These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.
11 August 2013
Bush Ballad, Seventies Style
In 1977 I was travelling the outback with my then husband Bill Nissen and our two young sons. We broke down, were low on provisions, there was nothing but empty land in view, and it was HOT. We did get help from another passing traveller, but meanwhile I was inspired to this jaundiced little ditty, in the heavy, sing-song rhythmic pattern of the old bush ballads — a riposte to their rosy view of rural Australia. It became an oral performance piece and was also published in Street Poetry (Melbourne).
Oh, you're trekking out of Darwin
in a big Ford truck,
or you've took and boiled your billy
on the old Cloncurry track.
The cattle die behind you
and the red dust sucks you up —
they'll shear you quick as look at you
in the Great Out Back.