Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Kath McKay

from "Sing with the Wind"
Published by Envirobook 1989

The Rhyme of an The Earnest Tramper

Put Your Best Foot Foremost

 
Tramp, tramp,
What if you've got the cramp?
What if your heel's begun to peel and your nerves are on the ramp?
The peace of the dusk is round us and we'll soon make camp,
So tramp, tramp, tramp.
 
You of the huddled houses, who've never humped a load,
What do you know of the free life and the lure of the winding road,
Of the pain and the joy undreamed of in our weariness and scars,
And the Fresh tang of the dawn-wind, and the friendship of the stars?
The rains may fall and the storms come or the sun blaze down,
It's all the same to our Brotherhood of the Lean and Fit and Brown.
 
O this is the test for a real man to prove his spirit's worth
In the grim peaks and the silences of the wise old earth.
What if the world declares we're mad?
It's a saying the world has always had
For those who escape its toils:
We carry peace in our bulging pack
And laughter races us up the track
To the place where the billy boils.
 
So,
Tramp, tramp,
What if your blanket's damp?
What if the track is inky black and the moon's not raised her lamp?
The rain's stopped and the wind's dropped and we'll soon make camp,
So tramp, tramp, tramp.
 
Kath McKay
"The Bushwallker"
Annual 1937
 
 
O stricken maid,
Seek not the aid
Of com pad, salve or plaster
Of any sort;
You'll simply court
The worst kind of disaster.
 
Bushwalker, (male)
Shun knife and file,
Of razor blades beware!
Be sure to treat
Your precious feet
With kindness and with care.
 
Feet, believe me,
Are VIP,
To treat 'em rough forbear,
For sure as eggs
Your suffering legs
Won't grow another pair.
 
Kath McKay
"The Sydney Bushwalker"
December l959