Continuing my posts of bush poetry from my pre-kids poetry days, today I’m sharing one inspired by our first caravan holiday. For sure, this was an express a stress poem, turning disaster into laughter; the time that hubby took us ‘On the Wallaby’.
On The Wallaby
It’s half the distance on the map – and I can drive on dirt.
We’ll save some time and fuel as well… What’s it gonna hurt?
The road was like an old tin shed; all corrugated rust,
that rattled teeth and eyeballs as it billowed clouds of dust.
A caravan we had in tow, pulled by a Commodore;
a brand-new, fam’ly kind of car – no bloomin’ four-by-four!
The stop ’n’ go bloke thought the rough stuff wouldn’t be for long.
He said the track got better but I tell you – he was wrong!
That road was stretched before us like an unrelenting curse.
Two hundred k’s of gravel, never better – sometimes worse.
We rode those corrugations ’til our vision blurred and spun,
with one eye on the pitfalls and the other on the sun.
Three hours we were bounced about, the popcorn in the pan…
But got the biggest shake-up when we peered inside our van.
No bomb could cause more chaos, nor an earthquake devastate.
Such carnage in the caravan – I don’t exaggerate!
The brakes had disconnected, while a curtain was defaced,
the oven door had come adrift, and hotplates were displaced.
The cupboards had swung open with the contents all flung out;
utensils, food and crockery were jumbled all about.
Like flotsam cast upon the beach, our clothes were strewn around.
The wardrobe door that ripped right off was buried in the mound.
Red dust had coated ev’rything! It blew in through a vent,
where wall and floor had parted to reveal a two-inch rent.
And seeping through the rubble that had cluttered up the floor,
were streams of milk that flowed from the refrigerator door.
Beside that far-flung roadway we attempted a repair,
suppressing thoughts of panic and a longing for despair.
We closed then locked our caravan – with no time to delay.
Our journey wasn’t over – we were only just halfway!
We’d joggled for three hours down that rippling, rutted track,
but had to press on forward, cause I wasn’t going back!
The road was stretched before us like an unrelenting curse.
One hundred k’s of gravel and believe me – it got worse!
© Kathryn Apel 2003 – All rights reserved.
This poem courtesy of the Kennedy Development Highway, from Charter’s Towers to Hughenden. To this day, I regret that I didn’t take a photo of our van – either at this point, or at the end of the journey, when the dust and carnage was worse. But here is a pic of both, taken on a later caravanning holiday. (Reason #101 as to why you marry a grazier/handyman. He’s real good at fixing stuff up! (Even if he ‘can’ drive on dirt!))
On the wallaby is an Aussie slang (that has almost slipped into oblivion) meaning, on the road; taking to the road for an extended time.
Now it’s time to hit the road – on the trail of poetry. Karen is hosting the link-up at Karen Edmisten*. Thanks, Karen!