COUNTRY MAIL

Post your true-blue Aussie yarns here.
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Maureen K Clifford
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Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
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COUNTRY MAIL

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:06 am

I wrote this ages ago when out on the property and gave it to our postie the week he retired. He was rather chuffed that someone had noticed and appreciated his work because he said he was just doing his job. But he did so much more than that - so much more.


COUNTRY MAIL

Country mailboxes are as different from their city cousin mailboxes as chalk and cheese. There is no place out in the country for prissy, pretty painted post receptacles – in the country the big, ballsy butch type of box is what you need. Something along the lines of a 44 gallon drum or an old fridge usually fit the bill.

After all it has to be big enough to take a weeks worth of papers at one hit, house a carton of beer out of the heat, shelter a carton of fruit a neighbour has dropped by from his orchard. Not to mention keeping tractor and dozer parts out of the weather, and the 10 litre bottles of drench for the sheep. The actual mail and bills are an incidental part of its life.

Sometimes they sport a jaunty faded flag that flutters gaily in the breeze or hangs limply in the rain, indicating to those in the know that there is mail or things to be taken to town – or mail and things have been delivered. When your mail box is a couple of kilometres from home you aren’t running backwards and forwards checking for mail all the time. Depending on where the mail box is situated you tend to stand on the top of a hill with the binoculars and see what the state of play is via the flags.

On really hot days if you have got a bit of time on your hands and fancy a bit of conversation you might take down a thermos of tea or an esky with cold drinks and hang around the gate until the postie comes through. He’s always on for a yarn for his life is a lonely one travelling thousands of kilometres each week and often seeing no one.

You can see he has had a rough trip this time round, there are 2 shredded tyres already tied on the roofrack - outback roads play havoc with the tyres. He carries 6 spares all the time and once went through all six limping home on rims. His normal breakdown kit includes chains and winches, spare fan belts and numerous bits and bobs he might need to get him out of trouble. No RACQ to call on where he goes. He is literally postman Pat on his Pat Malone.

Whilst having a yarn you can find out whose doing what with whom and why. Discover how much the next property down the road (thats 200 klms down the road) sold for, and ask if on the next run he could pick up two tractor tyres for you. Country posties are so much more than just posties they are lifelines.


POSTMAN PAT


A plume of red dust in the air – it’s noticed from atop the hill
it drifts high in the summer air – gathers momentum then is still,
then moves again and onward comes – it leads the breeze a merry chase
sometimes it thickens like red smoke or bushfire haze right in your face
Then sound of tyres crossing the grid, gravel rattling as he skids
avoiding livestock on the road, two feral goats and three small kids.
Down the road comes Postman Pat, he’s slowing up his dusty Ute,
to stop at Fridge and place inside, papers and mail. That’s really beaut.

A shot rings out, not from our place, it must be neighbours giving chase
to pig or maybe that darn fox that’s always hanging round the race.
Our dogs begin to bark and whine as thoughts of hunting crossed their brains
But when they realize they are not - they flop to ground with rattling chains.
Pale faced rosellas scratch the ground, beneath the Pepperina trees,
Startled they take to air on pale blue wings. They fly with fluid ease.
Demented chooks with plumage red, ballerinas late for curtain call,
run helter skelter through the yard all chasing one male feather ball.

I see the sheep tracks snaking through the long dry paddocks brown and bare.
Whilst Prickly Pear with blossoms red is suckering up everywhere.
Small lambs are calling; crows are cawing, westerly winds blow and moan,
green Pepperinas sway and dance around the place that I call home.
Clear water trickling through the creek, across the craggy granite rocks.
Chooks cackling as grubs they seek, the muffled bark of working dogs.
The chainsaws cutting posts somewhere with its incessant roar and whine.
Dozers are clearing firebreaks while there is a little idle time.

But whilst all this activity is noted somewhere in my brain
I floor the Ute along the track out to the road and see again
the red flag flutter on its post – our indication there is mail
our postman Pat always delivers – he is not a bloke to fail.
No matter what the weather brings, though creeks are flooded, roads washed out
his trusty 4wd gets through in it he’s not a moments doubt.
He brings the bills, papers and mail, will pick up tyres and parts from town
He’s more than just a mailman here – he’s king of posties, minus crown.

Maureen Clifford ©
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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Glenny Palmer
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Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:47 am

Re: COUNTRY MAIL

Post by Glenny Palmer » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:55 pm

What a thoughtful lady you are Mausey. Good stuff. This sort of subject helps to keep our 'advancing' (?) culture remembered.

Sadly, our postie must be dyslexic...it's a nightmare out here as there are a ton of unit complexes.....and as for Aus Post....well, just ask croc about how they LOST the ONLY replacement distributor left on the planet, for his ute. On second thoughts, maybe not. He's inclined to get rather 'over passionate' with things that upset him....& Aus Post is at the TOP of his list just now.

Cheeers
Glenny
The purpose of my life is to serve as a warning to others.

Neville Briggs
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 12:08 pm
Location: Here

Re: COUNTRY MAIL

Post by Neville Briggs » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:32 am

Good one Maureen.
Neville
Singleton Bush Poets.

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Maureen K Clifford
Posts: 7551
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
Contact:

Re: COUNTRY MAIL

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:15 am

Thanks Marty, Glenny and Neville...the snail mail gets less and less these days with most bills now online and the art of letter writing diminished since emails hit the scene but have to say our postie out here is a lovely lady who rarely gets it wrong, and the mail contractor who delivers parcels is a really helpful and pleasant bloke....so I guess I am very lucky.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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