What’s In a Name?

Useless Loop is a small town in Western Australia. Nevertire and Come By Chance are both located in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

There’s a place I yearn to live in, before health and vigour give in—
It’s a town quite like no other, by the name of Nevertire.
For if naming has a reason, just as months reflect a season,
Then it surely is descriptive of the zing its folk acquire.

There, I’d run for relaxation, from the outskirts to the station,
And return without a breather, just as fresh as I began;
And a late night wouldn’t faze me, or a rude awakening craze me
When a pair of lovesick possums screeched a chorus as they ran.

I could swim in early morning, free of all my usual yawning,
As I did when I was younger by some forty years or more;
And my prowess at high diving would see spectators arriving
To applaud my pinpoint entries worthy of a perfect score.

Better still, I’d take up dancing of the tango for romancing,
As I’m sure to have libido and the power to see it through;
And those jealous out-of-towners would be broken, bitter, frowners,
When they saw me on the dance floor with a lissome lass or two!

Yes, I’d trip the light fantastic, though my knees are chrome and plastic,
Free of ailments and conditions which bedevil blokes like me.
This would prove to doubting cynics that the field of toponymics
Offers hope for those aspiring to a recharged battery.

But for now I’ll keep residing, saddened by my pep subsiding,
In a place that’s more depressing than a vegan chicken soup.
Once I’ve saved sufficient dollars for my dream of ballroom collars
I will walk in 4/4 rhythm from the town of Useless Loop.

Yet, I hope that my example doesn’t cause a horde to trample
On the town and its surroundings, if they come to share my dance.
Should this tragedy transpire, I may very well retire
To a place that few discover, by the name of Come By Chance.



David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.

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8 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    A very entertaining topic, fleshed out wonderfully with just the perfect fun meter and internal rhymes!

    • David Watt

      Thank you Cynthia. I’m glad you found my poem entertaining. I find that internal rhyme is especially suited to humorous pieces.

  2. Jeff Eardley

    David, I love all your poetry, but I particularly love how this one bounces along with gusto to its conclusion. Thank you for a new word, “toponymics” and thank you for a big slice of fun today. Once again, another gem for the in-tray of Sir Les.

    • David Watt

      Hello Jeff, I appreciate your most generous comments. The word ‘toponymics’ doesn’t come up much in everyday conversation, but it managed to find employment in this flight of fancy.

  3. Margaret Coats

    The additional toponyms of Useless Loop and Come By Chance are well used to outline a fitting conclusion to these rousing rhythms about all the zing in Nevertire! If you weren’t so concerned about a possible population boom, I would suggest you contribute the poem to whomever may be in charge of attracting out-of-towners for tourism.

  4. David Watt

    Thank you Margaret, the Come By Chance toponym was first employed by Banjo Paterson in his poem by that name. I’m pretty sure that Nevertire and Useless Loop had never been used in a similar way.
    Your suggestion that I may contribute this poem to those in charge of promoting tourism to the Nevertire area is spot on. I have contacted Warren Shire Council, which covers the village of Nevertire. The publication of “What’s In a Name” on the Society’s website is now known by the Councillors and staff. This may result in some publicity for Nevertire, and the Society of Classical Poets.

  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    David, your poem romps along with poetic and melodious aplomb that fills me with joy. You paint some beautiful linguistic pictures and I love those place names. We have Utopia here in Texas – how lucky I am. In the UK I live near ‘Badgers Mount’ and ‘Pratts Bottom’. There’s also a Piddle River and a Piddle Brewery – I never want to know the origin of these names. I must proclaim I’ve never paddled in the Piddle or partaken in a pint of Piddle at a pub. David, thank you for your skillful and gleeful poem – it has blessed my Saturday morning with a sunshine smile.

  6. David Watt

    Susan, I am very pleased that my imaginings centred on unusual Aussie place names has brightened your morning. I can see that you also have your fair share of place names worthy of a poem. I think I would closely inspect a glass of beer from the Piddle Brewery before downing the amber fluid!


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