Hearts and Minds
By
Kevin L Fairbrother
They come, they go, like the sands of time
Washing our soul, disturbing our mind
Relentless, provoking, rocking our boat
Like the ocean tide that ebbs and flows

Days go by, too busy to think our past
Days are full on and time is short
Our years mount seven score or more
Only time we have left will even the score

Thoughts of the past are hard to recall
But those around you prompt your thinking
We may be growing older but none the wiser
As the fog builds and clouds our minds

But some light gets through to our darkened thoughts
And in quite times, we reflect of pain and suffering
When our soul and heart were scarred so deeply
Then smothered by enlightened happiness of life

Those memories of your forgotten past, hard to recall
Etched deep and jumbled in a cluttered mind
But when they present through the fog and mist
Your heart and soul like a volcano awakens
Your thoughts and memories live within others
Your loved ones, your family and friends
They never die they are always passed on
To live within someone’s heart and mind

 

Hey Bloke

By Kevin L Fairbrother
Hey Bloke this is no joke
Share your thoughts, what’s troubling you
Spit it out, don’t muck about
No one will think less of you

We are here to see you right
Be a man, don’t give up the fight
Shove that baggage that you carry
Down the drain, then no pain
And mate you will have your life back again
Penned just now by Kevin L Fairbrother 28/10/2016

Nostalgic Memories

Been awhile since I’ve put pen to paper and a lot has happened during that time but I have been to busy with farm work, cutting firewood and catching up with family and friends after my six months on the mainland (Australia) I am now back in Tasmania, have been back since November 2016.

It takes something special to fire up the brain cells and start putting words to paper and write about a subject that moves you from the couch to the computer and today whilst listening to some Slim Dusty country music, it inspired me to write about a mate who passed away just last week.

Slim Dusty and his music has been part of my life since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and his songs of the Aussie landscape, the outback and the country people have given me great pleasure and a true sense of belonging to our Australian way of life.

There is a lot going on in the land down under and things are not the same anymore (a title of one of Slim Dusty songs) there are many changes in the political circle and times are tough for many people. Immigration is causing all sorts of problems and unfortunately they are not going to be fixed any time soon, that is another story for another day.

Right, back to my great mate who I lost recently, we have been mates for over thirty years and have shared many fun times and lots of adventures, his name is Johnny Triffett, I called him JR. He was 84 years old and he would often say to me, “you know Kev, we have lived through the best time and I wouldn’t like to be around in 10 years time” he went on to say;  “I’ve had a good productive life and I wouldn’t change it for anything”

Now Slim Dusty I have met twice, both times at concerts and I remember a special time at one of his concerts, my son Darren “who sadly passed away” was Down syndrome  and we took him back stage to meet Slim and the great man gave him a cuddle and shook his hand and signed his record and tape for Darren. Darren was over joyed and so excited he wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks.

Johnny and I both loved country music and especially Slim Dusty songs. I think Slim has a great way with words and his poetry/song writing is unique and special and this is borne out by his popularity years after he passed away.

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Johnny and I also had a passion and love of horse riding and horses in general, he owned two-part Arab’s Kato and Scotty and I owned quite a few horses as I used to break them in and also do farrier work for mine and other horses. My main riding horses were Breeze, Toby and Sahm. Sahm was full blood Arab and the other two were part Arab/stock horse.

Johnny could belt out a good rendition of Slim Dusty’s songs, he could play the guitar and many a night camped in the bush by a roaring fire or in his cellar under the house we would have sing alongs and knock back a few beers. Mind you Johnny was no Caruso and I wasn’t much better but we would belt out with gusto Slim’s country songs.

Songs like, You’ve Done Us Proud, When The Rain Tumbles Down In July, Trumby, Pub With No Beer, Waltz Sing Matilda and many others, often Johnny would invite other mates and our partners would also roll up with lots of food.

What these two blokes have in common is their love of Australia and its way of life and the great country music. Sadly both have passed on but I remember the good times I had with Johnny and I will always enjoy playing Slim Dusty and his wonderful music that so embossed and stamps the bush and its harsh unwilding climate and of course the people who endure and fight every day to make a crust.

I myself class my self as a typical country bloke who can turn their hands to do anything with the motto of, have ago.

Many of Slim’s songs I can relate to and his clear and concise words portray a typical Aussie battler trying to turn a dollar, the songs of the bush, the land, the outback, the truck drivers, the Aboriginals, the farmers with their cattle and sheep, the flora and fauna unique to Australia and of course the many small rural communities and its people.

