Tag Archive | Australian poetry

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