Well my Old Man was a Bushie and he had a Bushie’s heart
and the Eucalypts and Dad just couldn’t part.
It would never matter where he was or the company he held,
betwixt him and the bush there was a weld.
‘Twas the smell of gum trees in his heart and a love of open space
that showed in line and wrinkle on his face.
He could walk all day out in the bush and never slow his stride
and the wisdom in those eyes just couldn’t hide.
He knew the way of wombats and of wildlife great and small
and everything, walked, hopped or flew he knew by its call.
I walked with him there many times, though ‘twas hard to keep the pace,
still he walked with gentleness that was no race.
I still remember days gone by when we’d knock off fencing for a feed
and some tucker and a cuppa was our need.
With a fence half built and work to do and a pile of debts to pay
the Old Man’d say “Too bloody hot to work today.”
So we’d knock off for the arvo and go sleep under a tree
where the mozzies and the blowfly wandered free.
We’d wake up when it cooled a bit and then get back to work
‘cos in his heart he knew he couldn’t shirk.
There were kids to feed and bills to pay but he had to teach his son
that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.