Blogging from A to Z – C is for Crossing the River

April 3, 2015 at 12:01 am | Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015, Poetry | 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,

A2Z-BADGE [2015] - Life is Good




This poem is in the Australian bush verse tradition, and tells a story based on fact.

[I am afraid I cannot format the page to make it easier to read! I don’t know how to increase font size or make the line spaces bigger between each stanza].




Andrew lived for years Outback.

For native language he had a knack.

To finance his linguistic work,

He taught religion – what a lurk!

In his trusty four-wheel-drive he’d ride,

Travelling around the countryside,

To settlements long miles apart –

He could give us all a big head start.

At breakneck speed he’d drive along;

His vehicle was good and strong,

To cope with the dust, and the vibrations

Of the dirt road’s corrugations.

It was no different in the Wet:

Wherever he wanted to go he’d get.

Though all around were getting bogged,

By good, not bad luck, he was dogged.

It transpired one day he must cross over

The flooded, wide Sandover river.

For weeks the water was running high,

Now, to him, it was as good as dry.

The dirt road at the muddy ford

Was broken up, with fissures scored,

So Andrew tried another way,

Over the sand; but forgot to pray.

This linguist, full of missionary zeal,

Pressed foot to floor and clutched the wheel.

He expected treatment preferential –

But he sank right to his differential.

His four-wheel-drive was bogged right in;

His wheels did nothing else but spin.

He tried in forward, then reverse;

You’d think he’d lose his cool and curse.

But Andrew didn’t turn a hair;

He knew that he’d get out of there

By calling in human resources –

Those who’d been at his scripture courses.

His call went over the air waves –

Andrew’s version of “Jesus saves”;

Then he settled down to have a rest

Until someone answered his request.

Frank woke Andrew, who’d gone to sleep.

“You sure have dug yourself in deep!”

“I think that we can get you out;

It’ll be hard work, I have no doubt.”

The men brought shovels and a rope,

A truck and winch to give them scope.

They dug the sand from round the wheels,

While Andrew squatted on his heels.

On firm land they parked the truck,

To make sure it didn’t get stuck,

Attached the winch and pulled it hard,

But all their efforts were ill-starred.

Although they pulled with all their might,

Still the wheels were bogged down tight,

Then old Jack made a deduction,

“It looks like there is too much suction.”

They looked around them in dismay.

For where they’d dug the sand away,

Water had filled up all the space –

And the car was awash up to its base.

Andrew didn’t get upset,

He didn’t worry and didn’t fret.

“Don’t be troubled, and don’t you fear,

Things aren’t as bad as they appear.

“Corrugated iron will do the trick –

You can find some, can’t you Mick?

I think old Albert has some loose.

I know you’ll help, won’t you Bruce?”

So off they went to find some tin,

And Andrew suggested with a grin,

“Let’s all have a cup of tea,

It’ll perk us up I guarantee.”

‘Twas Joe and Fred and little Willie

Who lit the fire and boiled the billy,

While Andrew sat and took his ease,

In the shade of the river-gum trees.

Finally all the gear was ready

And Andrew got them to go steady,

“Jack the wheels; put the iron under;

We’ll be out soon, I shouldn’t wonder.”

The men all sweated at the jack,

Lifting the wheels, the iron to pack,

While Andrew sat in the driver’s seat,

Until preparations were complete.

He took the wheel as they pulled him out,

And when he was clear he gave a shout.

Then without so much as a quiver,

He drove through the sand and across the river.

(c) Linda Visman


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

  1. That’s a colourful bush story! Visiting from the A-Z, though I get your posts all year. Good luck this year! Animals again for me. Liz,

  2. What a fun story… especially knowing it was based on truth…

  3. Great poem with a good rhythm love it.

  4. […] C is for Crossing the River […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.


Our species is evolving. But will we ever be smarter than crows?

Helen Armstrong - writing on the move

I write when I travel but not always about travelling. It doesn't have to be a quiet corner...

Rosella Room

Socio-cultural comment on a range of issues, including literature, music and mental health


Exploring the Past to Improve the Future

Foxgloves and Bumblebees

A Nature Journal

L.T. Garvin

Eclectic blog: short fiction, poetry, humor, occasional dreams and wild book schemes.

Echidna Tracks

Australian Haiku


art. popular since 10,000 BC

Word Craft ~ Prose and Poetry

Colleen M. Chesebro ~ Novelist, Prose Metrist, & Word Witch


Thel's Sketchings: Art, Photography, Musings & Short Stories

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

A blog about writing and reading


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Half Baked In Paradise

Searching, settling, sauteeing and spritzing

The Curry Apple Orchard

A blog designed to remember the past and celebrate the present.


A site for the Barsetshire Diaries Books and others

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

%d bloggers like this: