collection, Death of a Naturalist, was published in 1966. In North, published in 1975, his work turned more sombre as the day to day violence on the streets increased in ferocity. Heaney's poetry sought to expose the harsh reality of life in Northern Ireland. There are verses in North about landscape and turf cutting, of childhood memories of baking soda bread, but there is an under tone reflecting on the Troubles, which made the collection controversial in some quarters at the time of publication. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Heaney's reputation grew: although he carried a modest and avuncular persona, to the masses he was fondly known as "famous Seamus". He joined the board of the Field Day Theatre Company, founded by Brian Friel and Stephen Rea. In 1990 the company produced The Cure at Troy, which was Heaney's translation of the Sophocles tragedy, Philoctetes.*** In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize, "for works of lyrical beauty and ethical depth, which exalt everyday miracles and the living past". In 1996 he won the Whitbread Prize for his translation of Beowulf. In 2009, he was awarded the £40,000 David Cohen Prize by Arts Council England for a lifetime's achievement. District and Circle, published in 2006, won the TS Eliot Prize for poetry, the collection‟s title poem, was of a journey on the London Underground following the 7 July bombings. Other awards included the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999). He was a member of Aosdána** since its foundation until his death, and was elected Saoi in 1997. He was made a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 1996. Heaney's literary papers are held by the National Library of Ireland. On 6 June 2012, he was awarded the Lifetime Recognition Award from the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry. Days before the Nobel Prize was announced in 1995, it was widely reported that the then US President Bill Clinton, (who said he counted Heaney as a personal friend) at a banquet in Dublin Castle quoted the lines from The Cure At Troy as the North stumbled towards a hesitant peace. Enda Kenny (Irish Prime Minister), is reported as saying last week: “His death brings great sorrow to Ireland, to language and to literature. For us, he was the keeper of our language, our codes, our essence as a people.”

Sources: wikipedia, multi web media outlets ** Irish Association of Artists *** Philoctetes


My lost poet this week is a Bush Poet from Australia. Most people‟s experience of Bush Poetry is the song Waltzing Matilda, with its tale of the bushman brewing his tea, when a sheep appears, which he takes to eat only to be caught by the owners and three policeman and it ends with the bushman committing suicide and forever haunting the place, it was written as a poem by Banjo Paterson in the 1890‟s and later put to music to become an unofficial anthem of Australia and all things Australian. It seems strange that such a sad tale should come to be a representative identity of a nation; it‟s maybe the way that singers seem to perform it in such a jaunty almost comic way. It does however have a myriad of words that are quintessentially Australian, Swagman, Billabong, Billy, Coolibah Tree, Jumbuck and Tucker and even the title Waltzing Matilda, which is slang for walking on foot (Waltzing) with a bag on your back (A matilda), or dancing across the country with your bag as your partner. Which makes sense of some of my parents sayings (although they were English), instead of asking where I was going, I was more likely to be asked where I was waltzing off too. Bush poetry is full of these types of rhythmic poetic words, that are poetry in there own right without any need to put metaphor, simile, alliteration or any of the other poetic devices around them. The origins of Bush Poetry is as an expression of everything Australian – the landscape, the language, the cultural identity coming from poets who lived in a nation defining its identity. It is a very definitive poetry of a specific place, the spirit of which is encapsulated in the words and slang, which reveal the cultural motivations of the people. If I were to use these words to describe Warwickshire, they would just not work. Banjo Paterson was born Andrew Barton Paterson in 1864 in New South Wales, growing up on remote farmsteads in the outback, surrounded by wide open spaces where horses were the main form of transport, this was to become much of the themes of his poetry which he wrote from the city, where he was a lawyer. He was educated firstly by a governess and then when he had learnt to ride a horse at a bush school. Later he attended the Sydney Grammar School where he excelled in his studies and as a sportsman. From here he became an articled clerk in a practice of solicitors and by 1886 was admitted as a qualified solicitor. In 1885, he started submitting poetry to the Sydney edition of the Bulletin under the pseudonym of The Banjo after one of his favourite horses. In 1890 he wrote one of his best known works The Man from the Snowy River, which was taken to heart by the nation, this was followed by a collection under the same name. Issue 302 Page 14

He became a war correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age during the first Boar war which saw him sail for South Africa; on his return in 1903 he married Alice Walker, with whom he had two children. It was in this period that he published a collection of Old Bush Songs in 1905. During the 1st World War he failed to obtain the position of a war correspondent and instead volunteered as an Ambulance driver, serving in France where he was injured and for a time reported missing. Later in the war he was stationed in Cairo, Egypt. When he was discharged from the Army in 1919 he had attained the rank of Major. On his return to Australia his third collection, Saltbush Bill JP was published and he continued to write articles for the Truth and the Sydney Sportsman into the 1920‟s He died of a heart attack in 1941 and it has been said that in his lifetime he was second only to Kipling as the most popular poet writing in English. A part from Waltzing Matilda and The Man from the Snowy River, his other notable poem is Clancy of

the Overflow.

