Every year my family does a sweep for the Melbourne Cup. My mum puts all our names into a basket and the names of the horses into a different basket, then pulls bits of paper out with a big smile on her face until everyone has a horse (or two).
Last year, we played a game where each small family unit offered something that they would give or make to form the prizes for the winners. The prizes included: fresh veggies from the garden, a homemade cake, a vegetarian lasagne, an IOU, and a peom.
Whoever had the winning horse got to choose what they wanted first. Then the person whose horse came second, and then…. well, my horse came third!
I chose the poem.
The Strathbogie Bogies
Strathbogie‘s the land that they come from
This family so brave and so strong
They travel the land under sun and the rain
Tell stories, have fun, and sing songs
Adventure’s their gallant manifesto
They follow it through thick and through thin
On the land that they own
Through the country they roam
They play fun games that everyone wins
Freyja’s the smallest but has such a big heart
She’s a lively one all through the day
From morning to night, to every person in sight
She always has something to say
Zach is a runner so fast and so light
He chases the birds there and here
He knows a good spanner, holds a screw and a hammer
And moves forward with never a fear
Markito’s the wiser big brother
He knows lots from books and from thinking
He can outsmart a fox, make a sword from a box
And a boat, too, that floats without sinking
Omni the legend, the traveller, the joker
Has returned from a jaunt far away
He skies down the slopes, never limits his hopes
And brings calm to the thick of the fray
Simon the father has talents amazing
He’s never short of ideas or a plan
He can build a mud house, sail the moon with a mouse
And if he can’t, then nobody can
Mayra the mother, she’s the heart of the family
Dancing disco at home before school
She’s swirling around in the riptide, taking us all to the light side
There’s never been a mother so cool.
Love from Aunty Paula
Paula Keogh, my aunty and the wonderful author of this poem, is publishing her first book in March 2017. It’s called ‘The Green Bell: A Memoir of Love, Madness and Poetry‘.
You can go to http://paulakeogh.com.au/ for more information.