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"I want me beer!"
Yelled the cook.
˜Can't you hear?
By George, you could write a book
About the things that happened
On Coodardy.

The floods had come,
We had a norther!
See the river run!
Homestead separated by swirling water
And the cook was going bananas
On Coodardy.

˜You have to wait!
Yelled the boss
Across the lake
To the outraged cook stranded and lost,
With a thirst not quenched by rain
On Coodardy
Bandy legs bowed,
Thunderous scowl,
Raging river that flowed
Didn't stop the cook from a growl,
Nor water full of dead sheep foul
On Coodardy.

He wanted his beer,
His daily ration,
So he had no fear
Of cyclones or storms on the station,
Or the boss' threats of a sacking
On Coodardy.

Cook reached water!
The boss roared,
A lamb to the slaughter!
It was the men, of course, who scored.
With a bound they reached the irate cook
On Coodardy.

Brawny arms grabbed
The flailing man.
He was nabbed
By the station men patient, with a pan
Of understanding for the thirsty cook
On Coodardy.

Thunder boomed!
Lightning crackled!
The cook was doomed
Of a beer, and the men cackled
As they snavelled the cook and sat on him
On Coodardy.

A thirsty week
For poor cook,
Whose outlook was bleak.
But floods pass by as the thunder forsook
The ground now sprinkled with green
On Coodardy.

Full of cheer
Went poor cook
To homestead near.
But consternation made him crook
To find that there was no beer,
On Coodardy!

 © Colleen O'Grady
VKJ Meekatharra calling WIR...over.
VKJ Meekatharra calling WIR!
This station to long wave turn over
For the session of the galah!

The neighbour a hundred of miles away
Has 'popped in' to say hello.
So what if the dog died yesterday,
Her batteries are charged for another go!

"It's rained here, has it rained there?
Is Joe back from the run...over?
"No - it hasn't rained here and I despair
And Joe is still out in the 'rover'."
Its now the time for swapping troubles
And the tension eases from her shoulders.
A good old chat with laughter that bubbles
Amongst the spinifex and boulders.

© Colleen O'Grady
There's a housewife off the beaten track
Who rises before the sun has dawned.
 It is summer in the dry outback,
Her work is done in the early morn.

The heatwaves dance in isolation,
Stunted mulga seem upside down.
Her clothing sticks with perspiration,
And its months since she's been to town.

The garden lies shrivelled and the hens don't lay,
Bread dough refuses to rise.
Joe's on 'the run', though due yesterday,
He's out there still with the flies.
But it's ten o'clock and gossip time,
So she grabs her cuppa quick!
Then races in to the radio room
And tunes in lickety-split.

(A Tribute to Bishop Witt)

In the Nor' West,
A land he loved best,
Bishop Witt was well respected.
Always in the air
On a wing and a prayer
There's pleasure when he's expected
From country that is brown
From drought renown
To winter green when summer ended.
In everlastings we wallow
When spring does follow,
Bishop flies his vision splendid.

So prepare the strip
Away from the tip!
Its time for baby's christening.
The Bishop's on the wing
On the air reported in
And all the stations are listening.

The missions that are lonely,
And stations that are homely,
Hail him with pure delight.
Christian or not,
He cares not a jot
To all he is their light.

© Colleen O'Grady


An hotel reared its lofty head
Beside a lilac.
No patrons now it could be said,
Not since way back.

The walls are dusty brown,
Once were white.
Inside curtains billow round,
Once were bright.

Pretty wallpaper covered in dirt
Peeling everywhere.
Drunken beds but no forms inert
Resting there.

Church with steeple rising high,
Pews in neat rows.
Long since pastor raised his cry
Of religious prose.

Bell no longer on its stand,
It tolls nearby
To call the boss and hired hands
Coodardy Station nigh.

House stumps standing neatly
Along the street.
Give mute testimony
Of houses once neat.

Pool is dry, hospital empty,
Creeper bloom.
Mine paraphernalia and shanty
Like the tomb.

Once a thriving community
But gold gone.
Now a dusty, dirty entity
A decade on.

Colleen O'Grady