5 Mallee Souls.

Upon this world under an open sky,

Five gentle souls they quietly lay.

Undisturbed in warm Mallee sands,

Rain dripping from boughs drumming sound,

Upon quiet resting place would gently land,

In contrast to that man’s murderous hands.

And upon season to season play,

At rise of sun, at break of day,

Would run with them those wild creatures play,

Five gentle souls there quietly lay.


Now.. two old farmers would often pass close by,

Two old friends driving past where those souls lay,

Rozenswieg and Schwertzfeger their names derive,

Their tractors with ploughs attached would drive.

To seed, to cut and bale their harvest hay,

Those two farmers would pass, day by day,

Unaware of the tragedy that did there lay.

Behind wire fence under open Mallee sky,

The drumming drops of dripping rain would fall,

Upon those gentle souls buried by a murderer cruel.


‘Twas harvest done, raked, baled the two friends came,

One with rake, one with baler, day’s work done,

Upon that track past where lay five girls alone.

Schwertzy’s tractor just there did come undone,

And to a sudden halt they both stood to pond’

“’Tis the steering arm,” Schwertzy said “the pivot gone,”

“Go cut a piece of fence-wire and bring me some.”

There.. Rosie’ sniffed and sensed the lair,

Proclaiming; “Something’s not quite right here”.

“There’s a scent of death hangin’ on the air.”


And the two friends stood by the wire fence dread,

Combined knowledge of scent of animals dead,

Wondering on that strange, scented, tainted air….

What new cut of beast lay dead here.

But farmhouse chores heeded them back,

From curiosity the ground where that scent it sat,

And making fast the broken steering arm,

They once again safely made for home,

Blind luck sparing those two a ghastly sight to behold,

The shallow graves of those five gentle souls.


Oh that our lives do we softly pray,

Would never meet such violence directed, aye,

Whilst we traverse our business everyday,

Safely harboured, safely housed, gently at play..

By all the saints and sinners cursed,

Pray indeed, that fortune’s fateful worst,

Be never of what these gentle souls immersed,

Wrack upon wrack upon wretched burst,

Of such insane, demented, psychotic hate,

Would see US in such a shallow Mallee grave.


For the world we make plan when first we strive,

In making of a home, family, living, alive!

Be foreseen as a sweet, smooth, pav-ed path,

From birth to cradle to work to Everlast,

With neither interrupt nor fate foreseen,

Of violent attack by maniac aggrieved,

Yet these five women, no fault their own,

Be dragged in violence from love and home,

To death and bury in a shallow grave,

Off lonely bush tracks wandering animals made.


And I can’t help but feel there trapped inside,

The souls and spirits of those gentle five,

Deep Mallee bush and shrub to abide,

Forever more, forever a murderer’s hide,

But see..let you and I make work and reprieve,

To set such fair souls in captivity free!

Let us take these gentle spirits held in our lands,

Cut their cords, sever the bonds from their hands!

And into the wide, open skyed Mallee frieze,

We’ll deliver these uncaged doves, their liberated spirits free!


5 thoughts on “5 Mallee Souls.

  1. I wrote this piece as tribute and respect for the five women murdered and buried near the Town of Truro (Sth Australia) in the 1970’s…Every time we go to Nuriootpa to do shopping or appointments, we pass nearby where those five souls were buried…and every time I feel a gentle pull toward their lonely fates…I hope this poem will at least ease some of that melancholy for those “five gentle souls”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought that might have been why you wrote it. We lived in Adelaide then; one of those young girls was the sister of my son’s friend. It was a bad time in Adelaide, with the Family killings around the same time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes….strange and wild times indeed…yet while all of those tragic and insane things were going on, it was the wildest time to be young and about with the seemingly endless boozing, drugs, music and partying…and in the middle of all that I went to Darwin and it was MORE crazy..in a safer way…there!…strange times indeed…perhaps there is a mathematical equation that gives answer to percentage and chance of surviving in such times…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Joe, for explaining why you wrote this poem.
    Of course it does make me curious about what actually happened there in the Mallee some 50 years ago!


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