Saturday, November 03, 2007


(Our writers' group decided to write legends based on our local people and shire.)

There is a story told of a Clifton character and a drinking mate Leo Bange. It was returned Services League night and Leo the local branch President had come in from Back Plains in his car. He stopped at the Arms Hotel on his way and met a local lad Called Wavey G……. and he was known to like his ‘wee drop”.

Soon Wavey left and went home for tea. Then Leo retired as he must get to the meeting, but Alas! His car was not to be found. After discussion with the Arms publican, Bill Hawkshaw, it was decided that the culprit could only be Wavey who had taken the car.

Leo and Bill visited Wavey who became perplexed and absolutely swore it was his car in his driveway, but Leo said,” Well Wavey, what’s that car in your garage? Wavey turned, looked surprised as now he had two cars. It is not know what happened after the discovery. Perhaps they all had another ale together.

This happened because Wavey had walked to the pub, Leo left his keys in the car, both liked an ale, and the legend is they owned identical cars.

By Althea Rhyl Bell..Clifton © …The tale was told to her by Joffre Bell

THREE LEGENDS by Althea Rhyl Bell

(Our writers' group decided to write legends based on our local people and shire.)

Clifton is a country town in ‘The Big Paddock’ as bus drivers call the Darling Downs to tourists when rain has fallen and the fields are emerald green and other times the crops growing make it look like a patchwork quilt.

In this town are found a number of ‘hardcases’ like all small country towns where everyone knows each other. There is a story from yester year that tells of a grave digger and local Shire Councillor called Dan N……who attended a meeting to discuss and pass the construction of Clifton’s first public toilets.

When Dan was asked his considered opinion, he replied,” What is wrong with the Bottle tree outside the National Bank!

Another legend is of the Club Hotel in the early nineteen hundreds which was leased by Mr. Overton Benjamin Bell, Senior and his good wife Annie, a redhead, a talented pianist, and a fine cook. The hotel was very popular with the commercial travellers, the greyhound racing fraternity, and rifle shooters who sort the many quail among the long grasses.

One night a band of revellers challenged each other to visit a supposedly haunted house in Catherine Street. On arrival at the darkened destination, each waited for someone else to enter first, and for awhile there were no brave adventurers. Finally a local lad, Alf Ernst came forward and then made his way down the Queenslander’s gloomy hallway. He would show his mates!

Alas! One of the Suraswaki lads threw a tin bucket behind him. The clatter resounded and Alf stopped dead in his tracks, and for an instant shook, gave a loud scream and bolted off home to safety. It is said by Joffre Bell who recounted the story, that his mates never let him forget his ghost experience and hurried disappearance.

The third legend is that in Australia’s history the Chinese came looking for gold in the Clifton, Leyburn and Pratten areas as they had done in California and theYukon. The Chinese were industrious workers and could withstand hardship .Often they became a town’s market gardeners.

We know they came to Clifton, as when the sewerage trenchs were being dug the Reverend Wilfred Tomlinson found in the subsoil of his duckyard a small brass statue of the Buddha. Today it can be seen in the Clifton Museum.

Althea Rhyl Bell, Clifton ©

Monday, July 02, 2007


Tortured tossing, weary fettered limbs
Wafting shadows made by leaves
Windowpane caressing.
Blood red moon spans taut old crone
Who rouses as if with feathered touch.
Did the curtains touch?

Pale faced creature came to look
Upon the seemingly unknowing
Whose mirrowed mind antennaed
The silent grievened face, twitching
Ivory darted, tormented,
Lonely and bereft,
Half a face coloured blue shattered.
Dew lit eyes dripping frosted topaz,
And in the broken breast
The short sharp shaft.

In timeless space where merging worlds of consciousness
Create the consoling communion,
Dualistic mind wroughts the night extinction-
Whiskered greybeard Crone watches, feels pain of phantom fairy child
On mission not heard in busyiness of day,
loud honking horns.

One eye open, old woman’ realization
Fissures open the fussiness of mind,
Which sees the cartouched mask
Hiding misfortunes, lack of comfort touch,
Sharpness , fiery tongue now muted,
But pluck to travel by the night,
Weaving shadows lurking
Outside- the boobook calls.

