22 May 2015 - 'THE SHEARIN' CREW' - Gunnedah Hero


- Gunnedah Hero -

G'day folks,

Time for some more of my bush poetry. This is one of the four poems included in my award-winning novel - 'Gunnedah Hero'. It is the sort of poem that was written many decades ago by the wiley writers and poets that roamed Australia; guys like Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, Nettie Thomas, J F Archibald etc.


Me mind was led to thinkin’ of our famous shearin’ crew,

‘twas meself and Mo Devine, and also Curley Jones and Blue.

The four of us we humped our swags way back in ‘sixty-four,

it’s now I do recall those blokes, the three I still adore.

Best damn crew I ever had; not one a slaggin mate,

yet how we met was such a tale so let me now relate.

It was a hot and dusty day when I met Mo Devine,

I found him sittin’ on a log a-sippin’ lousy wine.

Mo sure as hell was scruffy and yet while a happy cove,

he may have dressed a little rough but he could shear by jove.

I joined him on a rugged log beneath a Peppercorn,

he’d polished off ‘most half his grog but didn’t look forlorn.

‘Twas that night that the two of us met Curley Hathaway,

a dingy pub right out the back – it was our lucky day.

Now Curley was a classer and he claimed he was the best,

and so I took his word onboard until he stood the test.

The three of us, we laughed a lot that awful drunken night,

in a small town west of Hay when we gave that pub a fright.

  The lot of us next mornin’ had a rugged awful day,

was only water from the tank, for grog we’d saved no pay.

We’d blown the bleedin’ lot on all the wine and homemade brew,

the three of us were lucky ‘cause the work was near, we knew.

And that’s when we met Bluey –  a true redhead with a grin,

we found him bumpin’ into town a-thirstin’ for a gin.

Word had come to all of us that work was on the go,

the good news came through just in time as credit ceased to flow.

So Bluey, Mo and Curl and me, we left that dingy town,

we’d had a time, oh yes we had, and left without a frown.

There was a need on ‘Tillby Down’ – it was a whoppin’ place,

owned by some rich pastoral bloke, they said he had some grace.

So, Bluey, Mo and Curl and I we snared that shearin’ work,

Mo and Bluey sheared that mob, not once did either shirk.

Curley was the Classer and he was indeed the best,

while I became the Ringer in a team to beat the rest.

But God I must advise ya though, there was a contest on,

another crew was there as well –  some coves from Billabong.

 My three mates read my mind and then the race was on, ya know,

the eight of us sat waitin’ for the bell to let us go.

It rang so loud and off we went like eagles to their prey,

our top crew took it gently but the other mob, no way.

Those blokes they flew like crazy men – that gang from Billabong,

thick sweat came quick and bleedin’ fast, while we just cruised along.

By ‘smoko’ time that other mob were one in front, ya see

but they looked loose and ragged while we lot were fresh and free.

The lunch bell rang on time and while I spied the tally sheet,

that soft bunch here from Billabong went searchin’ for a seat.

But Bluey, Curl and Mo and I said nothin’ outta line,

we ate our lunch and smiled a lot; so all was lookin’ fine.

An hour still left till stumps I grinned as Blue and Mo let go,

both them blokes just lifted and they clipped like hell, ya know.

When the bell rang really loud I slyly glanced ahead,

we’d won by three outright you see, those coves looked almost dead.

But bein’ the humble gents we were we didn’t brag one bit,

we’d knocked ‘em off, we’d done it well and still we felt real fit.

The next week came, we did the same as cool as cool can be,

we thrashed the pants right off that crew and won the bonus fee.

It was the greatest season and we made a name, ya know,

and even now from time to time young shearers hear it so,

in sixty-four when four top blokes became a champion crew,

and made a name for ‘emselves – ‘twas me, Mo, Curl and Blue.

 Clancy's comment: Like it? Make ya smile? Hope so. Now, head up to the top of the page and click on 'Gunnedah Hero Reviews' and read what folks think about this novel. Then, be courageous and buy a paperback or e-Book. You will love it. If you buy a paperback, I'll write whatever you wish in the front.

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