Songs like; A Natural High and I’d Sooner Be A has Been Than a Never Was At All or the very moving; How Good Is Life, these songs and many more I play just about every day. The songs are on my iPhone, iPod and computer.

Every time I play Slim Dusty songs I will be reminded of my mate Johnny, it will stir up emotions and reflections of our time past. when I play The Man From Snowy River the song about a mountain born and bred stockman who rode a mountain bred pony, sure-footed and the stamina of an Elephant, it will remind me of the time Johnny and I rode down the old school track, from the upper swamp to Lachlan. The track was set in the mountains above Lachlan village, was steep, with many twists and turns and in some places overgrown. We raced down that mountain track with no fear and like a torrent of water surging down a hill we never drew bridal till a barbed wire fence came into view. We pulled our horses up, standing in the stirrups and leaning way back, as the horse slowed and skidded on their rump with their back legs under their belly.

We breathed a sigh of relief as we managed to stop just feet from the barbed fence, looking at one and other with smiles on our faces, we dodged the bullet that day, it was a close call.

We found a way round the fence and continued down the track a fair bit slower until we reached the main Lachlan road.

The many other classic songs of Slim Dusty were based on the famous poets, Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson and many other talented writers throughout Australia. Who would not remember The Pub With No Beer and The Rain Tumbles Down In July.

They remind me of the time, Johnny and I rode the Lachlan/Crabtree ride down Jefferys Track, we were rugged up with our Drizabone coats and Akubra hats as the forecast of wet and windy weather was to hit us throughout the ride. The sky opened and the cold southerly wind hit us like a sledge-hammer, we reached into our saddle bags pulling out bottles of Green Ginger wine to ward off the cold but the rain and at hail was relentless, the wind went straight through us, chilling our bones to the core.

A fast gallop from the open country to a bit of shelter amongst the trees, was in order and we galloped our horses for a couple of miles before resting under the trees. A few more swallows of Green Ginger and we headed off down the mountain to Crabtree. A roaring fire was built after the horse were yarded and we settled down for a night of booze and country music. A great memory of Johnny that ride.

Another classic song of Slim’s was Tall Dark Man In the Saddle, this reminded me of the way Johnny used to ride, he would never sit straight in the saddle, he always seemed to be leaning out to the left and this would make the horse drift to the right causing problems with other riders. This habit of leaning in the saddle bought Johnny undone on a ride at Gretna. There were about 20 riders and we were galloping down a gravel road with lots of sharp corners, I was out in front of Johnny on my Arab, Sahm and we came up to this hairpin corner at a fast pace, I managed to get Sahm round the corner and I looked back at Johnny and his horse Kato, I could see him try to slow down and noticed that he was leaning way out to the left, next thing he was under the horses belly, the synch strap had broken and he fell off underneath the horse. Thank our lucky stars that Kato stopped straight away and old Johnny ended up with a red face and a few scratches and he gave us his classic saying,” yeaaaaaaaaaaaaa, that was close” We all had a good laugh, fixed up his girth on the saddle and continued on our way.

Johnny had another close shave that could have killed him, we were coming back from one of the many Crabtree rides, I was back from Johnny, in a group of riders and we noticed that once again old Johnny was leaning out to the left on his horse, there was a very steep drop off on the left all the way down the track and Johnny horse seemed to be getting closer and closer to the edge. Then all of a sudden he was gone, horse and rider were over the edge, we all raced to where he went over, jumped off our horses to see the damage.

Johnny was under the horse, a large log had stopped horse and rider going all the way to the bottom. We managed to calm the horse down and get her back on her feet without doing any damage to Johnny. We got the horse back up on the track with a lot of effort and then concentrated on getting Johnny checked over and getting him out from under the log.

He had some scratches a sore shoulder, some bruising and a very sore knee, we bandaged the knee and put him in one of the support vehicles to be taken to town and a doctor. We found out later that his knee was busted and that he, Johnny was in hospital.

This incident could have been a lot worse and Johnny was always thankful that log certainly saved his life.

I certainly feel the loss of Johnny and I will look with fondness on the many moments of our friendship that have been such a part of my life. Johnny spent some time with my son Darren, who passed away a few years back. Darren was also a great fan of Slim Dusty and being born with Downs syndrome did not hinder his love of country music and his love for Slim.

