Category Archives: Australiana

My Country by Dorothea Mackellar

By far my favourite Australian poem … the second verse is particularly famous here, however I think the whole poem is just so beautiful and strong. Not to mention she wrote this when she was only 19. Enjoy!

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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Posted by on Monday 19th August, 2013 in Australiana, Poetry


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Shadow Walkabout

A short story I wrote on 20 Lines a Day.

Shadow Walkabout.

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Posted by on Thursday 28th March, 2013 in Australiana, Creative Writing


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Forgotten Fence

This poem is a true event that occurred one morning when I was riding my mountain bike through the bush on the way to work.  I have provided some hyperlinks along the way to help with some of the Aussie fauna. Enjoy!

Tyres grate the tiresome damp sand
The morning chill lost as planned
With cockatoos patrolling the skies
And surveyed by kangaroo eyes

I approach the forgotten fence,
Wires dance to a false pretense
With a chorus of twenty-eights
Yet leaves idle, the wind awaits

So curiously I follow the fence line
Unsure of the origin of a dance divine
Seeking the cause, with no song
What I found did not belong

Entangled in wires, a wild sense
Snared by a forgotten fence.
Legs trapped and lamed,
No hand should have tamed

A baby roo separated, from
Family and natures strum.
I approach but only fuel,
So a gentle hand to cool

Comfort the lost child as I
Unwind legs, blood run dry.
Freed from a forgotten fence
It falls, the pain too intense

A warm embrace, as if my child
Within arms kicking wild.
Transgress sodden spears of grass,
Sanctuary lies over the creek pass

Shoes drowned and breath crisp,
Death lies latent in the wisp.
A fatal strike only their defense
Hidden near the forgotten fence

Fate warns me of danger afoot
Peering through, dark as soot,
A tigerish snake lie in my stride
With a strike I could have died

My saviour the frigid morn’
Or rewards for a deed borne
A delivery from a forgotten fence
To crown the series of events

The bush silent, gazes upon us
A wide berth I permit, no fuss.
I walk past death, serenely coiled,
Thankful my pants aren’t soiled

Past the serpentine suspense
I leave the forgotten fence.
The creek runs across my path
I slip in, darn kooka’s laugh

Safely on the other side
No grass for tigers to hide
The emus stare at our plight
A road lies now within sight

Farewell the forgotten fence,
I remember from whence.
In safe arms the roo I place
Then off to work I must race.


Posted by on Saturday 10th November, 2012 in Australiana, Poetry


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(Australian) Summer Haiku

A bushfire haiku, unfortunately part of an Australian summer for many.

Flames cavorting:
Tender ripples caress
The ashen summer skies

Another unfortunate part of Australian summers, the sea gulls.  With this haiku I tried using alliteration too.

Summer sea spray:
Garish gulls glide
Novices naively nurture

A more enjoyable part of an Australian summer, the beach!

Blistering sun decree:
Now the Doctor* is in
Divine waves tweet

*The Doctor is a cooling afternoon sea breeze which occurs during the summer months in the south west coastal areas of Western Australia.


Posted by on Wednesday 7th November, 2012 in Australiana, Poetry


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