Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Bush Veteran - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Old Pete Parraday, he toddles up the road,
'Dangin'' things and 'darn in'' things and hefting of his load
For yesterday was pension day, Peter has his goods:
Butcher's meat and groceries and all sorts of foods;
A bit of plug 'tobaker' and a tin of 'jelly Jam,'
'Termatter' sauce and yellow soap, a knuckle-end of ham,
And a little flask of 'special stuff' discreetly tucked away.
'I takes it for me rheumatiz,' says Peter Parraday.

Old Pete Parraday, he lives all on his own.
People say he's getting old and shouldn't be alone.
They talk of institutions where he'd have most kindly care.
'Wot? Me?' says Peter Parraday. 'An' wot would I do there?
Lose me independence, an' be 'umble when they scold,
Eat an' sleep an' dress an' smoke just when an' how I'm told?
Shove ME in an Old Man's 'Ome to rust me life away?
I'd like to see 'em try it on!' says Peter Parraday.

Old Pete Parraday has little time to spare
For a bush hut and a garden are a common source of care.
There's wood to cut and meals to cook - a thousand things to plan
In the little kitchen-garden that 'do fair absorb a man.'
Green peas and radishes, brussels sprouts and beans,
Silver beet and lettuces - all sorts of green.
'Waterin' an' weedin' 'em, the hours they melts away,
An' days ain't halfways long enough,' says Peter Parraday.

Old Peter Parraday, he sits beside his door
To smoke a pipe at day's-end when fussy toil is o'er.
'This world it changes fast like,' says he, 'as time drifts by;
For old days was easy days when I was young an' spry;
An' cash was easy come by, with fortunes flowin' free,
An' many a man growed wealthy wot toed the mark with me.
But me? I seemed to miss the bus. Fair lost me chance, ses they,
Yet that don't seem to grieve me some,' grins Peter Parraday.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, August 29, 2012



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