:: Monday, 11 September 2006 ::
HERE'S AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH FOR YOU, ALGORE
Oz has had floods and a drought and the humidity.
And we love it.
The love of field and coppice, of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance, brown streams and soft, dim skies-
I know but cannot share it, my love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror- the wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests, all tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains, the hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops, and ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country! Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us we see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather, and we can bless again
The drumming of an army, the steady soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country! Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine she pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks, watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness that thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country, a wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her, you will not understand -
Though earth holds many splendours, wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country my homing thoughts will fly.
Written in 1904.
And just for fun here's another one from one of my fave skippies, A.B Paterson:
A Mountain Station
I bought a run a while ago,
On country rough and ridgy,
Where wallaroos and wombats grow --
The Upper Murrumbidgee.
The grass is rather scant, it's true,
But this a fair exchange is,
The sheep can see a lovely view
By climbing up the ranges.
And She-oak Flat's the station's name,
I'm not surprised at that, sirs:
The oaks were there before I came,
And I supplied the flat, sirs.
A man would wonder how it's done,
The stock so soon decreases --
They sometimes tumble off the run
And break themselves to pieces.
I've tried to make expenses meet,
But wasted all my labours,
The sheep the dingoes didn't eat
Were stolen by the neighbours.
They stole my pears -- my native pears --
Those thrice-convicted felons,
And ravished from me unawares
My crop of paddy-melons.
And sometimes under sunny skies,
Without an explanation,
The Murrumbidgee used to rise
And overflow the station.
But this was caused (as now I know)
When summer sunshine glowing
Had melted all Kiandra's snow
And set the river going.
And in the news, perhaps you read:
`Stock passings. Puckawidgee,
Fat cattle: Seven hundred head
Swept down the Murrumbidgee;
Their destination's quite obscure,
But, somehow, there's a notion,
Unless the river falls, they're sure
To reach the Southern Ocean.'
So after that I'll give it best;
No more with Fate I'll battle.
I'll let the river take the rest,
For those were all my cattle.
And with one comprehensive curse
I close my brief narration,
And advertise it in my verse --
`For Sale! A Mountain Station.'
Can you read bold AlGore?
That man is truly a horse's arse.
:: WB 3:14 pm [link+] ::