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Cymbric Vale

I believed that I was rural … that I lived in country style, where the city was close handy … that big distance was a mile. Trains and buses ferried daily; a freeway ran close by … comforts of the modern world easily reached with hand or eye. All my fifty years I have relied upon the comforts of a town. Be it work or be it play I chimed with the urban sound. Just by chance four years ago an invitation did prevail … I camped in the Shearer’s quarters on the station Cymbric Vale. 'Tis here at Cymbric Vale I stood on the back veranda, with eyes upon the countryside, searching near and far, at the scrub and dry creek beds over hill and down each dale, coming under the selection of the station Cymbric Vale. Last stop on this new trip was the inn at Little Topar. Fueling up, something to eat; met a station boss named Roger. Catching up on local gossip plus everything that we should know. Who caused his sheep to gather lice and he shot a rogue dingo. Now with the darkness falling, our headlights scout the track, we're off the tar, we're on red dirt, through country way out back. Roos are thick in all directions with fleet of foot they bound. Some drawn to the headlights and damn near get knocked down. ************** Those four years have flown and now I note a different scene. Not dry and parched or arid but with the land a tinge of green. Lush pastures not like Gippsland. This graze has a different sphere. Bringing forward the breeding programs of what's not wanted here. So I'm back here in the shearer’s quarters with five other blokes, settling in on our first night with coke or beer and jokes. Some are talking pig shooting toward a station called Grassmere, and we'll be counting goats, where the range is rocked and sheer. These mates of recreation … their blood lust ekes the hunting type. Their guns are strapped across the back and riding on a motorbike, out towards some station quarter where the feed grew two feet high … we left for this mountain range out where the sheep must vie. Through blue-green cattlebush, we could see the wild goat herd, dashing quickly from the flats when our four wheel drive was heard. Twenty here and fifteen there; the numbers soon did swell. Near time to bring the stock truck in for goats are paying well. A stand of trees, pruned beneath, offered us some needed shade. I pointed to the mulga parrots with the colours they displayed. A butcherbird looked down on me. Wrens find safety in a clump, and the bearded dragon deadly still watched from a red gum stump. The quandong tree we knew grew here, we found and it had died, then I noticed that the red gums upon their higher side, had debris wrapped around each trunk of leaves and twigs or bark. Three inches fell and grew the green and left this watermark. Wild tomatoes are abundant; they must be poisonous too. Sheep or goats don’t graze upon them, though on bluebush do. But the Bluebush is abundant stretching far as I can see … and forgotten are directions to the native orange tree. Big ‘reds’ and ‘blue flyers’ caught the camera or the eye. Emus strut at quite a pace; slapping wings when top knots fly. We meander through the dead wood of death from long ago, and passed a tank close to the homestead holding water very low. We gathered back inside the quarters, and as we’re being fed, ideas are bantered all around. "We'll get some yabbies" someone said. The house tank is holding plenty so with an hour and a net, we cooked a bucket full of yabbies on a campfire after sunset. Late at night a spotlight’s on; a 'drag's' been pulled across the clay, from a Kangaroo that has been shot for dog meat through the day. There are no sign of foxes where expectations have rode high … just an eagle resting in a mulga bush where the offal lay close by. Relaxing back around the campfire prior to heading off to bed, there is lot's of idle chatter and some pretty crude things said. The past keeps rising constantly, as do politics and sex. There is giggling with the banter for whatever came out next. In the morning time was taken to check out the shearing shed, which recently had been rebuilt to replace the old one with regret. This modern structure called the 'Hilton' with new age technology doesn't have the guise of shearing life, nor the feel of history. Bikes are fueled, guns are checked, and we left the station home. We are heading for the mountain range beyond the aerodrome. The four-wheel drive we followed found the rocky hillsides tough. The guns are staying silent; the goats are not prepared to bluff. Leopard wood and cypress pine grow plentiful on stony tors. The orange throated euro blends with rock formation flaws. In mountain pools of water, frogs take advantage of the wet. But hunting it is slim so far; we haven't seen a goat here yet. A decision made about some cattle took us to the far extension, there has been some free agistment; the talk of beef is mentioned. So with swags and tucker, boning knives, these cattle - man they seldom see. A single shot brought down one beast to hang in a red gum tree. Through scrub and grasses overgrown, cars revved up to the tank, Pigs were caught unwary; guns blazed from off the bank. With squeals and shots the chase is on - silence returned and now, lying amongst the lush green growth is a piglet and a sow. Night fell cool and stars they shone like I'd not seen before. The hunters with the spotlights left to search and kill some more. Shots echoed 'cross the landscape. On return with glee they said, their marksmanship is perfect - three foxes now lay dead. First light in the outback is one stunning sight to see, growing pink against the steely blue - false sunrise ruses me. A band of cloud then changes to a murky lemon lining; gold glows off the puffy hems just before the sun is shining. The land goes back to what it is; other predators now rule. From the band saw to the chiller, the beast is hung to cool. Some off cuts scattered here and there; the station dogs soon found, and warned the chooks and turkeys who quickly gathered 'round. It's time to leave, the cars are packed, there's handshakes and farewell. There's a long drive home ahead of us, plus many gates as well. And dust that whirls behind us falling down on station land, settles on the tracks of where we’ve been on stony hills and sand. But you never know just what you'll see when a corner comes to you, after miles and miles of sameness; a spectacle can come in view … and to see a dozen eagles on the carcass of one kangaroo, or a dingo slinking through the mulga; or damage that they do. The video will show it all, but the mind still reads it best. To be there is the only way to see the outback worlds contest. To see the ravages of nature where you'd swear that man must fail … I suppose there have been seasons when they have at Cymbric Vale.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 2/21/2021 3:24:00 AM
