1930: Poems published in the "Bill Boyang" column of the North Qld Register
"The Skite", "Greetings", "The Ringers", "The Dream"

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             THE     SKITE

Now all of us bunch, we were having our lunch

   At the station one bright sunny day,

When a stranger appeared with a big flowing beard,

    And a habit of plenty to say.  

He soon made a start on the tea and jam tart,

    He ate like a half famished Turk,

And he said to my mate as he finished the plate,

    "How's things about this way for work?"

 

"Can you ride?" the boss said, as he passed him the bread.

    And the new fellow seemed to explode,

"There ain't one bloomin horse on this whole watercourse

    What can buck that I haven't just rode.

 

I'm just off the track, I've come from outback

    Where they say that the horses are bad,

But I soon broke their hearts, they were fit for spring carts

    When I left by the old cattle pad.

 

I'm up here to stop when I get up on top,

    There's no falling off about me,

For I drive in the tacks when I get on their Backs,

    I tell you I'm pretty to see.

 

They can back, buck and whirl, they can go up and twirl,

    I tell you I always keep cool,

They can spin and reverse, but I'll bet all my purse,

    When they stop that I'm still in the stool.  

 

They can kick, strike or bite, and rear if they like,

    Or turn inside out if they can,

I'll be there when it ends, I'm telling you friends

    That you've all struck a pretty good man.

 

I've never yet struck a horse that could buck,

    To find one I've rode long and hard."

Here the boss stopped him flat, "Here, put on your hat

    And come with us down to the yard.

 

Jim, cut out the Snag, put his head in a bag,

    And throw on that knee-pad of Fred's.

Now we all wish you luck, for this beggar can buck,

    The last chap that got on him is dead.

 

Here is sir, at last, the saddle's made fast,

    And I hope he don't turn out too tame."

But the man from outback, on his old creamy hack,

    Was a dust cloud far out on the plain.

 

Now the boys and us crowd, we laughed long and loud,

    For the joke was a good one no doubt.

'Cos the Snag we had ready was the cowboy's old neddy

    That was foaled in the Ninety-one drought.

 

The yarns are still told by the boys as of old,

    But down at the huts of a night,

When the laughter grows loud by some of the  crowd,

    You can bet they've just heard of The Skite.

   

Essex Downs                      STATION HAND  

 

THE DREAM

 

The midnight hour was over, the milky way shone bright,

The streets were all deserted as I strolled home last night.

I'd had my nightly sitting in Chun Lee's filthy den,

Once more I'd lost my money to the little yellow men.

 

The New Years vows were broken, I had played pontoon once more,

And three nights sitting only had cost me just a score.

You can bet I was disgusted, and I used some language tall,

That night the Chows had put me right against the blanky wall.

 

My thoughts were not too pleasant, I called myself a crank

As I pulled the blankets over and then to sleep I sank.

And presently I had a dream, I dreamt of better things,

Though dreams are soon forgotten, that one to me still clings.

 

I dreamt I owned a station, a fine big run out West,

Where droughts were not invited and seasons were the best.

I managed my own station in my very modern way,

One week out of every month all hands would holiday.

There was no class distinction out there was I was boss,

So in the one big homestead everyone would eat and doss.

I kept a fine big motor and we gave it plenty use,

We missed no entertainment that the township could produce.

 

And if on lonely winter nights they'd want to hear the news,

I'd tune in on the wireless to the station they could choose.

Inside there was an ice chest packed with every kind of drink,

If any man felt thirsty why, he only had to wink.

 

Now on this wonder station five women I did pay

To cook and wash and also keep the dirt away.

There was a pretty housemaid among this team of girls,

She had the very nicest ways, blue eyes and light brown curls.

 

With girls I'm very timid, but when this dearie smiled,

T'would knock me nearly helpless, just like a little child.

Then one bright summer morning the birds were singing gay,

And the sun was just appearing to wish us all good day.

 

Still lying in my cosy bed - no early hour for me,

I heard the housemaid coming, fetching my morning tea.

Tapping twice upon the door, she gently called my name.

I pretended to be sleeping, I thought I'd have a game.

 

Then she entered rather boldly, placed the tray down by my side,

I bounded up and caught her, then by cripes I nearly died.

It was my busy mother that I had hold of now,

Said she, "We want some breakfast, get up and milk that cow".

                     

  Richmond            "STATION HAND"

 

GREETINGS - Jan. 1930

Now Christmas is over,

   Twenty-nine has fell back

And to start the year well

   I shall write to the "Track",

To wish old "Bill Boyang"

   Success for the year,

May he and old Steve

   Consume plenty of beer.

 

Now fair Bessie Travers,

   I hope to read more

Of your sweet little poems

   Than in years gone before,

And "Larry" will tell us

   In a style bright and whitty,

Of his many escapes

   In the bush and the city.

 

And I picture "Elouera"

   Making up pretty poems,

That will grace the "Track" columns,

   And brighten bush homes.

Tim Bergin at the Tully,

   Let's read once again

The verses that used to flow

  From out of your pen.

   

D. J. Leonard and "Darkie"

   Will send in a par

That bushmen will read

   Out West, near and far.

 There's "Red Ned" and "Questro"

   And old "Moleskin Joe",

And a whole host of other

   "Track" writers I know,

Who'll hold their acquaintance

   With the fellows outback,

By the pars and verses

   They send to the "Track".

 

So I'll finish now "Bowyang"

   Tis getting late here,

And I wish all "Track" readers

   A Happy New Year.

                       

Richmond .            "STATION HAND"



THE RINGERS

 

I've knocked around the bush a bit the last ten years or so,

Since the day I slung my school kit and a droving I did go.

I've got to like the bushland with it's free and easy ways,

The bushmen I quite understand, with them I've spent my days.

 

For they are good soft-hearted chaps these ringers of the West,

They swear and fight, and drink perhaps, but they'll always stand the test.

I've rode with them in musters, wheeling "Mickies" through the scrub,

I've been with them on "busters" at the little outback pub.

 

Oh, the songs and recitations, and at night how we would dance,

Then for lighter recreation we would play some games of chance.

I've heard some yarns with cattle when on double watch at night,

How their horns and hoofs would rattle when they rushed off camp with fright.

 

Then we'd let the night horse have his head, of falls we gave no heed,

Our whips would nearly wake the dead as we swung and rung the lead.

How they "Yack hi" at the round yard as the colt tears up the ground,

And the lad that's up on top tries hard to stop their every bound.

 

And then it's "Let me out there", as they swing the bush gate wide,

He can buck or bolt, Tom doesn't care for he's the boy to ride.

You will always hear them singing in the men's hut of a night,

For the men that follow ringing, as a rule their hearts are light.

 

And the life they lead is healthy, if it's a wee bit rough,

They might not be too wealthy, but they're always fairly tough.

So I don't see any reason why I should leave these men,

And I'm pretty sure next season I'll go ringing once again.

                              

 Richmond         "STATION HAND"            

apping twice upon the door, she gently called my n

I pretended to be sleeping, I thought Id have a game.