THE BRONZE SWAGMAN AWARD FOR BUSH VERSE 1982 WINNER
it's all said 'n done, with yer life nearly gone, and on thinkin'
yer past mistakes over,
Tho' drinkin's no sin, it's what y'pour in, and I think I would rather
I know of a man who can count on one hand the schooners he's 'ad
since 'is birth!
(Commendable, true, but the truth is, mind you, there's not many
like 'im on this earth.)
I know many more (not 'ere anymore) who have drunk 'emselves into
And where they now lie on their Eternal Dry, rare flora indeed may
Take that species of clover, sub-species 'hangover', which no worker
bee will go near
Since one of their kind was smashed out've his mind from a brush
with the pollen last year.
Or the strain of tall wheat the grasshoppers won't eat 'cause it flattens
their hop to a stumble,
Or that rare purple flower which hour upon hour does nothing but
hiccup and mumble.
There's a long skinny vine with an odour like wine which keeps
fallin' on other plants' necks,
And when they complain it can be a real pain and start dropping
big hints about Sex.
An' some truculent trees, carryin' on that the breeze has the force of
a bloody typhoon,
An' the way that they're going' their roots'll be showin' 'less some
bugger does something soon!
There's a spotted bush orchid which finds upright awkward so has
managed to grow upside down,
An' its mate, a bush lily, which finds this so silly it keeps crackin'
on the ground.
I've seen an old plant which grows at a slant, I'd say about thirty
It can't do very much, only dribble and such, but it can do a limp-fall
And God only knows, there's even a rose with its petals as pink as
It flowers whatever in all kinds of weather, but the growth in its
There's a type of green moss which reclines on a rock and sings
portions of old Irish ballads,
And an overgrown lettuce the colour of jaundice that no-one would
want for their salads.
You're quite free to decide that the things I've described are
atrocious, abnormal and alien;
I've found when I'm there, though these plants may be rare, that the
lot are still strangely Australian.
But we'll go one last shout; I'm about to pass out and tomorrow's me
'Cause when all's said 'n done, an' yer mates are all gone, a bloke may
as well remain sober.