The Fence Off (2008...
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The Fence Off (2008 Original Section Golden Damper Winning Poem)

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© John Peel 15/7/07

From a farm in western Victoria, in the midst of the mallee scrub
not too far from a one-horse town with a tiny run-down pub,
where the paddocks are mostly brown and dry, with barely a hint of green,
came the most unlikely champion the world has ever seen.

Now the bloke who owned this piece of land was a farmer known as Bill.
It was here that he worked tirelessly to hone his greatest skill,
for overall, he had ten thousand acres on his run –
which meant that there was always stacks of fencing to be done.

When Bill erected fences, the wires ran straight and true,
his posts were always vertical, with perfect spacing too.
When he strained the wires to tension, he’d never had one break
and he did the job at rapid pace, without a sole mistake.

Now Bill enjoyed a beer or two occasionally in town
and one hot night, just after he had knocked a couple down,
his mate called ‘Blue’ said, “Did you know that fencing is a sport?”
Bill answered, “No,” then sipped his beer and sat there deep in thought.

“Well it says so in the paper,” the reply he got from ‘Blue’,
“and I reckon that there wouldn’t be a bloke can fence like you.”
Bill thought some more before he said, “I ought to chance my arm,
taking on the sports elite won’t do me any harm.”

So ‘Blue’ got up and made it known to everyone in town
that Bill was keen to duel against a fencer of renown.
And then he stated, just before the crowd began to clap,
that, “Bill can make our one-horse town a landmark on the map.”

So they contacted the ‘Herald Sun’, in Melbourne, that next day
and the paper sent a journalist to see them straight away.
People told him that, “Our Bill’s the best,” in all his interviews
and ‘Bill the Fencing Farmer’ made the back page sporting news.

A promoter read the story and he got in touch with Bill,
he informed him that, “The time has come to show the world your skill,
for I’ve arranged a date and place for you to have a chance
to battle with the champion, who’s all the way from France.

So Bill went into training for his championship debut,
not just on his own farm, but on neighb’ring places too.
He built a fence for everything from deer to chooks and cattle,
’til finally, the day arrived to fight the champ in battle.

The centre court at Kooyong was the venue that they chose,
and Bill turned up with posts and wire and dressed in farming clothes,
with a ten-pound sledge, a strainer and some tools for working soil.
His opponent came in armour, with a regulation foil.

The crowd was full of country blokes, who came in Holden utes,
as well as that, there were toffy gents, who dressed in ties and suits.
And just before the duel began, Bill heard the crowd applaud,
then saw that he was up against a joker with a sword.

Bill grabbed himself a star-post, when the duel got underway,
he figured he could use it best to keep the champ at bay.
The champion made a thrust at Bill, who somehow parried back –
this stunned Bill into action and he went on the attack.

Bill banged the champ with the star-post and knocked him to the ground,
with one blow each, he planted half a dozen more around
the fallen fencer, and he gained the upper hand
when he strung and strained the wires, before the champ could stand.

It was truly brilliant workmanship that Bill had put on show
and the champion ran out of time to try and land a blow.
The officials were unanimous, declaring it a win,
’cause ‘Bill the Fencing Farmer’ had ‘fenced the fencer in’.

The crowd all stood and clapped and cheered, all very much impressed
that a humble Aussie farmer had won against the best.
In terms of being champion, Bill earned himself the crown
and there were weeks of celebration in the little one-horse town.

And these days in the one-horse town, Bill’s statue’s in the park
and in the world of fencing, he had truly left his mark,
for though he duelled just once before deciding to retire,
there are fencers now who’ve downed their foils to fight with posts and wire.

Posted : 04/02/2008 6:12 pm
(@The Broomehill-Billy)
Posts: 192
Estimable Member

Nice one Peely,
You've reminded me of another fencing job in the Great Southern of WA, a while back, by our state champ - a bloke called Noah.
I'd better post it.

Posted : 04/02/2008 7:11 pm
Posts: 2489
Noble Member

A worthy winner John,
You have certainly come a long way since we first met. I also reckon this one is better than anything I have written. Just a couple of spots I had to reread to catch the metre properly were in stanza 13, 14 and 15. But when I looked at them I can see the use of enjambed sentences is perfect. I know that I have difficulty with metre.
Thank you for sharing. I also hope you have many more original ideas like this one.

Posted : 04/02/2008 7:55 pm
Posts: 1619
Noble Member

LOL!  well done john.

and woo hoo!  go bill!  what a worthy champ!

Posted : 05/02/2008 2:09 am
Posts: 985
Noble Member

Congratulations Peely - a great win!!!
Thanks for posting your poem - it is always great to read the poems that win or do well in competitions. For new people on the scene, it gives an idea of what standards to aim for!!


Posted : 05/02/2008 8:17 am
Posts: 157
Estimable Member
Topic starter

G'day All

Glad you enjoyed the poem


John Peel

Posted : 05/02/2008 4:09 pm
Posts: 16
Eminent Member

Great job. Very funny.

Posted : 05/02/2008 9:02 pm
(@Pa Cockle)
Posts: 83
Trusted Member

top story..well done..

Posted : 13/02/2008 6:25 am
Posts: 352
Reputable Member

G'Day Peely,

Great work & congrats.

Nice to meet you in Tamworth

Tom C.

Posted : 14/02/2008 5:42 pm
Posts: 157
Estimable Member
Topic starter

G'day Dan, Pa Cockle and Dan

Glad you enjoyed the poem.


John Peel

Posted : 15/02/2008 12:25 am