Poetry: Sulphur Creek

by Ian Bland

Since 2007 Ian Bland has penned and presented a poem each Sunday as “Bland on Bland” on Melbourne radio station 3RRR, blending satire, humour and keen observation to create insightful stories drawn from contemporary rural and urban Australia.

Spruiking his verse from stages, tables and pavements across the country and beyond, he has performed in every conceivable location from concert halls, ballrooms and The National Gallery, to coal vaults, pubs, cemeteries and the steps of Parliament.

He has released two albums of songs, 2008’s “Drifter” and 2012’s “Angel in Reverse.”


Grand Final day at Sulphur Creek

The mood at best, was tense

The medics carried mace

Barbed wire secured the fence


The Razor Hill Vultures

Were are a vicious bunch of thugs

The Captain, Coach and President

On bail for dealing drugs


The Coffin Bay Boners

Would kill before defeat

All worked at the abattoir

And were used to carving meat


‘Suckhole’ Spragg, ‘Agro’ Cline

And Tarquin ‘Choirboy’ Kronk

‘Bonehead’ Greeves, ‘Snowball’ Filch

And one simply known as ‘Gronk’


Stan Gooch had only umpired

Seven games in the reserves

But they needed someone tough

Who wasn’t prone to nerves


Stan was just the ticket

With the build for contact sports

Picture Kim Beasley’s arse

In Warwick Capper’s shorts


Before the ball was bounced

There was mayhem all around

Two Vultures and a Boner

Lay unconscious on the ground


When Stanley blew his whistle

All the players did was scoff

He appealed to both the captains

They told him to piss off


He had to take control

Or he’d never get it back

So he charged in like a rugby prop

And split apart the pack


“I’ll say this once” barked Stan

“So listen up you turds

I’m giving you the facts

So better mark my words”


“To you I’m just an ump

But Proctology’s my profession

I’m an expert in arseholes

If you’ll pardon the expression”


“I’ve seen skinny, fat and hairy

Loose, tight and torn

But the arsehole I can’t handle

Is still waiting to be born”


“So you arseholes go in hard

The way it should be played

But cross the line you’ll find out

How well I know my trade”


The opening was a cracker

Both sides played the ball

A bit of argie bargie

Jumper holding, that was all


Quarter time, all tied up

Best game in years, they reckoned

The Boner’s ‘Ferret’ Burns

Slotted three to start the second


‘Filthy’ Frank Fasalo

Decked Burns behind the play

A fifty metre penalty

And the Boners kicked away


A ‘Hitman’ Harmes torpedo

Put the Boners up by five

But ‘Weasel’ Belcher’s snap

Kept the Vultures hopes alive


Third term, honours even

Neither side could get the jump

Tempers sort of held in check

All credit to the ump


Stan didn’t muck around

When Gaylord Munce was floored

The fifty metre count

Stretched from full back to full forward


The final quarter started

With a goal from ‘Veggie’ French

The Boners coach went berko

Dragging ‘Bonehead’ to the bench


When ‘Hatchet’ Hobbs was nabbed

For pulling ‘Mullet’ Fisher’s hair

Mullet kicked a pearler

And the match was back to square


The game was on a knife edge

A premiership at stake

No-one gave a stuff

How many rules they had to break


Lester ‘Bluetongue’ Izzard

Was as mad as he was crude

So proud of his nickname

He had his tongue tattooed


Couldn’t kick or handball

Didn’t even train

His talents lay inflicting

Excruciating pain


He’d barely left the bench

Nothing done by halves

He ran his boot stops down the back

Of ‘Snowball’ Filch’s calves


‘Daggers’ Sharp did his bit

To even up the odds

As ‘Ferret’ pulled his socks up

‘Daggers’ kneed him in the cods


While ‘Suckhole’ Spragg punched

The BeJesus out of ‘Vegie’

‘Hatchet’ snuck behind

And performed the perfect wedgie


As ‘Veg’ tried to extricate

His shorts from up his crack

‘Bluetongue’ seized the moment

And sunk his teeth into his sack


The fighting escalated

Spread from goal to goal

The umpires tried their best

But could not regain control


Eye gouging, headbutting

Kicking, biting, tripping

Elbows, coat hangers

King hits and squirrel gripping


Stan growled “I warned these arseholes

Now I’m fed up to the gills

It’s time I introduced them

To my non-umpiring skills”


He leapt into the melee

No interest in debate

Licked his index finger

And shoved it right up ‘Bluetongue’s’ date


‘Bluetongue’ froze rigid

Like a Peters’ Cream Between

Stan had entered territory

No man had ever been


‘Veg’ saw his chance

To retrieve his half chewed knacker

Stan was back in charge

Took the game by the clacker


He gave a twist or two

‘Bluetongue’s’ eyes glazed like glass

Just a day at work for Stan

Finger up an arse


“These big macho bruisers”

He used to tell his mum

“Curl up like little puppies

When a finger’s up their bum”


Stan had a theory

Why most blokes try to pike it

They were scared, so he reckoned

Scared they might just like it


The players stood there stunned

A bewildered, eerie, silence

No-one quite knew what to do

They were used to “healthy” violence


“Hands up anybody else

Who wants their prostate checked

Muck around again” cried Stan

“You know what to expect”


The remainder of the game

Was played well within the law

The sides traded goals

And the match wound up a draw


The coaches went bananas

“That was way outside the rules”

Stan cried “So are shirt fronts”

I’m not tolerating fools”


Now there’s scope within the rule book

For some interpretation

But nowhere does it mention

Rectal examination


“You’re all washed up,” they told him

But that didn’t worry Stan

“Too much like work” he huffed

As he copped a lifetime ban


Clearly his behaviour

Was improper, irrespective

But no-one could deny

It was spectacularly effective


Think outside the square

You can accomplish anything

Stan thought outside the square alright

He thought inside the ring


There’s a message in this sordid tale

The message is “neglect”

Your arsehole, like your nails and hair

Deserves the same respect


You blokes who don’t like doctors

I know just how you feel

But if it helps to keep you healthy

Well, the finger’s no big deal


There’s one thing in this life

As sure as tax and death

You’ll cop it up the freckle

If you stick it up the ref


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Very entertaining Ian as a magot I don’t think I will follow Stans example !
    Thanks Ian very clever indeed !

  2. Loved the rhythm and clever rhymes, Ian. The subject matter is not my go, but your style has the makings of the ‘bush bard’ of footy.
    Welcome aboard.

  3. Troy Hancox says

    loved it.
    I better book in a “DATE” with the doc soon.
    But i hardly know him.
    Dinner first ol mate?

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