top of page

The Ghost of Oracles, a poem by Lara Flanagan

The Ghost of Oracles, a poem by Lara Flanagan


After talking to Mel and Ray over the weekend, I promised myself last night to return to writing poetry. After Ray asked me if I had been writing much lately and I told him that I hadn't because I had spent the last 18 months focussing on the store and my photography studio, he said, well why can't you do both? Both Mel and Ray said to me that I had to keep writing. So I will start sharing again and creating more beautiful words for myself and the store in the coming months. I will also be revisiting all my writings.


A poem by Lara Flanagan

I have received many messages today asking me to share the poem I performed to win the 2024 Looming Legends. So here it is.


As I said yesterday, 7 years ago on Tuesday Tiney took her leave of this world and I started to drown. A short time later my lovely friend Carmel Rose gave me a lifeboat when she told me I had to get involved with Oracles to let me focus on something else. What she gave me was so much more than a lifeboat to stop me from drowning. Oracles was a gift of love, family, community, poetry, friendship, song, community, and hope. It was also a reminder of how much I loved the written word.


The poem is called The Ghost of Oracles and it is a poem of love and thanks.


The Ghost of Oracles

 

The lights are low, the autumn nights are quiet,

The halls are silent, the stage is bare,                                                

Yellow shirts are neatly folded, all guests have departed,

Yet a ghostly song is heard in the air                                     

So soft and distant, an echo barely heard,                 

Sad and mournful, it sings of things gone                             

Of rhyming poets through the years, dancing, laughter, and tears    

The song can often be heard in the dawn                  

But the swagman, he up and he jumped in the waterhole

Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree                   

And his ghost can be heard as it sings in the billabong,     

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.'  

                                   

Ghostly words are found in the green of our avenues

on country roads, the sound of falling leaves                        

Weeping willows, speak of yesterdays and poetry,

Dancing, moving, in stories they believe

The sun sets and stars form a heavenly tapestry                   

Celestial wonder, nighttime sky ablaze                                             

Dawn breaks with colourful surrender                      

In the field, Mother Nature does amaze                                            

Captain Time marches along with each new season

Poems of summer, autumn, winter, spring.                           

He dances in the tree-tops and remembers the festivities

Listen closely and you may hear him sing.                                                   

 

In Jubilee Park, on the Rotunda leaves are falling

On Mt McKenzie the billies are still,                                                

In Paul Petrie’s Barn, dust dances to memories gone,          

Twisting and turning forever it will.                         

As night falls, the stars dazzle like Bling in the Bush

Fire drums are now cold, and the stages are bare     

Poets have left us with tears on cheeks and smiles on lips

Listen closely, many words still hang in the air        

But the swagman, he up and he jumped in the waterhole

Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree                               

And his ghost can be heard as it sings in the billabong,

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.'  

                                   

Poetry is found in the landscapes of Tenterfield,      

it can be seen in our mystical sky,                                                     

you can hear it on the winding lanes and roadways

and on the top of granite rocks so high.                                            

Rhyming words are found in colours, always changing,

in the passing of the seasons,                                                 

and the songs of leaves and trees.                             

Tenterfield will give you endless reasons                                         

In magic, awe and wonder to believe.                                   

Poetry can be felt in the hills, and dusty dirt                         

in the stars, and the softest mornings,

a place so beautiful, your soul does hurt.      

                                   

So now we turn off the lights, and stop the music,   

We pack away the chairs and sweep the floor                                               

To friends new and old, we say thank you for the memories,                       

One last time we stop and talk at the door.                

And when all is done, listen closely and you will hear it

A ghost in the night and songs in the air                                           

Songs of great friendship, of music and of poetry                  

Songs to remind you of what was once there.                       

But the swagman, he up and he jumped in the waterhole

Drowning himself by the Coolibah tree                               

And his ghost can be heard as it sings in the billabong,     

Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me.'  



1 view0 comments

Comments


bottom of page