21 June 2012

I've gone to Queensland roaming and I don't know where I are ...

What? A girl can dream can't she ... and really can you blame me when it looks like this outside today ...

lest you think I'm cheating this was taken just before midday today ... the middle of the day and look how dark it is!

not quite so bad when I angle down ...
Side note - see that van on the right? That's a court transport vehicle, I see a lot of them at my end of town. You know they're carrying someone high profile or really bad when the laneway I walk down in the morning is lined with gun-totting law enforcement!

This however is not a pity party ... I like Melbourne remember ... it's a re-introduction to some fabulous poetry (or introduction for those of you not raised in the Australian school system).

I was sitting on the train heading home the other day, having forgotten to pack a new book to read I pulled out the iPad and took a look at what was on there. Not feeling like committing to one of the books on there I pulled up The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses and found myself reading ...

Clancy of The Overflow
A.B. Patterson

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just on spec, addressed as follows, “Clancy, of The Overflow”.

And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
‘Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone to Queensland droving, and we don’t know where he are.”

In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving “down the Cooper” where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover’s life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.

And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond’rous glory of the everlasting stars.

I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all.

And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.

And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.

And I somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal-
But I doubt he’d suit the office, Clancy, of The Overflow.
As I read the italicised verse I found myself nodding and smiling at the familiarity (for those who don't know me well, for me this is tantamount to standing up in the middle of the train and dancing as far as public displays go).

I'm pretty sure my desk was around when Patterson penned those words ... and not in a nice antiquey way ...
So, if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? As nice as it would be to visit my folks at the moment, Queensland would not my first choice ... I think I'd be back in Venice given my 'druthers.


  1. It's a bit dreary here today as well...didn't stop raining all day :(. But, right now, I still can't think of anywhere else I would rather be!

    1. I must go see this Adelaide place one day ... where everyone seems so happy and content with being where they are ... you're not the first person who's said that to me recently! (and I really, really want to get to Kangaroo Island one day too)

  2. Good question. No answer pops up at me immediately; I think I'd be okay being here if my mindset could only change a bit for the positive.

    But I suppose that after celebrating last night with a Midsummer feast, I'd also like to be off exploring my Scandinavian heritage, catching glimpses of fjords and all that:)

    1. Oh dear, you have me feeling like maybe I'm just a bit of a malcontent ... I am working on my mindset too but the wanderlust won't go away ... (I always used to say I must have a bit of gypsy blood, I have so much trouble with staying in one place).

      Ooooh, fjords and all that, yes that would be lovely!