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Colleen O’Grady                        Western Australia

I currently live in Queensland, Australia. I have though, lived for many years, in Western Australia, mostly outback and in the farming areas. It is of these places I mostly write at times, based on my experiences. I have had a family history, Eastward To The Avon, published that I was commissioned to write, as well as my  own family's history.

I've had six poems published since I started writing seriously these past coeple of years, and also have a novel written that I am seeking a publisher for. I am a member of WA Poets Inc, Allpoetry, Australian Bush Poetry Association, WA Bush Poets & Yarnspinners Association, and the Henry Lawson Group.

Kitchen - Charles Olsen

The assembly line in the morning,
The raising of the flag,
'Advance Australia' singing
Made my heart feel glad.

The scent of the bush surrounding
On a wet and windy day,
Cocoa cups abounding
By the fire instead of play.

The gathering of the small schools,
Sports functions of the year.
The children of the bush schools,
Have come to run, jump and cheer.

They were small schools, little schools
Surrounded by the scrub.
We learned to read, write and rule,
But never, never rub!

Home-made pies, chips and fruit
On Friday, tuckshop day,
Concerts, plays, and Kathy's flute,
Memories of yesterday

"This poem was published in 1994 in Patchwork Of Poetry Volume 4 Mowbary Press Queensland"


Little girl sitting on a country fence,
Dreaming of things that make 'common sense',
Like pretty frilly dresses and brand new shoes,
Instead of those, which were 'don't know whose'!
A brand new doll in a brand new gown
Of soft white lace. She'd seen it in town!
Suddenly she started and looked around
And noticed that the sun was going down.
Up to the scrubby old shack on the hill
In her second-hand dress without any frill.

Sitting on a fence in her early teens,
Dreaming of a pony and brand new jeans.
Rodeos, gymkhanas, all around the west,
She'd prove to them all she rode the best!
Portable radio was tuned to her ear,
She'd won it in a raffle just last year!
Suddenly she started and looked around.
Her Mother was standing there, all of a frown!
'You're wasting your time wrapped up in a dream!
You make me so mad, that I could scream!'

Leaning on a fence as a young wife,
She daydreamed away the meaning of life.
Still wearing clothes that were 'don't know whose',
And married to a bumpkin always on the booze!
There were two little boys that took up her time,
Along with the washing draped on the line.
Maybe one day she will find herself free
To go and do her writing down by the sea.
A slurry voice behind her said 'wha'sh f'r dinner!'
She turned away, sighing. She'll never be a winner!

Middle age was on her as she gazed across the river
Feeling fairly happy, no longer in a dither.
She had also acquired a legal separation.
A novel she had written was due for publication,
Poetry, prose and novel number two
Kept her pen busy while hearing doves coo.
History and English at school she was attending,
University could follow, but that was 'depending'.
She thought it could be films, or a social worker!
Whatever she decides, she'll never be a shirker.

Gone are the daydreams while sitting on fences!
After all these years, she'd come to her senses!
During her life she made many mistakes
While washing baby nappies or baking large cakes.
Her time, not all been wasted, she used her eyes and ears,
Along with some laughter, and many, many tears.
Tomorrow is another day, for which she will fight
For four sons, for she knew now what was right.
Their education was important, she will not spare the rod.
It is a pact between her and Him - the one they call, God!


The days of the towris have long drifted by
And Biami sighs sadly from his place in the sky.
For his people have drifted from their sturdy ways,
When the European landed and upset his days.

Gone are the Laws at which they were devout,
That kept them together and each knew about.
Gone are the corroborees, songs and pictures too!
Now Biami's people, the white ways drift through.

Poor people of Biami, you wander through your fear,
No longer knowing the Laws you held so dear.
What is for them now? And the new generation?
No more Biami! Just misery and land sensation!


I sit down to my humble meal
And see a new world there.
There is Mexican tomatoes and Inca corn
And English beef part of the fare.

I gaze out of my window
And there I see with my eye
The Chinese rose, African Protea
And probably a Labrador fly!

Curious about our world now,
With things in such profusion,
I searched amid my humble home
And came to this conclusion:

My knickers were made in China,
My blouse is of Taiwan hue,
My jumper is off the Aussie sheep's back
And my jeans are United States blue.

My radiogram came from Britain,
My radio is Japanese,
A cup is the product of the Philippines
And a statue is Javanese.

My Atlas was published in Hong Kong,
My novel in Singapore,
My history drifted from the Deutschland
And my poetry from the English moor.

That's some of my home you know
And now its down to me,
For I'm more than curious to know
Something of my ancestry.

My birth is that of Australia,
My ancestors of Irish stock
Mixed with the British and Spanish.
I guess I'm one of God's flock!

Multiculturalism at home,
Multiculturalism abroad,
Multiculturalism does roam
All one with the Lord

"This poem was published in the online journal Creatrix 8 (WA Poets Inc)"