Midst the mulga and the gidyea out beyond the old Paroo
runs a road which leads to Yowah and a great place it is too.
Where the populace is smitten by an urge they can’t withstand:
Its the lust to find the queen of gems, beneath a timeless land.
With her tantalising beauty and her taunting, twinkling eyes,
Its the radiance of this desert child her lovers highly prize.
Suitors come from every walk of life, from countries quite diverse
and she keeps them courting tirelessly exacting quite a purse.
And the charm of her charisma casts a spell they can’t escape,
so they’ve built a little township there amid that red landscape.
Quite relentless is their quest to toil, a constant ritual,
and they love their leisure moments like their Opal Festival.
Chris and I were asked to join them and present our bush verse show
through the festival proceedings and replied, “We’d love to go.”
First we entertained the children at the school there for a spell
then our host, Gwen Burney, took us for a tour that went down well.
We were shown the local opal fields and dug for Yowah nuts,
then we lunched and watched some golfers sink some rather dubious putts.
But the opal bug had bitten and we sought a licence out,
for we planned to do some noodling or at least just poke about.
But the torture of the digging with just handpicks proved too tough
and we chucked the towel in quickly as we’d simply had enough.
Down in spirits we decided to search out the mulberry wine
there at Roy’s, not far from Gwen’s place, which was said to be real fine.
After scoffing down a sample we were feeling mighty good
and old Roy was sympathetic to our plight and understood.
He produced a bar and shovel and a bottle of his brew,
then we headed back to noodle with our outlook all anew.
Well we dug and sipped and dug and sipped, oblivious to pain
and the next two days we carried on and did it all again.
We were up each morning early and sat cracking all our nuts,
though our hands were full of blisters and a mass of little cuts.
We were both now surely smitten and could not resist her will,
for the bug had surely bitten and we talk about it still.
Yes, its tantalizing colour and its taunting texture’s fine
and we’re flamin' well addicted to Roy’s home-made mulberry wine.