Archive for November, 2012

I’m pulling on the boots again

For the school

Less intense, less serious

More fun

Than Saturday club games.

The team balances

Between “jokers” and “jocks”

Fun seekers and crash-tacklers

And in the end

The fun-lovers dominate.

Enjoying every moment

Far more compelling than

The satisfaction of outscoring

Opposition schools.


Here is the team ( I think the photographer asked us to snarl):

My attempt at identification – with help from Paul Darr & Colleen Deane:

Back Row (l to r):  Peter Nicholls; Malcolm Carter; (?) Talbot; Andrew New; Dieter Shrumph

Middle Row: Graham Collins; Kim Reison (? spelling); Max Cowan; Tim Armstrong; Paul Darr; Ross Hogan

Front Row: Kim Anderson; John (pubes) Ridgeway; Mr Ellem; Rob New; Col Gillespie

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The Horden Pavillion

After YES’* Horden Pavillion performance

Crowded car, burger stop, time distortions

Lengthens drive home.

Smoke-filled Red Datsun carrying 6.

Light rain oils road.

Turning right at Vauxhall Inn

Parramatta Rd into Church St.

Traction slips

Slow-slow-motion slide,

Rear pivots around front

One-eighty, three-sixty.

A moment.

“Wow, man!”

Ignorant inches from tragedy.

Note & Extra:

* I am pretty sure it was YES that we had been to see. The support band was Mother Earth whose lead singer was Renee Geyer.




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Riverside Road dips steeply into the bush

And tar gives way to dirt,

Heading home, a hard right turn

Into a kilometer of potholed road

Snaking through overhhanging bush.

The night-time challenge:

Headlights off! 

Only celestial light guides.

Mind’s eye map

Keeps us on track (easy)

Instinct avoids potholes (hard).

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Flatten accelerator, build speed,

Over the “twin hills”

Starting Wedmore Road.

Bottom of hill two,

Release accelerator,

Shift to neutral.


For how far?

Will record be broken?

Past Balaclava Road (easy)

… Alma Crescent,

Momentum slows

Brothers jumping, lurching, pushing, rocking


Striving for another inch.

Deafening cheers.

Go! Go!


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Roger  – “The bloke who drives the car”.

Does the school drop.

Four boys, three schools.

I’m first drop,

Nepean High.

Daily routine: Stephen calls out:

“Hey, Rodge … you forgot Max!”

No call-out, disrupts routine.

Will “penny drop”?


Quiet! No clues.

Reaching Penrith High

Silence shifts to hilarity, ridicule.

Joke shared.

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The walk home – Rocla provides shelter if needed.

Emu Plains Station

Decision time.

Walk? Call?

Perceptions flavoured by alcohol


Motor skills numbed – I’m done.

Before me, the beautiful matrix

Of covered resting places.

The beautiful matrix of covered resting places

I rest,

Dream of the clay-pit & clay pipes

Craned,  positioned, connected, buried.

Sleeper awakes

Inches below surface, miles from escape.

Forever subterranean.

Just dreaming, Phwew!

Sleeper, Awake! … before it’s too late.

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Out of bounds, intriguing, magnetic.

The Brickworks.*

Grounds untended, wild.

Dangerously obscuring the massive pit.

White clay cliffs

Reaching up from

Opaque blue water.

Bright blue.


Painted, unreal.

Discarded, rusted machines

Poke through the surface.

Rocks tossed create ripples.

Water is real.

I love the clay-pit.

And fear it.


* The Penrith Brickworks was opposite the cemetery on Copeland St and Richmond Rd Kingswood. I think it was operational to some extent up until the early 1970’s.







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After Victoria Bridge – Imagining Brabham


Solo drive home.

Highway – westbound.

Over narrow Victoria Bridge into

Sharp curves, left, right,

(Imagining Brabham).

Bump over Emu Plains rail-crossing,

As Old Bathurst Road starts its climb.

Right turn, Wedmore then

Left into Riverside,

Dirt road, dry weather, sweeping turn.

Dirt road, dry surface, sweeping bend, slide, crash.

Oncoming car



First licensed drive, crash.

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At the outskirts, there is no transport

No buses, no trains

No traffic, no hitchhiking.

Licence to drive: necessary.

Skills learned early

In the green Holden, column shift – three on the tree.

Mum’s little red Datsun (four on the floor).

Test taken on automatic, around Lemongrove.

Easy streets.

Licence granted!

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Moving …

Across the River

Emu Plain’s northern extreme.

River winds around to meet Blue Mountains

Our new home.

Riverfront & on mountain slope.

On the mountain slopes, banks of the Nepean and land stretching out to the East.


Silent – save bellbirds & ducks.

Dirt bush road.

Solo neighbour.

Looking east, beyond blue metal & gravel quarries,

Flat fertile land stretches away

To distant suburban then urban landscapes.

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