DayPoems: A Seven-Century Poetry Slam
93,142 lines of verse *
Timothy Bovee, editor

The Travelling Post Office

Andrew Barton Paterson (`Banjo')

Born 2/17/1864

The roving breezes come and go, the reed beds sweep and sway,
The sleepy river murmurs low, and loiters on its way,
It is the land of lots o' time along the Castlereagh.

The old man's son had left the farm, he found it dull and slow,
He drifted to the great North-west where all the rovers go.
"He's gone so long," the old man said, "he's dropped right out of mind,
But if you'd write a line to him I'd take it very kind;
He's shearing here and fencing there, a kind of waif and stray,
He's droving now with Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh.
The sheep are travelling for the grass, and travelling very slow;
They may be at Mundooran now, or past the Overflow,
Or tramping down the black soil flats across by Waddiwong,
But all those little country towns would send the letter wrong,
The mailman, if he's extra tired, would pass them in his sleep,
It's safest to address the note to `Care of Conroy's sheep',
For five and twenty thousand head can scarcely go astray,
You write to `Care of Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh'."

By rock and ridge and riverside the western mail has gone,
Across the great Blue Mountain Range to take that letter on.
A moment on the topmost grade while open fire doors glare,
She pauses like a living thing to breathe the mountain air,
Then launches down the other side across the plains away
To bear that note to "Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh".

And now by coach and mailman's bag it goes from town to town,
And Conroy's Gap and Conroy's Creek have marked it "further down".
Beneath a sky of deepest blue where never cloud abides,
A speck upon the waste of plain the lonely mailman rides.
Where fierce hot winds have set the pine and myall boughs asweep
He hails the shearers passing by for news of Conroy's sheep.
By big lagoons where wildfowl play and crested pigeons flock,
By camp fires where the drovers ride around their restless stock,
And past the teamster toiling down to fetch the wool away
My letter chases Conroy's sheep along the Castlereagh.


James Colgan

21st Century

Borne upon an aura of bliss the angel sings.
Then with scornful words you'll clip her wings.

Buy her a diamond ring and hope they grow back.
Hope it makes up for the love you lack.

Rip the muscle and tear sinew,
with my words, flesh shall be made anew.

Proud Maisie

Sir Walter Scott


PROUD Maisie is in the wood,
Walking so early;
Sweet Robin sits on the bush,
Singing so rarely.

'Tell me, thou bonny bird,
When shall I marry me?'
--'When six braw gentlemen
Kirkward shall carry ye.'

'Who makes the bridal bed,
Birdie, say truly?'
--'The grey-headed sexton
That delves the grave duly.

'The glow-worm o'er grave and stone
Shall light thee steady;
The owl from the steeple sing
Welcome, proud lady!'


Frank Dempster Sherman


Listen to the tawny thief,
Hid beneath the waxen leaf,
Growling at his fairy host,
Bidding her with angry boast
Fill his cup with wine distilled
From the dew the dawn has spilled:
Stored away in golden casks
Is the precious draught he asks.

Who, -- who makes this mimic din
In this mimic meadow inn,
Sings in such a drowsy note,
Wears a golden-belted coat;
Loiters in the dainty room
Of this tavern of perfume;
Dares to linger at the cup
Till the yellow sun is up?

Bacchus 't is, come back again
To the busy haunts of men;
Garlanded and gaily dressed,
Bands of gold about his breast;
Straying from his paradise,
Having pinions angel-wise, --
'T is the honey-bee, who goes
Reveling within a rose!

Old Amaze

Mahlon Leonard Fisher

Born 1874

Mine eyes are filled today with old amaze
At mountains, and at meadows deftly strewn
With bits of the gay jewelry of June
And of her splendid vesture; and, agaze,
I stand where Spring her bright brocade of days
Embroidered o'er, and listen to the flow
Of sudden runlets -- the faint blasts they blow,
Low, on their stony bugles, in still ways.
For wonders are at one, confederate yet:
Yea, where the wearied year came to a close,
An odor reminiscent of the rose;
And everywhere her seal has Summer set;
And, as of old, in the horizon-sky,
The sun can find a lovely place to die.

