Sunday, 28 August 2016



Quiet, I was
as I sat beneath the tree
dreaming of how the Australian bush
had been especially made for me.
It was then I heard the sound of strangers
coming through the scrub
so, I climbed up, so very fast,
right up that old gum tree.

'Twas no place for an Irish lad
of this I could be sure
but as the folks got closer,
what they said I could not ignore.
For it seemed they were the Kelly gang
and they talked and planned a raid..
I thought of the saints of Ireland
and begorrah, how I prayed.

I moved a little in my fright
and uttered the smallest sound
alas, lack, it was enough
to be heard there on the ground!
They pulled me down from that tall tree
and gave me such a fright
they said they'd thought they'd kill me
till I told them of my plight.

For I was just a starving Irish lad
right down on my luck
I thought that I was finished
but they admired my pluck.
So, in return for vows of silence,
they kindly paid my fare
back to dear old Ireland
and my kin in County Clare.

(c) Crissouli 1983

 image courtesy of Pixabay


This was based on a story my Great Uncle Martin Dillon told me many years ago in a letter… that one of his brothers was in the bush, looking for work, food, anything and came across the Kelly gang. By the timing, it wasn’t Ned Kelly, but many ‘gangs’ would later claim to have been part of the Kelly gang, so who knows..According to Uncle Martin, they fed his brother and gave him a small sack of money and sent him on his way.

Two of his brothers did come to Australia, Michael and John, known as Jack.  Michael was the first, haven’t found exactly what year as yet, but I think it must have been early 1900s… Ned Kelly died in 1880. Michael sponsored John, then Molly (Mary) pre 1920 and Bridget, along with Susan/Susie in 1923 (though Susan stayed in New Zealand on the way, as another brother, James, was already there). 

Michael returned to Ireland to take over the family farm as their brother, Patrick, became ill. John was killed timber felling in the bush near Coffs Harbour in 1918 and is buried in an unmarked grave there. Molly married a Gerald (Edward G.) McDermott, in Australia in 1917.. he was killed in April 1918, a few short months after their marriage. Molly later married Tom Foley in 1920. 

Bridget was to marry Roy Leonard Swadling in 1924… they were my grandparents. She died when my mother was just 11, in 1942.
(c) Crissouli August 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016



organised by the Cancer Council of Australia

It also happens to be the fourth Blogiversary of
this blog.

I started to write another post,
 but decided to dedicate this post
 to all my family and friends
 who have fought, 
or who are fighting,
against cancer.

You do it with such courage and grace, 
through the good times and bad 
amd I have nothing but admiration 
and love for you all.

My wish is that we will one day be free of this scourge and no longer will we embark on these journeys of troubled times.

 Maybe some of my readers would like to 
Dedicate a Daffodil
 for all those who have been touched by cancer.

 You can do so by going to this link 

Thank you.

Image courtesy of Pixabay
as are all on this blog unless otherwise credited.

Thursday, 25 August 2016



The lights flash, instructions to be obeyed
the thrust of mighty power is evident
no fear, just excitement
rising as steeply as this majestic bird.

Where are they all going
these modern day commuters?
What beckons them to rise to the heavens
in a long, metal case
putting their trust in strangers?
How many even pause
to absorb their pass through Heaven..
So many chat, read,
finish those last minute reports
ever anxious to make a good impression.

Pause, enjoy this land of rainbows
take time to be awed by nature
we are here for such a short time.
Down we go, descending so many miles
yet just a few short minutes to go.
How our forefathers would stare in wonder
as our giant bird takes us safely home.

(c) Crissouli 1983