This is a tale about my father and his cousin, Jack, and a little of the mayhem they got up to on Mount Playfair, a cattle station on the Western Highlands of Central Queensland where they grew up in the 1940s and 50s.
100 Poems Project.
A two-year project that is still a work in progress, with about six months to run. Not sure if these might eventually form a book of poetry, but each week five random poems will be select from the project and featured here. At a later date possibly sorted into a more viewer friendly format.
The first is “Black Power, Dust, and Clouds”, a family story from the 1950s’
Black Powder, Dust, and Clouds.
The day was slow and winding, these two young lads they had some time,
Both families they seemed busy, while some, they pegged clothes out on the line.
Their fathers were on the verandah, drinking tea and chatting for some time,
Quick, they said to one another, get the black powder, it’s in that tin,
We need to find ourselves some wire, an auger, battery, and those detonators, in the miner’s things.
Now let’s head on out the back of here, about a quarter-mile up from home,
As lads, they drilled themselves a hole, till as deep as they could go,
Pass us here the tin, said Pete, as Jack picked it up from on the ground,
We’ll put half the tin and then the wire and detonators, with the second half to round it off.
They soon were done and then ran the wire, on back towards the house,
With the battery in their youthful hands, they touched the wires to then each end,
The sound it rushed fast from the ground, the shock wave rolled on past,
Both lads, they looked on up into the sky, the earth and dust,
It had mushroomed fast, till so much far higher than the trees,
They stood up and rushed to view the hole, a six-foot chasm deep as wide,
Their fathers heard the sound, the rising cloud before their eyes,
Pete’s sister stood and looked as the dust it billowed up,
Their mothers felt the shock, as the earth it climbed so high,
So the lads’ fathers took to foot and out back towards the cloud of dust,
While Pete and Jack, they watched the dust still above the hole,
Still amazed at what they’d done, till their fathers grabbed an almighty hold,
For now they weren’t to see each other, these two cousins, thick as thieves,
For three whole months without a word, or so it bloody seemed,
Till soon they found a way to meet, to get away you see,
But that’s another story.