Bland On Bland – Wandering

Photo By Jools Thatcher
Photo By Jools Thatcher

The theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Wandering”. Another one of Jon’s topic choices that leaves one bewildered with possibilities. Let me know what you think.

Ed Bates is once again on guitar duties this week (loved the dobro)

Play this poem directly in your browser! Just click the “play” button below:

Also have a listen to my album “Drifter


To cross the Simpson Desert is a test of will and strength
Eleven hundred sand dunes, some two hundred K’s in length

Gentle on the western fringe, larger, heading east
Till the final dune “Big Red”, a forty metre beast

The week of Birdsville Races, aside from horses, camels, flies
The population, round a hundred, swells sixty times that size

Westward, forty K’s, a different kind of thoroughbred
Scores make the pilgrimage to try and mount “Big Red”

Every kind of driver, bushies, pros and hacks
Two wheeled, four wheeled, six wheeled, eight – one that ran on tracks

Some had been around the block, some that looked brand new
Had only ever seen the wilds of The Boulevard in Kew

The track resembled Bourke Street as they queued to scale the face
While spectators and eskies gathered round the base

Among the crowd of revellers, “The Rat” and brother Ron
Sitting on the bonnet, delighting in the goings on

I joined them for a drink as a Land Rover ran wide
The left wheel hit a Cane Grass mound and rolled onto its side

No-one hurt, we righted it and rolled it down the trail
Cleared the track so someone else could have a go – and fail

I asked what brought them up here, you know, making friendly chat
“Noodling” answered Ron, “Wandering” explained “The Rat”

We watched a dozen try in vain while downing several beers
Ron revealed their wandering had lasted twenty years

All across the outback, wandering back and forth
East to west all on a whim, a coin toss, south or north

A Nissan took a run up, hit the dune, lost all thrust
The springs bottomed out, dug them further in the dust

A Willy’s tried to crawl up but things didn’t go as planned
Half way up the wheels spun and it sank into the sand

Most headed back to Birdsville as the desert sun retreated
“Big Red” had met all challengers and today was undefeated

The brothers said their goodbyes, wished everyone the best
Instead of east to Birdsville, they turned their old bomb west

They drove straight up “Big Red” and blew their horn atop the ridge
As easy as a Taxi navigates the King Street Bridge

They disappeared from sight leaving everybody pondering
I guess some are born for wondering and others born for wandering

© Copyright 2010 Ian Bland

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