golden shovel #d’Verse

Covid was our Grinch this year but
all our hopes are riding
on a vaccine but for sure it is
common sense the surest alche[my]

so do something special
be kind to yourself and others, gift
authentic love and understanding, my
listening presence is the chiefest
healing balm for our very [soul] sole
so please smile and spread delight!

d’Verse, ‘endings’ in a golden shovel, Peter

“But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;” 

cycling is my passion and I have a strong connection to Eaglehawk and Banjo
… unfortunately I never met the courageous Mulga Bill!



by A.B. “Banjo” Paterson

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze;
He turned away the good old horse that served him many days;
He dressed himself in cycling clothes, resplendent to be seen;
He hurried off to town and bought a shining new machine;
And as he wheeled it through the door, with air of lordly pride,
The grinning shop assistant said, “Excuse me, can you ride?”
“See here, young man,” said Mulga Bill, “from Walgett to the sea,
From Conroy’s Gap to Castlereagh, there’s none can ride like me.
I’m good all round at everything as everybody knows,
Although I’m not the one to talk – I hate a man that blows.
But riding is my special gift, my chiefest, sole delight;
Just ask a wild duck can it swim, a wildcat can it fight.
There’s nothing clothed in hair or hide, or built of flesh or steel,
There’s nothing walks or jumps, or runs, on axle, hoof, or wheel,
But what I’ll sit, while hide will hold and girths and straps are tight:
I’ll ride this here two-wheeled concern right straight away at sight.”

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that sought his own abode,
That perched above Dead Man’s Creek, beside the mountain road.
He turned the cycle down the hill and mounted for the fray,
But ‘ere he’d gone a dozen yards it bolted clean away.
It left the track, and through the trees, just like a silver streak,
It whistled down the awful slope towards the Dead Man’s Creek.
It shaved a stump by half an inch, it dodged a big white-box:
The very wallaroos in fright went scrambling up the rocks,
The wombats hiding in their caves dug deeper underground,
As Mulga Bill, as white as chalk, sat tight to every bound.
It struck a stone and gave a spring that cleared a fallen tree,
It raced beside a precipice as close as close could be;
And then as Mulga Bill let out one last despairing shriek
It made a leap of twenty feet into the Dead Man’s Creek.

‘Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that slowly swam ashore:
He said, “I’ve had some nearer shaves and lively rides before;
I’ve rode a wild bull round a yard to win a five-pound bet,
But this was the most awful ride that I’ve encountered yet.
I’ll give that two-wheeled outlaw best; it’s shaken all my nerve
To feel it whistle through the air and plunge and buck and swerve.
It’s safe at rest in Dead Man’s Creek, we’ll leave it lying still;
A horse’s back is good enough henceforth for Mulga Bill.”

The Sydney Mail, 25 July 1896.


  1. What I gained from this blog would be the determination to get out and about in spite of our current Corona confinement. My bike while less fancy than this one fulfills that need for me now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know some lockdowns have limited outdoor times, in rural regions we have been blessed but the bigger cities are keen to quarantine covid infections out here … spread the disease as far as they can I suppose 😦


  2. At this end of year when fear has gripped so tight
    It is the course of medicine, that simple little smile that can bring so much delight!

    I myself would rather walk than run
    I’m at an age where simpler adventures are treasured fun

    May all those who have recovered continue to be blessed
    And all those who’ve given care above and beyond, enjoy some rest ~Jules

    Liked by 1 person

  3. common sense the surest alche[my] – so true. Also agree with you, there is always something we can reach for to bring joy to ourselves and others too, authentic connection is a gift more important than ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, you certainly spread delight with this post, Kate! I loved your poem, and the one about Mulga Bill was a hoot! So please tell me, what’s a wallaroo?

    Thank you, I really found this entertaining: I guess a bike was a newfangled invention when that poem was written!

    Liked by 1 person

    • a smaller kangaroo, we have graded labels for them … wallaroo, wallaby, etc

      Banjo sets a cracking pace in his poems … thanks for taking the time to read and comments Ingrid, much appreciated!
      brand new then which makes it even more fun knowing that it took a while to conquer!

      Liked by 1 person

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