As I was going to St Ives
I saw a man with seven wives;
"Turn left dear," the first did say,
Then, "Right!", "Left!", "Right!", how he did pay
For joining that wierd sect, where any
Man could practice poly-gamy!
Back seat drivers, all of them,
But one, who sits beside him when
She is the 'flavour of the week'.
The others then are free to seek
The title of 'Tormentress Rex'
From rearward seats; he needs a Bex!
Mid the hills of Tarrawingee
Sat a little, huddled town,
Shrinking from the fearsome climate,
Gathered close, at Tarrawingee,
All because a hill of limestone
Had its uses in a smelter
Back in Broken Hill. A railway
Brought the workers and their families,
Took the limestone off for smelting,
Left the Dads and mums and children,
Lonely, out in Tarrawingee.
Little Freddie was not lonely
He was owner of a Teddy
Bear, in those days not so common.
Teddy made a funny growling
Noise, a soft and whooshing whisper;
Shooshed his fears at Tarrawingee.
Years went by. The bear forgotten.
Little Fred became a miner,
Only then to see the township
Disappear when closed the quarry.
Every building pulled apart, or
Carted off to Broken Hill and
Rebuilt there. But, what of Teddy?
Left behind on desert hills there.
Hills laid bare by children searching
For some twigs to start the kitchen
Fires, so Mum could cook their tea, but
In so doing killed the plant-life
For a half-hour's walking distance.
Teddy Bear got lost one day there.
Now I walk the bare hills, quiet
But for sounds of wind on desert.
Weird the sounds when night is falling,
Maybe it's the Bear a-growling?
Shooshing fears at Tarrawingee
Nothing to be scared of out there;
Nothing left, at Tarrawingee.
A Bombing Raid
The land that passed, on either side,
With anti-aircraft guns
Was bristling, waiting for a chance
To stop their daily runs
Into the heart of Germany,
But still their country called.
The planes flew on, in droves, in queues,
Through gaps; a project bold!
The broken shapes of Berlin lay
Ahead, "Ten minutes, Skipper."
The hours of flying came to this;
Just seconds to deliver,
And change the lives of those below
Who'd suffered long already,
The pilot, on his fifteenth flight,
That month, held his craft steady.
The years of war had left their marks;
It made it easy now
To turn and run in, dark or light,
And those below knew how
The plane would hold its course until
Above them, then a door
Would open, then a load fall out,
Upon the waiting poor.
The bitter, stupid, clever men
Had made these flights a need;
The only way to break the will
Of hard men, and to feed
The hopes of those who hoped for peace,
And food, and freedom too!
The aircraft crew were taking risks,
But, doing good, they knew.
The giant radial engines once
Were used to help to kill,
But now brought food and hope and fuel
To Berlin; waiting still
For peace, though war had long since ceased,
And children on the mounds
Of bricks would wait as each plane passed
For biscuits to rain down.
The blockade-running DC3s
And bigger aircraft, too,
Brought pilots back to Berlin skies;
The way there, they all knew.
But now their task was different, not
To blow the place asunder,
Their task? To break Joe Stalin's grip
With just a biscuit-bomber.
"I have nothing to declare."
He said at Customs, but,
The officer insisted that
He open up, the lot!
So, suitcase, bum-bag, laptop, too,
Came under expert eyes,
And dirty jeans and other clothes;
One pair of ill-used ties.
"What is this here?" the officer
Asked with a knowing smirk,
A little cylinder in hand,
"We've caught you at your lurk,
You budgie-smuggler, you'll do time,
For trafficing in fauna!"
"Just open it, you'll find it's just
My swimsuit from Majorca."