So, I had never attempted to pen a poem, recite a poem, except for the bawdy boyhood renditions, negative thoughts about poetry abounded in my paltry brain. And then a rush of motivation entered my Psyche. In my line of work we sometimes are encountered by tragic incidents

One did, a personal friend lost her life needlessly during a major flood incident.

My brain trembled, and so here comes more official reports and debriefs, offers of counselling together with secret mental mementos that are part of the “contract”.


Out of left field came the impetus to record my thoughts and engage in a type of self consolidation known as ‘inward therapy’, that is, fix your head your way and write a poem.

You will see it soon. But wait, a little snippet.


BRUNSWICK HEADS NSW, a fishy story.

Can you see me? I’m a little tiny Whitebait, just had learnt to swim.

Who’s that lurking underneath…. he’s silver, slimy, with a great big toothy grin.


It’s all gone dark; I don’t care, I’VE MADE A CONTRIBUTION TO WORLD, ‘cause it’s my claim to fame.

I’m feelin’ mighty first-rate…. I AM WHITEY, AND, I am in LIFES big food chain.


© John Farley, 2008.



It has always intrigued me how humor and the unexpected cohabit, how something quite serious can have a funny side; across the road from my Uncle and Auntie’s laundry and behind the Darlinghurst Police Station was a place where mentally disturbed people resided.

I boarded  there for some time, no not the Institution. One day a rather loud disturbance was heard emanating from the confines of this building, now the windows were secured, although not protected by a grill or heavy gauge steel mesh.

Loud voices and banging could be discerned by us boys as we stood on the corner near the laundry, followed by an even louder crash, followed by a very large painted pisspot smashing through one of the windows, followed by its disintegration on the footpath, and finally, followed by a very naked young man. He clambered from the window and dropped some three yards to the footpath, he sprinted for a passing tram just turning into Burton Street amongst loud exclamations of surprise from the passengers, men yelled, ladies screamed, babies cried.

He bordered the tram as people attempted to disembark and flee for safety, by this stage the tram driver has became aware of the unfolding drama and had stopped the tram, so in the front door of the tram and out the back goes the naked man defiantly on a mission. He is last seen disappearing over for hill in his pursuit for freedom, followed now by men in white coats.

We waited for their return, instead, the men in white coats returned empty handed. Some police cars from the adjoining police station took of in the general direction we never saw our new hero again. This incredible story was over in a flash, whenever I have a vision of the painted piddle pot, and I swear I can still the colored flowers, hurtling through the window, well, it brightens up my day.

Gusunder; def: Goes under the bed. You know, the “potty, pottie”, “Chamberpot”, pisspot, that’s me; John d farley©

As an aside, there were two Nuns on the tram, one had a stroke and the other, bless her, wasn’t quick enough.

THE GUSUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER. (Or the painted porcelain pisspot)


© john d farley 2008.


The corner of Bourke and Burton close handy to Darlo’  Police Station.

A steamy laundry plied it’s trade, some say the best one in the nation.

Never seen so many sheets, and shirts and all the rest.

All those office men would tell us; “our laundry was the best”.


I boarded there for quite some time, and Darlo’ School I went to learn.

Come home and change me clothes, meet me mates, errands, selling papers, ‘cause I had time to burn.

Then one day something happened that amuses me all me days.

And I’ve made the point that humor happens in many different ways.


You see across the road was a big white place, right behind the cells.

The residents were distracted people, and all with special hells.

On the day the big commotion happened we were standing on the corner, you know… just talking stuff.

Football, school and the like, new bikes, second hand really ‘cause times were really tough.


From inside the big white house a fracas has erupted,

Men are yelling, and things are crashing the neighborhoods been disrupted.

Banging, crashing  and it’s raised a frown.

Peace was shattered in old Sydney town.


It was then the object of this yarn appeared to the sounds of a broken window pane.

The sight of a painted porcelain Gusunder was impressed upon my brain.

It sailed majestic to its end and crashes on the path,

Is that it? No there’s more to come, it’s simply called the aftermath.


From the winda’ jumps a man, he’s young; he’s the reason for our mirth.

You see my friends he’s quite unclad, like he’s as naked as his birth.

He leaps and jumps and heads himself for a tram just turning into Burton.

He’s on a mission our new hero, “I am out of here, escaping for me is certain”.


Aboard the tram and heading east, in the front and out the back he tried.

Grown men yelled, women screamed, and little babies cried.

Up the road he runs, heading for St Vincent’s with men in white coats close behind.

They return in minutes empty handed, our new hero they did not to find.


Let me just remind you, let me set again the scene.

A broken winda, a crashing pisspot, a naked bloke… and the people scream.

Always will I remember that day, the merry chase the young bloke led.

I will never forget The GUSUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER, it’s adorned with blue flowers; and GUSUNDERS every BED.


© John d Farley 2008.


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