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Poems around Ross
Poems by Kim Peart will soon be included in a poetry trail in Ross.


Posts: 139
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Cork with a Sail

A cork on the ocean with a sail
is quite unsinkable
and can take an ant around the World
if food it has
and something drinkable

Some people are like corks
sailing on through life
who go into a wave and seem to drown
but then bob up again
surviving the strife

There was a man from Denmark
who took to the sea
rounded the cape of Good Hope
to explore old Van Diemen's Land
adding gum leaf to his tea

The son of the royal Danish clockmaker
his life tick-tocked along
as an officer on a British ship
as a whaler across the Pacific Ocean
and as a sea captain for Napoleon

This man of cork resilience
ruled Iceland for 50 days
served as a spy for England
through Germany and France
until made a convict for his gambling ways

Sent off to Van Diemen's Land in chains
he found his feet as a policeman
hunting sheep rustlers in the bush
where he met an Irish lass
and asked for her hand

She could not read and could not write
and was in and out of jail
a wild young Vandemonian
with a rugged old sea dog
made an interesting tale

A legend in his lifetime
a myth that walked the land
popularly called the convict king
the Viking of Van Diemen's Land
the ex-king of Iceland

A highwayman sent to build a bridge
another convict in chains
made carvings in stone of stories
found in this wild new land
and there on the bridge remains

A king and a queen now ruling a river
an echo from the past
the man of cork who sailed the seas
the Irish lass who met his needs
now joined in stone to last

Kim Peart


NOTE ~   The Danish adventurer, Jorgen Jorgenson (1780-1841) has often been described as being like a cork, because so many times he would seem to drown in the vicissitudes of life, but then bob right back up again, and sail on. There are a few books that tell his tale, and he wrote his own story, published in Van Diemen's Land, which was renamed Tasmania in 1853. Norah, the Irish convict lass, was younger than Jorgen, and they were an off match: such is love. Jorgen and Norah, having been married, were in the township of Ross in 1833, when Jorgenson was sent as a police constable to investigate why the bridge was not being built, even though the convict gang was busy every day. The simple answer, which everyone knew, was that the local settlers expected the convicts to supply them with building materials. So the bridge wasn't getting built. After six months of being throughly stone-walled, and quite frustrated, the Jorgensons departed Ross, to head south to Hobart Town. On the way they arrived in Oatlands, when Norah got into a fight in the street with another convict, and was locked up for three months in the Oatlands jail. Woe is me: and it was on Christmas day too. It could be a stormy life in those wild colonial days. Frustrated at the Ross bridge not being built, and being needed for the King's highway between Hobart and Launceston, a former highwayman in England, who had been sentenced to hang, but then dispatched to Van Diemen's Land for the term of his natural life, was sent to Ross to finish the bridge under a new supervisor, Capt. Turner. Well, the bridge was completed within a year, was opened in 1836, and is now the third oldest bridge in Australia. Built of sandstone mined at Ross, there are three arches, and along both sides of the arches, there are 186 large stone carvings. The Ross Bridge is the only stone bridge in the World with carvings along all of the arches. So why are the carvings on the Ross Bridge? They were not part of the original plan for the bridge, were never mentioned in reports during construction, and not commented on at the opening by Leut. Gov. Arthur. Why the carvings were made is an absolute mystery, which runs deep, because all details of the colonial administration of convicts and public works were reported on, in detail. Nothing, and I mean nothing, just happened, and for no explained reason. So why does all this convict art exist on the Ross Bridge? The only reason that I can find, is that it was a ploy to get the convicts to build the bridge. Folk were very superstitious, and stonemasons were held in high regard, even convict stonemasons. The story still surrounding the Ross Bridge, is that the art is Celtic in design. It is all very mysterious imagery, but the carvings are nothing like any known Celtic art found in history, or at the time of construction. My deep suspicion is that Turner and Herbert cooked up a plot, and told the convict gang that there were to be carvings on the bridge, and they would be magical Celtic art. That may have done the trick, so that when local settlers came looking for building materials, the convicts were found to be very busy, building a bridge. What a frenzy of work there would have been, to make so many large stone carvings within a year, as well as build the bridge. Daniel Herbert was newly married to Mary when they moved to Ross, and it can be pondered if the passion of the first year of their life together, was also driven into those stone carvings with a chisel. Herbert spent the rest of his days in Ross, working as a stonemason in the surrounding districts, but no other grand work in stone exists, beyond the odd head on a church, and gravestones. It is believed that the king and queen on the Ross Bridge, are portraits of Jorgen and Norah, as the convict king and queen, and for Jorgenson, depicting the myth he walked with, as the ex-king of Iceland. If this is so, it is significant, as there is no other portrait of Jorgen Jorgenson, our Viking in Van Diemen's Land. The original spelling of his name is with an "e", as Jorgensen, but he anglicised the spelling when among the British. Another mystery to boot, is that there has never been a documentary movie made on Jorgenson, or about the amazing story of the Ross Bridge. That drought may yet be broken, and hopefully before all there carvings weather away in the regular floods that strike the bridge, when the river rages. There is a song on Jorgenson by a Tasmanian punk folk group called The Dead Maggies, which is slightly hilarious, but does include strong language ~ and maybe that is fitting for an old sea dog, now sailing in stone above the waters of the Macquarie River .....


Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #3 


The water in the bay is so very calm 
the morning air crisp
broken by the oars of a dinghy
sliding across the mirror of time
with every dip

The depths so dark
with seaweed and fish
with the smell of salt
and the wood fire on the boat
with a curried scallop dish

Rounding the Stack of Bricks
motoring up the Channel
dinghy bobbing along behind
Buster barking at the gulls
a child's memories wonder tell

Voices from time past echo
like laughter from the mists of memory
in a little boat upon the sea
timelessly putting along
in the safe hands of family

His piano accordion gave music to songs
played in the kitchen round
then silence fell when Tom vanished
how to tell a child the fisherman is gone
the body was never found

The Athena glided into the dock
as if steered by loving hands too right
greeted by the boat chandler
those leather soled shoes
they were blamed for his slip into night

The call of searchers fade away
and time mists up as decades slide
across the mirror of time
upon the sea of memories
upon life's ebbing tide


Friday 22 June 2018

NOTE ~   I have the news story posted in The Mercury on Thursday 3 July 1958. I was six at the time. I remember being told of the vanishing of Tom. There is a photo of the Athena, slipped, with the dinghy still on board, and the sails ready for the wind. ~ "The 40ft. ketch Athena, which nosed through Battery Pt. moorings yesterday and ran against a jetty - with no one on board. Police believe the owner, Mr. T. J. Martyn (75), of Rokeby Rd, Howrah, fell overboard during an attack of dizziness." When my brother Brian was taking up old lino in his house, this page from the news was revealed. How time haunts.



Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #4 


Me calling
I've been waiting here
Where ya been?

Its gettin' late
we missed the show
they all went in
I waited

When you get this message
where ever you are
know I love you
I love you

Beeps mean the end
no more talk
message ends
What happens?

Empty world, alone I stand
all grey like an old rainy day
ringing wet

You called back, me, you
OK, I'll still be here
What will we do?
That'll be good

Rainbows colour up the greens
and blues and flowers
I'll sit here and wait
for my special mate

My love and my heart
may we never part
one day soon
will do

So long now past and gone
like a river of time
flowing by
and all that talk

Years upon years of love
Then you were gone
but I remember
our talks


Wednesday 11 July 2018

NOTE ~   Reading this poem, penned in the past, last July, by an older me, I find it haunting. If a poem cannot move the poet .....


Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #5 

Dead Phone

It was a really lovely funeral
all my friends brought flowers
read poems
all gone now
inside the earth
waiting for rebirth

The wind whistled through branches
the sun danced across the grass
my friends answered calls
as we reflected upon this sad loss
of a phone of choice
now truly dead and buried

"Turn off ya phone
and listen hard!"
everyone was stunned
but then they heard
from beneath the ground
the chirping of a bird

That twas the call
from my old phone
that woke me up at night
or late morning
calling me now from in the ground
to reach into the dirt and answer

No one moved
all looked stunned
how could this have happened
No one would act
until a cloud of fur made a cloud of dust
scattering all the flowers

Then there he was
as often he would be
with my once dead phone between his teeth
my trusty dog
my loving mutt Rover
with chirping in his beak

I reached down to take
that now slimed phone
come mud from dirt
who could resist
to silence the chirping
to answer the call

It was the police
with reports from the Council
about an illegal funeral
What could I say
Not I this day?
we all fled the burial scene

My phone once dead
now lives again
a new lease of life
from beyond the grave
only one chirp
and Rover is alert


Sunday 28 October 2018


Posts: 139
Reply with quote  #6 

Rock Bottom

When trolls see the daylight
they turn into stone
with bottoms of rock 
that no longer moan

Lost to the Moonlight
trapped in the day
stoned trolls are left
to silently gaze

The once ferocious troll
on the mountains danced
with lightning and thunder
along ridges pranced

At times under bridges
waiting for a traveler
to grab an ankle
and eat the rambler

Scattering bones
around on the ground
a warning to others
if that way bound

Now a troll of rock
no more do roam
trapped in the day
with a bottom of stone


Tuesday 6 November 2018

NOTE ~   Rock Bottom is in the vein of a pun verse I made in the 1980s, when I had a studio and shop called ~ The Dragons Lair ~ in the Salamanca Arts Centre. This was an old complex of stores and factories, built in the early 1800s, with sandstone walls and great wooden rafters like a castle, and with bars on the first floor windows, where my place was located. I'd put a green dragon out the window, with it hanging onto the bars, and without looking, pour some water out, and then look out to see if a got anyone. Sometimes people would look up, but I think I always missed. Devilment. Once a Japanese publication made a story on the Dragons Lair, but I could not read Japanese, so who knows what they wrote of me and the Lair. Looked good, with the dragon hanging off the window bars. And when ere anyone ventured up the stairs to find the Dragons Lair, I would dare to share my pun verse ~

Fire breathing dragons may eat you at night
smoke fuming beasties consume you alright
Fried or grilled or roasted
they don't really mind
as long as you are tasty
with ketchup on the side

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