Drought in Australia.
The Khaki 'strides' upheld only by the leather plaited belt,
the colours in the checked cotton shirt and the Akubra felt
are accentuated by the brown of the elastic sided R. M.W. Boots
of the man from the bush – he loves his country, Australia, his roots.
This solitary independent unassuming and yet self assured man
falls sideways into his driver's seat of his Holden, as only he can.
Ignition on – car gathering speed as he reaches for the door,
then struggles to correct the seat belt – then foot to the floor.
With right hand only on the wheel – the two turn sharply right
and quickly whisks into the drought stricken west – out of sight.
Red dust, black dust, gray dust, bull dust – it all is a must
when a working man speeds to help his mate 'make a crust'.
Ewes, wethers, lambs, rams, heifers, and steers – they have the lot.
Struggling to survive the economy - the drought on their dry plot.
The battle is on to grin and bare it – to be strong and positive,
to fight in this drought of droughts, to live, be cheerful, and strive.
Men and women of our sunburned land negotiable to buy and sell
their future breeding stock today – or tomorrow they must kill.
There is not water - there is not grass - there is not grain
what's left is debts - strain - anguish – sorrow and pain.
The shrill of the telephones echo from room to room
as country folk communicate and discuss their gloom.
No luxuries enjoyed this decade, barely the necessities
affordable for man, woman and child – all ill at ease.
Surely the heavens will open up soon and replenish
the land, the animals, the peoples needs, and wish.
Prayers are being prayed – hope at it's highest pitch
in reaching out to survive, theres' no poor, and no rich.
Some clouds appear from a direction which is not the best
they come, they tease, they flaunt, they tease, and then rest
into the horizon for another destination – but not here
where thirst is at it's worst, and men beg for a Aussie beer.
The beauty of the country folk comes again to the fore -
they smile, they love, they welcome, always open a door.
The struggle goes on as they aim to live – in the usual way
they sacrifice, do without, for love, but always say, 'G day'.
Yes life goes on – the children pad the dusty roads to school
good wives and mothers smile, and keep their families cool,
as the menfolk – young and old, do their best to stay on top
of this dire situation and hope for much rain, grain and stock.
Dust storms roll in as the weary farmers curse the sifting sand
as billowing brown clouds rolling through their homes and land.
Then when least expected the thick clouds gather and do burst
and quench and wash the land until finally - no more thirst.
Colleen Wright. T.G. © 1.09.2006