There’s no shortage of characters who come through Kempsey for the Slim Dusty Country Music Memories Festival, but few have props as eye-catching as Michael Jones.
Better known as Michael the Living Poet, Michael travels Australia with his giant couch, which he proclaims to be the largest in the southern hemisphere, encouraging passersby to grab a seat with him.
He then quickly sums up their mood and personality before spouting a poem specifically tailored to the individual.
“It’s about keeping the art of story telling alive,” Michael explained.
The couch was formerly a display item at an Adelaide furniture business which Michael nabbed when it was due to be thrown out.
He says the giant piece of furniture ironically helps to push his message that people should “get off the couch” and check out the world.
Michael started writing bush poetry 10 years ago, beginning on the night that Steve Irwin died.
“Steve Irwin is a big source of inspiration for me, just the passion that he approached life with,” Michael said.
During his travels across the country Michael has won a swag of poetry competitions, but it’s the opportunity to spread his enthusiasm about life that he enjoys most.
“I just want people to get out there and enjoy life,” he said.