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Poem: Harvest Time, 1949

Books & Poetry

In today’s Poet’s Corner, Tony Andrews shares a poem of memories from harvest time in South Australia's Mid North.

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Harvest Time, 1949

Gulnare, Mid North of South Australia
The town nestled west of the railway line.
Bare hills rose to the east, the road to Jamestown
Bisected Tuckwell’s stubble-covered paddocks.

The first time that Bob Green, stationmaster,
Hurried across the oval to the schoolhouse,
Was to bandage my brother’s head, hit, by me,
From my pram, with a milk bottle. The second time,
The hoe descending, meant for the scrubby ground,
Met, instead, the head of my crouching brother.

Goods trains with their great black locomotives
Stood by the wheat sheds, the grain elevators busy,
And busy were workmen bag-sewing with long curved needles.
A needle stuck for a moment in the stiff coarse cloth,
Then jerked free, rose to pierce the eyeball
Of Tuckwell’s workin’ man. I was seven.
From the stationmaster’s house ran Bob Green, first-aid kit
In his hand, another head to tend.

Nightly the black and looming locomotives
Pursued me across the oval to the schoolhouse.

tony-andrews-poets-corner-contributor-jpgTony Andrews (pictured below right, in the pram, with his brother Brian at Gulnare) spent his childhood years in the South Australian Mid North town of Gulnare. He is a retired maths lecturer, and an alumnus of Adelaide, Flinders and Cambridge universities. He contributed short stories to the Adelaide Review in its early days under Christopher Pearson, and held one-man art exhibitions in the 1970s in Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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