Crone now spinning in a duplicated world
Of loud and honking horns,
Sleeping babes oblivious,
Grey spotted windows with fat black spiders
Staring, building, breeding,
There the wandering fairy Wraithe now sleeping
Merged in Eve formed woman dreaming
The tender touches of the night
And warmed hearth with husband bright,
Not tired and lean, beaten
Ratlike, from casual foraged work
Crone watches, guards and waits.

The Wraithe now earthbound,
Mysterious dreamer
Of the darkened sultry night
Yet a Daystar of another Light
Who rises in quantum worlds seeking.-
Time to rise, relationships reborn,
O sweet Lady Luck,
Manifest, Manifest , manifest

Althea Rhyl Bell ©


Humans are citizens of the Universe, and are we always to be contaminators or are we part of a Whole…A union of a grand idea of an unfathomable intelligent one source called God. Just diverse parts in manifestation on this small blue globe, our Mother, the nurturer, called Earth or Gaia after a goddess…a provider of the needs of humans who are still seemingly barbaric in many areas of endeavour..

The Golden Age of humanity is not evident yet…perhaps in a thousand years after the evil wars of hunting and gathering man, the Destroyer and the resultant Earth changes. Sadly, as evolving rough stones we will rub together and learn the lessons that result from leeching our home of its materials, trees, fruits and sea bounty. The minerals from the mines and fertilizers flow via our rivers to the oceans and destroy our fish, corals and the marine ecology and we must mention emissions from our means of transport!

Every Australian expects to have their own domicile, but we build our houses on arable land, instead of building upwards and on rockier and less fertile ground. We dam our lush river flats and do not stockpile water from the north and pipe it to places of less rainfall.

Today there are myriads of ideas, thought of and yet to come, for future energy production, such as desalination, solar energy and wind farms and inventions as exhibited by the chemical and agrarian sciences. Sometimes useful old ideas reemerge. More often than not these are swept under the carpet by vested commercial and vested interests. Now at the beginning of the 21st century there is a renewed idea of energy production by nuclear energy. It is said to replace our declining oil and coal reserves. Are we to selfishly strip all our minerals from the Earth?

To those of you who care, please watch Videos or DVD’s of the film ‘K-19 –The Widowmaker ’ a story of a Russian nuclear submarine with a damaged plutonium reactor, and clips of the sealing of the sarcophagus at Chernobyl, where brave earth warriors sacrificed themselves for others and the land.

Think of the Pacific Islanders who suffer from radiation poisoning from 20th century nuclear tests and rising sea levels due to the Poles melting at an extraordinary rate….and think of the foetus’ that come to term and display gargoyle and crippled bodies…Think of the persons slowly being killed by depleted uranium used in recent wars and remember Hiroshima and the cancers that came after the horror. Old nuclear submarines lie idle in the Baltic Sea and other ports and their manufactured nuclear cores are still there!

Are we to do what other less wise ones say and bury the nuclear waste underground in the Australian desert or elsewhere? The possibility of polluting the Great Artesian Basin and our underground rivers is very real and we are looking at time frames of thousands of years. Will the reward of monetary gain compensate the maimed children of the future or will the ‘Mad Jokers’ or the economic and war merchant ‘Black Magicians ’send the nuclear waste in to space.

Persons with creative harmonious ideas need to govern the Planet and it now needs to be global, and humanity must be educated to understand that personal likes and dislikes must be transcended beyond races. The shared genetic pool of humans and animals is forever vulnerable. The chimpanzees and humans have 98% of the same genes and it evokes the question are humans so special that we can ignore the animals right to an Earth inheritance too.

Destruction of Earth’s populace, food supplies, great rivers, lakes, and undiscovered medicinal plants by gold and other mines is relentless and the cutting of the pristine rain forests for profit and by the poorer countries destroys the oxygen we breathe.

