My thoughts at times they stray
traversing this long track
Forget the time of day
and view our vast outback
This old rig she holds tight
and always makes good time,
while Poets I recite,
they help me with my rhyme.
I view the landscape’s change
within this cabin warm,
from plains to mountain range
or through a thunderstorm.
How I would love to roam
just like our pioneers,
admire their scenes of home
throughout those early years.
I leave my sled of steel
with paint like sparkling gold.
Taut leather reins I feel,
I ride a dray of old.
As nature sings her song,
wild flowers sway with breeze.
Inside this billabong,
fish cruise through roots of trees.
To camp just where I like
beneath a shady tree.
A small warm fire I’ll light,
then write some poetry.
Emerging from the glow
now shadows dance their dance.
A dome of stars on show,
I’m drifting in a trance.
I live this world today,
the rushing bustling race.
What would the old folk say —
they couldn’t live this pace.
David J Delaney
Echo’s in the night
Autumn rain falling on my roof
disturbs me from my slumber,
I hear a distant truck approach,
twin stacks sounding like thunder.
In the darkness twenty-two wheels
now echo an eerie whine,
trying to close my sleep starved eyes,
drifting to another time.
A time when I was out there too
and mixing it with the best,
driving along a coastal road
Or hauling out to the west.
The only work I’ve ever known
now became my way of life
Certainly was made easier
with a very patient wife.
It’s often said that life itself,
likes dealing a vicious blow,
deciding to take the “Putty”,
almost produced a widow.
Now anyone who has driven
up or down the Putty range,
knows that your fate is in God’s hands,
and how quickly life can change.
Soft rain was falling through the day,
felt like it would be all night,
my rig was feeling O. K,
and everything seemed alright.
From the radio Slim’s singing,
while through darkness bull lights shone.
Remembering that final turn,
and how it all went wrong.
My rig was loosing traction fast,
the whole truck began to slide,
fearing this is my last run,
we tumble over the side.
All media covered the scene,
clippings’ are in my log book,
now and then I build up courage,
open it and take a look.
Two months in a deathly coma,
now lifetime medication.
No more cruising down the highway,
no lower body sensation.
Awoken from my sleep again,
for now the rain is teeming,
just like it did on the Putty,
when no one heard my screaming.
I struggle from my well used bed,
head off into the kitchen.
Boil the kettle for a cuppa,
some sugar now will sweeten.
I’m driving different wheels these days,
still have chrome and leather seat,
With an added “ah-oogah” horn,
my wife thinks it’s all quite neat.
Retreating to the patio,
in early darkness I sit
I hear a distant semi come.
This life, I slowly now submit.
David J Delaney
Well I’ve got me truck and she’s just fine
from the bullbar, to the spotlights placed on her behind
I know I’ll make ya’s all tingly and proud
cause I’ll be the best garbologist ever allowed
You’s all love me at four in the morning
long before you’re up and doing ya yawning
My reversing beeper will sound so loud
Twill echo in the valleys through the thick morning cloud
Through twin stacks you’ll hear the turbo sing
and I watch your bin fall when I give it a fling
The brakes are the screechiest you’ve ever bloody heard
You’re standing at your door, shaking fists, eyes still blurred
The liquid that oozes from the back of this wench
Leaves behind a stomach churning stench
So full of pride now my job is done
driving down the road, enjoying the morning sun.
David J Delaney.
Truck Driving Poet
Goannas motionless in searing sun,
absorbing energy, life-giving rays.
Galahs, Cockatoos shaded in a gum,
Bilbies in cool burrows these scorching days.
Hawks and Eagles riding thermals above,
heatwaves swirl in mesmerising dances.
A feral cat dines on a peaceful dove,
near the road a mulga snake advances.
Well here I am driving this track again,
my old rig’s cruising at a gentle speed.
Engine’s humming a steady R.P.M,
through this heat I continue to proceed.
I’m keeping pace at ninety K’s an hour,
no need for blown out tyres here in the west.
One’s energy this temperature devours,
for changing wheels in this heat, I detest.
It has been a good day, this ten hour stint,
no ‘Roos, Wallabies, or Emus I’ve hit.