Devotion ii

Thomas Campion


FOLLOW your saint, follow with accents sweet!
Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet!
There, wrapt in cloud of sorrow, pity move,
And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love:
But if she scorns my never-ceasing pain,
Then burst with sighing in her sight, and ne'er return again!

All that I sung still to her praise did tend;
Still she was first, still she my songs did end;
Yet she my love and music both doth fly,
The music that her echo is and beauty's sympathy:
Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight!
It shall suffice that they were breathed and died for her delight.


Thomas Traherne


NEWS from a foreign country came
As if my treasure and my wealth lay there;
So much it did my heart inflame,
'Twas wont to call my Soul into mine ear;
Which thither went to meet
The approaching sweet,
And on the threshold stood
To entertain the unknown Good.
It hover'd there
As if 'twould leave mine ear,
And was so eager to embrace
The joyful tidings as they came,
'Twould almost leave its dwelling-place
To entertain that same.

As if the tidings were the things,
My very joys themselves, my foreign treasure--
Or else did bear them on their wings--
With so much joy they came, with so much pleasure.
My Soul stood at that gate
To recreate
Itself with bliss, and to
Be pleased with speed. A fuller view
It fain would take,
Yet journeys back would make
Unto my heart; as if 'twould fain
Go out to meet, yet stay within
To fit a place to entertain
And bring the tidings in.

What sacred instinct did inspire
My soul in childhood with a hope so strong?
What secret force moved my desire
To expect my joys beyond the seas, so young?
Felicity I knew
Was out of view,
And being here alone,
I saw that happiness was gone
From me! For this
I thirsted absent bliss,
And thought that sure beyond the seas,
Or else in something near at hand--
I knew not yet--since naught did please
I knew--my Bliss did stand.

But little did the infant dream
That all the treasures of the world were by:
And that himself was so the cream
And crown of all which round about did lie.
Yet thus it was: the Gem,
The Diadem,
The ring enclosing all
That stood upon this earthly ball,
The Heavenly eye,
Much wider than the sky,
Wherein they all included were,
The glorious Soul, that was the King
Made to possess them, did appear
A small and little thing!

To a Cabbage Rose

Henry Lea Twisleton

Born 11/9/1847

Thy clustering leaves are steeped in splendour;
No evening red, no morning dun,
Can show a hue as rich and tender
As thine -- bright lover of the sun!

What wondrous hints of hidden glory,
Of strains no human lips can sing;
What symbols rare of life's strange story,
Dost thou from earth's dark bosom bring!

What elements have made thy sweetness,
Thy glowing hue, thy emerald stem?
What hand has fashioned to completeness
From tiny germ, thy diadem?

Thou art the fair earth's fond expression
Of tenderness for heaven above --
The virgin blush that yields confession --
Thou bright "ambassador of love"!

Fair are thy leaves when summer glowing
Lies in the lap of swooning spring;
But where art thou when autumn, blowing,
Bids youth and tenderness take wing?

Sweet messenger! thou waftest beauty
Wherever human lives are sown,
Around the peasant's humble duty
Or weary grandeurs of a throne.

Transfused through hearts in future ages,
Thy glowing power anew may shine
Effulgent in the poets' pages
Or music's harmony divine.

But not to thee from future glory
Can shine one added charm or day;
Sweet is thy life's unwritten story
Of radiant bloom and swift decay.

Give, then, to vagrant winds thy sweetness,
Shine, tearful, in the summer shower;
And, heedless of thy season's fleetness,
Enrich with joy the passing hour.

Andy's gone with Cattle

Henry Lawson

Born 6/17/1867

Our Andy's gone to battle now
'Gainst Drought, the red marauder;
Our Andy's gone with cattle now
Across the Queensland border.

He's left us in dejection now;
Our hearts with him are roving.
It's dull on this selection now,
Since Andy went a-droving.

Who now shall wear the cheerful face
In times when things are slackest?
And who shall whistle round the place
When Fortune frowns her blackest?

Oh, who shall cheek the squatter now
When he comes round us snarling?
His tongue is growing hotter now
Since Andy cross'd the Darling.

The gates are out of order now,
In storms the "riders" rattle;
For far across the border now
Our Andy's gone with cattle.

