Dear bush poetry

May I be so bold to suggest, you’ve gone a bit cliché?

Dear bush poetry,

  • THOUGHTS have swirled within my head,
  • So much I thought I’d better,
  • Sit down beneath a gumtree here,
  • And write to you a letter.
  • I love to hear and read just what,
  • A poet has to say,
  • But may I be so bold to suggest,
  • You’ve gone a bit cliché?
  • There’ll be mention of a drover,
  • Who worked till setting sun,
  • Who drove cattle as any drover could,
  • Til his droving days were done.

  • The billy’s boiling and someone will,
  • Vent their government frustration,
  • While ringers are branding and shoeing horses,
  • On a big old cattle station.

  • Common phrases to include,
  • Like ‘hands as tough as leather’,
  • Until the poem no doubt will touch,
  • On the farmer’s dependence on weather.
  • Floods and drought and floods and drought,
  • And mud and dust and mud,
  • Crops and seasons, grass and trees,
  • And back to drought and flood.
  • You’d better mention the wildlife,
  • And native flowers bloom,
  • Wattle, gum, wombat, roo,
  • And the kookaburra’s tune.
  • There’ll be something there about a horse,
  • Which the writer has been smitten,
  • It’s the greatest beast to have ever lived,
  • Until the next poem is written.
  • Shearing is such fertile ground,
  • To write some prose about,
  • Or the scallywag eccentric,
  • Who was really a drunken lout.
  • Damper, swags and river flows,
  • And stockman saddle-sore.
  • Bunyips, ghosts and wattle trees,
  • Soldiers off to war.
  • Romances that faded into dreams,
  • The unrelenting sun.
  • Ned Kelly, Bradman and Slim Dusty,
  • Yep, they’ve all been done.
  • I understand quite totally,
  • It’s not about the bubble and fizz,
  • That all these things you mention,
  • Well, that’s just what the bush is.
  • I admit there’s just no argument,
  • No need for words so terse,
  • I really was just keen to see,
  • If I could write this all in verse.

single page

Ashley Walmsley

is the editor of Good Fruit and Vegetables.
The Iceberg LettersDear readers - the majority of an iceberg sits below the surface, and it may just take one special letter to see what else lurks under the tip of a topic.


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