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Passions in Poetry

A Bygone Era

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Member Elite
since 07-28-2007
Posts 3420
Australia, Victoria

0 posted 03-04-2008 10:32 PM       View Profile for LindsayP   Email LindsayP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to Submit your Poem to Passions  View IP for LindsayP

              The Bullock Team

Old Dingo Dan was a giant of a man,
He’d been driving bullock teams for years,
Bullocks were his life o’er a fifty-year span
And his reliability was never once in arrears.

The wool was now ready at the station wool-shed
When Dan arrived with his big bullock team,
With the country in drought and many stock dead,
The thought of green grass was now only a dream.

It was sixty odd miles to the nearest rail-link
And it was usual to take the hard river road,
The shorter desert track made Dan stop and think,
Yes, he could arrive a day ahead with his load.

Only one worry that the big man might entail
Was a water hole at the half distant mark,
He said to himself, with my team I can’t fail,
I’ll be able to give them a drink ‘fore it’s dark.

Drought was the cause of water holes running dry,
Most were sucked dry by the sun’s furnace breath,
Nothing could survive ‘neath that scorching hot sky
For without water the answer was death.

The first evening out they arrived at their camp
Where there was plenty to drink for them all,
An early morning start while the air was still damp
And man and bullocks faced a weary days haul.

Tightening their chains with a slow measured tread
After the nights drink, a feed and a spell,
The sun burning bright, they faced the long pull ahead
As they started out on that pathway to hell.

The day it grew hotter but the team kept its pace,
It was soon one hundred and ten in the shade,
After a two- hour stop at a quiet shady place
It was then the second stage starting was made.

Dan thought of the water at the next evenings prop,
He said tonight they’ll be chewing their cud
But at last on reaching the next evenings stop,
All that Dingo Dan could see was the mud.

Dan realized now that his judgment was at fault
And wondered what he could do for the best,
He knew there’d be water at the next evenings halt
But before then lay the sandy hill’s crest.

Dan now unyoked his much-wearied team,
The bullocks were all bawling out for a drink,
A spell would be the best move it would seem
Until the evening stars all came out to blink.

The next morning found them all pulling still
And then at midday he gave them a spell,
They’d moaned a complaint at the last sandy hill
And shortly after the first bullock fell.

Burnt dry with the sun and tortured by thirst,
The bullocks efforts were now almost in vain,
Dan knew their strength would have to be nursed
Before any chance of them moving again.

Unyoking the bullocks, he tied them in the shade,
A real relief from the burning blue sky,
Dan went to the water bag a last drink to be made
But in the searing heat the bag was now dry.

As he lay in the shade his thoughts wandered back
And he silently cursed himself for a fool,
He should have taken the hard river track,
A sure supply of water was the one golden rule.

The sun was now sinking quite low in the west
When he inspanned for that last final pull,
He spoke to the leaders and then to the rest
And said with God’s help we’ll deliver the wool.

To Dan, thoughts of failure surely must stop,
The team pulled as one as they tightened the chain,
A hundred yards now and they’d be over the top,
Dan hoped their efforts would not be in vain.

Slowly, ever slowly, the hill  top to greet
Ever slowly did those wagon wheels turn,
The sand giving way ‘neath the team’s straining feet,
Oh, for the hard river track did Dingo Dan yearn.

The oxen all pulled with little strength left in store
While all were tortured with a terrible thirst
And Dan prayed aloud to God as he swore,
And he cracked that great whip as he cursed.

Then slowly ever slowly as the daylight grew dim
The load of wool was pulled over the top,
Dan called a halt to his staunch bullock team,
He reckoned they deserved a ten minute stop.

