A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

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Peely
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A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Peely » Sat May 28, 2011 12:08 am

One of my recent ones, a bit of satire...

A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING
© John Peel 20/5/2011

I’m a bushman slowly dying and I contemplate my fate
but there’s no-one here to hear my words, alas it is too late
for soon enough I will be dead, there’s not much I can do
since no-one knows for sure just when their life might well be through.

I’m supposed to be in solitude, so who can truly know
what final thoughts are in my head before I up and go.
I’m meant to be illiterate, so I can’t write them here,
how is it that you’re reading this, did these words just appear?

Were they drifting on the breezes? Were they floating on a stream?
Were they carried by the morning sun upon its first bright beam?
Was it Mother Earth that mentioned them? Perhaps it was the trees?
Perhaps my thoughts were spread around just like a vile disease?

My faithful dog is clever though, perhaps he passed them on?
But then I’ve never heard him speak – my mind’s not that far gone –
I’m just a simple bushy and I’m pretty close to dead.
Perhaps I’m just a vision that is stuck in someone’s head.

Then suddenly, I realise that I can never die,
these are not my final moments and I’ll give the reason why –
it won’t be very long before another poet’s pen
will bring me back to life before he makes me die again.

The words I use are simple, even then I’m pretty sure
that a poet might use great big words that I would just ignore.
I wouldn’t know their meanings though, I haven’t had much school –
instead of looking clever, he would look a downright fool.

Have you ever heard a bushman use a word like ‘abnegate’?
I’m not too sure what that one means, although it might sound great.
Such words would make my story sound a little less than true –
why would a poet think that in my language it would do?

Perhaps they are the ones who’ve never heard a bushman speak –
it’s not in perfect metre and the grammar’s pretty weak
(I’m not sure how I did it, but it's just been made quite clear
that my metre and my grammar both look spot-on up to here).

Well anyway, I’ve said enough, it’s time for me to die –
I’m pushing out my final breath and mouthing this…goodbye!
Oh bloody hell, I’m back again, my spirit speaks somehow –
if no-one heard my last few words, how can they hear this now?

A light ahead is beckoning, but then I’m told, “Go back.”
The light is quickly fading, all around me turns to black.

I open up my eyes to find that I’m no longer dead –
as predicted, I have entered thoughts inside a poet’s head.

I’ve endured pain and suffering like no-one else before –
I only wish I didn’t have to go through this once more!
It seems these thoughts that I’ve just had will all be forced to wait –
I’m a bushman slowly dying and I contemplate my fate…
John Peel - The Man from Gilmore Creek

william williams

Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by william williams » Sat May 28, 2011 12:27 am

John Peel I thank you for those words, those words that say a lot. May they keep going on for ever more

Thanks John Peel from Bill Williams
Last edited by william williams on Sat May 28, 2011 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sat May 28, 2011 6:48 am

Very clever Peely - but then everything old is new again - probably why we are like rats on a wheel - synonomous with the Johny Cash song Highwayman

Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again..
Enjoyed reading this very much - thank you

Cheers

Maureen
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
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I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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Zondrae
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Zondrae » Sat May 28, 2011 8:53 am

G'day John,

Brilliant. You have come a long way since we first met. (How long ago ?) I am so pleased you have posted one of your own poems. It is a clear demonstration of why I seek your advice on occasion. I feel it is also an original idea. The these is not quite like any other poem I have come across, but then, I haven't read everything. I like the way you have put that section in italics. Is this supposed to be the bushman speaking aloud or is it his thoughts addressing himself rather than the reader?
Zondrae King
a woman of words

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Peely
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Peely » Sat May 28, 2011 11:04 am

G'day Bill

I am glad that you enjoyed the poem and have taken heart from my words.

G'day Maureen

Over the years of reading bush poems, I have seen plenty of different poems where a bushman is going through his final thoughts before he dies - normally in quite a serious vein. I remember reading one comment from someone on the forum regarding one of these poems that won a competition recently, "done to death," or words to that effect. I thought I'd have a go at doing something different along that theme. I am quite pleased with the result. I am glad that you enjoyed the poem.

G'day Zondrae

I am pleased that you have noticed how much I have developed as a writer since we first met back in 2004 (I am pretty sure it was before I took the step of going from a writer only to a writer and performer). The first time that you would have seen me read (and for that matter to have the chance to read any of my work) was at the second "Pasta, Plonk and Poetry Night", in Batlow in 2004. I am glad that you enjoyed the poem.

The italicised section represents the bushman's spirit speaking, rather than the living bushman. The transition back to plain text represents him coming back to life.

Regards


John Peel
John Peel - The Man from Gilmore Creek

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Zondrae
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Zondrae » Sat May 28, 2011 3:34 pm

Yes John,

I remember that night well. I also recall that Leigh Brown stole the show and I almost missed out performing my poem even though I had come all the way from Wollongong for the night. It was an eye opener for me as I didn't expect the quality of poetry in such an out of the way place as Batlow. And the pasta was rather delicious too.

How much have the young ones in both our families grown since then! - Michael, married and a Dad - and Amanda and Dan with two kids and a mortgage. There's a poem in that. Catch you later. Best wishes to your Mum and Dad.
Zondrae King
a woman of words

Leonie

Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Leonie » Sat May 28, 2011 5:38 pm

This is great, I just love it. A different (and very clever) angle on an old and (according to one judge at least) overdone theme. I might have to change my mantra about there not being anything new to write about. There might not be any new stories, but there are definitely new ideas. I just saw one. :D

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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Neville Briggs » Sat May 28, 2011 7:59 pm

Very well written John.

I'm not real sure what you are driving at in your mentioning of vocabulary.
Neville
" Prose is description, poetry is presence " Les Murray.

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Peely
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Peely » Sat May 28, 2011 11:05 pm

G'day Zondrae

I will let my oldies know that you send them your best wishes.

G'day Leonie

I am glad that you enjoyed the poem. Sometimes it is just a matter of thinking about the theme a little differently to get a great result.

G'day Neville

One of those said winners mentioned in one of the previous posts had at least one word in it that I doubt a bushman would use in his descriptions - that was what I was driving at. It is good that you enjoyed the write.

Regards


John Peel
John Peel - The Man from Gilmore Creek

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Zondrae
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Re: A BUSHMAN SLOWLY DYING

Post by Zondrae » Sun May 29, 2011 5:27 am

oi,

enough of this 'oldies'. Your Mum and Dad are both younger than me.
Zondrae King
a woman of words

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