Thursday, 30 May 2013


I am very lucky to have a book review done by fellow author and poet +Terry Piggott who wrote 'Around the Campfire" a book of Australian Bush Poetry about his adventures outback fossicking for gold.

Here is what Terry had to say about my EBook ' Aussie Tails and Aussie Males.'... 


Maureen’s poetry takes you on a journey through Australia, from the coastal towns and cities through to the vast outback. Her poetry captures so well the spirit of the larrikin Australian, both at war and in peace. It also tells the stories of endless rounds of flood, drought and bush fires, while at the same time posing the question of whether these wonderful characters and our Aussie heritage are slowly disappearing for good.

You will also find poems that touch on the indigenous culture of the first Australians and many other topics.

Maureen’s great love of animals is obvious from the first page of the book, leaving the reader in no doubt as to where her heart lies and those who share a similar love of animals, will find much enjoyment in the poetic stories woven into the pages of this book.

There is something for everybody, some wonderful poems and even a couple of well written stories.

Terry Piggott

How nice is that?

It is available through Bookcountry on this link

also available through - 
 Kobo books, Google Books, Nook Books, Scribd,
 Danes and Noble, Sony and Angus and Robertson.

Should soon be available through-

  Apple and  Amazon. 

For those readers who love animals, and enjoy the outdoor life, and can appreciate the disasters and the humour that sometimes comes with them. For those who have served their country, regardless of which flag was flying overhead then some of the Military poems contained in this book might strike a chord with you.

For anyone who loves a good read about Australia, from Ned Kelly, Australia’s most infamous bushranger to the local farmer with a weather fetish who just had to ask ‘Did ya get a bit last night?’ – then this book might be the one you’re looking for.

The author spent time on a sheep property surrounded by dogs, sheep, feral goats and an awful lot of red dirt – during the worst drought Australia had seen in 100 years, She then moved to a town that got flooded out twice in quick succession . Both times luckily sustaining a near miss.

She is a lover of animals and the land who also writes rhyming poetry in the Australian Bush Poetry style. Come on in and read about The Secrets of a Working Dog. Catch up on the local gossip and find out who was Hot to Trot and why one bloke asked the question Did you get a bit last night? You might need a box of tissues handy when you read about Goddy Small and find out why Only one came home, but it’s a book that has been described as a bloody beauty and a ripper of a good read……Only one way to find out though isn’t there? 

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


My big girl who has suffered so much in her life and tries so hard to please me and she does.  Over and over.  Not enough money in the world to buy this girl.


Over the years I have often wondered what dogs really think about, apart from the obvious - FOOD.

They are all  individuals although sharing a basic common gene and they seem to come into this world with so much inherent knowledge that has been passed down through the generations of dogs way back to primitive times of the wolf...  Different breeds have different knowledge but all seem to have the instinctive know how and  ability to hunt.  Even the most domesticated dog knows how to hunt if necessity demands it.

It is this trait that can make dogs such a problem around livestock.  They have the instinct to chase down other animals.  That's a very handy instinct to have in your working breeds that are used for mustering stock but not so great when someone's escaped pet Rotty or foxy or whatever decides to start rounding up the neighbours chooks and creating havoc.

Farmers have to put up with this problem a lot when uncaring 'people' dump unwanted animals out in country areas.  These previously domestic dogs soon have no choice but to start killing off the farmers stock and local wildlife to feed themselves.  The end result is usually not good.  Nothing more certain than that stock losses will bring out the big guns and farmers are usually pretty handy with them.  Most stock kills these days are by feral dogs, not dingoes, although the dogs may well have cross bred with the dingoes at some stage.

Dogs must think that humans are the best hunter gatherers ever - they bring home the most amazing range of food...consistently.  They also like digging holes - so do dogs - but humans don't seem to put bones in them which is a bit strange, they put plants in them instead, which of course curious dogs will rip out and fling aside because surely there must be a juicy stinky bone hidden beneath.  Why else would you dig a hole?

