Ingham Daily Press

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Tony Maloney: Flood party ’21

Abergowrie bush poet Tony Maloney, the leprechaun pony.

Flood party ‘21

The river’s up and Gowrie’s cut

from Ingham – yes the bridge is shut. 

The Herbert thunders to the sea. 

A holiday is met with glee. 

It’s not for all but it’s for some, 

so they tear into Bundy rum. 

To get to work they’d need a boat. 

It must be time to oil the throat 

as water from the mountains runs. 

It’s time to drink and shoot the guns. 

For no police can make their way

to where they hardly ever stray. 

To Abergowrie, deep inside

the valley that runs far and wide. 

This river’s drop may take a while. 

It’s hunting time for Crocodile. 

So locals wobble up and down

the road that’s now blocked off to town

and barbecue down at the bridge.

I think today they’ll clear the fridge.

When smokers’ nails are chewed to bone

they fly in durrys on a drone.

But tinny runs we’ll see no more. 

Alas – The Ashton’s closed its door.

It’s theirs alone now – ‘Gowrie Road. 

And each man pools to share his load

of beer or spirits, wine or rum – 

they’ll drink and sing until they’re numb.

Then out of nowhere there’s a cry:

‘If I don’t get my meds I’ll die’. 

Old Billy’s boots begin to splash

across the bridge – he’s made a dash 

in through the currents – waters churn. 

Bill’s waist-deep now and yet to learn 

if Crocodile will snap him down. 

There’s danger living far from town.

For 40 minutes he strides on – 

to grab the bag off his mate Don. 

Then out the blue a stroke of luck. 

A fella in a four-wheel truck

is driving from the Ingham side. 

Now surely he’ll be Billy’s ride! 

But no! The mongrel’s gone straight past

and knocked Bill with a water blast. 

He wobbles but he keeps his feet. 

Then on he goes – he won’t be beat. 

Bill’s close to 80 people say.

He’s lucky to survive this day. 

A few more steps and he’s on land. 

The poor old bugger hadn’t planned

for this flash flood. Now he’s gone pale. 

He grabs his meds – then grabs an ale.

The rising flood reminds us all

that Nature makes the final call. 

And though we think not – we will fall. 

We’re just an act at Nature’s ball.

By Tony Maloney.

The calm after the flood: ‘Gowrie Bridge sunset (after the waters receded on Wednesday).

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