Photo By Jools Thatcher

Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Medicine”

Ed Bates has the week off as I recorded this before heading off to the snowfields of Victoria. I can only imagine what Jon will do to the intro this week. Let me know how it went.

I will be back in the studio live for the radiothon next week

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Listen to my Album Drifter


“Do us a favour won’t you pet?” Mavis Clissold purred
Kevin knew the favour before Mavis said a word

“Let me guess” Kev chortled as he dropped his tail gate down
“Could I pick up your medicine on my way back home from town?”

Robert Kingsley Cranston was if none else, resolute
A mind as sharp as blackberry thorns, a smile to match its fruit

Farmer, pilot, degree in science and chemical engineering
As skilful with a test tube as a harvester or shearing

Creating salves for fly blown sheep while noble is hardly a thrill
For nought but his amusement, he resolved to build a still

For the Pot, he used a butter churn and cast off milking pales
His aim – to make a spirit as strong as liquid nails

The fire was fuelled by methane piped in from the septic
This carbon neutral venture would impress the toughest sceptic

The water clear as custard, pumped straight up from the dam
The quality improved once he’d fished out the dead ram

Tadpoles proved a problem, but Bob soon sorted those
A filter, manufactured from his wife Joan’s pantyhose

The mash, a mix of silage and a lot of TLC
Blended with berries from the Mountain Pepper Tree

Three times distilled – and three again, till Bob was satisfied
Then aged in plastic barrels that once stored a herbicide

The resulting brew so potent it dissolved their farmhand’s braces
A single bottle mixed with juice had forty off their faces

It was not a business enterprise, though many were willing to pay
Every drop Bob bottled, he gladly gave away

While he enjoyed the challenge, his neighbours enjoyed the spoils
Known around the district as ‘Bob’s Essential Oils’

If you listened to the locals – I won’t mention any names
It was more than just a beverage according to their claims

Tinea, haemorrhoids, cradle cap and grip
A smidgen on a tissue wiped that cold sore from your lip

An endless list of ailments, infirmities and aches
A sprinkle near the woodshed – That’s the last you’d see of snakes

A powerful aphrodisiac – or so the Cockburns swore
“Twice a day” they boasted – not bad for 94

Endorsed by Grandma Hayes, more than eighty years a farmer
It was, in her opinion, a better stone than marijuana

The pharmacy was hurting, the pub and liquor store
Rumours were brought to the attention of the law

Bob had some issues with the local copper, Frank
So he concealed his operation in a disused water tank

The dog went spare one night while Joan was sitting on the porch
“Bloody wombats” Joan surmised – until she saw the torch

She grabbed her walkie talkie, shouting “Bob, the cops again”
To buy a little time she let the Kelpie off the chain

Bob reluctantly decided to blow that tank apart
He was, like many farmers, a pragmatist at heart

He kicked the pot still over, then scrambled out the hatch
As he dived toward the wood shed he dropped a lighted match

A good ten seconds passed, Bob’s plan appeared ill fated
Then a massive explosion and the tank evaporated

Flames shot down the pipe and a mille second later
The septic erupted leaving nothing but a crater

A moment’s eerie silence then it started raining turds
The coppers stood there shell shocked, lost for more than words

Frank took a statement still encased in toilet paper
He retired at years end, said “I’m too old for this caper”

The evidence destroyed and no witnesses forthcoming
The official enquiry put it down to faulty plumbing

Bob learnt two lessons, firstly, knowing when to quit
And if you mix your medications you could end up in the shit

© Copyright 2010 Ian Bland

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