Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “ Australian Country Towns “.

Great theme this week and JVG back from his holiday. 

It was a huge Indie Record Store day at Basement on Saturday. I confess to feeling a little under the weather having talked to so many people at Basement Discs, and what great performances.

My hat is off to the awesome team there, I dont know how you manage to do it year after year.

If you were there you will know what I mean, if you weren’t put it in your phone for next year. A not to be missed event ( and Andy White playing this Friday lunchtime )

The inimitable Ed Bates is providing backing as usual today, and once again in fine form. Have a listen to how it went below…

To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:

Australian Country Towns

Things were tense in Bugayuela, a dot out in the sticks
As with many of its size, plagued by small town politics

This saddened Jean Grofhurst and best friend Merle Fairweather
Over scones and tea they plotted ways to bring the town together

A dance perhaps, fancy dress? No, it didn’t feel quite right
Merle, as usual, nailed it “Let’s have a curry night”

“A benefit” chirped Jean “for whatever, it’s just the bait
They’re forced to come or stand accused of not pulling their weight

We’ll make a nice fruit punch and everyone can bring a dish
I’ll do my Chilli Lamb’s Brains and Spicy Tripe with Fish”

Jean secured a hall thanks to the local CWA
Since it was a benefit they didn’t have to pay

Merle, ever creative, designed an advertising flier
Published, at no charge, in The Bugayuela Crier

Grimsby’s Soft Furnishings donated decorations
Tickets sold out in a week, exceeding all expectations

You’d have thought the hard work done: the curry in the pan
The most crucial job remained – devise the seating plan

Jean and Merle laboured hard, all day and all night long
The results would be explosive if they got the seating wrong

Draft, followed draft, neither one would acquiesce
It was, Jean remarked, like playing fifty games of chess

Bev Leach and Kayleen Clayborne must be seated well apart
Bev thinks Kayleen’s up herself; Kayleen thinks Bev’s a tart
Brothers Vern and Harry Hatman hadn’t talked ten years or so
Since Vern’s zucchini edged out Harry’s at the Boganbimby Show

For five generations the Dodd’s had farmed beside the Sawyers
Yet all communications were directed through their lawyers

Neither knew the reason, which made things hard to fix
A dispute between their grandfathers in eighteen ninety six

Gail Clegg was Ruth Pratt’s bridesmaid, now enemies Ruth claims
Says if Gail should catch on fire she’d toast marshmallows in the flames

Stems from when Ruth’s husband Bruce, fell one night when pissed
Gail kindly gave him mouth to mouth; he’d only sprained his wrist

Greville Nuttal and Tom Jarsdel, both bitter and disaffected
The pair stood for council and neither was elected

Of course each blamed the other over dirty campaign tricks
The truth is neither won because the whole town thinks they’re pricks

Sal Romano hates Cliff Fernsby; Cliff Fersby hates Les Brooks
Says it’s nothing personal, just doesn’t like his looks

Against the odds, the curry night was a marvellous success
Jean and Merle’s hard work paid off with a little help nonetheless

Tolerance and forgiveness seemed to transform every guest
Fruit punch laced with vodka and tequila did the rest

As for dinner, fifty crock pots into a single GPO?
You don’t need to be a genius to guess the fuse was going to blow

It could have been disastrous but there was never need to worry
Turns out, of all their guests, not a single one liked curry
“Alright you lot” Kayleen chimed “who’s up for some grub?”
They all formed a conga line and danced down to the pub

They continued their libations till beyond the early hours
Cliff Fersby was the first to leave, had to milk the cows

The Hatman brothers, Vern and Harry, spotted sipping a martini
They shared a soup; Chef’s Special; Cream of Zucchini

Even Gail and Ruth were seen together, laughing at the bar
Along with Bruce, Ruth’s husband – this time no CPR

At long last the Dodds and Sawyers were befriended
It took a hundred years and more but their fence was finally mended

As they left Tom Jarsdel cornered Merle and Jean
“You said a benefit for the town, what exactly did you mean?”

A benefit for what?” quizzed Tom, taking them to task
“Tom” Jean smiled wryly “I’m surprised you have to ask”

© Copyright 2017 Ian Bland


Also have a listen to the songs on my new album “Everything or Nothing

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