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Poetry Report 17thFebruary 2019

R.I.P Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson 17/02/1864 – 05/02/41

I woke up to a lovely Sunday morning at 10am. I had a delicious breakfast with Irene and then made my way to the library. There was a crowd outside the door waiting for the library to open. Once inside we got the room ready for the afternoon recitals. The optional monthly themes and first lines were well represented in the poems presented on the day. The Café ‘Coffee and Cake’ special is always on offer and you have to check which cakes are included and which aren’t considered part of the deal, Jamie or Amber are keen to look after us all and they will make sure you’re a happy satisfied customer.

We started the day off with Banjo bringing a cake to celebrate the other Banjos birthday, he would have been 155 today if was still alive, my apologies to our Banjo for ruining his surprise. I shared apologies from Trish & David, Jean, Judi, Eoin and Dawn for not being able to be with us on the day.

Bob started the afternoon off with his poem all about some famous Aussie poets and his praise for our lovely group, thanks mate. His second poem was about his audience these days and how they are aging with him and their concentration ability is dropping like his is so he can now read the same poems over and over and no one will be the wiser, ha ha ha ha ha. Bob closed the day as is our monthly routine, with a poem, this one was about the Aussie Cinderella “Cindy” and her love for Wal the gun shear at the local sheds. They met at the local B&S Ball which are legendary in the bush and at the stroke of midnight Wal had to get back to camp so he didn’t get fired by the union boss and he shot through on Cindy, her long search sniffing shearers arm pits and singlet’s came to an end at the Royal Hotel where they finally found each other they got back together and they lived happily ever after.

Banjo kicked off his time at the mic with a salute to Banjo and then he told a joke Old Blue finding out about the local Postie knocking off all but one of the local wives in Smith Street, he just happened to live there himself so he ran home and confronted his wife with the news, she paused and thought for a moment then stated “I bet it’s that old bitch at number 72”. Banjo then recited the other Banjo’s poem “How Gilbert Died” the story of Danny Gilbert and John Dunn who fled after their comrade Ben Hall was killed, he died at Binalong in 1865 at 23 years of age, a week after Ben Hall was shot. He also gave a history lesson on the whole story as well and the fact that he died from lead poisoning and not in the actual gun fights. Banjo rounded out his afternoon with a hearty rendition of Mulga Bills Bicycle to much applause.

Joyce started off her day with a poem mentioning the likes of Paterson Lawson Gordon and Campbell but she also reckons the best of the bunch are in the room every month, thanks Joyce that includes you. Joyce’s second poem was on the ‘sound’ theme as she told of the battle to get to sleep after a day that just didn’t go right, then when just about to enter the land of nod a bloody phone call from Mumbai then nearly asleep again a bloody mosquito woke her up, finally she got to sleep and just entered the deep sleep zone until her neighbour fired up his leaf blower and the sun was up!!

Jeanette was next up and she recited on the ‘sound’ theme as she told us about a man who’s neighbours dog howls all day and barks all night, he reported it to the council and the police but got nowhere, one drunken night he sounded his horn continuously until the police showed up and they arrested him (while the dog barked)!! Her second poem was a lovely rendition of “A Sunburnt Country” by Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar.

Alan recited a poem on both optional themes and both were short and to the point the first was about National Geographic having an edition with Australian poets and the second was the noise in his head from reading books.

Elisabeth recited her poem on poets as she stated you can forget your English poets and stick with the Aussies, such as Kendall Mackellar Lawson Paterson and she just loves all the characters that come to life inside the poem, like Salt Bush Bill, Clancy, Bill, a Loaded dog, that bloke up in the Snowy Mountains and The Women of the West. Elisabeth wrote on the ‘sound’ theme as she described the noise 15 Galah’s were making at 6pm in the tree’s and on the power lines outside her place, that were competing for the seeds on offer.

Janine recited her poem on the ‘sound’ theme with a story of the night she heard what she thought was an intruder, upon a scary hesitant inspection she couldn’t find the reason for the noise, then on returning to her bedroom she found her husband had forgotten his keys and came in through he window and was asleep in bed snoring. Her second poem was a great rendition of a short poem by Henry Lawson ‘The Song and the Sigh’ a deep and meaningful poem that really makes you think.

