Buffalo Springs


I am so grateful to every one who supported and encouraged me while I was doing my poetry course. So as my first “write” post I thought I’d share the piece from the course that I am most happy with.

Thanks everyone,




Buffalo Springs in NW Victoria
actually has no buffalo at all.
A wannabee filmmaker from Melbourne
created the town, in the hope that the industry
would see the potential. 

They didn’t.

Shattered and disillusioned he moved on to his next dream,
leaving behind a town half full of people
whose own lives are dreary sad reality. 

Ethel Bamess runs the local pub,
with a stern hand and a soft heart,
serving the beer that quenches thirst and covers grief.

Until old Mr K (he immigrated from Yugoslavia in the 60’s
and no one knows his real name), has too much again,
and lapses into the mother tongue, accenting every harsh word
with wild gestures and a frightening pound of the table.

For almost two hours Ethel patiently refills glasses
until he either passes out on the floor (a good day); or ends up crying
on her shoulder over unspeakable hurt and missed opportunities.

In years past she’d call his daughter,
but she got a better offer and moved to the city.
So now she has the spare bed made up, just in case. 

He won’t remember it in the morning.
Once more a gentleman, he joins her for hot black tea (two sugars),
grabs his hat, doffs it in thanks, and wanders off to church.

Ethel has never set foot inside a church, but on those days
even she prays that God will give him peace.


Jodie McCarthy 2014 


2 thoughts on “Buffalo Springs

  1. Great narrative poem. I really enjoyed the deft way you created character with a few choice words.

    Well done on completing the course.

    See you at the next writing day!

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