A statue of Dorethea Mackellar, a famous Australian poet known for ‘A Sunburnt Country.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorothea_Mackellar it was only after I put these pictures up that I realised her first poem was ‘The Closed Door,’
Senior Constable Petah Devine, youth case manager at Armidale Police, is preventing Ms Kristy Bain of the Commonwealth bank at Gunnedah from escaping custody. Town notables were ’rounded up’ and placed in the lockup to collect money for the Police Youth Citizens Club. Go Petah.
I know, I know it’s a toilet block, so read the poem and you’ll find out why it’s featured today.
A POEM FROM GUNNEDAH.
by Laurie Smith.
Of all the toilets I have seen,
from London Town to Narrabeen
the most poetic yet by far,
you’ll find in downtown Gunnedah.
The Man from Snowy River on his heroic ride,
greats the weary traveller, when they pull up outside.
An epic piece by Patterson, who sowed my poetic seeds,
Enough, I thought I must go in and tend to my pressing needs.
The culture doesn’t stop, on the sparkling outside walls
you step inside and wonder at the verses in the stalls.
There’s one by Henry Lawson, on ‘Middleton’s Roustabout’
open the door and read, ‘he had the face of a country lout.’
Then we hear from Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant, a poet of notoriety,
bushman , stockman, soldier who led a life of great variety.
Upon the door the title, ‘When the country carried sheep’
(Australia grew off the Merino’s back,)
And we read of the trip ‘from Cunnamulla and on to the Eulo track.’
Now all the while you’re standing and attending to your needs,
Poetry is being read to you from hidden speaker feeds,
It’s something of a bother on when you first walk in,
“Now who the heck is speaking and what the heck’s this din?
It’s no different in the ladies’ loo, of that I have no doubt,
I didn’t wander in meself, I’m not a bleedin lout,
Instead I sent the missus in to do me task instead,
Taking the camera in her hand, ‘Oh this is doing in my head.’
I stood outside and waited, and explained it to the few
who tarried by the toilet block and said, ‘What do you do?’
“I’m a writer and a poet and this is my way of working,
Do you think I do this for a lark? Your leashes I’m not jerking.”
My wife returned with evidence, of further prose and verse.
Shoved the camera in my hand and said in a note so terse,
“Here you go my Darling, I hope you’re satisfied,
A woman came in and caught me. Oh God, I nearly died.”
There was verse by Louis Esson, who wrote, ‘The Shearer’s Wife,’
A tale of drudgery ‘n loneliness, a hardworking type of life,
‘Up North’ by Mary Hannay Foott, a tale of a woman’s fear,
Read it I beg and it will tell, of the loss of those so dear.
There’s ‘The Play’ by C J Dennis, read it all, it’s quite a hoot,
His quintessential Ockers, give old Shakespeare the boot.
The poem, ‘The women of the West, ‘by George Evans Essex,
Tells of the harsh unremitting life, of the colonial, fairer sex.
So there it is dear reader, I think you’ve heard it all,
of what you’ll find on the inside, of the hallowed toilet stall.
When next you stand and wash your hands in some toilet near
Remember the poets toilet, Down Under in Gunnedah.