About Me

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Brisbane, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Brisbane, Australia. Visit my website at www.noelleclark.net

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Australia Day Book'd Out Blog Hop & Giveaway - The Call of the Bush

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The Call of the Bush

Join in the Book'd Out 2014 Australia Day Book Giveaway and Blog Hop - Visit the other blogs. Lots of fun and giveaways - click HERE








In the mid 1960’s, when I was in primary school, I was given a fourth-hand book called The Call of the Gums. It had a beautiful sketch on the cover.  Graceful gums, their branches casting a dappled shadow over the ground, seemed to sway in the breeze as I gazed at it. I loved that picture – and I loved that book. So much so, that I still have a copy. Inside the cover are the names of my cousins and older sisters who also owned the book before me, each one crossed out and the new owner’s name proudly written in a childish scrawl.

From this anthology of Australian verse, I learned to recite, by heart, poems that I still remember. The Call of the Gums introduced me to Australian poets such as Kenneth Slessor, Henry Lawson, Judith Wright, and local Aboriginal poet, Kath Walker – who changed her name to Oodgeroo Noonuccal in 1988. The anthology also gave me a sense of what it meant to be Australian. Kenneth Slessor’s Beach Burial never failed to make my eyes sting with tears; I learned about war, about droughts, about dogs dying, and I learned a deep love for the Australian bush which has lasted a lifetime.

More than 50 years since The Call of the Gums was first published, I can say that, thanks to the words and imagery contained within its covers, I have enjoyed a life-long love affair with the bush. Nothing makes my heart sing as much as being in the heartland of Australia – the bush. It’s where my senses soar; it’s where a spirituality enters my sometimes hardened respect for religion; and it’s where I’m filled with peace and wonder at its beauty.

Some of you may know that I have written a number of songs over the years. Most have themes inspired by being in the Outback – the country – the bush. But there’s one song I’d like to share with you this Australia Day. It’s called The Bush Church, and it fairly well sums up my feelings.

THE BUSH CHURCH                                              (© Noelle Clark/ND 2002)
A hundred foot tall gum tree makes a most imposing spire
The fallen logs around me make good pews
The carpet of a million leaves soften where I tread
And a hollowed out old tree stump tells His news.

I look about me at the congregation gathered round
Their peaceful faces show no signs of care
For the faces that surround me are the creatures of the bush
All the animals whom God has made are there.

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

A choir starts to sing a song of praise to God on high
No chorus ever sounded quite so sweet
The bird song of the Aussie bush, God’s creatures one and all
And now this bush cathedral is complete.

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

There is no better place to sing God’s praise than way out there
Where the fragrance of the bush acts like wings upon my prayer

No bricks and mortar, glass and walls, could ever be this good
The glory of God’s work is at hand
The lofty ceiling echoes as no real church ever could
And my bush church makes me feel as no place can.

Here’s my ‘bush’ version of The Bush Church



It's GIVEAWAY TIME!
That's right. Just leave a comment below to be in the random draw to win an ebook copy of my latest release, Rosamanti.
An Aussie girl finds love in the most unexpected place

Entries are now closed. Thank you to all who entered.
The winner is Faith Hope Cherrytea. 
 
Thanks to Book'd Out for hosting the great 2014 Australia Day Blog Hop & Giveaway. 
 


36 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous poem! Does it have music? I'd love to sing this. (Australia definitely needs more hymns that celebrate the beauty of our country - all those European snow and light motifs are lovely, but there is so much theological hay to be made from living water in a country like ours!).

    And of course I would love to enter your blog hop!

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    1. Catherine, lovely to meet you. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I have recorded this song and if you open this blog on a laptop or computer (YouTube doesn't work on iPads/iPhones), you can hear it. My singing is woeful, but it's the best I can do. :-) Best of luck in the blog hop comp. Cheers, Noelle.

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    2. Just had a thought, Catherine. You are a singer?? I can send you the chord charts if you want.

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  2. Your new book sounds really intriguing Noelle :) Thanks for the opportunity to win it!

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    1. Hey Brenda! Lovely to meet you and thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comments, and best of luck in the giveaway. Best wishes, Noelle.

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  3. I just got a lovely spattering of goosebumps hearing this rendition of The Bush Church, Noelle. What a beautiful melody and voice you have given to your inspired prose. Such a fabulous tribute to Australia's heartland, from one of its most talented artists of word and song. Love.

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    1. Oh Laura! You've made me tear up here! Especially coming from such a talented family as yours. And...from such an international family as yours. As an ex-pat Aussie, you must feel more than a little nostalgic on Australia Day, but I hope that you and your lovely family in Los Angeles celebrate in true Aussie style. Billy tea, damper with syrup, a barbie with snags, and a cold beer. Happy Australia Day to the Garretts from the the D's.

