Friday, 29 August 2014


Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet

That horrid hairy herbivore from Harry’s hydroponics
was want to eat most anything - it had tastes gastronomic.
‘Twas gimlet eyed and known to drive the ladies to hysterics
some folks around would have pink fits and some would turn choleric.
Now Harry grew lettuce and strawberries hydroponically
all safe encased in glasshouses, but plain they were to see.
The lettuces were big. Iceberg and Cos, Rocket, Mizuna
but Billy could not get to them.  They did not need a pruner.

In sheer frustration Billy learnt how to unlatch the gate
and wander off in search of things to eat.  And how he ate.
He’d decimate tomatoes, and green beans he thought a treat.
Cared not a jot where he did feast, favoured no single street.
He’s trampled over my clean sheets and  been chewing my undies.
He’s terrorised the dog and chooks.  Look at my Joe’s Reg Grundies.
Those snow peas were my pride and those blue roses a show winner.
 Now Harry’s horrid herbivore has eaten them for dinner.

The local copper shook his head for he had no solution
but seems the whole town now was crying out for retribution.
The town’s horrible herbivore was Harry’s much loved pet
a bullet straight between the eyes was the most oft heard threat.
There was no fence could keep him in nor gate would keep him out
across the town at random times one would hear someone shout,
Shoo, go away you hairy beast I’ll kill you in a minute,
 then the Police Station phone would ring and Harry was dropped in it.

It was a problem; one which Harry was now forced to ponder.
Cash paid out in recompense was cash he’d not to squander.
He didn’t want to shoot his mate or see him sent away,
there must be a solution to get King Billy to stay.
He thought about it long and hard, weighed up the pros and cons.
He juggled figures, measured lengths, walked back and forth and from
one corner of his property and back out to the road
and these days always wore a frown and looked quite indisposed.

Time passed and nothing much had changed though Harry had been busy,
then bright and early Tuesday morn a man arrived with Lizzie.
Lizzie was quite the femme fatale, a rare beauty was she
who batted her long eyelashes when she saw King Billy.
Lizzie was a small Boer doe – shaded in white and brown
who wore her little nubby horns like a Queen wears her crown.
She flirted - her good genes showed in each dainty step she took.
King Billy stood there drooling, like a pole axed leghorn chook.

In dulcet tones she muttered low – her words were indistinct
but sounded like ‘Come here big boy’ – ( I was the worse for drink.)
King Billy cocked his head and shook his ears, rattled his horns
and ambled over our way, looked at Lizzie,  gave a yawn;
then ambled nonchalant and slow down to the running creek
and Lizzie followed docile as a lamb – I heard her speak.
You stick with me big fellow and I’ll show you such delight
you’ll never leave your home again to wander, day or night.

And though I thought ‘twas just the drink making me hear these voices,
King Billy’s not been seen in town since offered other choices.
I noticed last time that I passed by Harry’s place to town,
two kids now shared the paddock and Billy was lying down.
He looked a tad exhausted as if life was now too much
to handle, although Lizzie grazed oblivious to such
rude rambunctious goat behaviour, as her kids tormented Dad,
by both climbing onto his back.  They were cheeky and bad.

Six months have passed how time has flown.  Now there is consternation
throughout our town as vandalism causes indignation.
With flowers disappearing from gardens on several streets,
and underwear gone missing, which is somewhat indiscreet.
Strange noises and loud footsteps have often been heard at night
on some ladies verandahs.  Said ladies then faint with fright.
No strangers have been noticed, I’ve no inside information
but suspect the horrible herbivores are part of the equation.

Monday, 25 August 2014


Maureen Clifford © The Scribbly Bark Poet

He dreamt of growing big and tall
 and travelling from town to town
and riding on a bucking horse
 with cheering shouting crowds around.
He dreamt of silver buckles bright
 with shiny spurs and fancy shirts,
old showgrounds where the dirt was red 
and hard packed.  Wondered - Did it hurt
when one was thrown onto the ground 
from off a bull or bucking horse?
He thought it would but he was tough  -
 a little pain par for the course.

He rode his pony made of wood 
around the paddock all day long
His Dad had promised him a pony,
 soon as he was big and strong
which should be soon ‘cause he was four 
and he had grown an inch this year
he'd also ridden Grandpa’s horse
 and never felt a bit of fear.

He knew the horse he wanted, 
a  sweet little mare coloured steel gray
with three white socks and soft dark eyes 
who he  had fed sweet lucerne hay.
Her name was Silver Sovereign -
 he’d told his Dad she was the one
and Dad had just said ‘ wait and see,
 after the Rodeo my son.’

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Over 70% f the state of Queensland Australia has been drought declared even in coastal areas but right now we are receiving some widespread rain.  It won't end the drought and the grass is not going to grow quick enough to relieve the feed situation but it gives the farmers hope - something that has been in pretty short supply over the last 2 years.

WETTING THE DRY….Maureen Clifford ©  The Scribbly Bark Poet

It was dry and drear and dusty in those far off distant lands
and the drought was hitting hard and claiming souls
TV weather men had not the least bit of news to impart
regarding breaking rain or reaching monthly goals.
The shadow of the sun stretched wide across our sunburnt land
and folks out west would give their heart away
to hear the pitter-patter of some rain upon their roof
but it seems it wouldn’t happen – not today.

There were intermittent drizmals, scarce enough to lay the dust.
There were far more tears upon a windowpane
and raindrops on red roses were a distant memory now
the roses had died and would not bloom again.
There were prayers carried to heaven in the arms of angels fair
there were benedictions chanted in the church,
there were desperate pleas from farmers, but it seems all went unheard
for the weather Gods had left all in the lurch.

But then a change did happen and the Gods answered the call
sending weather wet and wild across the land
and the dirt, picked by the handful, that would blow away in dust
turned to rich red mud that squelched within his hand.
There was run off in the contours and the dams were filling slow
and the cattle and the horses seemed to rally
as a tinge of green appeared like a miracle over night
softly cloaking all the land from hill to valley.

One could hear the splish splash of the water dripping into tanks
and the splish and splosh as it leaked on the floor
from a dripping roof where tin had rusted out around a nail
but it mattered not – they rejoiced in the roar
drifting across the paddock from a dry creek now in flood
after months and months without a drop of rain
This country tears your heart out – she is harsh and she is hard
but how quickly she will give it back again.