And humans for some reason get upset when a dog rolls in something smelly but how else are you supposed to disguise your scent from predators or prey?  All very strange to a dogs mind, especially when humans use those squirty bottles to spray stuff on themselves that makes them smell...different.

Do we ever really know what dogs think?


My Elly has a zebra,
well and truly stuffed and stripey.
She grabs it and she shakes it fit to kill,
then God almighty
 she throws and tosses it around the room,
pounces and fleas him,
then tucks him safely in her basket,
underneath her chin.

Jack Russell’s are great ratters.
My girl's crossed with Staffy too.
She’s six foot high and bullet proof –
a terrier through and through.
A rough and tough and tumble bitch,
typical of the breed
but she’s also cute and pretty
and a much loved dog indeed.

She’s won the hearts of family
and won the hearts of friends
and obviously she owns mine
and will unto the end.
She’s the best small companion
who is fearless, game and smart.
Elly is everybody’s friend -
but I hold her in my heart.

Maureen Clifford ©  

Sunday, 26 May 2013


Getting old is a bitch - I hate it, but it is beyond my control - we are all a day older today .

Friday, 24 May 2013


Some early 1927 colour footage of London including shots of the cricket match between England and Australia - the Ashes, the first time Australia won the game.  What's striking apart from the lack of traffic is how unchanged it all appears and how the old fashioned London Bobby (Policeman) held back the traffic flow with a wave of his hand.  I doubt he would want to be standing in the traffic that is there today

Thursday, 23 May 2013


Mans greed intensifies on a daily basis and at what cost?  We see the $$$$ profit rolling into our economies, helping to make the rich richer and doubtless providing employment for others but at what cost long term, to the earth and its inhabitants.

Here in Australia our koalas are now listed as vulnerable with numbers dropping by 40% in Queensland and 33% in NSW over the past 20 years.  Many have been injured in the bush fires that have raged across our country recently.  We have driven them out of their homes by allowing councils to destroy their habitat for housing developments, bulldozing the trees that supply their feed.  Their favoured habitat is open forest and woodland but that has now become suburbia where they face the added problems of roads, dogs and swimming pools.   Unless they have access to a safe haven of undisturbed habitat large enough to support a koala colony, their days as suburban koalas are numbered.  Scientists have found that koalas facing these sorts of problems are more prone to disease and have lower rates of reproduction.

  You can help some of the less fortunate here ...

Likewise in our greed for Palm Oil which is used in everything from soap to petrol these days because it is a cheap alternative - we are decimating the forests of Asia for their timber or burning them to clear the land and replace them with Palm Oil plantations.

The animals are killed for food in some areas, or in retaliation when they move into agricultural areas and destroy crops. This occurs more in times of environmental stress when orangutans can't find the food they need in the forest.

Females in particular are most often hunted. When caught with offspring, the young are often kept as pets. 

This pet trade is a major problem. It is thought that for each orangutan reaching Taiwan, as many as 3-5 additional animals die in the process. Recent enforcement of the law in Taiwan has reduced the importation of orangutans, but the trade remains a threat in Indonesia where there is still demand for orangutans as pets.

There is also trade in orangutan skulls in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). 

How can this be right?  How can mankind - supposedly the smart race allow this to happen?  We are at risk of losing so many animal species due to our greed.  Do you care enough to say Stop?


Just got an update on our little adopted orangutan Wigly.

Orphan Update: Wigly

This information is direct from the care centre, located in an Asian jungle, please excuse any unusual English.
Wigly has been going to forest school for three months. He left his best friend Ben who still in the nursery group. In the beginning, Wigly was shy and excluded himself from playing with the others and watched his old friend from afar. During the first week he was still adapting to his new routine and school so he always had activities near his babysitters. Luckily he has nice new friends who encourage him to join the group and play together. It really helped build Wigly's confidence. Now just like any other new kid at school Wigly goes to school enthusiastically every morning. Compared to the nursery, the situation at the forest school is really different because there are many new exciting things for Wigly to learn. His favourite subject is the introduction to natural food resource, which is understandable because he really likes to eat. When he started learning with his friends and the bigger orangutans (who frequently visit the smaller orangutan group) Wigly began to realise that there are so many forest fruits he could actually eat!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


A poem that I wrote and put together as a  video clip along with some great steam train photographs for those who have a fondness for the old locos.

