Rod Williams, Bush Poetry

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JESSIE HAS GONE TO DOGWANALAND
My beautiful Blue Dog Jessie died on 24th November 2009, she was sixteen and a half years old.
It was heartbreaking for me as she was my dearest friend and the main inspiration behind our Award winning book “Frogs and Dogs and Kids” — which now has a lovely accompanying CD ( made before Jess left) and she was in the studio during most of the recording and says her hello and goodbye and responds with barks of approval after I sing “My Blue Mate Jessie” half way through the CD.
This is the poem I wrote for Jess — which I put some music to and always sang at the end of each Children's show that we performed at schools. The kids loved the song and would sway and clap along as Jess walked or lay amongst them.

It was extremely difficult for me to begin performing again as the loss I felt for Jess overwhelmed me and it happened in the middle of organizing a schools fundraising tour for The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
I had been endorsed by The Hospital and we had a poster ready to run off and hundreds of letters ready to go to schools and prospective sponsors.
Jess was half of the whole operation, advertising etc. and even though she was getting old she only needed to be there and take a back seat as she was much loved by all.

I had Jessie Cremated and I want her ashes to be scattered with mine by the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Then we can carry our swags along — guard the Western River system from abuse and enjoy the land we love.
Until that time, I will miss my friend every day and night until I call her to me again.

All the amazing things Jess did as Life saver, Child Protector, Garden and Home protector, School entertainer, Oldies entertainer, egg collector, Wombat and Echidna friend, wonderful mate and traveller, have to be told in stories along with the mass of Drawings, Birthday Cards and messages from children and finally Condolence cards from a number of schools, The Children's Hospital at Westmead and all the children at Krambach public school.

I have started the book called — “The Life and Times of Jess the Bonza Blue Dog” — but put it on hold twelve months ago because of ill health. I am now ready to start a new life in old age and as soon as this is all up on my website, I am going to enjoy getting stuck into the book again — it will be a big project though and will no doubt need help and a publisher to bring it to fruition.

MY FRIEND CAPTAIN PETE

But meanwhile, Jess remains on all pages of my Website and GUESS WHAT?? Jess is now a very important character in my friend, Peter Klein's new book called “Mudpoo and the Magic Tree-stump”. She is there because of special qualities and her Blue Dog Genius and Pete has also put me in the book, because of course Jessie and I are Mates.

I wrote on my website that we had been up to Iluka Primary School with Pete, about two and a half years ago and his book is set in the beautiful Heritage rain forest at Iluka.
It is a lovely book with lots of wonderful animal characters and great illustrations.
So go and look at “Captain Pete's” Website to see all about the book and there is a photo of Pete, Jess and me there as well. The Website is www.mudpoo.com.au

Jessie
My Dear Friend Jess — “The Princess of Blue Dogs”

JESS AND ROD IN DOGWANALAND.

I don't believe in heaven
But there is Dogwanaland –
And that's where I'll be heading
After I make my last stand.
I'll float upon the crimson clouds
With my own Jessie Blue –
Among the sparkling stardust
And we'll ride on rainbows too!!


We'll travel anywhere we please
For that's our Dreamtime plan –
We will carry two light swags
And our trusty billycan.
We'll live on nectar from the night
That drips like honey mead –
Filling “Billy” to the brim
From our shelter bubble-bead.

Jess and I will visit stars
And planets on our way –
Returning to Gondwanaland
To sing and walk and play.
Along the Murrumbidgee
Where our friends the Mopoke's call –
And we will guard the river
Helping cooling rains to fall.


Then – back to Dogwanaland
A million moons away –
Much further than Tralfamadore
But we'll journey in one day.
To be the best of loving pals
We'll roam and dream together –
Happy in companionship
That bonds us both forever.

© Roderick Williams Sept 30th 2009.

Written while travelling on the XPT from Gloucester to Sydney to perform a show on October 1st for the children at the Westmead Hospital School.
Seven weeks and six days later, I lost my very best friend!

A NEW FRIEND - 'DUSTY'

Dusty is a light green-eyed, Chocolate and White Border Collie/Coolie–cross boy who turns five years old on my birthday — November 3rd 2011.
Life was too lonely without Jessie being with me in person and I rescued Dusty from the RSPCA in Uralla.
I call him my wild Green–eyed boy and the kids up at Krambach school (who loved Jessie so much) adore him and he is very gentle and loving with them.
On September 23rd (last day of school term) Dusty, myself, students from classes four five and six and The Principal Mr Vaughan Parker made a surprise visit to St Paul's Hostel in Taree.

Dusty
Dusty in the garden with Giant Russian Cucumber and “Hobbit Butternut Pumpkin”
MONTHLY VISITS TO ST PAUL'S HOSTEL

I make monthly visits to St Pauls and thought it would be great for the youngies to meet the oldies.
Jessie came with me for those first few years of visits and was much loved by the residents — now it is Dusty and they adore him too and he is so gentle and knowing with our old friends.
We rehearsed songs and poems including “Springtime it brings on the Shearing”, “Flash Jack from Gundagai”, Woody Guthrie's “Car–Car” and heaps more and we all had a fabulous afternoon.
They want us all back at St Pauls so we are returning on December 8th with some new material as well.
I was extremely impressed by the way the children mixed with the residents and the fun (but respectful) way they conducted themselves.

Donella told me a week later that everyone was still talking about our visit and we can't wait to go in and see our old friends again — but I'll be in there before that on Nov 25th for a men's morning.

Dusty and I will be performing with the children on School Presentation night 7th December for the parents and we will sing the Traditional Australian Song “The Overlanders” and a new song “Our Friend Dusty”. That will be a good warm up for our St Pauls visit the next day — when Dusty, eighteen excited Kids, the Principal Mr Vaughan Parker and myself, hop in the school bus with Glenda at the wheel and have a happy drive into Taree to see our old friends!

Did I say OLD friends before!? I should talk, I'm 71 in a week and a half!!! Help!!

Rod at St. Pauls
Me, performing at St. Paul's Hostel, Taree

 
Dusty and kids at St. Pauls
Surprise visit with classes 4, 5 and 6

 
Dusty and kids
The Krambach Kids and Dusty