The time of Darrens 45th birthday was especially a tear jerker for the whole family, when Johnny sat down with Darren and played his guitar and sang some of Slim’s songs, Darren pretended he had a mike and sang along with Johnny, bringing a tear to everyone’s eye, it was awesome.

Johnny always had a smile and a cheeky way about him, he fancied himself as a bit of a ladies man, he would greet his many lady friends with a smile and open arms saying ; ” hallo darling, you lovely thing”. With the blokes it was ; “hallo Kev, you lovely chap” and he would very often in a conversation answer back with a “yeaaaaaaaaaaaa”. He loved his flower garden, especially the roses and could be seen most days tending his garden or doing improvements around the house.

Would spend weeks before Christmas decorating his house with all sorts of coloured and blinking lights. “for the kids” he would say.

I can remember the spot lighting nights the hunting trips to the high country, all the trail rides, his Toyota Landcruiser station wagon, 4wd,  that he would polish and clean everyday. I used to rib him about his fancy Toyota, tell him it was a luxury and all its life had never been off the bitium, he would just laugh and say “yeaaaaaaaaaaa”

Johnny’s  partner of 23 years Valda kept him on good tucker and he never wanted for anything, old Johnny was not a cook that’s for sure, he couldn’t boil water but he was definitely spoilt by Valda’s cooking and many time’s I would share a meal at his home and then spend the rest of the playing and singing country music.

Johnny like Slim has gone to a better place, he endured a short illness but has left a life time of memories and I will always think of my mate when ever I play Slim Dusty.

May they both rest in peace and forever play their guitars and sing country songs.

 

Slack Arse

Well here it is, nearly the end of January in the year 2017 and I have not added to my blog.

A slack arse or a very busy person with too much to do and not enough time to do it but hey, at least I’m at the keyboard and on my blog.

Big question now is what do I write about, a lot of water has passed down river since my last crack at the keyboard and there have been many changes to me and the world around my little neck of the woods and globally! Well what can one say, the word on everyone lips is TRUMP and his election as president of the USA. Massive changes are in the wind which will affect not only the USA but the rest of the free world. There has been so much written and spoken about Trump and I’m not going to add to that except to say, that Donald Trump will be impeached and he will not be in the job his full term.

Returning to Tasmania in November from the mainland (Australia) I came back to a different scene from when I left in late May 2016. Just before I left the flood gates had opened and the rain tumbled down, the drought of 2 years had finally slipped into history.

The pain of the drought was still there but farmers and the Hydro Power Management could see that the dams were filling. The power company dodged the bullet of imposing power restrictions.

When I arrived back in Tasmania in November, I disembarked the boat and headed south and it was amazing to see the change in the landscape, everything was green and flourishing, it was shaping up to be a bumper season, for hay, silage and vegetable crops.

Arriving in the Derwent Valley I could see the results of the abundance of rain that fell during winter and now the spring grass was leaping ahead and I would actually be able to cut hay in late December. Lambing had finished and the lambs and their mothers were doing well on the lush grass.

We marked and drenched the lambs and ewes in early December and put them out in the fresh sown paddocks with grass now 8 inches high.

Then it was hay time and the day before Christmas the hay was ready to be baled after being cut down 2 days before. The weather was warm to hot with lots of sunshine.

We baled 350 square bales, carted them to the barn and stacked them up nearly filling the shed. Bit of downtime over Christmas visiting families and friends then it was back into hay carting for the neighbours until all the hay in the area was cut and baled. Everyone was happy that all the barns were full and if the grass dried off over summer, we could feed the stock with the freshly cut hay.

The weather stayed quite mild and there were patches of rain that kept the grass growing and green to the end of January but now into February the grass has all turned brown and we are hand feeding some of the stock. The lambs are still with their mothers and are doing well, the ewes are slowly drying off their milk but the lambs have had a good start and will grow into nice fat lambs, worth over $100 each.

I will close this chapter and post, then wait for something to prompt me back to the keyboard.

 

Daily Prompt: Smoke

via Daily Prompt: Smoke

In the early days it was a sneaky trek out the back door with a toilet roll and a box of matches hidden under ones jumper, the down to the patch of Stringy Bark trees that grew along the ridge line overlooking the city. Red and his mate Bluey scampered up the hill and a bit out of breath lent against the first big gum tree, taking stock of the availability of the fine fibre that was the bark of the Stringy Bark tree.