In the 1970’s, author Rachel Carson in the Text “The Silent Spring” warned of future Earth changes and global warming and depletion of resources .It is evident that the politicians and economic pharaohs ignored the call for moderation. The sceptics said it would never happen. Well, the day is here now and we are told we have 10 years or less before the point of no return is reached. Also, is an urgent necessity that we as good citizens become productive in providing a future for life?

There are many ways to do this, simple ones too, such as growing carob trees for shade and stock food. They do this in Algeria where it is very dry. Email or write a letter to a politicians reminding them of their responsibilities in serving and preserving the populace and our Earth Home.

The need to unite is great in the adventure of finding ways of recovery and growth for all things.

This planet should not be left to robots who do not have suitable vehicles for the existence of a soul or it might be said …no place for the Intelligent One Spirit to dwell in goodness, charity and Peace.

A nuclear physicist professor friend who is very aged now, attended overseas conferences on nuclear fission and energy for many years and he would always return saying, “ Nuclear energy is a mistake for living entities and will always be so”.

“If we come together we have more Power to fight for our future and not just profits.”

“Some solutions are…we need massive investment in 'Renewables' as a turnaround in energy efficiency and in an immediate cap on greenhouse emissions.”

“We need our Parliament to legislate for 25% of Australian energy to be renewable by 2020 AD.”

Althea Rhyl Bell

© 14/3/07


Primitive male
Little brooding eyes,
Long skinny tail
Dark shaggy matted hair,
You wandered on the plains
Long gone,

The sabre toothed tiger looked
And then passed by
You defied all
And loved your kind,
Your size made carnivore man

You did not kill with heavy foot
Unless threatened,
Gentle giant heart contained,
I stand gazing

Like great Hannibal who
Used the elephant to travel,
Conquer and destroy
Minor Asia wept and trembled.
But for you,
Strength and Power defeated
…climate change.

Now emerging, for us to see
As snows melt,
Wilted like a Tundra Crocus,
The icy peat exposes
Your kin’s soggy, ivory laden

Can humans, lemming like,
Electrify a suspended cell and clone……
Great giant will we see you walk again?
Regally, you stand
In Vancouver Island’s Museum,
A mammoth, stuffed, called

Althea Rhyl Bell ©


Old, Older, but not yet the oldest citizen but the years have taken their toll. The labour of personal endeavour in the harsh climate of the Australian bush have left the physical entity frail, the muscles flaccid and the gait is now unseemly, and the old woman walks with a stick and still hopes there are good times ahead.

The summer heat tires and she has not been to a local show for a number of years. Why? At her last visit she could not find a seat, except at the tea and sandwich bar. At least there was a tarpaulin cover above to stop the summer sun beating down on the patrons. At that time she found the small seating stands made of metal too difficult to climb up and she had watched young children fall through and off the steps, not to mention the difficulty experienced by some adults too. Dangerous, she had thought.

Perhaps she’ll go this year as she has heard that new grandstand seating has been erected.

Her old mind reverses to a time of young womanhood, of times when she sat in large, glorious grandstands. Images waft before her mind’s eye, when she dressed in her best show outfit, always new, with hat, shoes and bag to match. No self respecting lady would go out without wearing stockings! At the show she became a fortunate and interested spectator after the seemingly ritualistic process of preparation to look one’s best on Show Day. At the Show the community exhibited their productivity, creativity and rejoiced if it had been a good season. It was surely carnival time.

Australian grandstands were usually a large edifice with easy accessibility to seating and made of wood with ascending wide steps that allowed the other patrons to pass in front of one with ease. In the higher seats the cool breeze would fan the body and refresh. The only apparent danger could be an odd splinter if the wood was old and dry.

Below was a passing parade of magnificence. The horse events, the animal judging, new cars and machinery, and the woodchoppers showed off their muscles and the chips flew as the sharp shiny axes rang out the wood’s tune. To this old woman it was better entertainment than a movie show as you could see your friends pass by and give a friendly wave while munching on an ice cream or fluffy soft fairy floss.

The pedantic clowns, large hatted bow legged horsemen, new citizens in prams, officials at their duties, children waving prize ribbons, the Australian flag fluttering in the breeze added to the vista. One could see everything right to the horizon.