Ipswich is a city of great diversity.  Not only do we have an Air Force Base, but we also have Railway workshops and coal mines.  Ipswich is a working mans town, a town that over the years has done the hard yards, many times over.  No matter what is thrown at her, she bounces back ready to fight another day, and always her beauty shines in her gracious homes, beautifully kept parks and gardens, and gorgeous Jacaranda trees that grace so many of her streets and homes.

At night one hears the mournful sound of the coal trains whistle as they pull the laden coal skips through town.  The steam trains are gone replaced by diesel, but Ipswich still has a love affair with its old steam trains.

The Workshops Rail Museum at North Ipswich host steam train rides to Grandchester, and the Steam Train Sundays are very popular with visitors and locals alike, and of course  Thomas the Tank Engine and the Fat controller are a great hit with the kids.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


The Wandjina are the spirits of the rain and  clouds who during the Dreamtime created and influenced the landscape.  They are the supreme spirit ancestors of the Aboriginal people in the Kimberley area of Australia, where they are found painted on the walls and ceilings of rock shelters.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


A photo that I restored for a lady who had found it behind the walls
 of her home during renovations.  No details are known about this bloke at all.

The remains of five AIF soldiers were laid to rest with full military honours in the Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood, Belgium.  The remains were discovered by chance in September 2006 during roadwork and pipe-laying excavations near the small village of Westhoek.  This is situated in the middle of the dreaded Ypres-Passchendaele Salient where up to half a million casualties on both sides fell, of which tens of thousands were either never recovered or were unidentifiable.


One of the Zonnebeke 5 was John Hunter, a man,
found buried in the fertile soil of France.
Each one wrapped in a blanket, in their uniforms and boots.
Five young blokes who had lost their final chance. 

This bloke lay with arms folded; his death mask looked serene.
The rising sun badge there for all to see.
A tall bloke with a strong  jaw line whose boots were mired in mud,
a bloke who’d fought with Aussie infantry.

His finders asked forgiveness from him as they moved his bones.
Both men felt the wellspring of emotion
that saw tears slowly coursing  down their weathered wrinkled cheeks.
Perhaps that Aussie thought ‘Gawd! What commotion’.
With reverent respect they placed the soldier’s remains in
the lead lined coffin, ready waiting there.
Searched for identifying marks that would give him a name.
Arranged him snug, with tenderness and care.

They found a piece of evidence that helped identify
along with DNA this man’s remains.
His younger brother was the one who’d wrapped him with such care
as round them shellfire, shrapnel, bullets rained.
The man found was a Queenslander. John Hunter was his name
49th Battalion AIF.
His body left behind in the then ravaged soil of France
by his young brother who fought on, bereft.

And of the five, two still remain nameless.  Sad, sorry souls.
Two others found shared the same Christian name.
Both came from West Australia, fought with the 51st,
Young George Storey  a statistic became.
the other George was George  Calder and Sergeant was his rank,
one wonders if  John and the Georges met
in life, or was it death alone that saw the shared embrace
and war that saw them break out in cold-sweat.

Two thousand seven saw these men reinterred. Three now named.
That day the sun shone bright for these brave blokes.
Full military honours, then a seven gun salute
fired by the 51st, made cordite smoke.
George Calder and George Storey, John Hunter.  Brothers in arms
who fought in Polygon Wood ‘midst battle cry.
These men whose bodies lay in fields.  An unmarked barren grave,
today beneath white headstones safely lie.

Maureen Clifford ©

You can read more of their story here  on the + Polygon Wood Zonnebeke 5 web site

Tuesday, 7 May 2013


Just sharing another great piece of work that was submitted to ABC Pool - I reckon this has potential so if you agree with me add a comment and lets try and get some of this Aussie talent moving along


Some of my poetry that I put together as a video clip using some lovely music from + Des Wade.  This was originally done as a collaboration on the ABC Pool site

Monday, 6 May 2013

AUSSIE TAILS AND AUSSIE MALES and one or two other things.

