Rafe, a regular commenter here, has brought to mind the great Australian Sir John Monash.
In turn, mention of Monash always brings to mind a wonderful book of poems, AnniVersaries, by the sublimely talented Timoshenko Aslanides which carries a poem for every day of the Australian Year. This, from February 10, is my favourite:
GENERAL CONSENSUS IN JERILDERIE
Noon and heat: Jerilderie. Dust drifts like sheep.
A crow swears high behind a boy’s left shoulder,
then slides offensiveness glissando down to silence.
A horse is slow, shuffles its hooves and stops.
‘What’s your name, my boy?’ The presence, and question, commanding.
In the time it takes to take one’s time to speak,
Edward Kelly dismounted around his chestnut mare,
and bridle in hand, presented it to the lad.
‘Jackie Monash, Sir,’ looking up and eyes
and beard and breadth; two smiles refresh the day,
He grips the bridle in his right, without needing to look,
and runs his left along the horse’s neck.
‘Her name is ‘Mirth’, the big man says, talking down
without talking down, ‘can you hold her half an hour?’
and tapping his horse’s flank at K reversed on E,
he turns to attend to letter, bank and myth,
‘Ned Kelly’, he said, shaking then filling the child’s hand.
Jackie spent the shilling; could never spend the story.