Aussie bush

Old Life Dreams

Far from the suburb’s growing sprawl
or hourly freight trains on the track,
far from the crowded shopping mall
and dear friends past, who won’t be back.

Far from the gangs that roam and fight
then vandalise and cause such fear,
far from the lines of bright street light
and piercing sirens in one’s ear.

Far from his unit and the din
he prods, the campfire embers hot,
relives that yearning deep within,
a life he thought he had forgot.

Where freedom is the stars above
or land as far as one can see,
the beauty of a fledgling dove,
and roam this country wild and free. 

To sleep beneath an ageless gum
next to an ancient billabong,
where lizards and wild dingoes come
and kookaburras sing their song.

Where sunsets glow a purple hue
and all the evening crickets sing,
then prints are left on morning dew
as in the valley bell birds ring.

The only thieves here in the night
are bandicoots or spotted quoll,
where breezes take dead leaves in flight
and mother nature grooms one’s soul.

He’s woken by the train on track,
the clatter and the noise again.
He wishes how he could go back,
and live the life that he lived then.

David J Delaney

29/05/2010     ©

In the Shadow of Ghosts

To all and sundry I hereby attest
when writing stories, I will pen my best
to literary heights I will aspire
and write like poets, those that I admire.

To stroll with Lawson under silver moon                                  
and sit with Dennis in the early noon                                         
ride with Morant along the Condamine                                     
inspired by Parkes, my rhyme I will refine.                                

Then walk with Kendall, hear the bell birds song                      
stand with Ogilvie, view the rushing throng                              
watch Evans write his women of the west                                  
read Boake, great poet and one of our best.                                

There’s Esson’s tribute to the shearer’s wife.                             
the convicts who sang their rum song of life                              
then Song of Australia was Carleton’s view                               
I hear Paterson, and that Geebung crew.                                       

Verse caught the time, the man rode Snowys side                      
viewed Sydney town when ships moved with the tide                
rode Cobb and Co. along a dusty track
travelled the bush, where some never came back.                       

All master poets, experts in this craft                                           
read so many, I smiled, I cried, I laughed                                     
published in many a books well read pages                                  
their words are still resounding through the ages.                         

I’ll keep on writing well into the night                                          
knowing one day, I’ll pen the metre right                                      
the flow of my rhythm will be like a song                                     
the beat will sound its perfect soft and strong.                             

With help from writers, present or the past                                  
my writings’ true perfection, I will grasp                                     
when all’s left are my poems and my rhyme                                
I would love them remembered for all time.                                

David J Delaney
10/09/2008     ©

Creek Camp Memories

When the hustle ‘n’ pace bogs you down,                            
through all this haze it appears so brown,                         
your life spark is all but diminished                                  
exhausted now your work has finished.                            
replace that fire and restless feeling,                                 
grab some beer and bottles of Riesling,                            
head to the bush; find a creek bank high,                          
pitch your tent ‘neath clearing night sky.                          

Stacked wood now crackling ‘n’ burning,                         
on the hotplate, my steaks are turning,                              
resting, I start to really unwind                                       
forgetting pressures; forgetting time.                                 
Legs outstretched now slumped in this chair                     
breathing emission free, fresh clean air,                             
watched by a possum wide eyes bright,                             
illuminated by campfire light.                                             

Serenaded by crickets singing                                             
with millions of stars shimmering,                                      
fires glowing shadows dance on ghost gums                      
while from a burrow a bilby runs.                                      
an owl lifts its head to take a peek,                                     
kooka’s with young tucked sound asleep.                          
I’m mesmerized by the campfire glow,                               
hypnotized by the creeks gentle flow.                                 

Would love to stay the rest of my life                                  
instead of clanging and city strife,                                       
all those cars and the thick choking smog,                           
prancing pink ladies with matching dog,                              
there’s office robots and their glazed stare,                          
sealed lips, not a smile, they don’t care                               
how do they live, how do they survive                               
in this daily routine nine to five.                                           

As curlews retrieve me from my dream,                              
I spy two geckos on a fence beam,                                       
bright lucent moon highlights a clouds edge,                       
diamond firetails in mistletoe hedge.                                   
feeling tired can’t stop my yawning,                                     
new scenes will greet me with the morning.                         
snuggled in my swag and fast asleep,                                    
now camped beside this beautiful creek.                               
David J Delaney  
06/06/2008     ©

Creek Camp Morning

Now flocks of rowdy budgies stir us from our dream                   
they echo early morning with their noisy scream,                        
as nearby kookas join us with their tell tale call,                              
while natures music sings far from a city mall.                              

