My Tough Father and Spoilt Me

   My Tough Father and Spoilt Me 

My dad lived in the rugged outback a long time ago

Where cruel drought was followed by rivers in flooded flow

His kitchen was a campfire with dampers in coals still red

A rocky mattress on hard ground softened by grass for a bed

His clock and compass was the shifting searing sun

Always an open camp with no door to lock when the day was done

Swagmen passing by were invited to join him at a fire burning bright 

To share a battered blackened Billy of tea and yarn into the night 

A firm handshake was his word and accepted by all as right

You could call a mate a mongrel baxxxsxrd and not cause a fight 

Help for a fever or broken bones so many days’ ride away

Sleep often broken by a distant dingo howling gidday

A land where failure and then trying again was part of life’s scene

In the bush beneath a bright blinking Southern Cross so easily seen

                                      ***

Today, there’s tar and cement where that well-worn track used to be

Bright lights and sign posts for travelers to readily see 

Fast foods at roadside cafes and quick car repairs as well

Queen size beds, air-conditioning and room service by pressing a bell

Satellites advise location, time, weather and directions for any fool 

Security cameras, doors locked and “be wary of strangers” are rules

Careful what you say or you’re off to the Politically Correct School

Failed again? Don’t get up, seek help from any government station

Forget friendly chatter; text a screen as does all our yawning nation  

Alas, in our space age, smog can often mask God’s starry creation 

Promises are no longer valid unless with paper, pens and fees 

Ring a doctor at any hour for a mild cough or sniffle to ease   

No more is the familiar sound of a lonely dingo’s howling cry 

Just noisy indifferent wheels and numbed rubber speeding by

                                          ***

Has time eroded those national values of what used to be? 

Respect, pride, unity and other disciplines which were our legacy

Long gone is the swagman, drover plus the horse and plow

The question is who and what we are now?

Today it’s political correctness where it’s sinful for truth to speak

Thanks to politicians we are paddling up that dreaded creek

Surely we must find that lost and forgotten track once again

Now hidden by time, it too has survived famine, flood, fire and rain

We must remind the world of who we are and what we can be

We’re linked with our mountain, deserts, forests, reefs and Coral Sea 

Be it the convict, pioneer, bushman, the ANZAC or you and me 

Ours is a special land where the air is still fresh, clean and free

Time for us to roll up the sleeves, square shoulders and stand fast

Tell the world with a loud coo-ee; we’ve found that old track at last 

George Mansford©January 2017

 

Comments

  1. Jack macleod says

    Amazing stuff warry george. Great perspective on the changing ways of the world. Sometimes these days its easy to liken the politically correct society we live in today as something out of an orwellian classic or a story written by ray bradbury. Love the poems and love your book. Its a real shame the graduating class of RMCD december 2016 missed out on meeting such a great man