John recited his poem about an old old townhouse in Millport on the Isle of Cumbrae in Scotland called ‘The Wedge’ which is just 47 inches across the entire front that tapers out to a one bedroom apartment at the rear, he told of the locals fight to have it put on the historical register. (See the link at the bottom of the report for the full story and photo) He wrote his second poem in 1963 when on a holiday in Byron Bay after he went for a walk along the sandy beach with the ocean breeze and the peaceful sound of the waves.

Coshie recited a great poem that was constructed solely by using 60 titles of Banjo Paterson poems and then the second one was constructed with 50 titles of Henry Lawson poems, well done and well received and his poems just blew most people away with the depth and technique. His second poem was a funny tale of a time he had to be a hero and save his wife from a big nasty Queenslander whoops I mean a cane toad under the bed, he finally got the job done and saved the day.

Tom wrote on the sound theme as he did a skin tingling rendition of a dentist drill that sent chills threw my jaw bone, he then described in detail about the dentist who started asking questions and his lisp prevented a clear answer, on the way home his wife had asked him to go to the cheesecake shop and he was nearly evicted and hit with baseball bat as he tried in vain to place an order and the police were only diverted after he scribed down his request for a cheesecake. In his second poem he told of one heart wrenching experience he went through in his time as Paramedic driving an Ambulance in Victoria when a young innocent lady passed away after a car accident and the work culture pushed that ‘life goes on’ and your expected to get on with it and deal with it alone. His third poem was a very funny one about Derik, and that he was supposed to be born a girl named Doris according to his disappointed Mum. Derik moved out and one day he threw a party and unknown to his parents he had a room full with a hydro marijuana crop upstairs and at the party the AC over heated and the marijuana started smoldering and everyone got stoned without knowing it and there was a big case of the munchies. Aunty Mabel and Uncle Albert even started dancing on the table and the police were called and Officer McNellie got a craving for tea and spam.

Yvonne also wrote on the poet theme as she started with ‘Who is Matilda’ and other characters from poems, the answers were found within the poem as she had constructed her poem like Coshie’s, made up of titles of famous Aussie poems, well done and well received by all. Yvonne’s second poem was about Tobias Mathew Carey a devout missionary who tried unsuccessfully on his way to Warhoo `to convert the rum swilling ‘Jake the Spieler’ in a bush ballad titled ‘Rum and Water’ penned by Thomas E. Spencer a poet that arrived aged 18 (1863) from England to Vic Gold fields and went back home after a year, then he married and sailed to NSW in 1875 and went on to became a well known poet and passed away in Surrey Hills in 1911.

Pam wrote on the poet theme as she told of the joy of being in the group telling poems and listening to the others, all the emotions the happiness sadness and everything in-between ending with praise for Poetry in Paradise and everyone in it. Pam’s second poem was about when she was flying to the UK and was feeling sad about leaving Australia then a friend came up and said ‘Ow you goin mate’ and she felt all Aussified and so much betterer.

Ted recited the poem inspired by Kenneth Grahame The Wind in the Willows, ‘The Wildwood’ and he told of Ratty waiting in the dark and hearing a fateful rustling sound in the blackness and in the distance was an eerie foreboding sound as it neared closer and closer, dark faces appeared in the blackness of the forest floor. Ted’s second poem was about Australian poets and he listed several of them such as Lawson Paterson and McKellar as he rounded off his words with praise for his mates in the Poetry in Paradise group and he reckons they are the best, thanks Ted that includes you mate, Bob Banjo Tom and all the other ladies and gentlemen.

Manya recited her poem on Australian poets commencing with the line ‘er names Doreen’ mentioning all the regulars included in the previous poems on the day, adding C.J.Dennis, Bruce Dawe and Les Murray, including a message of hope to Kath Walker that her people can rise above desperation. Manya’s second poem was on the ‘sound’ theme as she spoke of the sound of the Earth crying, as it lies dying at the uncaring hands of mankind.