We breath the fresh new dawn emerging from our tent                 
and notice signs where roo’s had searched for nourishment.
Upon the grass, dew’s diamond droplets are abound,                   
as now the campfire casts a soft blue haze around.                      

Suspended mist now hovers just above the creek,                        
a sacred king-fisher has small fish in its beak,                               
some diamond firetails are now feeding their young two.            
I stoke hot embers boiling billy for a brew.                                     

The campfire spreads the smell of bacon and some eggs,                 
as two pied Currawongs, they watch on spindly legs.                     
While four pacific black ducks follow the creeks course,             
we savor break-fast, topped with our tomato sauce.                      

A chilly morning greets, these thoughts, my wife she shares,          
as fluffy kookaburras huddle in cute pairs                                     
young wallabies edge closer to the campsite fire,                            
now venturing away watched closely by their sire.                          

Though won’t take long for this great land of ours to warm,               
now soon galahs, rosellas, to the trees they’ll swarm,                      
Then ducks and fowls again inhabit waterways,                             
we’ll throw a line, enjoy these peaceful lazy days.                          

From mountain peaks of snow where icy creeks still run,                 
To deserts bare, with bleached bones under burning sun,                 
astounding beauty everywhere can now be seen,                           
when touring our great land, and, live the Aussie dream.                    

David J Delaney
30/07/2008      ©


Whenever You Hear Me Say

Here we are again my love, 
shaded by this Gidgee tree, 
on this cedar bench I made,
our place, where we love to be.

Courting Robins flit above, 
how they sing a lovely tune
Through wild flowers breezes blow, 
carrying their sweet perfume. 

Listen to the babbling creek, 
meander its winding way. 
Then you softly smile and nod 
whenever you hear me say…… 

Here we are again my love, 
our old homesteads, clean and warm, 
though the front gate needs repair, 
looking rusted, tired and worn. 

Can you hear that distant crow 
with its harking mournful cry, 
the yard’s in need of water, 
now so brown and parched and dry. 

You remember during droughts, 
we would come down here to pray. 
Then you softly smile and nod 
whenever you hear me say…… 

Here we are again my love, 
Grandsons, they’re out ploughing seed, 
Granddaughters’ in the kitchen 
busy cooking up a feed. 

Your emerald eyes still sparkle, 
like they did when we were young 
then that day I said to you, 
‘Darling you’re my only one’. 

On this anniversary, 
remember our special day. 
Then you softly smile and nod 
whenever you hear me say…… 

Here we are again my love, 
Boys return from hours of toil 
hungry for some home cooked stew, 
wash away the dusty soil. 

Mia’s calling ‘Nan come in, 
kettles ready for a brew’, 
‘Micala’s finished serving’, 
we’ll be waiting just for you’. 

You’re gently blowing kisses, 
placing Wattle on my grave. 
Then you softly smile and nod. 
Turn and slowly walk away. 

David J Delaney
04/07/2008 ©

Working Day Blues… (Apologies to Banjo)

Now I had written him a lengthy text,
complete with smilies on my mobile phone.
I saved the draft then pressed the function ‘send’
and sent it to my good mate ‘Bluey’ Stone.

Then soon the Beatles ring tone sounded loud,
acknowledging my old mate had replied,
it was his wife responding to my call,
she texted that he’d gone fishing with the tide.

My wild erratic visions, now show Blue
gone fishing out on Cooktown’s tidal flow,
with rod and bait and cold beers close at hand,
he listens to his ‘tranny’ radio.

For at the van parks there are friends to greet
when Blue and Del arrive to stay a while,
then share their stories well into the night,
I’m jealous ‘cause their life’s so versatile.

While I sit in my dingy cubicle,
highlighted by the constant flouro’s glow
with customers and endless ringing phone
I’m tired, of this life I’ve come to know.

Instead of fishing rods or campfire nights
I’m stuck here in the traffic and the smog,
where nighttime sees the street gangs and the drunks
and bins are rummaged by some local dogs.

The city folk with pallid faces haunt
as they all rush about in nervous haste,
with eager eyes and greedy way of life,
they cannot stop; they have no time to waste.

I fancy I’d like now to swap with Blue,
go touring with the seasons changing ways,
instead of customers and ringing phones,
the Aussie purple sunsets would amaze.