Yes, this year 2006, she will go to the Show and see the new elevated stands they have recently provided and it has been said the structures are better than the last lot.

She will endeavour to remain positive.

Tired after the heat of the Pavilion and admiring the districts display and greeting her friends she wobbles again on her stick and a seat must be found.

Muttering to her self, “I’ll give these new covered metal stands a go,” and, pausing, wonders if there will be enough elevation to view the ring events now?

Hopefully, she climbs very carefully to the second top row and sits. Yes, she can see a little more but oh! how hot it is sitting on the metal and the back of the seat behind hurts her back and now she is becoming hemmed in. The steps are not wide enough for the populace to come and go with ease.

Disheartened she finds her view is now blocked by the seated officialdom inside the arena.

With saddened face, down cast eyes, and through tears she sighs and says, drearily, a good-bye to the Grand Parade and with her stick moves on. She shall not see her friend exhibit the champion ewe or watch the intelligent kelpie called Spice round up the flock, or see her young cousin compete with precision in the dressage events. Some happy children talk to her on the way to the car with the unselfconsciousness that resonates between the young and the aged.

They say “Going home already Grandma, aren’t you staying for the fireworks?”

A croaky voice replies, “I did try to support the Show by coming, but Grandstands are not like they used to be. Once they were glorious, when I was young and enjoyed the grand vision of a Country Show. Goodbye children, grow and be happy”.

A. Rhyl Bell
29/03/06 - ©

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

TRANSCENDANCE by Althea Rhyl Bell

Shining ones who walk the Earth
profound in heavenly Law,
Hear the cry for peace and love
of those who suffer deep.
Seeing mad Goliaths
rise to power with greed -
To control, persecute, destroy,
pollute –
Energy wild.

Everything dependant-
When will hearts and minds of good men
with thoughts flowing
in Unity,
transform the aggression
of corrupt dictators
on this trembling globe

Human, why can’t you see
the egoism of “ Me “ and
realise that everything is Infinite.
All atoms of Light and Love
designed accordingly,
by vibratory degree.

A tiny flame burns
in each percussed heart-
Seed of ten thousand suns,
some flickering, some exceeding,
to grow
to flower
to experience-
Learn planetary construction.

Christian, Moslem, Jew,
Hindu, Buddhist, Humanist,
Citizens in compound diversity-
Science listen,
“Renew the Golden Age,
Let the human body fill with Holy Sound
-Blessed Word -
Inviolable gift,
help the Spirit
Grow and Lift.”

Babes of the Cosmos radiating light
Joined by rapturous Universal brotherhood,
Now in Harmony and Peace
Opening wide the doorways of nations,
Reaching not one
but All.
To give Compassion,
Sacrifice and receipt,
Resultant surprise…

Citizens of the Universe
They see men now
Not in dissension, but in conference and free –
in inner space…
Still –
Connected by golden thread,
And there above the childlike domes
The Dove victorious -

Althea Rhyl Bell 2006 ©

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

CHRISTMAS STORY by Althea Rhyl Bell

Underneath the wide colonial eaves,

frozen dream of childhood Christmas

spent on splintery verandah steps-

Gazing to the summer stars

waiting to see Santa and his pack

bearing the all important sack.


Whiskers resplendant of cottonwool

red silk dressing gown,

calico flourbag upon his head

he gave the longed for goodies out.

Amid the parcels green and red

large eyed children agog in bed

slyly watched the magic moment,

for tomorrow there would only be

the green and red caladiums,

the darting blue dragon fly

beneath the verandah steps

and unpacked parcels for all to see,

God's Bounty.


Althea Rhyl Bell©

AGE by Althea Rhyl Bell

Old Egypt, soft and green –
Wavy sassafras grass shivers
while sleepy crocodile lies serene.
Sandy warm water between the toes,
and Red billed ibis among the reeds –
darting flies hide the billowing flows
of the white felucca’s sails.

Amen-Ra, pyramids and obelisks
surrounded by the Nile –
Cheop’s perfect, testimonies.
Yet Sphinx’s face challenges time and tales
washed by salty tears,
hauntingly scryes and
brings forth ancient memories.

Althea Rhyl Bell ©