Two mile now to go to a sure water hole,
The bullocks trudged on to the oncoming night,
Dan’s prayer was answered, now in sight of his goal,
His worries now fading with the fast fading light.
© Copyright 2008 Lindsay P Wilson - All Rights Reserved
Member Rara Avis
since 09-16-2007
Posts 8010
So. El Monte, California

1 posted 03-04-2008 10:45 PM       View Profile for Marchmadness   Email Marchmadness   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Marchmadness

Enjoyed this interesting picture of the past, LP. Austrailia owes you a debt of gratitude for showing the rest of the world your country with your words. Nice to have a picture to go with the poet.
since 02-29-2008
Posts 351

2 posted 03-04-2008 10:52 PM       View Profile for LadyTom   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LadyTom

oh, finally, they got water
great poem.
Somehow the only novel/TV serious I read about Australia The ThornBird came into mind.
And in a tour from Adelaide to Ayer's Rock I indeed saw the Australia desert.  
Member Empyrean
since 11-16-1999
Posts 31622
Kapolei, Hawaii, USA

3 posted 03-04-2008 11:07 PM       View Profile for JamesMichael   Email JamesMichael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JamesMichael

Enjoyed this interesting write...James
Robert E. Jordan
Member Rara Avis
since 01-25-2008
Posts 8544
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4 posted 03-05-2008 12:08 AM       View Profile for Robert E. Jordan   Email Robert E. Jordan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Robert E. Jordan


This is excellent work.

I've worked in Australia--I've seen it burn.

New Member
since 03-05-2008
Posts 6
chile,santiago in south americ

5 posted 03-05-2008 01:42 AM       View Profile for violet-dark   Email violet-dark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for violet-dark

awsome and awsome write

australia is golden
Earth Angel
Member Empyrean
since 08-27-2002
Posts 40647
Realms of Light

6 posted 03-05-2008 07:02 PM       View Profile for Earth Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Earth Angel's Home Page   View IP for Earth Angel

LP ~ You finally posted your photo! I told you that this one from your book cover would be perfect! Now everyone can see what a handsome Aussie man that ye be!

While I was reading your vividly descriptive poem, I actually felt as though I was actively taking part of that bygone era! Terrific tale ~ well told!

Love to you, Aussie Man!

Member Elite
since 07-28-2007
Posts 3420
Australia, Victoria

7 posted 03-05-2008 08:00 PM       View Profile for LindsayP   Email LindsayP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LindsayP

To all you wonderful friends

Ida, you always say the nicest things and I'm glad you approved of my photo, thanks and thanks again and a big hug.

Lady Tom, welome to PIP, you will love it here. I'm glad that you have been to Australia and seen the vast outback. Thank you for the response.  

James, You are one good friend I can count upon. A sincere thanks to you my friend and have a great day.

Bobby, you would appreciate, perhaps more than most, seeing that you have worked here what that harsh outback can be like. I appreciate your response.

Violet Dark, I have always wanted a friend in Chile and now I have one. Welcome to PIP
dear lady and enjoy your participation.

Linda, Last but certainly not least, you too always say the nicest things, I think it comes as second nature to you, for I'm sure that all our participants will echo my sentiments. Love to you my sweet Canadian Rose and thanks for the plug.


Senior Member
since 09-30-2007
Posts 1362
At the Crossroads of Infinity

8 posted 03-06-2008 06:00 PM       View Profile for effjayel   Email effjayel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for effjayel

Lindsay, How did I miss this? I have been looking forward to another one from you & you did it again, I am not disappointed, but then I never am, I so love your writing...the picture is not too tacky either!  Thanks for posting   John
Member Elite
since 07-28-2007
Posts 3420
Australia, Victoria

9 posted 03-06-2008 07:01 PM       View Profile for LindsayP   Email LindsayP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LindsayP

Thanks John, glad you liked it.

Have a great day my friend.

Earl Brinkman
Senior Member
since 03-03-2010
Posts 1185
Osaka, Japan

10 posted 11-03-2010 01:13 AM       View Profile for Earl Brinkman   Email Earl Brinkman   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Earl Brinkman

I have heard that a lot of Australia is made up of desert.  It must have been difficult for the men of that age.  An interesting work as always.
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