Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Contents

Contacts


Roy Davies

from "Sing With the Wind'
Published by "Envirobook" 1989

Reflections

Pleasures

 
Ah! Where's my old black billy, with its shining, glossy dial,
My tent and woolly blanket that I've carried many a mile,
My bits of Yankee waterproof to wrap around my swag,
My old tin plate and eating sticks and canvas gunny bag?
 
And where are my old cossacks, those guardians of my feet,
And my thirty-two repeater to get the daily meat,
My old brown, battered stetson for to decorate my head.
(I guess I'll wear that stetson when I'm camping with the dead!)
 
I've ordered lots of tucker, tea, jam, sugar, flour and rice,
Bread and cheese and other things both suitable and nice,
And bought some ammunition for to use in that there gun -
You take the tip from me, old hoss, I'm going to have some fun!
 
I'm leaving this here city and its noise just for a while,
For mountain gorge and gully, where all nature seems to smile;
Where streams are softly crooning, as they wander on their way.
And magpie, thrush and jackass make merry all the day.
 
Where sweet bell-bird and mopoke softly call along the creek,
And the perfumed breath of flowers comes and kisses your red cheek;
Where the wattles scented blossom throws its radiance all around
And in brilliant golden showers falls its petals on the ground.
 
There I can stalk the dingo, the fox and kangaroo,
And 'pot' the brown-eyed rabbit, or the tiger snake pursue
Or lie in silent ambush as the evening turns to night
To shoot the quacking wood-duck as they pass on homeward flight.
 
Or sit me down on grassy banks beside a purling brook,
With rod in hand and cast the fly the silver trout to hook,
Or lie in contemplative mood beneath the shady trees
To watch wee tiny modest flowers flirting with the bees.
 
Or I can pitch the six by eight as twilight shadows fall
And mother Nature quietly draws the night veil over all
And all the feathered songsters steal silently to rest
To sleep with drowsy playmates in cosy feathered nests.
 
The quietude of evening brings many strange delights,
When camping neath the gum-trees on starry summer nights.
You hear the gum leaves whisp'ring their love songs to the breeze.
You lie awake and listen, "Ah! There ain't no joys like these!"
 
Ah! Pale nocturnal students who burn the midnight oil;
Go leave your dusty volumes, waste not your life in toil
"For youth is soon departed" as saith Omar the Wise,
"The flower that once has blossomed forever after dies".
 
Exchange the pleasant bushland for the silent studio
And live the life of campers; the grandest life I know.
Methinks the very angels who dwell in God's own skies
Must look upon all campers with longing, envious eyes.
 
So come along my hearties; forget the toil and strife,
The office and the workshop, and make the most of life.
Go grab your old black billy and buckle up your pack
And let us go together along the old bush track.
 
Roy Davies
December 10, 1917
 
 
 
 
 
 
Some blokes buy their pleasures at the pictures for a "zack",
While others go to races and the winners they don't back,
Some will go out surfing and lie upon the sand
Until their backs get blistered, then they tell you that it's grand
But others get a girlie and take her for a walk
And pass away the sunny hours with silly dilly talk
Others play at football and race the field around,
Then grab each other by the neck and sling them to the ground.
Yet some may go out fishing beside the sparkling sea
Return home in the evening, with not one fish for tea
Still, others might go skating where wheels whizz fast and free,
They strike their heads upon the floor and pretty stars do see.
And some may go out cycling, their faces free from care,
But when they get a puncture, you ought to hear them swear!
Others take on different sports to pass away the time;
But give to me, a walking tour, ah! Thatís indeed sublime.
 
Yes let me go a-walking tour on some sunshiny day,
Along a pretty winding road that rakes me far away;
That takes me o'er the hillside where grow the flowers and trees
That give their richest perfume unto the fresh spring breeze
Or guides me down the valley unto some shady dell
Where babbles forth a brooklet, and mosses sweetly smell.
So if I'm feeling hungry, or if I start to tire,
I just unsling my knapsack and then I start a fire.
Ah! when the fire is crackling and the billy 'gins to sing,
I'm happier than any man who's millionaire or king.
Yes happy 'cause I'm far away from all the busy throng,
Where I can list' to Nature sing a soft and lovely song.
So you can have your pictures, your races, and your girl,
And you can play at football, or upon the wheels can whirl,
But give to me a winding road, with bright blue sky above,
And I will be contented as the most contented dove.
 
Roy Davies
1916
 
To Nekome

 

Down along the golden beaches there's a land both bright and free
Where the music of the forest mingles with the rolling sea
Them the trees are decked with blossom, and the grass is long and green
Where the cattle come to water by the river's silver sheen.
Oh the soft alluring sweetness of the days that are to be!
There are sunny days awaiting us, oh brother Nekome!
 
There'll be nights on moonlit beaches, cosy camps in forest glades,
There'll be painted skies at evening to observe as daylight fades;
There'll be rosy skies at morning, -- preludes to long happy days,
When we wake to hear the rumble of the surf in sandy bays.
We'll have fried fish for our breakfast, we've have "bunny hoosh' for tea,
There are pleasant days awaiting us, oh brother Nekome!
 
There are happy days awaiting: we will leave this "Bedlam Town",
Straighten up these drooping shoulders, and erase each line and frown,
We will harden flabby muscles, put some inches on to chest,
And all work can go to blazes -- we will have a well-earned rest!
Yes, to hell with every master, we must have our liberty!
There are happy days awaiting us, oh brother Nekome!
 
Roy Davies
1919
Note: Nekome war the nickname of Myles Joseph Dunphy