Below is a poem, “The Fur and Feather Sailing Club”, that I probably wrote when I was about 19 or 20. I forget exactly. It was certainly before I had had anything professionally published.
Along the beach, the band in tartan trews;
The car park overflowing with Mercedes Benz and Jags,
Inside the briefing room, the anxious crews.
The myriad spectators sniffed the breeze and sipped champagne,
While their darling little children swallowed Coke,
And no-one seemed to notice, down a long-forgotten lane,
A dusty, dirty, battered Mini-Moke.
READ THE FULL POEM HERE : The Fur and Feather Sailing Club
Stephen Whiteside has been writing rhyming verse for many years. He writes for both adults and children. Many of his poems have been published in magazines or anthologies, both in Australia and overseas, or won awards. He has also self-published several volumes of verse.
In 2014, Walker books Australia published a collection of his poems for children, “’The Billy That Died With Its Boots On’ and Other Australian Verse”. In 2015, the book won a Golden Gumleaf for “Book of the Year” at the Australian Bush Laureate Awards during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Stephen is a great admirer of the Australian poet C. J. Dennis. He is President of the C. J. Dennis Society, and a key organiser of the annual Toolangi C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival. The festival is held in October every year at Dennis’ former home in Toolangi, a small hamlet in the wooded hills 65 km east of Melbourne. In 2016 the festival will be celebrating the centenary of the publication in 1916 of “The Moods of Ginger Mick”.