Graeme Hetherington: ‘Renison Bell Loners’

Renison Bell Loners, West Coast, Tasmania

Mine manager’s son, I would meet
Them on tracks leading through the bush
To the osmiridium fields

To prospect for a small return
While secretly wishing for gold,
Old single blokes he’d sacked because

Of going off the rails as laid
Down narrowly by him, though on
Their so-called “last chance” when blown in

By God-alone-knew what fate-cursed
Situation elsewhere. Their world
Piled high and clanking on stooped backs,

It seemed like mine, reduced by his
Judgement of me as not his type,
Until this seed of difference sown

Watered by these drifters as role
Models blossomed to dislike of
Family life, becoming a quest

For my elusive home and all
The dreamt-of riches it might yield,
As flashes in pans were for them.

Graeme Hetherington

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