I am discussing the work of Banjo Paterson as a way of introducing Bush Poetry, as he wrote a piece that has a more global recognition. Other worthy poets who are from the Bush Poetry school are; Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) key works – My Country; and Henry Lawson (1867-1922) Key works – Freedom on a Wallaby, The City Bushman and Up the Country. I chose Bush Poetry for a couple of reasons, the first being that it is poetry of place, full of the spirit of the place, which is of particular interest to me for the themes for my own poems. I also chose them because the Australian Bush Poets Association (ABPA) is based in Tamworth, New South Wales, which is also close to my heart as I live in Tamworth Staffordshire. ABPA continue the traditions of Bush Poetry, through promoting poets such as Banjo Paterson, but also in developing new voices of the modernist Bush Poets. Links for the Bush Poets. The Australian Bush Poets Association The Man from the Snowy River – By Banjo Paterson. Banjo Paterson‟s biography at all down under. index.html Website for Dorethea Mackellar Biography for Henry Lawson

Statue of The Man from Snowy River at Corryong, Victoria

The Man From Snowy River

Banjo Paterson

There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around That the colt from old Regret had got away, And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound, So all the cracks had gathered to the fray. All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far Had mustered at the homestead overnight, For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are, And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.

Then they halted for a moment, while he swung the dreaded lash, But they saw their well-loved mountain full in view, And they charged beneath the stockwhip with a sharp and sudden dash, And off into the mountain scrub they flew.

Then fast the horsemen followed, where the gorges deep and black Resounded to the thunder of their tread, And the stockwhips woke the echoes, and they fiercely answered back From cliffs and crags that beetled overhead. And upward, ever upward, the wild horses held their way, Where mountain ash and kurrajong grew wide; And the old man muttered fiercely, "We may bid the mob good There was Harrison, who made his pile when Pardon won the cup, day, No man can hold them down the other side." The old man with his hair as white as snow; But few could ride beside him when his blood was fairly up When they reached the mountain's summit, even Clancy took a He would go wherever horse and man could go. pull, And Clancy of the Overflow came down to lend a hand, It well might make the boldest hold their breath, No better horseman ever held the reins; The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full For never horse could throw him while the saddle girths would Of wombat holes, and any slip was death. stand, But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head, He learnt to ride while droving on the plains. And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer, And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed, And one was there, a stripling on a small and weedy beast, While the others stood and watched in very fear. He was something like a racehorse undersized, With a touch of Timor pony - three parts thoroughbred at least He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet, And such as are by mountain horsemen prized. He was hard and tough and wiry - just the sort that won't say die - He cleared the fallen timber in his stride, And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat There was courage in his quick impatient tread; It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride. And he bore the badge of gameness in his bright and fiery eye, Through the stringybarks and saplings, on the rough and broken And the proud and lofty carriage of his head. ground, Down the hillside at a racing pace he went; But still so slight and weedy, one would doubt his power to stay, And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound, And the old man said, "That horse will never do At the bottom of that terrible descent. For a long a tiring gallop - lad, you'd better stop away, Those hills are far too rough for such as you." He was right among the horses as they climbed the further hill, So he waited sad and wistful - only Clancy stood his friend And the watchers on the mountain standing mute, "I think we ought to let him come," he said; Saw him ply the stockwhip fiercely, he was right among them still, "I warrant he'll be with us when he's wanted at the end, As he raced across the clearing in pursuit. For both his horse and he are mountain bred. Then they lost him for a moment, where two mountain gullies met In the ranges, but a final glimpse reveals "He hails from Snowy River, up by Kosciusko's side, On a dim and distant hillside the wild horses racing yet, Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough, With the man from Snowy River at their heels. Where a horse's hoofs strike firelight from the flint stones every stride, And he ran them single-handed till their sides were white with The man that holds his own is good enough. foam. And the Snowy River riders on the mountains make their home, He followed like a bloodhound on their track, Where the river runs those giant hills between; I have seen full many horsemen since I first commenced to roam, Till they halted cowed and beaten, then he turned their heads for home, But nowhere yet such horsemen have I seen." And alone and unassisted brought them back. But his hardy mountain pony he could scarcely raise a trot, So he went - they found the horses by the big mimosa clump He was blood from hip to shoulder from the spur; They raced away towards the mountain's brow, But his pluck was still undaunted, and his courage fiery hot, And the old man gave his orders, "Boys, go at them from the For never yet was mountain horse a cur. jump, No use to try for fancy riding now. And down by Kosciusko, where the pine-clad ridges raise And, Clancy, you must wheel them, try and wheel them to the Their torn and rugged battlements on high, right. Where the air is clear as crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze Ride boldly, lad, and never fear the spills, At midnight in the cold and frosty sky, For never yet was rider that could keep the mob in sight, And where around The Overflow the reed beds sweep and sway If once they gain the shelter of those hills." To the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide, The man from Snowy River is a household word today, So Clancy rode to wheel them - he was racing on the wing And the stockmen tell the story of his ride. Where the best and boldest riders take their place, And he raced his stockhorse past them, and he made the ranges ring With the stockwhip, as he met them face to face.

Clancy of the Overflow Banjo Paterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago, He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him, Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'. And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected, (And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar) 'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it: `Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.' In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go; As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing, For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know. And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars, And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended, And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars. I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall, And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street, And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting, Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste, With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy, For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste. And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy, Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go, While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal -But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.

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Issue 302 rbw online  
Issue 302 rbw online