War and History Poetry posted May 31, 2013


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Origin of the naming of Lightning Ridge.

Lightning Ridge -- 1870

by Aussie

Bruised clouds gathered fast
Mob of sheep huddled around
Lightning danced - fate cast
Drover dug heels in - whip sound.

Gelding reared at the sight
Sheet lightning cut by hail
Grey-green clouds - black night
The mob bolted on loose shale.

"Coo-ee!" A voice was heard
Mustering in his blood
Another drover turned the herd
Came off his horse - mighty thud!.

Six hundred sheep caught in the blow
Drovers terrified - not a sound
Mighty strike - mighty glow
Men and sheep lay dead on ground.

Lightning Ridge by night
Some have seen the ghosts roam
Drive quickly past - unlucky strike
Aborigines call this place home.


Recognized


Australian regional language: Situated on the border of New South Wales and Queensland - Lightning Ridge was so named after sheet lightning struck drovers and six hundred sheep - killing them all stone dead! Lightning Ridge is now famous world wide for the elusive 'black opal.' Tourists come from all over the world to find the best opals that the 'Ridge' has to offer - from costume jewellery to film star quality gems. Many ghosts (so it is said) roam this desolate land because so many miners have been killed not only by lightning - mining is a dangerous occupation and dynamite is unstable in the wrong hands!
Coo-ee! Common way of calling others in the bush.
Drover: Sheep and cattle handlers
Mob: A big herd of sheep
Bolted: raced away
Shale: sharp blue metal shards found on top of mountain ridges.
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