For those who haven’t caught up with my challenge, it’s day 13 and my next scheduled post will be published at 7.45am. It’s handy that the Jill Smith Aussie Author page allows for scheduling. Something I discovered while doing the Facebook challenge earlier in the year. Michelle Worthington has great ideas and ways to make you push yourself as a writer. Considering I’m time poor this month due to selling our house and packing. I’m pleased to say I’ve only three days left to schedule my posts to complete the month.
Here are a couple of catch up posts for those who might have missed them.
Day 11 of the #astoryadayjuly Facebook challenge
Book of Poetry – This must be Banjo Paterson
Andrew Barton Paterson Facts.
Andrew Barton Paterson (1864-1941) was an Australian folk poet popularly known as “Banjo” Paterson from his pen name, “The Banjo.” His swinging rhythms captured the atmosphere of the land, life, and humour of Australia’s people.
My dad was very ‘Occer’ and he would occasionally quote a line of poetry such as ‘A spectator’s leg was broken — just from merely looking on.’
I remember fondly ‘The Geebung Polo Club’, ‘The Man from Snowy River’, ‘Clancy of the Overflow,’ ‘Waltzing Matilda’, and ‘The man from Iron Bark.’ To mention but a few. Sadly, when I visited my son and his wife recently, I discovered that my twenty-seven-year-old daughter-in-law had little knowledge of our Australian icon and Poet Banjo Paterson. They live in Brisbane and we drove to a place in Geebung for lunch. I started saying I loved ‘The Geebung Polo Club’ and she looked at me as if I’d grown donkey’s ears. I looked up the poem on my phone and started reading it to her. My son was in the shop and we were waiting for his return. I was appalled that she didn’t know much about him or the poem I started spouting with gusto. What are schools teaching kids these days? I wonder has this truly Australian icon and the musical language died out?
The Geebung Polo Club by A B Paterson
It was somewhere up the country, in a land of rock and scrub,
That they formed an institution called the Geebung Polo Club.
They were long and wiry natives from the rugged mountainside,
And the horse was never saddled that the Geebungs couldn’t ride;
But their style of playing polo was irregular and rash —
They had mighty little science, but a mighty lot of dash:
And they played on mountain ponies that were muscular and strong,
Though their coats were quite unpolished, and their manes and tails were long.
And they used to train those ponies wheeling cattle in the scrub:
They were demons, were the members of the Geebung Polo Club.
It was somewhere down the country, in a city’s smoke and steam,
That a polo club existed, called ‘The Cuff and Collar Team’.
As a social institution ’twas a marvellous success,
For the members were distinguished by exclusiveness and dress.
They had natty little ponies that were nice, and smooth, and sleek,
For their cultivated owners only rode ’em once a week.
So they started up the country in pursuit of sport and fame,
For they meant to show the Geebungs how they ought to play the game;
And they took their valets with them — just to give their boots a rub
Ere they started operations on the Geebung Polo Club.
Now my readers can imagine how the contest ebbed and flowed,
When the Geebung boys got going it was time to clear the road;
And the game was so terrific that ere half the time was gone
A spectator’s leg was broken — just from merely looking on.
For they waddied one another till the plain was strewn with dead,
While the score was kept so even that they neither got ahead.
And the Cuff and Collar Captain, when he tumbled off to die,
Was the last surviving player — so the game was called a tie.
Then the Captain of the Geebungs raised him slowly from the ground,
Though his wounds were mostly mortal, yet he fiercely gazed around;
There was no one to oppose him — all the rest were in a trance,
So he scrambled on his pony for his last expiring chance,
For he meant to make an effort to get victory to his side;
So he struck at goal — and missed it — then he tumbled off and died.
By the old Campaspe River, where the breezes shake the grass,
There’s a row of little gravestones that the stockmen never pass,
For they bear a crude inscription saying, ‘Stranger, drop a tear,
For the Cuff and Collar players and the Geebung boys lie here.’
And on misty moonlit evenings, while the dingoes howl around,
You can see their shadows flitting down that phantom polo ground;
You can hear the loud collisions as the flying players meet,
And the rattle of the mallets, and the rush of ponies’ feet,
Till the terrified spectator rides like blazes to the pub —
He’s been haunted by the spectres of the Geebung Polo Club.
Day 8 of the #astoryadayjuly Facebook challenge
Anne McCaffrey who wrote my all-time favourite science fiction/fantasy books ‘Restoree’, ‘The Ship Who Sang’ and the Series of dragon books including ‘Dragonsong’, ‘Dragonflight’, ‘Red Star Rising’, ‘Dragonsinger’, ‘Moreta Dragonlady of Pern’, and the ‘White Dragon.’ She also co-wrote ‘Dragon’s Kin’ with her son Tod, and ‘Acorna’s Search’ and ‘Acorna’s Rebels’ with Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. I have all these books on my bookshelf and will delight in re-reading them whenever the need to return to the world of Pern, or simply reconnect with the wonderful concepts of a woman being recreated as an alien on a new world after having been skinned and left for dead as in ‘Restoree’. I’ve read more of the Brain ship series but only have ‘The Ship Who Sang’ on my shelf, another brilliant concept that gets to the heart of what it is to be human.
To say that reading her books influenced my decision to become a writer is an understatement. I love her style of writing and the characters she creates.