They proceeded to pull the bark from the tree and squashed and knead in their hands until it was real fine, they then unraveled some toilet roll and placed the bark on the paper and began to roll it up like a cigarette . “Come on” says Red to Bluey,” hurry up, I want to have a smoke” “alright” says Red “hang on to your horses, you can have your smoke when I have rolled it properly”

“Righto” says Red “let’s get the matches and light this smoke up” Red took the first puff and snorted and coughed and spluttered, then wheezed, “she is a bloody good smoke this one, burn your tongue and mouth if you draw to hard” “Give me ago” says Bluey, I want to have my smoke too” “Here you go” says  Red “now don’t draw to hard or you will catch fire in your belly, the smoke is that hot” “No worries I’ll be right” says Bluey, but after the first puff he races down to the creek “yelling, my mouths on fire, I’m burning and the dumps his head into the water, thus putting out the fire in his mouth.

“Ge’ez” says Bluey ” no more for me, that felt hotter than hell. Red had a few more puffs and he too had to head for the water to quell the fire in his mouth. That’s it they both agreed, there would be no more smoking of the Stringy Bark and in fact they both agreed that they would never ever smoke again.

A healthy lesson learned the hard way unlike the publicity given to smoking in the days of the Malbora Man.

Hey Bloke

Hey Bloke this is no joke

Share your thoughts, what’s troubling you

Spit it out, don’t muck about

No one will think less of you

We are here to see you right

Be a man, don’t give up the fight

Shove that baggage that you carry

Down the drain, then no pain

And mate you will have your life back again

Penned just now by Kevin L Fairbrother 28/10/2016

Working Mans Dream

By

Kevin L Fairbrother

 

It’s a working man I’ve been

Now have freedom up my sleeve

Stress and worry I leave behind

Travel this country in my own time

 

The friends I meet the places I see

Is the only reward due to me

No time to dwell on the pastImage (11)

Adventure before dementia, I ask

 

I’ll travel the roads of the great outback

My mind taking pictures of what I see

I wave to travellers that wave to me

Listen to Slim on my country cd

 

There is no rush for there is plenty to see

In the desserts up the mountains or by the sea

The dirt and tar I’ll travel without a care

I’ve become a Nomad and travel everywhere

Friends

By

Kevin L Fairbrother

 

 

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True friends are hard to find

ones that never put you down

True friends are hard to keep

If you sling mud at their feet

 

Friends may come and go

Some tread on your toes

Others make your day worthwhile

They put a smile on your dial

 

FRIENDS ARE:

F                      Faithful, respectful and trustworthy

R                      Resilient when times are tough

I                       Indescribable there mate-ship to you

E                     Enrich your life with care and attention

N                     Never say no when trouble strikes

D                     Dependable and always available

S                    Sustain your faith in humankind

Friends are made not bought

Take the time to say G’day

Ask them are they Ok

Embrace their friendship

And make their day.

Reflections

There is such a place upon this earth

Where your heart and soul know peace

Your mind is at rest all pain has withered

As you reflect on the past, now gone

 

Thoughts of family and your friends

the heart and soul of your life you shared

Feelings of regret, pain and suffering all there

The lows and highs they were there and cared

 

They gave you courage and instilled hope

Your life was important to them and you

They lived with your pain as one with you

Feelings of love they expressed so deeply

 

Appreciate and reflect what they have done

A day not shared with them is a day lost fore-ever

Meaningful words you expel with love and devotion

Make amends before the heart stops beating

 

Penned by Kevin L Fairbrother 28/10/2016

Takes two to Tango or in my case the time and effort to add to my blog.

It has been awhile and I have not  been sitting on my posterior, work commitments, travel and the lack of time have all dealt a bit of a blow to my input. I will make amends from today and post the story of Darren (my son) in; In the past. A few words in poetry won’t go astray, so all you good people out there in cyber land who wish to partake of my ramblings, you are most welcome and I hope you make sense of it all. Thanks to those who have taken the time to read my ramblings, I’m just sorry that I have not been posting much, not that I have much of a fan base but I will be working on it.

Remember Roam wasn’t built in a day so it takes time to put ideas on paper then tap away on a keyboard and life is to precious to waste too much time on a computer.

A night is filled with thoughts and ideas

Before your brain shuts down and sleep comes

Then when the sun brings forth a new day

Those thoughts and ideas have gone away