OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

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Terry
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Terry » Mon Jul 05, 2021 4:10 pm

This is the first poem I ever posted on this forum, quite a few years ago now.
It was pretty rough, as I was just learning the craft then (or trying to).
I still remember being a bit nervous as well, as there were a lot of talented poets active then.
I can remember Ross being very encouraging – Thanks mate that really helped.
Several people offered advice including Glenny who went to some trouble to try and show me the basics of writing Bush poetry.
It still took a couple of years of tinkering with it before I was satisfied.
The story never really changed, and I can still visualize that scene described in the poem,
Looking out from our camp. The only real change was the adding of the second stanza.


OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE – (SHAW)
I sat there by the campfire with the billy on to boil
and watched the twilight shadows creep across the parched red soil.
As fading rays of sunlight dipped below the distant peaks,
I marveled at the ghost gums that surrounded nearby creeks.
Where golden blossoms mingle with white quartz seams in the clay,
of twisting ancient creek beds from that other bygone day.
This country holds me in its spell and will for evermore,
enthralled by rugged scenery - out on the Western Shore.

I look out from my vantage point and view the scene once more,
majestic rolling ranges fringe a landscape I adore.
An ancient land of mystery that differs from the south,
once steeped in tribal secrets handed down by word of mouth.
I think of past corroborees and stamping of the feet,
the chanting of the women; kylie’s click a rhythmic beat.
Then comes a sense of sadness for a lifestyle that’s no more,
yet still I sense their presence here - out on the Western Shore.

Then as I look down to the south, I see a quartz-strewn plain,
with green around the edges after recent heavy rain.
Here kangaroo’s are grazing on the lush green native grass,
they’re in the shadow of the hills, below a mountain pass.
And off into the distance I can see a large gum creek,
it’s dry and sandy now, but things could change within a week.
For storms can quickly turn to flood; then streams will roar once more,
as rushing waters burst their banks - out on the Western Shore.

My mind begins to wander back to when the white men came,
prepared to risk their very lives for fortune and for fame,
I see their grimy faces and their tired and bloodshot eyes,
tormented by the elements and swarms of crawling flies.
But only death will stop them as they press ahead so bold,
for rumors that have reached them tell of fortunes made from gold.
The strongest set a solid pace that’s matched by many more,
they’re heading to the latest rush - out on the Western Shore.

I dream I’m out there with them rushing for the latest find
and sense the deep exhaustion that now plays on each mans mind.
They curse the rugged harshness of this unrelenting land,
but still push ever onwards over hills and desert sand.
With aching limbs and heaving chests they top the final rise
and see the field below them stretching out before their eyes.
And soon they’re shown big nuggets and assured there’s plenty more,
still hidden deep within the earth - out on the Western Shore.

I stir then from my daydream as I sense the billy’s boiled,
still thinking of old timers and how hard they must have toiled.
I look around my camp again and in the fading light,
I see the clumps of spinifex on ridges to my right.
Then hear a nightjar screeching as it readies for the kill,
soon followed by a butcherbird’s sweet haunting moonlight trill.
It’s time to then unroll the swag and settle down once more
and spend the night beneath the stars - out on the Western Shore.

-------------
© T.E. Piggott

Ron
Posts: 523
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:55 pm
Location: Blue Mtns.

Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Ron » Mon Jul 05, 2021 6:17 pm

G'day Terry,
I remember reading this poem back then and thought it was brilliant! And reading it again, I still do.
So descriptive with so many stand out lines!
A great read mate.
Ron.

Terry
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Terry » Mon Jul 05, 2021 10:53 pm

Thanks Ron

Thinking back again I'm not really sure how long ago it was when I first posted the original - but quite awhile.
You wonder where the years have gone.

Terry

r.magnay
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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:41 pm
Location: Port Lincoln SA

Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by r.magnay » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:50 am

G'day again mate, yeah I remember those days with some fondness. Good to see that one up again, I still like the original title better, the fact that some people were not aware that Shaw is the name of the river/creek really doesn't matter, just my opinion.
Ross

Terry
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Terry » Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:37 am

G/day Ross

The only reason I changed from the real name SHAW to SHORE, was when i decided to enter it in a comp, and that was to avoid half rhymes throughout the poem. A bit silly really, but I suppose it is a written Comp so you have to abide by the rules - My old mate Dave Smith who knew that country well and liked this poem, always chided me about the name change as I have mentioned before.
Like you I also have fond memories about those old days - what a pity that we lost all that in what was little more than a moment of stupidity.

Hope you're keeping well mate.

Terry

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Shelley Hansen
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Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Shelley Hansen » Mon Aug 02, 2021 3:43 pm

Hi Terry

Sorry for late reply - been away with the caravan!

This is still one of my favourites of yours.
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Terry
Posts: 3021
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Terry » Tue Aug 03, 2021 12:00 pm

G/day and thanks Shelley

Glad to hear that you have managed to get away with the caravan in these uncertain times.
Over here it has been more or less nonstop rain, 18 consecutive days at one stage.
Looks like we now have a few clear days ahead.

Terry

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Shelley Hansen
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Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: OUT ON THE WESTERN SHORE (SHAW)

Post by Shelley Hansen » Tue Aug 10, 2021 3:26 pm

We encountered quite a bit of rain in the Queensland Outback, Terry. Made it very boggy in parts but we've never seen the country looking so good!
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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