Georgie Jackson has been writing poems for 40 years, and with the help of her community visitor, they may well find their way into print.
Georgie, 87, came to the Bundaberg region in her early 40s and stayed 16 years. She and her husband were caretakers at the showgrounds.
Then she left town, and came back four years ago from Bendigo.
She has been at her Fairways home in North Bundy for 18 months and loves it there.
“They have a great facility,” Georgie said.
“But I felt a little isolated. I couldn’t get out much and had no one here but the family.”
That’s when IMPACT’s Community Visitor Scheme came to the rescue. Someone in the Fairways office had suggested it, so they got in contact with IMPACT and we sent her Tessa.
It was a match made in heaven.
Before COVID-19’s arrival Tessa visited Georgie every Friday for about a year.
“I made sure I made no other plans on Friday, that was Georgie’s day,” Tessa said.
“Since COVID we have to talk by phone now. We talk a couple of times each week.”
She said she couldn’t wait to see Georgie in person again and had even got her flu vaccine, for the first time in her life, so she could visit at the earliest opportunity once restrictions allowed.
“It’s a genuine friendship now," Tessa said.
“I get more out of it than she does.
“Georgie’s a people person.
“They all fall in love with Georgie.”
Both ladies enjoy writing poetry, something Georgie has done since her early 40s.
“I had some bad side effects from blood pressure tablets and had to go into care,” Georgie said.
“While I was there I felt my mother’s presence and just started to write poetry. Later I found our old family bible and there were some verses in the back, and I found out they were Mum’s.”
When she was 72, Georgie went back to TAFE and learned "anything and everything".
“You never stop learning,” Georgie said.
She also paints and one of her artworks won a $400 art prize and is on show at the Bendigo Hospital.
Georgie has had a hard and varied life, being one of eight girls who then grew up and married a share farmer. That full, rich life is where all the poems come from.
But now the poems don’t come as easily as they used to. Perhaps sharing hers with her CVS buddy Tessa, who is also an avid poet, will get the pen flowing again.
“I’ve been blessed finding Georgie,” said Tessa, who wants a typewriter to compile all of Georgie’s poetry to share with everyone.
Before COVID-19 struck, Georgie and Tessa attended a morning tea for CVS participants and had a wonderful time. If she was more mobile Georgie would love to be a visitor herself, sharing her gifts with others.
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One of Georgie’s poem:
It’s spring and I’m in love with life
Although I’m only just a girl
I’m filled with an alerted rife
I feel this feeling sway and swirl
My head is full of things to do
Not chores like dishes, beds and floor
I wish I could explain to you
The longing to rush through the door
To climb a pine tree very high
Is really where I want to go
To smell the sap and feel the sigh
And look on family down below
There’s lizard’s basking in the sun
Old wombat in his hole asleep
The early morning’s just begun
All this beauty mine to keep
As I nestle here alone
The sunshine warm upon my face
All aspects of the day are gone
It truly is a peaceful place
I’ve day-dreamed here for quite a while
Time to me means nothing yet
It’s times like these that make me smile
I’d like to stay ‘til sun is set
But I must venture down it seems
To face the chores I left undone
For a while I’ll leave my dreams
And just pretend I’m having fun
I bravely face my mother’s scowl
I feel her hand smart on my seat
I’m so in love I cannot howl
I think about the blossoms sweet
I feel so good about the spring
It fills my days with love and joy
I’d rather walk the bush and sing
Than play with any man-made toy
It’s sad to think they punish me
It’s hard for me to comprehend
I’d rather climb up in my tree
And have a kookaburra friend
How serious my family are
One day I hope they’ll come with me
It really isn’t very far
There’s happiness up in my tree