Poem honour's the small country show

Poem honour's the small country show


Pride in country shows comes through in poetry

Ganmain show supporter Guy Purcell has long been interested in poetry when he is not farming. Photo: Bernadette Purcell

Ganmain show supporter Guy Purcell has long been interested in poetry when he is not farming. Photo: Bernadette Purcell

The Ganmain Show was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 and it started in 1908, we think that it may have cancelled a show during WW2 but are unsure of that, either way because it is a small community of 700 people where all generations come together to make it a success each year, naturally, we are very proud of it.

Guy Purcell has been a Steward in the Wool Section for 42 years now and he is just 60 years of age, this is not unusual for Ganmain where people put in many years of commitment, and that type of commitment is expected!

Guy is a bit of a Wordsmith as he has written a small article called Farm Talk for our small newspaper for about 20 years now he also writes a monthly article for the local RFS and the Advance Ganmain Committee as well (where he chairs that committee ) to keep the town in touch with what is happening in the community.


There's nothing so sad, morbid, or drear

Than a showground that's vacant

At this time of year

No sideshows of clowns

Or dodgem smash derbies

No prizes to win

Or rides to share

Not even the ones

That make teenagers cheer

No showies on speakers

A'spruiking their sites

No fairy floss or dagwoods

An annual delight

Where are the mothers in charge of their flock?

Many have invested

In a new frock

Where's your father

Helping with the stock?

No horses competing

All groomed for the day

With manes plaited

And tails complete

They're not here today

They're home

Eating hay

Where are the riders

With top hats and tails

They come in all ages

From near and far

Some with flash trailers

Behind a big car

Their mounts are primed

And some are flighty

Proud are they that sit astride

Some may have dreamt in another life

That it be them

Riding beside the great man

On the Snowy side

No dogs in the ring

All pampered and preened

With grooming complete

They are real keen

With owners on leash

All jogging beside

When ribbons are given

Their joy, they don't hide

The yard dogs are different

For they are all work

With ears cocked and ready

Always alert

Their masters are mingling

And checking the score

Lamenting the cull

That ruined their draw

That bloody jumbuck

A'stamping his feet

Won't fall into line

Like the rest of the sheep

In the sheep yards at home

Floss would show him whose boss

With a nip on the leg

He'd soon join the flock

And master be happy

He completed the job

No fat lambs in pens

Resting on straw

Or stud rams in halters

A handful for sure

The ewes are more placid

They've seen this before

The handlers are dressed

As if there is more

There is an eerie silence

Where the poultry should be

Their shed is bereft

With no cock crowing with glee

No hens to be judged

As they lay the odd egg

It's all empty cages

Unfashionably clean

Not even the smell

Of manure so fresh

Where are the hens?

At home

On their rest

The office is empty

No mess on the floor

No counting of money

As it's put in the drawer

No hurry and flurry

To find ribbons once more

No queries to answer

From the stewards next door

No pleasing the judge

That came all this way

Give them a luncheon

They'll be on their way

No toilets to block

Or rolls to supply

As patrons relieve and ponder the sky

The pavilion is empty

It's a terrible sight

The birds that do rest

Make a terrible mess

No cooking displayed

Or jams preserved

No fancy work hanging

For all to see

Because of this virus

That came over the sea

No artwork hanging

By the amateur hand

Or photographs displayed

Many of the land

No garden produce

Ripe for the day

Or even bits of pottery

Fashioned from clay

The wool section is empty

Not happened before

Not even when the price

Went through the floor

There's no bags of chaff

Or hay on display

With smells that are pleasant

And make horses neigh

No quick shear event

Is happening at all

The loudspeaker silent,

Can't hear Laurie's' drawl

No shearers and rousies

To spin heaps of yarns

No fleeces of wool

To gather in arms

No dags on the floor

And second cuts galore

No timing or tallying

Just like before

No cockies whingeing

When they shear poor

No fun on the stage

As we judge best dressed

Everybody at home

Partaking of rest

No showgirl or beau

All ages aglow

As they line up for judging

Best in the show

Nana can't skite

At her delight

That her kin competing

Was sashed first outright

The luncheon pavilion

Is all dust and cobweb

The tables and chairs

Are stacked so high

It's hard to imagine

The footy ladies in this shed

The treats that they serve here

Stay on your thigh

The catchup by showgoers

Both local and far

It's truly amazing

The more I give thought

This bloody Covid

Has many distraught

My mother

I can hear her

With teacup in hand

Surrounded by family

Of the land

A plate of sandwiches

None are bland

A lamington to finish on

Oh, it's just grand

The publicans' booth

Where men tend to gather

And sometimes those serving

Work up a lather

It's vacant and quiet

This day, this year

But if I listen closely

I can hear many tales

Told by patrons

Whilst sinking some ales

The crops they have stripped

The sheep they have shorn

The droughts that brought the bank to the door

The stacks that they built

And the ones that spilt

The price of the land

Surely it's over the hilt

Late in the arvo

Many women come around

Seeking some sustenance

Not of the brown

This bar is now modern

And amongst its stock

Is some very fine vino

To serve with a block

The mood is light

As they reflect on the day

Most kids are buggered

And sitting on hay

The sun has now sunken

In the western sky

The showies

Still going

With that familiar cry

Some kids keep pestering

For ten dollars more

Some families this week

Be short rent for sure

A thundering bang

And lights in the sky

The fireworks have started

Some little kids cry

On it goes

Minutes tick by

It heralds the end

Of another show day

As tiredness sets in

And some kids do whinge

And the show dog's cringe

But rest assured

This Covid will pass

The show that was planned

Will be rather grand

We've suffered world war

That shook us before

We've been in drought

Often for sure

Suffered floods that brought

Boggy Creek to the door

We've battled fires that scorched the land

But the buildings we need

They still do stand

The committee is strong

And they'll weather this storm

Determined are they

And never forlorn

This show will go on

When, we are not sure

But we are all ready

It's not a chore

  • Written by Guy Purcell 19 October 2021

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