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BOB PACEY
Queensland, Australia
About Bob Pacey

 

 

Old Bill

Oh, your mane may be in tatters
And your coat a shaggy grey.
You can see a hint of stagger in your gait.
Yes, we've seen the years fly by Bill
Throughout the good times and the bad
But you're more than just a stock horse, you're my mate.

All those years of droving stock Bill.
Oh how the time has flown.
I'd swear you were a colt just yesterday.
I remember when I picked you
From that wild-eyed brumby mob
By gees you were a good'en in your day.

Wheeling cattle round the stock camp
While the rain came tumbling down
Chasing wild back country scrubbers with old Jack.
There was not a horse could beat you
When a mob had took to flight
I remember how we brought that baldy back.

At cutting steers around the yards Bill
There was ne'er better horse than you.
You were not the one to root or buck or stamp.
Holding cleanskins down for branding, sorting pikers from the mob
Or riding nightwatch around a dark and rainy camp.

And when I broke my leg at " Shanghai "
Trying to catch that brumby roan
A pitch black night without a moon or lamp.
I never would have made it without you at my side.
You carried me for miles back to our camp.

Now the years have taken toll Bill.
The long paddock beckons still
But you've done your watch and now's your time to rest.
Let your final years pass slowly
Where the sweetest grasses grow.
In my memory Bill you'll always be the best.

So graze down by the river, rest quietly in the shade.
Wander slowly on the flats down by the bend.
Our droving days are over
But I'll always be there with you Bill.
You're more than just a stockhorse
You're my friend.

© 2011, Bob Pacey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Bob told us: I was reading some stories about the early settlers and how Australian stockmen were sometimes closer to their horses then their wives and found that most poems related to stockmen who were dying. This was another point of view without the tragic ending that most stories had.
 

 

Bert's Hand

He sat there quietly in the front row and his face showed the weather of years,
My eyes seemed to always draw to him, then I noticed the faint trickle of tears.
Many poems I recited told stories of times I spent out in the west,
when travelling the highways and byways not knowing what was over the crest.

I thought as I gazed at his worn features that this later in life, could be me
Then I noticed his left leg was missing, there was nothing below the left knee.
Every now and then I saw him laugh with his mate who had sat by his side;
I thought somehow he seemed out of place here but still carried himself with such pride.

So when I finally finished performing I mingled and mixed with the crowd
But I made it a point to go to him. as the music around us rang loud.
He offered his hand then in friendship he had a strong grip so solid and tight
I asked him “ Hey ! How are ya going? ”He said” Yeah mate ! I’m doing all right“.

He told me my poems brought back memories of a hard life spent in the west
When he worked as a ringer and drover and handled stock with some of the best.
He was born out on a government mission when times for a black man were tough
Bert Williams; a top stockman and ringer his voice sounded so hollow and rough.

He had spent a lot time around Woorabinda and had mustered cattle through flies, heat and sand
But all through our brief conversation he still held firm and tight to my hand.
He told me of horses he'd broken and the danger when cattle took flight
Of times he out-rode the best ringers or sometimes stayed in the saddle all night.

He dreamed of long nights round a glowing campfire as the stars above twinkled and shone
They survived then on black tea and damper but now those cherished days were long gone.
He'd lost his left leg to a scrub bull but his courage and spirit showed strong;
Now stuck in this nursing home’s confines he really missed the wild bush and its song.

I listened, enthralled by his stories as he told me how he loved this great land
His eyes sometimes glistened with tears and still he would not let go of my hand.
The time we spent together felt so fragile a brief flitting moment in time;
I thought as I said “I must go mate,“ that we all have our mountains to climb.

So I said my farewells and departed but a part of my heart stayed behind
I hope that he felt the same way and that I had somehow repaid him in kind.
So now when life’s troubles are many , when it seems all alone I must stand.
I have only to close my eyes tightly and feel then the grip of Bert’s hand.

© 2012, Bob Pacey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Bob told us: The poem came about when I was doing a show for a respite care home and noticed an elderly aboriginal gentleman in the front row, I went and talked to him after and in the coming weeks the poem just sort of wrote itself. I have changed Bert’s last name as I never got back to see him [again] but the contact and the grip of his hand will always stay with me in tough times.


 

 

The Brute

I slowly slid my rear end down upon The Brute
the air was tense and silent as the gateman worked the chute.
I wound the bull rope tightly and gripped it from inside
nothing ventured, nothing gained this was my final ride.

The night had been a tough one,all the best riders on display
the points were neck and neck no one could breakaway.
I knew one ride could swing it and I thought I had a chance
I felt a tremble through my body as I readied for the dance.

I tucked my legs in tightly rubbed some rosen on my glove
nodded to the latch man and prayed to God above.
They swung the gate wide open and he went straight on the attack
he launched himself out sideways, there could be no turning back.

He was known to be a twister and he pirouetted to the rear
the seconds quickly mounted as I heard the crowd let out a cheer.
I felt like I was floating as he hit the ground and spun
then I heard the bell a ringing and I knew that I had won.

The dismount was not pretty as I landed face first in the dirt
but the adrenal had kicked in and I never felt the hurt.
I held my hat on high then slapped the dust off on my boot
I always will remember the time I rode The Brute.

© 2015, Bob Pacey
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

 

Bob told us: The poem developed out of an exercise in trying to convey the thrill of a rodeo ride to someone who may never have experienced it and after talking to a few riders I got the impression that the winning was not the motivation and that is was the thrill of the ride and the achievement that brought the main satisfaction.

 

 


 

  About Bob Pacey:
                                         
provided 2011

In full flow he can make a grown man cry at 10 paces.

And such is his versatility that those tears might be of laughter or despair.

Bob Pacey, the Central Queensland’s region’s best-known bush poet, has a verse stored in his memory for just about every occasion.

That’s why he can be found reciting in pubs, libraries, showgrounds, museums and markets throughout Central Queensland and beyond.

Bob is a true blue local whose great, great grandfather Robert Pacey settled the area as a stockman with the pioneering family, The Archer Brothers.

So it may come as a bit of surprise to learn that such a natural and prolific poet didn’t really pick up a pen until he was in his late 40s after much encouragement from his late auntie Pat Little and didn’t perform in public until 2000.

“I can’t imagine life without poetry now,” he says in a short break from his current job as “general roustabout” at Coolwaters Holiday Village at Causeway Lake.

“I have poems at home that have provided solace and helped me through difficult times. “And I love performing. I never let the truth get in the way of a good story and it’s great when people laugh until they cry. What a great feeling that is.”

After his first nervous outing at the Archer Park Museum in Rockhampton in 2000, he quickly developed a reputation for comedy. In 2011, at age 60 and with a repertoire of around 80 poems committed to memory, he admits he’s still learning and still writing, although some poems come more easily than others.

Bob spent many years travelling throughout Queensland in his previous position as a supervisor with Denhams Supermarket and it was these travels that provided a lot of the inspiration for his poems, many of which appear in his recently released book Bullsh*t Bulldust And Bob.

Over the years Bob has had many poems published in both the Morning Bulletin and other local newspapers as well as on radio 4ro and the ABC. Bob was the inaugural winner of the "Poets In The Pub" in 2006 as well as representing Central Queensland in the Q150 Shed Tour.

Where his poetry will take him in the future is anyone’s guess but his current position at Coolwaters Holiday Village in the Capricorn Coast provides him with a ready made audience and outlet for his poetry and many an enjoyable night has been had by tourists over a few drinks while Bob plies his trade. It would be fair to say that there is still a lot of poetry left in Bob Pacey and he will be giving it his best shot well into the future.
 



 

 

 

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