Oh, may the showers in torrents fall,
And all the tanks run over;
And may the grass grow green and tall
In pathways of the drover;

And may good angels send the rain
On desert stretches sandy;
And when the summer comes again
God grant 'twill bring us Andy.

An Australian Girl

Ethel Castilla

19th Century

"She's pretty to walk with,
And witty to talk with,
And pleasant, too, to think on."
Sir John Suckling.

She has a beauty of her own,
A beauty of a paler tone
Than English belles;
Yet southern sun and southern air
Have kissed her cheeks, until they wear
The dainty tints that oft appear
On rosy shells.

Her frank, clear eyes bespeak a mind
Old-world traditions fail to bind.
She is not shy
Or bold, but simply self-possessed;
Her independence adds a zest
Unto her speech, her piquant jest,
Her quaint reply.

O'er classic volumes she will pore
With joy; and true scholastic lore
Will often gain.
In sports she bears away the bell,
Nor, under music's siren spell,
To dance divinely, flirt as well,
Does she disdain.

The Cloud

Josephine Preston Peabody


The islands called me far away,
The valleys called me home.
The rivers with a silver voice
Drew on my heart to come.

The paths reached tendrils to my hair
From every vine and tree.
There was no refuge anywhere
Until I came to thee.

There is a northern cloud I know,
Along a mountain crest;
And as she folds her wings of mist,
So I could make my rest.

There is no chain to bind her so
Unto that purple height;
And she will shine and wander, slow,
Slow, with a cloud's delight.

Would she begone? She melts away,
A heavenly joyous thing.
Yet day will find the mountain white,
White-folded with her wing.

As you may see, but half aware
If it be late or soon,
Soft breathing on the day-time air,
The fair forgotten Moon.

And though love cannot bind me, Love,
-- Ah no! -- yet I could stay
Maybe, with wings forever spread,
-- Forever, and a day.


Luna Hoola

21st Century

Confused road leading to nowhere intertwined lives seperate us from our reality's kissing heaven on a sunday afternoon let us hear the praise that raise us from scrawny boys to metapysical men wanting to evolve from the puddle of mud we crawl from our lives confused a road of thread intertwined lives pass by swimming in oceans of red jello anger and hate take over our lives lost little boys lost little girls look for each other there fates sealed inside a box of cereal candy colored clowns who thrive on chaos lure them into there auto mobiles wanting a bit more sacared soulfull solitude we lay our hearts into what else could we ask for lost little boys searching for peace and love but opening there bright colerfull eye's to murder, sex, and hate the words that mezmorize words that hypnotize lies and deciet all at youre feet begging for there forgiveness but all you give them is greif tearfull tantrims tastefull sighs signs of the apocolypse on a distant horizen waiting for!

one applause the one from nowhere the one that only exists in youre mind so now the unbelevible line is drawn which you stand at the edge waiting for you metapysical mind to come to terms with the soul that left you high and dry standing at the edge with youre own two feet you stand to contemplate how lost you have gotten the wirey little boy lost for a lifetime in search of the lost little girl who waits for him on the otherside of hell waiting for the bell of time to end to come to terms of how well her life was spent.

searching for meaning a neverend betrayed and dismayed by lucky stars hanging behind locked doors black as the night it was bliss that we missed not to long ago where our fates where locked with messages from space twiglight and long ours and day time races that last for ages all this to be found in hours of glory we witness our stories bieng read from a book that we just happen to have took from a little lost girl who we happened to find wandering alone in the dark woods where colors mean nothing and distortions fasinate or realm of thought the lost little girl carried a frown that seemed glued to her personality she seemed so distraught by what she had seen she grew up in the same world as us where little lost girls grow up have such little trust waiting for lost little boys to hear you chants of "come save us" SO THE SHIVERS run down you spine you still cant trust lost little boy whispers trusting me is a must not everyone is a gloomy gus candy coated and loaded!
with fears of mistrust why cant you believe what i say im not here to harm you i just want to be freinds with a girl i seem to like lost or found i still want you around youre a groovy little girl who captured my soul who broke the boundries and created the elements boundless like the laws of gravity.