Ted Egan to appear at Sixth Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival

September 19th, 2013 | 'Banjo' Paterson, C. J. Dennis, Henry Lawson, News, Poems for adults, Poems for children, Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival

It’s official! Ted Egan has been in touch with me to confirm he will be appearing at the Sixth Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival this year!

Ted, Patron of the C. J. Dennis Society, will be the feature artist at a special show to take place on the evening of Saturday, 26th October, at the C. J. Dennis Hall in Toolangi.

Other festival events will continue at “The Singing Gardens” as in previous years – the Awards Ceremony for the written poetry competition on the Saturday afternoon, the Poets’ Breakfast on the Sunday morning, and the ‘travelling theatre’ – featuring no lesser personages than C. J. Dennis, ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Henry Lawson – on the Sunday afternoon.

Meals will be served at “The Singing Gardens”, including an evening meal on the Saturday.

Accommodation is not available in Toolangi itself, but is freely available a short distance away.

A very good option would be the Strathvea Guest House:

Contact Jan Williams at “The Singing Gardens” (PH: 03.5962.9282) for festival bookings and further information.

I Watch a lot of YouTube

September 2nd, 2013 | Poems for adults

I Watch a lot of YouTube

I watch a lot of YouTube. It’s a concert in your home.
I can sit in my pyjamas, with my hair that needs a comb.
I can see the world’s best musos strut their stuff upon the stage.
I can trawl through any genre, any singer, any age.

It’s the live stuff I like best, as the band belts out a song
To a happy, cheering, waving, swaying, joyful, loving throng,
For I feel that I am with them – at that venue, in that club;
On that oval, in that parkland, in that ‘smoke and whiskey’ pub.

But you know what I like best? Though I love the singer’s face,
And the close-ups of the blokes who play the drum-kit and the bass,
And the sheila on the banjo, and her cousin on the pipes,
And the concertina player with his suit of fancy stripes,

It’s the audience that gets me. It’s their look of simple joy;
It’s the grins on man and woman, and on teenage girl and boy;
It’s that happy rapt, distraction, it’s the wrinkled, smiling eyes,
As though all of them, just briefly, have become so very wise.

Yet what I love still more is when the camera comes to rest
On a single face, enchanted, for a moment. Yes, that’s best.
When they don’t know someone’s watching, and a deep emotion’s caught.
That’s a prize of rarest value that cannot be sold or bought.

They might be looking happy, or they might look slightly sad;
They might just look reflective. Someone’s mum, or someone’s dad,
Someone’s son or someone’s daughter, and you know you’ll never know,
But it’s honest, and it’s truthful. It’s the best part of the show.

Yes, I watch a lot of YouTube, and it takes me to a sphere
Where I can write a poem, like as how I’ve writ one here.
I enjoy the great throng thrilling, but for me the sweetest part
Is when I watch one person…and I gaze into their heart.

© Stephen Whiteside 01.09.2013