Lyn was joined by Peter as she recited her poem from last month for she was on holidays at the time, her poem was ‘Gidday how ya going mate’ it was about and old time farmer and his love for his bonza Sheila and his three adult sons that lived nearby, his trips to the pub and the time his dog ate a snake, he bought a new tractor despite of the fact his wife wanted a new washing machine. Lyn’s second poem was on the ‘sound’ theme as she told of the sound of a mouse scampering around in her pantry and trying to hide, her cat stepped in and delivered his prize to her as a victory celebration and looking for a reward and words of praise for such bravery.

Aaron recited his poem on poetry; about the rhythm in the line and his feeling that a poem must draw out emotions and highlight a feeling making a personal connection to the words and the underlying content; he quoted Roderic Quinn born in Surrey Hills 1867 from Irish parents and his unique Australian poetry that was not on the bush poetry structure like Lawson who was born the same year as him; poems like ‘The Camp within the West’ and the very descriptive ‘The Drover of the Stars’. Fondly remembering the days of damper before massed produced white bread and the struggle of our first nations people, closing with praise for Poetry in Paradise and his warm welcome to the fold.

Kathy was fired up and keen to get on with it vowing to be first in the door next month!! Her first poem was ‘Disposable Society’ remarking on how no one darns socks anymore or mends clothes just chuck’em out and buy new ones, same with phones TV’s radio and bloody disposable nappies, marriage is a throw away with multiple quick divorces and no loyalty anymore, even our Prime Ministers have a use by date and most don’t even make it to elections anymore. Kathy’s second poem was about the lovely sound of rain and how it can be so needed and welcomed and prayed for then it is begged to stop as it turns into a flood causing as much devastation as the drought preceding it; the awesome beauty and indiscriminate power of Mother Nature. Kathy’s third poem was ‘A Redneck Wedding’ where Susie wanted to marry Joe but Pa said ‘no don’t tell ya ma he’s ya half brother’, Ma said ‘don’t worry don’t tell ya Pa but you ain’t no kin to him’.

Lynne joined us for the first time and bravely recited two poems on her fist day, well done Lynne, she did a pretty good job and made it through with flying colours, her poem ‘Gulls at Labrador’ was well written and well received with a round of applause. Lyn’s second poem was about the dentist, a trip she had avoided for years but finally succumbed to the pain and went in, drilling an filling and finally it was over and she went home with directions on how to avoid a return visit.

Sandy was our other lady to come along for the fist time and she also was inspired by us and by Lyn to recite two poems as well, well done Lyn. Her first poem was about English poets and how much she likes Pam Ayers then she wrote some tongue in cheek words towards our own ukulele or the other thing, the Banjo (ha ha ha) and all the poems about horses and sheilas, was a very funny poem. Sandy’s second poem was about a fond memory from when she was three years old and holding mummies hand and her Dad had a suitcase, she recalled a loud piercing scream and the ground began to shake and tremble as she clutched Mums hand even tighter; then she saw a huge dragon breathing fire and smoke rushing toward her and it had two great big yellow eyes and the scream grew even louder so in a moment of terror she ran as fast as she could then she fell over and her Dad following her, picked her up and took her back to her Mum and she was saved as she was at a train station for the first time and watched a steam train approaching for the first time in her young life.

Thank you everyone for a great afternoon of poetry and camaraderie, a great diversity of poems was on offer and many people wrote poems off the optional themes with their own ideas and quite a few are having a good go at comedy. To give me more time to enjoy the poetry I am asking everyone to either bring a printed copy of their poem or email it to me so I can have it to read when I type the report. Also if you email them to me I can put them on our website and you can brag to your friends about having your poems published for the whole world to read.

Also hello to my friends on the mailing list that have been with us for a long time and are often mentioned at the group and I believe are still reading the reports; Gloria Vincent Alex Rob & Ngaire Liseby and Sandra. Next month will mark 15 years of Poetry in Paradise; hard to believe that it was that long ago that I started the group; with no idea what I was doing or how long it would last or who would come along. Thanks to Jennifer Eden former ABC Coast FM 91.7 weekend breakfast host for having me on air and creating the awareness that got those members to the first few months group that just grew and grew, Jen now lives in the USA and we are still friends. Thank you so much to all the friendships I have made over that time and all the support I get from people that have become good friends, so many poems and so many memories.


· Copyright Poetry in Paradise Reg TM NO. 1028534 03/03/19

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