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I. D. Pace

of

Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia

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Ships in the Night

by

I. D. Pace

Where did you sail, Cristavao,
on the winds and the oceans of time,
when Portuguese sailors uncovered the world
and you led three ships of the line?

What did you find, Cristavao?
What unforeseen coast did you sight?
Where are the charts and the logs time has lost
of three ships that passed in the night?

Were you ordered to search for Magellan
in the seas of the Isles of Gold?
Was the knowledge of what you discovered
kept secret from rivals of old?

Did mapmakers trace in the maps of Dieppe
a coastline, forbidden to claim?
Did the hand that signed Saragossa
mask the truth from the envoys of Spain?

Have the waves and the winds hidden from view
the bones of a ship in the sand?
Are there keys which remain to the truth that you stood
on the shores of a Great South Land?

Did you plant a seed, Cristavao,
that has slept through a long, dark night?
Will a rosa da Santa Maria
flower in the morning light?


From the Face of the Earth

by

I. D. Pace

I

An eagle, circling in the sky,
felt the winds of change.

From the south a squatting party
came into Jardwadjali country;
From the north, a proud explorer.
Henty and Mitchell - empire builders:
one his own; one of flag and throne.

The ancient spirit Mitchell felt
was of no jardwadjali clan.
A pharaoh from Pyramid Hill
surveyed Australia Felix.

"The harbinger of mighty changes there" -
Mitchell's vision and his word,
"English for thousands of years" -
Jardwadjali country!

Above the sacred Gariwerd the eagle soared.
It saw a dark horizon
and heared thunder on the plain.

II

Land hunger gripped the minds of men.
In Henty's tracks the first waves came
to claim their runs.

A squatter watched and wrote of what he saw
when five brothers rode


From the Face of the Earth

by

I. D. Pace

I

An eagle, circling in the sky,
felt the winds of change.

From the south a squatting party
came into Jardwadjali country;
from the north, a proud explorer.
Henty and Mitchell - empire builders;
one his own, one of flag and throne.

The ancient spirit Mitchell felt
was of no Jardwadjali clan.
A pharaoh from Pyramid Hill
surveyed Australia Felix.

"The harbinger of mighty changes there",
Mitchell's vision and his word:
"English for thousands of years".
Jardwadjali country!

Above the sacred Gariwerd
the eagle soared.
It saw a dark horizon
and heard thunder on the plain.

II

Land hunger gripped the minds of men.
In Henty's tracks the first waves came
to claim their runs.

A squatter watched and wrote of what he saw
when five brothers rode west to the Wando.

"Three days after they arrived,
the natives of this creek, with some others,
made up a plan to rob the newcomers,
as they had done the Messrs Henty before.

They watched an opportunity
and cut-off fifty sheep from the brothers' flocks,
which were soon missed,
and the natives followed.

They had taken shelter in an open plain
with a long clump of tea tree,
which the brothers' party, seven in number,
surrounded, and shot them all but one.

Fifty-one men were killed,
and the bones of men and sheep
lay mingled together
bleaching in the sun at the Fighting Hills".

Silent shadows crept from the face of the earth
in the path of the sun in the sky,
to the shroud of the hills and the dreams of the night
and the light of the eagle's eye.

III

After the fire, new grass will grow from native seed.
Five brothers vowed to scour the fertile womb.
A shooting party formed,
the murderous brotherhood rode out.

A chain of waterholes, fed from the hills,
lies as teardrops on the face of Jardwadjali country.
To the sanctuary of the waters
the elders led the remnant of the tribe.

"A blackfellow told me some years after in his own way:
'Blackfellow all runnern along a scrub in creek,
lubra look up scrub, white fellow shoot her down.
Two hundred fine, fat lubra shot'".

Thus said William Moodie of Wando Vale, adding:
"The number may not be reliable
as Jimmy, when telling,
he held up his two hands three times".

And the news passed down the Wando
that the good neighbour of Merino Downs
had dispatched Lanky Bill,
sole survivor of the Fighting Hills.

Deeds beget titles.

IV

Deeds bequeath titles.

One hundred and sixty years have passed
and the deeds of title to Jardwadjali country
still bear the name of five brothers
who came to the Wando.

And, by the name it proclaims,
the main street of the nearby town
honours the blood bonds of brotherhood
that built its founding past.

>From the realm of the skies a shadow
sweeps across the plain of the Jardwadjali heart.
Yet, who shall know of its passing?
for there remains no trace,
in the heavens or on the earth,
of the flight of the eagle.


A New Star Shining

by

I. D. Pace

On the eve of my daughter's departure overseas, the death of her beloved grandmother, inspired a poem on a postcard.


For Joanna in remembrance of Mimi


There's a star in the bright sky
that's new-born today.
It shines down on me.
It lights-up my way.

Wherever I travel,
'cross seas far from home,
with my star there to guide me
I shall not be alone.

And, as long as I journey,
our paths lead together ...
each moment, each minute,
each day and forever.

There's a new star shining
in heaven above.
It shines out to me.
It shines out with love.

With my star there above me
we never shall part ...
each day of my lifetime,
each beat of my heart.


