Harlequin Country by Paul Williamson

Along the tree lined rural highway
past paddocks where canola gleams
so cars stop for golden photographs
past paddocks where sheep graze
then clumps of darker remnant eucalypts
distant hills wear dancing patches of colour.
We drive towards the winding Boorawa River
and the town of Boorawa
a working town in merino country
from early Irish immigrants.

The church conrasts local yellow sandstone with greenstone
and is unlocked even during this Woolfest Day
when thousands of visitors line the main street
of nineteenth century formal buildings
shops and post great war red brick houses.
There are few frills some iron lacework.

Bands pipe down the main street
one orange, one green then community  groups
with troupers in antique uniforms firing loud guns
followed by a flock of sheep and a float with shearers
fast and clean on electric clippers or blade.
A crowd watches kelpie working dogs train.

Lunch is nostalgic Guinness pie with chips.
Hijab wearing women sell sweet cakes at a stall.
Asian stalls offer savory plates.
The town wears patches that richly contrast.

From: https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/harlequin-country

Date: 2022

By: Paul Williamson (19??- )


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