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  4. Happy HAPPY Ozzie day Noelle This is a fabulous post .One of your best and that is saying something since they all are brilliant.

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  5. I managed to recite Dorothea McKellar's "My Country" from memory to one of my classes when we had a photocopy malfunction--they (and I) were impressed, but we did learn lots of wonderful poems off by heart when I was a kid. And I remember this book from my own school days. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Noelle! Happy Australia Day!

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    1. Susanne, thanks for coming over. I'm over my Tamworth-lag now, will go and visit everyone elses Aussie day posts. The Call of the Gums had such a soft, furry cover too. Do you remember? Or maybe it was just mine because I had a hand-me-down. Don't they teach poetry in primary school anymore? Happy Australia Day!

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  6. Wow people are still able to recite poetry. I cannot even remember what I wrote the day before :P
    Always got ina n argument with the teacher. It is written in that book why should i remember it. Yes I flunked.
    But a happy Australia day mate. Had me fun reading and listening

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    1. Lovely to see you here, Ranting. I'm really glad you came by, and glad you had some fun. You are a poet yourself...I'm sure you can do beautiful recitations.

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    2. Glad to be here Milady Clark

      And some kind of poet I am. I cannot even remember my own poems I have written. I can recite an Unwritten poem, but then do not ask me to write it down after, for I will not have remembered it. LMOAO
      Yeah I am great that way LOL :p

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  7. Excellent memories post.. and loving your book's cover - it has me imagining the warm breezes they're enjoying!
    TY for your generosity - is that what comes from being from Australia? Lovely - appreciate the opp to enter
    HapPiest Australia Day wishes =)

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    1. Loving the Bush Church song - ty for posting [and with video!]

      tried the FB like button but wondering if it's spam as it shows I've liked something in odd lettering?

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    2. Hi Faith. Thanks so much for coming by. Hmmm, I'll check out the FB link. thanks for telling me. Thanks also for your lovely comments, and for the adds to Pinterest and Goodreads. You are most generous. Have a wonderful day.

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  8. Hi Noelle. I just love listening to you play and sing, watching your videos. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. All of it. The pictures are stunning. Thank you for sharing and Happy Australia Day to you and your family.

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  9. Hey Canadian friend! I'm so happy you visited today! My singing is...very ordinary (that's a polite way of saying it)... but I had to share that song on Australia Day. I've just come back from a week in the country. Those pictures were taken by me way, way Outback, around Broken Hill in far western NSW. Also some shots of Silverton (where they shot the original Mad Max) - it's a ghost town. No, true! Also some shots of Mungo Lake, Trilby Station, along the Darling River, and where the Darling meets the Murray River. Nice bush. Thanks again. I'll stop now. ;-)

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  10. Great job on the song, Noelle. Thanks for sharing your love of the bush.

    Happy Australia Day!

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    1. Eleni, thanks very much for visiting, and for your lovely comments. Happy Australia Day!

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  11. A lovely post and a evocative poem, Noelle, thanks for sharing. Hope you're enjoying Australia's Day :)

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    1. Helene, it's an honour to have you visit my blog. Thanks very much for stopping by, and for your lovely comments. Hope you are having a lovely Australia Day too!

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  12. Happy Australia Day!

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi bn100 :-) - Thanks for visiting my blog, and good luck in the random draw. Best wishes, Noelle.

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  13. What a beautiful setting for your 'Bush Church'. A lucky country indeed.
    I was always hopeless at memorizing poetry!

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    1. Hi Rose. You know, these days I'm flat out remembering my kids' names, but I can still recite 'Andy's Gone with Cattle'. LOL. Thanks so much for visiting. Hope you've had a great day. Cheers, Noelle.

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  14. Happy Australia Day, Noelle. Lovely post!

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    1. Thanks Cat! Really good of you to visit. :-)

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  15. I love this! And I love the tagline for this giveaway and book. It made me smile and really really really want to read it. Another one added to my TBR pile.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this fantastic giveaway.

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    1. You're welcome, and good luck in the random draw. Really good of you to visit and say hello. Best wishes, Noelle.

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  16. Love the cover of your book. It reminds me of that Pierce Brosnan movie: Love is all you need. Have you seen it?
    Thanks for the giveaway offer.

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  17. Hi Sherry. No I haven't, but I just looked it up on IMDB and can see the resemblance. Might have to hire that DVD. Good luck in the random draw. Cheers from Noelle.

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  18. Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway. I put all the names into a hat and drew out one lucky winner. Faith Hope Cherrytea - I'm emailing you an ecopy of my latest release, Rosamanti. I hope you enjoy it. :-)

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    1. Delited ! HUGE THANKS, Noelle !
      What a FuN hop meeting new authors and novels from a new to me reading field - I appreciate all your work in posting for the AU DAY HOP and for your generosity - BLessings ! and Every cont's success in sharing your writing gift with us readers...

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