And though I’m manacled here to my desk
I know it won’t be long ‘til I’m with Blue, 
we’ll rendezvous at Blackall’s camping site,
where we’ll go fishing by the old Barcoo.

David J Delaney
22/05/2011    ©

Endless Search

Just like some fireflies, embers seem to rise so high
then, fade away within the smokey haze.
Surrounded by the Gidgee and tall gums
he’s mesmerised now, by the vast and starlit sky.

The trickling creek creates its own hypnotic sound
as finally he settles in his weathered swag,
while distant Curlews echo with their cry,
some gentle breezes blow the campfire flames around.

He slowly turns and then he sounds a long and shallow moan,
his bones are not as supple as they were,
now tired eyes begin to slowly close
as thoughts drift to a time, when he was not alone.

Then visions greet him of his young and darling wife
as he comes home from working late again,
and kissing his new infant son who sleeps,
all sharing in the comforts of this city life.

Forgoing family for work soon takes its toll,
a young wife needs her man to love and hold
and tend the house and share a happy life,
but corporate wealth and fame became his only goal.

He started spending more time with the social set
and rubbing shoulders with high rollers too,
investing in their schemes and drinking more,
it did not take long to accrue a massive debt.

He sees his suitcase and his swag upon the lawn,
arriving home late on that July night
to find his darling and young son have gone,
and left him with an empty house to greet the dawn.

The sheriff said ’young man you have to leave this house,
it will be sold to cover what you owe,
so best that you be on your way my man,
I think you should be searching for your child and spouse’.

Was then he made a vow to find his wife and son,
repent on all the wrong things that he’d done.
He’d turn his back on wealth and demon drink
and search right through the freezing cold or blaring sun.

The crackling dying campfire stirs him from that scene,
he rises placing branches on the coals.
As dawn begins to peek across the land,
thinks of his boy, who would today turn seventeen

Like fireflies, glowing embers once again they rise
within the darkness of this early dawn.
And soon he’ll roll his swag and then move on
still searching for his wife and son until he dies.

David J Delaney
20/04/2011   ©

Eternal love

Across a clearing, this perfect dewy dawn
Stands an old man, looking frail and drawn
Teary eyes fixed on this lonely grave site
Not bothered by increasing morning light.

Upon his back an old battered swag
With billy and flour in a worn hessian bag
Also some damper made the night before
This yearly pilgrimage brings him again to this shore.

Now entranced as memories return
To younger days and bridges he’d burn
A life so grand he’d wine and dine
Mix with the rich, having a great time.

Lady conquests, like notches on a tree
Always believed he’d be single and free
Till such beauty he saw that summer day
A redheaded maiden took his breath away.

Totally awestruck buy her poise and stature
Knowing her love, he’d have to capture
Forgoing friends to court his new love
Walks by the lake with blue skies above.

Then on a spring morning he asked her to wed
Be his wife, share a house, share a bed
Accepting his offer, now they’ll never part
Clasping the gold ring close to her heart.

Fate, can always deal a cruel blow
As a young man, to war he had to go
In muddy trenches, on strange foreign land
Stares at her photo she’d placed in his hand.

Dreaming they’re together in the cottage he left
Instead of mud and rain, and feeling bereft
Beside his chair, two children he saw
Playing quietly on the polished wood floor.

A vision of his love stands before his eyes
Missing her so, now for her touch he cries
While back home silently behind closed gate
His darlings’ health continues to deteriorate.

On a hospital ship, his war now over
Shot in the shoulder by an enemy sniper
This ocean trip seems to last an eternity
Rocking about on the vast open sea.

Returning home to his only true lover
Always believing, forever to be with her
Finds her in bed, so thin, so pale
Infected, her young body’s weak and frail.

Doctors can’t stop this killer disease
“I’ll stay by her side” this he decrees
Sitting beside her till that final breath
Forever to mourn her untimely death.

In painless peace, she rests by the ocean
This place where they gave so much devotion
Pledged their love to last forever
Grow old, always be together.

Missing their walks on the beach hand in hand
Cuddles on a blanket in this soft golden sand
Gardens unattended, thick and overgrown
Packs his gear, turns his back on this home.

She travelled with him wherever he’d roam
Carried her photo, the only love he’s known
Traversed this country far and wide
Again he returns to be by her side.

Across a clearing on this perfect dewy dawn
Lies an old man looking frail and drawn
Laid out his swag under clear skies above
Finally, joining his one true love.

David J Delaney
31/10/2008  ©


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