The Bushman Is Dead (CC: A.B Patterson/Henry Lawson)

I’ve read about your almost-come-blows
‘bout the better bush or city?
In poetic to and fro

Regretfully I write from the future
Addressing both of you
With the upmost regret
‘bout what happened to

The bushman, the drover
The shearer and sheep
The chooks, the goanna,
The snakes, the lack of sleep
The rain soaked socks
The drover’s wife – against the wild bullocks

The bush, dear fellows, has receded
Way back into the west
As the coastal eastern continues to say
It always knows what’s best
For there’s where is the city
-the beers, umbrellas and lemonade-
And it is dear friends, these days, where the women lay
And again and still, I would say
It is the east that writes the news
The same as in your day

But the news is different Mr. Lawson and you dear friend, Banjo
For it speaks of the distant overseas
We’ve forgotten ‘bout the grains and stories of this land,
Long ago

And if the news was of the west, what would it be about?
Again I regret to inform you of the continuing, endless drought.
The son’s of shearers, drovers and bushman
-the ones you wrote about-
Leave the land for skyscrapers so their sons can be lawyers
Leave the land for broadband so they can get the news
Leave the image of the swag and humpy
Dried up on the ground.
Ditch the sun scared country
Never again to be found.

I’ll finish this letter, to the both of you
With a stark, damp statement
That may not, in your time, ring true
The bush, dear friends,
-the one you wrote about-
The bush, dear friends
Has well and truly died out.

One thought on “The Bushman Is Dead (CC: A.B Patterson/Henry Lawson)

  1. Great. I think what I like is the fact that it covers multiple cultures…. and it is sad! What happened to the words of the bush? What happened to the life and the people? I like this insight,Sam.

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