Eliza Was a Sweetheart

Meet Eliza, my 5 year old neice who has wild, red curls and a personality to suit. She is THE cutest little dot with a mind of her own. This is Eliza and her big brother Ryan.

Eliza was a sweetheart, the cutest little dot
But when mummy said “Eliza would” – Eliza said “would not”

Eliza was a gorgeous child; she’d brighten up your day
But when mummy said “Eliza will”, Eliza said “no way”

Eliza was adorable; she had a lovely smile,
When mummy said to “go to bed”, she’d say “yes in a while”.

Eliza had a gorgeous laugh; she loved to have some fun
But when it came to packing up, Eliza loved to run.

Eliza had a gorgeous head of ticklish, curly hair
But mummy couldn’t brush it – and it strayed just everywhere

Eliza stayed with grandma – the apple of her eye
But grandma flopped into a chair when Liza said goodbye

Eliza loved a shopping trip – the toy stores were the best
But mummy always came back home, looking like a wreck.

Then one day something happened. Eliza she turned 3
She brushed her hair, and cleaned her room, sat still on mummy’s knee

She walked beside her grandma, held hands nice and tight
Let mummy brush her ticklish hair, without the noisy fight

She went to bed when mummy said; she packed up all her toys
Went shopping to the toy shops, with hardly any noise

She still loved being silly, running crazy like a kid
But mostly now when mummy said to slow down, Liza did.

Eliza is a sweetheart, the cutest little dot
She still gets into trouble but mostly she does not.

Marg Murnane

Bush Heart

I wrote this poem for a competition. The task was to write in the vein of Banjo Patterson. When I saw the winning entries, I realised I was way off beam, but here it is – my summary of life in a small country community.

I’m just home from the city, where the action is a plenty
Where trams and trains and buses, seem never to be empty
There’s lights and noise and people, all bustling – on a mission
But all too busy to erect a sign that says “gone fishin”.

I listen to the radio, the traffic is reported
Don’t go near the Westgate Bridge– your travel plans aborted.
I think about my day ahead, my travel might be slow
It’s market day in Warrnambool, where farmers have to go.

The roads may be congested; the utes and trucks are laden.
You can’t pass on the skinny roads that mostly need upgrading.
And streets and shops will busy be, as farmers and their wives,
Take some time to stop and sit and chat about their lives.

The bush I know is friendly, it’s comfortable and cosy,
It’s small town gossip, small town “dos” where things are mostly rosy.
Where people know your ancestry, your mother’s brother’s son,
It’s everybody knowing you and all the things you’ve done.

It’s membership to everything – the local footy club
The CFA, the Scout group and the darts group at the pub.
It’s sandwiches and slices for a local’s funeral wake
It’s bickies, cakes and free range eggs for the local college bake.

It’s working bees and barbeques, the pub on Friday night
It’s public meetings when we stage a bureaucratic fight.
It’s goods and service auctions, it’s fetes and markets too
The kinder needs equipment, and the painting’s overdue .

It’s lousy network coverage for the local mobile phones
It’s dodgy broadband access – despite how much we moan
It’s going to the tip and knowing everyone you meet
It’s buying weekend papers and chatting in the street.

It’s muddy in the winter and then lovely in the spring
It’s paddocks filled with livestock and the promise that they bring
It’s shearing sheds and harvesting, equipment breaking down
it’s having several trips to “get some parts” from in the town.

It’s dry and brown and dusty, and hot beyond belief
It’s thunderstorms and heavy rain, that brings such cool relief
It’s cool and green and plentiful, a frosty winter’s day
It’s balmy days and sunsets, that take your breath away.

It’s trees and hills and fences, plantations, gates and sheds
It’s heartache and frustration; it’s tired and weary heads.
It’s joy and it’s elation, it’s surprisingly good news
When the weather comes together and there’s “no flies in the ewes!”

The bush I know is home to me – I know its very heart
It’s solid in its friendships and it’s country wise and smart
There’s larrikins, identities, there’s sinners and there’s saints
It’s the heart of the true blue Aussie and the picture that it paints.

The spirit in the bush has spread its seeds throughout this land
The mateship and the devilment we’ve come to understand
The ANZAC spirit triumphs here, the courage and the might
The birthplace of the “have a go” or “matey, she’ll be right”

I’m just home from the city, where the action is aplenty
Where trams and trains and buses, seem never to be empty
There’s lights and noise and people, all bustling – on a mission
But sorry folks, coz here’s the joke, this bushy has “gone fishin”.

Marg Murnane


I wrote this poem in 2006. I wrote is as part of an application for the ANZAC chaperone competition run every year by the education dept. Dad was a Rat of Tobruk, who never spoke of his experiences in the war, until I pestered him enough one day and he broke down in front of me, which was something dad never did. This is the poem I wrote with him in mind.

”Not much to tell” he’d say
Whenever asked about the war.
Then he’d sit and stare at spaces,
Who knows, just what he saw?

“Not much to tell” he’d say
And then he’d stand and walk away.
He’d grab his trusty snake wire
and he’d head out for the day.

“Not much to tell” he’d say,
and then he’d amble off to check,
on the livestock he had shedded
with rain trickling down his neck.

“Not much to tell” he’d say
until one day, again, I asked.
He couldn’t hide the horror
from behind his steely mask.

His weary head supported
by his weather beaten hands,
he sat and sobbed – not much to tell
of war in far off lands.

Of trenches, death and gunfire
Of illness, pain and smells
Of hunger, thirst, discomfort
And years of living hell.

Of mates who didn’t make it
Of mates who lost a limb,
Of mates who lost their sanity
Of mates who chucked it in.

Not much to tell – how could he?
It was something that he’d shelved
A haunting, restless turmoil
Which surfaced as I delved.

“Not much to tell?” – it’s ok dad
Hey, how about a walk?
We’ll check out sheep and fences
I don’t care if we don’t talk.

“Not much to tell” he’d say
Whenever asked about the war.
Then he’d sit and stare at spaces
and the demons that he saw.

Marg Murnane