I am feeling really beaut that +Angus and Robertson are now mentioning this book on their web site - it was great to be linked with the other publishers but having it with good old Angus and Robertson kind of brings it home to Australia.  Presumably they got the Aussie humour in the title in which the spelling is quite deliberate - as there are a few 4 legged mates with tails in the book.....but you knew that didn't you?

It is available through Bookcountry on this link

also available through - 
 Kobo books, Google Books, Nook Books, Scribd,
 Danes and Noble, Sony and Angus and Robertson.

Should soon be available through-

  Apple and  Amazon. 


That's the title and this is some of what is inside ...

So what do your reckon?  It's not all bad is it?  It's a good healthy diet of Australian yarns and bush poetry and surely you would like to read more.... don't want you getting withdrawal symptoms now do we?

What is contained within this book I hope speaks for itself. It is predominantly poetry written about Australia and her people in the Bush Poetry style. There’s a yarn and a couple of jokes as well as some photos and I don’t know if it is all politically correct but it’s told as one would tell a story to a good mate – over a cuppa or a beer.

A collection of poetry and yarns written over the years. Some are true; some have a fair share of bulldust sprinkled on them. All are Australian and written with love. There’s a horse or two making their appearance, lots of dogs and more than one or two sheep. There’s the cow cocky, the farmer, the drover and sometimes a swaggie coming up the track. The odd bit of machinery roars in and the mild swear word occasionally roars out. You’ll get to read about the Aussie bush, the Aussie sheilas and blokes and get a taste of some Australian humour as well. There’s a bit of everything in here – it’s a Heinz variety. You might read some sad ones as well as some bloody mad ones. I hope there’s no bad ones. Cheers Maureen

Saturday, 4 May 2013


A little something I prepared earlier - hard to imagine anything nicer than a picnic under the boughs of cherry trees that are frothing with blossom, and if you could then combine it with a beautiful Stanthorpe view and a great bottle of local wine or chilled home grown apple juice what could be better?  

With todays technology we can have it all if only in our dreams and imagination, so the end result is this - plus a Haiku for good measure. 

Friday, 3 May 2013


Not to difficult to do for me as quite frankly without a dog or two around the place it just seems like something is missing anyway so this legacy has been passed on time and time again, but I know many people feel they cannot go through the suffering involved in the loss of a little mate again...and yet when one thinks about it, don't they give us so much more in reality than what we give to them?

Who else in your life asks so little, gives so much, is always absolutely delighted to see you and doesn't run up the phone bills or criticize your cooking? 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

LUCY - A special dog who chose to tell her own story.

A video clip  that I put together along with Tim reading my poem for Lucy

This is Lucy's story

recited by +Tim Bishop the bloke who she owned.


Lucy bought Tim and I together through the ABC  Pool  site because of a photograph of Lucy that Tim had posted.  This photo drew me to it like a magnet - I can't explain why.  It was more than just because I am a dog person - the photo had a power, a presence which spoke to me of rivers, and wide open country acres, spinifex grass and mulga.It continued to draw me to it until I wrote a poem for Lucy to give to Tim.

Tim and I feel that Lucy wanted this to happen and that perhaps I was the medium she used to speak again to her beloved master and let him know that all was well with her and that she was still there for him, at his side as she had been for fourteen years.  September 2009 was the year Lucy died and September 2010 is the year that Lucy sent her message to Tim through me
Unbeknown to me Tim recorded my Poem.  He has a wonderful voice and there is so much emotion in his reading that it bought me to tears and I wrote the darn thing.  With the assistance of +Chris 'Savvy'  Savill from ABC Pool they then set Lucy to music - with wonderful background effects - and best of all in the distance you can hear Lucy barking - she sounds pretty happy.

The piano is played by  +Connie Scivoletto in London, an original piece also done for Lucy.

Tim, Chris, Connie, Lucy and myself hope you have enjoyed listening to - Lucy