Area News poetry corner: ‘The Authentic Black Stump’ by Stuart Clarke

The Authentic Black Stump

The town of Coolah claims The Black Stump

But crikey they really have a hide

The Black Stump is not in the Hinterland

Just over the Blue Mountains Great Divide.

It’s way out west where the crows fly backwards

A must keep the dust out of their eyes

Where you pull up to let the echidnas and bogeyes cross the road

Where the dust storms roll in and blacken out the skies.

It’s geographically where you find The Black Stump Swamp and Tank

Where you eat saltbush mutton from the famous Gunbar Station terrain

Where communications are through The Black Stump automatic exchange

And where you find the Memorial to The Black Stump legend Barbara Blain.

It’s where the liquor licences let you drink at The Black Stump Hotel

And where The Black Stump ghosts have appeared many a time

We are further west than that outback town called Burke

A fact that will win you money, not to just make this poem rhyme.

So come to Merriwagga, the real Black Stump country

Where the children are not afraid of spiders and snakes

You can even pull up in the middle of the road and have a yarn

And enjoy the CWA ladies’ famous hot scones and sponge cakes.


Stuart Clarke shares his poems from his recent release From the Bidgee to the Lachlan through his weekly contribution to The Area News.

The Griffith farmer-turned-poet’s book of poems celebrates life in Griffith, Goolgowi, Carrathool, Rankin Springs and various locations across rural NSW. 

The book pays tribute to the “multicultural food bowl of Australia” of Griffith in a moving eight verse poem the chronicles the 100 year history of the town.

Stuart’s aim is to preserve local history through poetry, and his book is available for purchase at the Griffith Tourist Information Centre and Hillston Tourist Information Centre. 


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