I Am A Silo Grain Dump – In Defense of A Silo

I Am A Silo Grain Dump – In Defense Of A Silo

At times people use the image of “silo” or “silos” to describe people working independently and for their own ends.  It has never sat well with me as an image. For reasons shown by the poem in this post.

This could be because I spent many years of childhood in the sheep and wheat belt.  Later I would return there again (twice) to live and work.

Perhaps the disparaging image of “silos” comes from the Christian parable of Luke 12:13-23, where a greedy land owner was seeking more and more profits for himself. The image is not a good one for many of us and can increase a misunderstanding between city and country, rural and urban lives. In times of drought and bush fire we are best not to fuel any city-country enmities.

So, before bringing the “silo” image from our metaphorical storehouse, we might spare a thought and dig deeper into our imagination.



Picture: Ardlink Grain Dump just West of Ardlethan NSW a few years ago.


I Am A Silo Grain Dump – In Defense Of A Silo

I am a silo grain dump,

And live on the edge of village and of town,

I often have a fuel pump,

And dot the plains or down.


Sometimes graffiti coats me,

Or I’m adorned with mural art,

But in harvest time they come to me,

And trucks and trains then dart.


They come to me in many trucks,

From farms big and farms small,

And now with massive agribusiness,

I struggle to fit them all!


So scattered near my concrete side,

On specially prepared ground,

Tarpaulin covered grains dumps,

Keep grain stored safe and sound.


I’ve witnessed many tragic times,

And lots of moments of young love,

Of busy and of fruitful times,

Or when no rain falls from above.


School leavers find some work with me,

And uni students do the same,

I’ve taken on some newcomers,

Or those of long time known family name.


Yes, some approach me greedily,

Thinking of number one,

Others come skidding speedily,

To get that fast job done.


I hear some make an image of me,

To talk of people and of teams,

Who keep things cut off separately,

And store isolated dreams.


Before they talk of silos roughly,

They need to come and visit me,

Then they’ll get the message toughly,

That does not describe me.


I don’t hide away people or ideas,

I network the city and country,

And stage people’s tears and fears,

The locals catch up by me.


They may see someone not seen for weeks,

They may see for frequent visits then,

And as harvest season peaks,

They may not be seen again.


Before you use me as an image,

Of some isolated or greedy lot,

Come pay me a visit,

And then you’ll get the plot.


Simon C.J. Falk     17 December 2019


Picture from the Australian Silo Art Trail. More here.  Accessed 17 December 2019






Breathing the Breath of God Now

Breathing the Breath of God Now

From time to time we encounter people, even among our own family and friends, who suffer long bouts of physical decline. In recent days, some, known to me, have come to eternal rest after a time of lung diseases.  This poem grapples with some of the hope.


Scene: Near Sebastopol NSW during ‘burning-off’.

Breathing the Breath of God Now

In memoriam

He’s breathing the breath of God,

Like a soft summer breeze,

Walking where angels trod,

His lungs all clear of wheeze.

He’s resting the repose of peace,

No flail and no more toil,

From the pain he has release,

In God’s harvest from the soil.

From soil of a life spent,

Within family and the farm,

Now to be sent,

To a land where there’s no harm.

Somehow the memory lingers,

Among others of slim and slender frame,

He’d passed on his lengthy fingers,

To children who bore his name.

He’s seeing not as we see now,

As he sees face to face,

There’s no furrow in his brow,

Before the fullness of grace.

Simon C.J. Falk  3 February 2018

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Off to Candelo!

To Candelo

Another example of an older poem.   Recollections of a time when I lived in the Bega Valley.  I hope some readers get a little enjoyment from it.

To Candelo

 Off, off, we go, to Candelo!

Where the creek runs through the hills.

Where the wombats run and foxes dodge the gun,

And the dairies take their fills.


Where folks milk their cows,

And fatten their sows,

Where sheep take leave of their fleece.


Where Mount Myrtle stands tall,

And the Candelo Hall,

Bears generations of stories in its walls.


Where hockey and bowls

Give young and old some roles,

To play for their local team.


And the Pub and the Club

Keep serving the grub

And a schooner or two in between.


Where they’re proud of their show

And their markets you know

And the milk that is topped off with cream.


Then open your eyes to the snakes and fish,

The creek carries down in its stream.


So, come back! Come back!

Along Candelo track,

Where the folks make you feel at home.

You remember a while, the Candelo style,

No matter how far you roam.



Simon C.J. Falk 25 October 2008


Fires, Firies and Beckom!

As our State of NSW (here in Australia) continues to burn, we remember all those who are fighting fires.  We remember those who have lost homes, property and livelihood. As we experience all of this, I was reminded of a poem that came to me some months ago.  It was based on two experiences.  Firstly, visiting a farm at Beckom and beholding the vista it offered. Secondly, hearing of the local bushfire brigade responding to a serious collision between two semi-trailers on the Newell Highway at Beckom.


After a Day at Beckom

In the chill of winter,

When the fog comes sinking down;

As the blades of crop

Poke through the frost coating on the ground;

Morning comes to Beckom

And the farming families around.


Around they gather at their tables,

With breakfast to get through the day;

As they watch the sun rise upon their land

And prepare to meet the fray.

The hills give them undulation

On their stocked and grain-sown plains;

After sowing there’s celebrations,

When their dams are full from rains.


They tend the Newell Highway

When the traffic comes to stop;

And will lead you down safe byways

When the firies replace the cops.

For those bush firies

Try their hand where o’er their needed;

When the scrub blazes round the paddocks,

Or the highway presents the bleeded.

They toil in death and devastation

Dust and floods and smoke;

They pour out generosity before reservation,

They can be serious or joke.


Then they return to their families,

Lock up the chooks,

And kiss their kids.

Then it might be time for bills and books

Before they lie down and close their lids;

Their lids over eyes been wizened

From many a light of dawn and dusk;

To sheep lying dead in paddocks,

Or grain rotten in its husk.

From farewells to their old characters,

Or those far too young to die;

From when dust blows away their topsoil,

To raging torrents from the sky.


They gather at the Beckom Pub

After a game of bowls elsewhere;

Or may find a Church or civic do

Within the Beckom Hall there.

Lunches in the park

Have been known for hours long;

As long as beer and food will last,

And if the summer sun’s not too strong.


As we look across the paddocks

Of the green rising through the soil;

Beckom silos stand in sentinel,

To Beckom farmers’ toil.


When you drive along the Newell,

Remember to tip your hat;

For the stories of our dear ones,

Are housed along those hills and flat.


Simon C.J. Falk

 25 June 2013. 



Beckom rest area near the site of the semi-trailer collision.

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