The Squatter

I was cleaning out some folders in our filing cabinet the other day and came across a pile of faded old poems I had written about 20 or so years ago. Some I still quite like and so I thought I would post them here over time to ensure they are not lost altogether. The first – and the one I love most as I still recall elements of that fated day, is one written about our move into our first house. Being our first home it was not endowed with great ease of reaching, being up the top of a driveway too steep for vehicles! Anyway, the poem is modelled after the style of early Aussie poets, Banjo Patterson and Henry Lawson (and probably even pinches from them a little 🙂 ) …


The boxes some and plenty were in number at least twenty
And each a trip required from the truck that we had hired
To our new house on the hill. I can see the path there still
Where we trod with steps a-weary, though our hearts were light and merry
‘Cause the movers have some pleasures that the squatters never know

With twenty of the bludgers there were twenty uphill drudges
And I swear this to my Keeper, that there blasted hill got steeper
And the house moved f’er away.

I had half a mind to chuck it in, with only half the boxes in
When up behind me missus came and said that this here weren’t no game
And should I wish to miss her pain I should move them boxes before the rain.

So I tooks a chance and steeled me nerves and there up in the sky observes
Storm clouds fit to make me jump, darker than that old Black Stump.
With them near up and her around, I dug inside until I found
A grunt or two not yet dispersed and climbed that hill and swore and cursed.

Now all those things once dear to heart, no longer filled that hallowed part
And inside a detachment grew to all them boxes except the few
I’d lugged already up that hill; I guess I’d fairly had my fill.

But me missus paid no attention to my thinking and intention
And sent me down that hill again to fetch some more before the rain.
So up and down I heaves me load and cursed that truck down on the road.

Lugging boxes ain’t my sense of fun but by and by they all got done
And me luck had held and then by some ’cause not a drop of rain had come.
So I sits me down to have a drink, while me missus had a little think.

You know peace don’t last long now-a-days ’cause its not too long before she says
“First things first, we must unpack!” Now I know her well, I know her knack
Of saying “We” and meaning “Me”, so I’m back at all this drudgery
Before me whistle’s fully wet.

Well “First things first” is what she says, so I unpack a giant mess
And leave her on her own to find a place for all and sundry kind
Of thing and kitchen implement. You know she really must be heaven sent
Because its soon all gone and out of sight. But when I check if its done right
I’m taken by complete surprise;
‘Cause half the stuff that I lugged in is in the bloody rubbish bin!

Well now we’ve been here quite a while
I look back on that day and smile
But on one thing sure you can depend
I’m squatting here until THE END!

(March 18, 1992)


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