‘THE RANGIORA SHOW.’
Illustrious words. Magnificent expectations.
Heat, dust, crowds, people getting in front of you.
How much nearer the real our autumn pastime
Under the trees – acacia, mimosa,
(Not ‘wattle’ then) and the orchard
And bluegums sheltering us from the outside world.
But willows for horses of course.
That thick bough is a draught horse,
What a fellow to manage – he plunges and rears.
First Prize at a glance. Halter and ticket him,
And tie at his stall in the hedge.
That short bough is cobby,
Good for a boy to ride, mount him and off round the ring.
How well I rise to the trot! First Prize.
That little one now, with leaves left on
At the end, for a child’s pony, long tail.
She can amble round as she likes. First Prize.
Now a graceful slender bough for my lady’s hack,
Into the side-saddle and off at a gentle canter,
Now faster, now slower, now walk – oh the easy mouth!
(Double-Stout our pony was always so abrupt).
First Prize. Now we go into tea.
Never mind about Second Prizes today.
Such our imaginations
Such were our joys.
Parents, pity children –
Spare them those toys.
From Collected Poems (Caxton, 1950)