Ode to Betoota



    There was movement round Mt Leonard, for the word had gone around,

    (as the dust and heat into our bodies ground)

    That the joy that we'd been seeking,

    As a rest for bodies creaking,

    Was waiting for us - we're Betoota bound.


    In this spot of hidden beauty,

    where all goods attract no duty,

    In a landscape which is rustic in its charm,

    Lies a haven for the helpless, for the hopeless and the witless,

    Who require a quiet moment to be calm.


    There's a very modern bath-house and the privy's in an outhouse

    While the water tanks stand proudly on their stilts.

    Keeping watch on the horizon

    From whence come the pesky flies in,

    As the dust clouds whirl and living things all wilt.


    In the distance flows the Cooper  (as a creek i's really super)

    And its links with history we all really know.

    But we'll rival this great icon,

    With our history page unfolding.

    If it's not there, we'll create it as we go.


    While the wind blows all around us, and the silent rocks surround us

    Broken only by the flapping of the tin,

    As the dunny door swings freely,

    it's a thing of beauty - really.

    And the odours of the past waft from within.


    Beryl's our receptionist and handles our admin.,

    She does it all with confidence and flair.

    There's just one minor problem,

    Which we must watch with care -

    She's prone to take her clothes off at a whim.


    Financial matters are referred to John - who is no rookie

    He's juggled funds for years as man and boy.

    And banking hours being short

    Allow him to enjoy

    Part time employment as an SP bookie.


    The library's a memorial to someone long since dead.

    We haven't yet decided who it is.

    Eva's the librarian,

    She's read all of the books.

    Borrow one and test her with a quiz


    The ministry's important,

    so it's in our Norma's care.

    She has a blow-up church packed in a bag.

    She only works on Sundays, so she has six days to spare

    To make the scones she sells in our town square.


    She also runs the working bees

    For miscellaneous tasks.

    Including hanging flags and cleaning loos.

    The days of work are multiple;

    The hours are never flexible, so for a lunch break - do not even ask


    Tourism is Howard's job,

    with Jenny at his side.

    They plan and execute each trip with care.

    They'll visit places you won't go (or wouldn't even dare)

    But if you go, you won't forget your ride.


    The sport promoters name is Les.

    He runs the camel races.

    I don't know much about these things,

    But they do have lovely faces.


    Les also is the courthouse judge

    (a hanging one at that.)

    So watch out if you spit or swear,

    He'll have you on the mat.


    The dogs will have a lovely home,

    Run by the fair Elaine.

    As she's part kelpie

    (it's well known)

    She'll treat them all the same.


    The Learning Centre will be fun,

    Where culture courses will be run, by our teacher gal named Val.

    Enrollees will learn the skills

    Needed to survive - no dills.

    And do not think of failure - there'll be none.


    Betty leads the Nature Walks from outside her Art Gallery.

    They seek the local wild flower known as "Betoota Fallacy"

    She also sells the local art, as well as souvenirs.

    The beauty of these artifacts,

    Oft brings us all to tears.


    The Hysterical Society (known as the BHS)

    Is planned to house our glorious past,

    Though it's not made up yet.

    Meanwhile we have appointed one to handle the display.

    Though there's no fee, she works with glee, the lady known as Fay.


    There are many other workers in the Progress Association.

    Betoota's planning really is well done.

    Projections lead us to expect

    a larger population.

    A slight rise from the current figure: one.


    So the future's snug and rosy

    Like a teapot in a cosy.

    We are the shining jewel in Queensland's crown.

    For the tourists we will gather and we'll all be in a lather

    Selling scones and souvenirs all over town.


    At the airstrip we will meet them and the flags will fly to greet them,

    As they come from far and wide to view our wares.

    And their money we'll be taking

    In exchange for all our baking.

    And their spending will alleviate our cares.


    So if you're far along a track, from which there is no turning back

    And if you're parched as all the countryside -

    Know that you'll have respite now,

    Let us soothe your fevered brow

    In Betoota, you will peacefully abide.



    Patricia Cox  � July 2003