The Gum and the Wattle

It’s that time of year again, the promise of Spring is in the air in Australia and as I drive around Canberra I see the wattle trees beginning to bloom, so here is another poem from my book, I hope you enjoy.

The Gum and the Wattle

The gum tree and the wattle,
Standing side by side
With fragrance and with colour,
They stand with Aussie pride,

The gum tree feeds koalas,
Is home for many birds,
It turns the mountains hazy blue
Makes shade for cattle herds;

The wattle flowers golden
In springtime’s early sun,
Brings joy with early messages
That winter’s almost done,

The gum tree and the wattle,
Standing side by side,
Both beautiful Australians
Filled with Aussie pride.



Farewell Outback

From Laughter, Tears and Coffee – Helene Jermolajew –

Farewell to Outback’s open spaces
Of coolabah, mulga and broom,
Farewell to dusty red-earth traces,
My leaving came too soon.

They say there’s not a lot to see,
They say there’s nothing there,
I’ll now dispute when they say to me
‘You’ll get bored, the place is bare’,

For I’ve seen life at variance
To what you see in towns,
I’ll let you know the difference
Of places of renown,

I’ve seen opal mining,
Dugouts underground,
Had a go at an excavator
That didn’t make a sound,

I’ve been to Cameron Corner
Straddled three Aussie States,
Travelled roads that bumped and shook,
I’ve opened station gates,

Paddy melon bowling
On roadside, bulldust red,
Emus, ‘roos, goats and sheep
With rains were then well fed.

We caught a shingleback to feel
Its dinosaur-rough skin
And climbed the rocks at Tibooburra
To prove where I had been,

We drank and ate at every pub
That we found on our way,
We talked and laughed and swore a bit
With folks we met each day,

I cruised upon the Darling,
I crossed the great Paroo,
I walked upon the little bridge
Across the Warrego,

So out in Lawson country
I saw things as they are,
Remote and dry and hardened,
The land quite often bare,

So every city person
Who thinks they have it tough
Should go out to the Outback
To learn what’s really rough,

To see how men and women
Work with flood and drought,
Manoeuvre roads of dust and rock,
Yet still they have no doubt

That where they really love to be
Is Outback, on the land,
Where those who know this hardened life
Will lend a helping hand.

Hundreds of miles from anywhere
White Cliffs hotel
Dingo fence
Yep, that’s where we were
Straddling three states
We caught a shingle-back
Emus and their bouncy skirts
Paddymelon bowling
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