A Right Captain Cook

by

I. D. Pace

I

Sum-up, my son, what England has done
In the far-off Antipodes.
Let's take a look, a right Captain Cook,
At the good and the bad of your deeds.

II

To begin at the start, we were quite world's apart;
It's a long way to New South Wales,
So, you sent out the fleet on a vast one-way street,
Stocked full from your hulks and your gaols.

We hoisted the flag and saluted the king
And prayed for God's wisdom and light
When a black man appeared, so, in case we got speared,
We shot him. It ... seemed ... only right!

We found the place odd. We reckoned that God
Had mixed up a thing or two.
Just look at the trees and the birds on the breeze.
Imagine a kangaroo!

I could go on all day but, instead, I'll just say:
"We don't speak as good as you do",
So, I'll tell you now, sport, in words that are short,
What we're proud of - what we hold "true blue".

The Don and The Cup, cricket's Ashes, two-up,
Lithgow Flashes, Phar Lap, Lionel Rose,
Oppy and Laver, a Bondi lifesaver,
The green and the gold of our clothes.

Mates and their sheilas, kelpies, blue heelers,
A swag and a coolibah tree,
Dad and Dave, Burke and Wills, Aunty's Blue Hills,
A winged keel on a foreign sea.

We've culture and science, the town and the bush,
Jeff Kennett's Melbourne, the Sydney Push,
Shimmering summers on Wimmera plains,
Merinos in millions, our droughts and our rains.

III

As game as Ned Kelly we came to these shores
To a new vision splendid, a new world to explore
Where a nation of children could love and could grow,
But, as far as we've come, we've further to go.

Anzac, Kokoda, Changhi, Tobruk,
Beersheba, Long Tan, Western Front,
The flag at Eureka, a Yarra-bank speaker,
The freedom to say what you want.


One Nation

by

I. D. Pace

We honour the name of Australia
and the spirit, born long ago,
of one land, one people, one nation:
Australians all - let the world know!

>From the fringe of our Great Southern Ocean,
cross our land from the east to the west,
in the sun of the north and Red Centre
we are called to give of our best.

A lifetime pledged to the colours
of the glorious flag that we bear,
the dawn we will always remember
when our youth gave the lifeblood we share.

Come sons and come daughters of freedom,
walk tall in the face of your fears.
Stand shoulder to shoulder as equals
through the seasons of the years.

One family, one heart's generation,
one people, one land great and fair,
one nation united in spirit:
Australia - one future we share.


Hard Miles

by

I. D. Pace

I've been ripped off for petrol,
stung blind for cigarettes,
used and abused for accomodation,
but, listen here, I've no regrets,
for I came on a mission
and I've found what I seek.
I've made it to Mecca
and it's called Tennant Creek.
So, sing me a song man,
sing a song for me.
I've done the hard miles
and I'm here till duration,
so, sing a song for me.


The name behind the man behind the bar

by

I. D. Pace

Kim Philby was a traitor,
a Cambridge don turned spy,
who pulled the wool over old John Bull
as he looked him in the eye.
Jim Kilby is another bloke,
an Aussie through and through,
who runs a pub that overflows
on the banks of the old Barcoo.

Kim Philby and Jim Kilby,
so easy to confuse.
Could it be the master spy
has pulled another ruse?
Now, if you are a doubter
set out and solve the case.
You may find Jim's none other
than a fugitive named Skase.


Where Rivers Overflow

by

I. D. Pace

I have walked in the tracks of Mitchell
on the banks of the old Barcoo
and sensed the rhythms that Paterson felt
and the pleasures that Clancy knew.
In the shearing shed at Isis Downs
I have heard the swift blades sing
and felt the pulse of the mighty days
when the Golden Fleece was king.

I have seen a vision of sweeping plains
where rivers overflow
and smelled the fragrance of windborne rains
as seasons come and go.
And, in a gallery of crystal stars,
I have touched the Sculptor's hand
and traced the contours of the art
that shaped this native land.


The Wall

by

I. D. Pace

In the mist of time of the Orient
The people bowed down and did pray
That they'd build the Great Wall of China
Cross their land in a year and a day.

But for us, in the sun here at Noosa,
It will take somewhat longer they say
For the wall of our Noosaville diner
To rival that wall of Cathay.

Fear not impending disaster,
Dry rot or signs of decay.
Just hail the last drops of plaster
As the first start to crumble away.


The Game of the Nation

by

I. D. Pace

We honour the name of our nation
In a game that was born long ago.
It has written its story in legend.
Aussie Rules! Let the world know!

From the fringe of our Great Southern Ocean
Cross our land from the east to the west,
In the sun of the north and Red Centre,
It calls us to give of our best.

A lifetime pledged to the colours
Of a game and the memories we share -
The day when Cazaly flew higher,
An old man who says, "I was there".

A roll-call of childhood heroes,
A youth, dreaming of glory and fame,
The arms of a mother's caring,
A father's words, "I played the game".

A game that has lasted the journey
Through lifetimes of joy mixed with tears.
A game for one hundred Septembers
Of the seasons of the years.

When we honour the game of our nation
And remember the ghosts of its past,
Let us pledge, for all our tomorrows -
Aussie Rules ... long may it last!