You always describe Australia with it scrub land, dry or full river beds, snakes and kangaroos koalas been saved from your ferocious fires and now Cymbric Vale. Do you write books Lindsay, your way of writing reminds me of Wilbur Smith, A South African Writer and Author but world renown - I know that my husband and I enjoy your poems so much because you love wildlife and the love of the wild and nature is in your blood and writing. Wonderful, simply wonderful! Hugs and blessings, Jennifer
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/23/2021 7:16:00 PM
Hello Jennifer ... Wilbur Smith is one of my favourite authors but I had no idea that you would think I remind you of him. I really only write for my own enjoyment and it's a bit of an addiction now so you could imagine that that there plenty of scripts, novels, short stories, poems and lyrics there is stored away. I do have a deep love for all things in nature - catch you soon Jennifer - Lindsay
Date: 2/9/2021 10:46:00 PM
Driving through the south west of W.A Lindsay, i cannot help but admire the work of cultivation by our fore fathers in turning arid land into pasture deep and far..Your poetry talks of another area of this wonderful country, Australia. But the sweat blood and tears also laughter you bring to us all that read your amazing poetry... well
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/14/2021 2:56:00 PM
Hello Harry ... pastures wouldn't survive here. I found glass that the sun had turned blue. Hand shears that hadn't rusted and countless oil tins used for the shears. It is so dry being the reason. Thank you for another fine comment Harry - Lindsay
Date: 2/8/2021 6:07:00 AM
There is so much written about in this, Lindsay. You bring the reader right there to see it all. Well done :)
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:47:00 PM
Hello Heidi ... being a lover of nature like I am Heidi, I know that you would be awe spending time on Cymbric Vale. The vegetation is so different in these harsh conditions. Thank you for your lovely comment Heidi - Lindsay
Date: 2/7/2021 8:25:00 PM
This poem is an epic masterpiece Lindsay! I haven’t been around much, but I am getting back to enjoying poetry again my friend. I hope you are well? Blessings xxoo
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:43:00 PM
Oh Connie ... I was so pleased when your comment came up. I often thought about how you were coping. I'm so pleased that we will be reading your wonderful poetry again. Yes, we are well here and I do hope you and your family are during these troubling time - catch you soon Connie and stay safe - Lindsay
Date: 2/7/2021 3:14:00 PM
What a vivid description! You took the readers to your story as if they were there with you. Love the journey from beginning to end.
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:36:00 PM
Hello JCB ... thank you for your encouraging comment. It's a long poem and sometimes a reader doesn't make it through, so I'm pleased that you did - stay safe JCB - Lindsay
Date: 2/7/2021 11:08:00 AM
You are an amazing story teller Lindsay. You know how to hold a reader to the last word. Wonderful description and imagery. Good Stuff. God Bless, JB
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:31:00 PM
Hello Judy ... I'm really pleased that you enjoyed this journey as much as I enjoyed writing it. The outback is so different to the green fields where I live - thanks Judy - Lindsay
Date: 2/4/2021 5:02:00 AM
You bring us to your Outback, by dingo!
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:28:00 PM
Hello Kim ... yes Kim, it is certainly the outback. Cymbric Vale was ninety five thousand acres in size but being little food available could only handle five thousand sheep. I was amazed at how much wildlife is there, but no dingoes. Sheep graziers and dingoes don't get along - thank you Kim - Lindsay
Date: 2/3/2021 2:14:00 PM
Kudos for such a amazing write. Quite a bit to read here, but well worth it.
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:20:00 PM
Hello Robert ... thank you Robert. Yes, it is long winded and to be honest I'm really surprised how many members have read it and hopefully understood some of it - thank you Robert - Lindsay
Date: 2/3/2021 1:15:00 PM
An epic adventure in verse! I recall when every day was open season on kangaroos yet they continue to thrive despite man and mother nature! Aloha! Rico
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:16:00 PM
Hello Rico ... kangaroo numbers have swelled since settlers provided water for their stock, which kangaroos have taken advantage of. Around here more and more kangaroos are being seen, even in towns. Wallaby's were once more abundant but not now - thanks Rico - Lindsay
Date: 2/3/2021 1:10:00 PM
Thank you for this lovely tour of Cymbric Vale, Lindsay! You seem to know the local history well and have created quite a tribute. Hugs, Carolyn
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:10:00 PM
Hello Carolyn ... I don't know the area, but as a writer and amongst this vast semi-desert area, I observed closely what I had never seen before. It has a different beauty to it and most vegetation is a dull blue-green - thank you Carolyn - Lindsay
Date: 2/3/2021 12:21:00 PM
What an interesting journey, Lindsay. Thanks for taking your readers along with you.
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:05:00 PM
Hello Jenna ... it is a bit long, but it's about a week I spent in Western New South Wales - thank you Jenna - Lindsay
Date: 2/3/2021 1:30:00 AM
Wow, brilliant Lindsay. You take the reader on an amazing journey. Hope you're well Tom
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Lindsay Laurie
Date: 2/9/2021 7:02:00 PM
Hello Tom ... pleased you enjoyed this long winded tale Tom. It is true about one of my trips to the outback - yes, we're fine Tom. Hope it's the same with you - Lindsay