Poetry man is a master wordsmith
LYNDEN Baxter has a way with words.
The Monto man was recently crowned Queensland Bush Poetry Champion - a highlight since starting poetry as a hobby 20 years ago.
"A lot of my stories are about the district, like the goldmine and the history about the town as I find that's what people are interested in," he said.
"At winter time, I do poetry around a camp fire at Cania Gorge as entertainment for grey nomads."
Born in 1947 in Monto, Lynden is the second youngest from a family of seven kids.
"I got into poetry after my sister Val, she's been doing it all her life," he said.
"At first I started off rough, but really enjoyed it.
"Poetry has changed my life, there's something special about it and it's an old art form.
"It comes from blokes finding ways to tell stories."
Poetry isn't Lynden's only hobby to show off his artistic side.
"I do acrylic painting and have been doing that for over 20 years," he said.
"I like to mainly paint bush scenes, landscapes, horse and cattle."
Another major hobby of Lynden's is fossicking for opals, and likes to mix it with a bit of travel.
"Opals are such beautiful, national gemstones," he said.
"I have travelled through a lot of opal fields around Queensland and Australia.
"The best one here is Opalton.
"I have a big collection; I cut and polish them, and can't bear to part."
Lynden worked with horses and did cattle-type work since he was a little boy, and was part of the first agricultural class at Monto State High School.
"It was different times growing up, us kids ran free with no restrictions," he said.
"I guess that's the freedom of a bush childhood.
"We made our own fun."
On an occupational level, Lynden spent majority of his life working on farms.
"I mainly worked on lucent farms," he said.
"Pretty much became a harvesting contractor, working in the central highlands."
Wherever Lynden goes, his trusty pal kelpie Dusty is sure to be by his side.
"Dusty does poetry with me, he stands between my legs, and people comment on him," he said.
"There's nothing Dusty doesn't know."
Lynden's advice for those interested in getting into poetry is to practice and just go for it.
"With bush poetry, it's like joining the family, you meet so many like-minded people," he said.
"Nearly all stories are true stories, but you've got to make them exciting, so it's like true fiction.
"You weave the words in like a song and get rhyme."