Now the afternoon sun, it makes me squint,
and my mouth’s so dry I can’t even spit.
Windows wide open for a slight reprieve,
this rig’s too old for air conditioning.
I tell my stories but some disbelieve,
while publishers, I’m propositioning
Relieved as the roadhouse comes into view,
enjoy a shower, then sink a cold beer.
In awe of evening’s orange purple hue,
and write poetry, the short time I’m here.
David J Delaney
Do They Understand
Do they understand, about driving this great land?
Viewing rivers, plains and mountain ranges grand
Sleep beneath stars, that shimmer oh so bright
On a balmy crystal clear, peaceful summers night.
Watch our Kangaroos graze in morning sun
Along the open spaces, where our Emu’s run
Or Budgies by the thousands, gathered round a water hole
The beautiful movements of a frisky new born foal.
Do they know, overpowering loneliness?
How late at night, you’re haunted by the emptiness.
No longer a job, but an addictive way of life
The hurt, leaving behind your children and your wife.
Knowing how she lies there, restless with every sound
Agonises ‘till she knows, that I am homeward bound
When we’ll be together, albeit a short time
Then I’m gone again, following that long white line.
Do they care, sleeping in their beds so fine?
While we drive the night, to make a company deadline
Carrying goods, some for supermarket racks
Not thinking, of us truck driving insomniacs
They’re first to complain, if we do something wrong
While they dawdle around, with the collard office throng
Then relaxing with family and all their creature comforts
Totally oblivious, to a truckie’s tireless efforts.
David J Delaney
Another bug ends its life, when meeting my windscreen
while in this gradual morning light, wild life can now be seen
Diesel engine purring along this open, flat section
Humming its melodious song, rhythm in perfection.
Crimson Rosellas scoot past, as against a head wind I push
Hawks hunt lizard breakfast, hidden in the mass of saltbush
Paddocks now alive with our great grey kangaroo’s
Young Joey’s hop about, playing in three’s and two’s.
Brilliant blue sky, not a single cloud in sight
this day seems perfect, everything feels so right
Laughing when I spy beneath this morning sun
in a freshly ploughed field, emus falling, trying to run.
Wondrous Australian beauty, I’ve been honoured to experience
Rainforests, deserts, mountain ranges, captured with ebullience
View our unique animals, living, in their natural habitat
Amazing scenes will greet you on this lonely country track.
Staring in my mirror, now the road becomes the past
For a time I’ll not drive again, as this trip will be my last
I know I’ll miss the outback, the wide and sweeping plains
Caught with other drivers at flooded rivers during heavy rains.
Yes! I know it’s true, now to spend time with my darling wife
Watch our grandchildren grow, help steer them from trouble and strife
Resurrect that vege. patch, clear the strangling brood
Resting in our patio, enjoying beer and home cooked food.
Though, I know late at night, when in my bed asleep
I’ll be behind that wheel again, special memories to keep
Traversing over mountains, changing through those gears
Listening to that diesel engine, humming in my ears.
David J Delaney
Eyes feeling heavy, still there’s no reprieve
As every K draws me closer to my goal.
Thinking of my family, I start to grieve:
This mistress of night has taken my soul.
Bull lights shine, piercing the dark abyss,
Illuminated eyes glint in fear;
How many, I wonder become a near miss—
Dart into the scrub then disappear?
ZZ Top blast their tune to no avail,
My head’s ever cloudy on this chilly night.
Fresh cool air I deeply inhale,
Hoping back home, everything’s right.
My wife once again is sleeping alone,
I know she wishes I’d give it away;
Fearing the worst from the ringing phone,
Strength and bravery must be displayed.
White flash startles me from a trance—
Was this owl an omen, a greater spirit’s will?
Through the darkness I continue my advance,
Remembering, micro-sleeps kill.
Mirrors reflect an untraceable past,
Clearance lights snake into the distance;
Windscreen highlights the future so vast,
This old rig shows no resistance.
Now at a truck stop, far from family and home,
Glad my night mistress for the moment has gone.
Why do I do this? The answer remains unknown;
I’ll keep driving, I’ll continue on.
David J Delaney