Ians Poetry Page
Tamoshanta to Akubra

From Argyles Scottish mists to mallee dusty plains
Where its hot as hell in summer and hardly ever rains
And the dust storms in clouds and the changes are all dry
One's mind begins to wander back to the leaden Lake Fyne sky

And the green and verdant pasture and the hairy mountain cattle
The bagpipes echoing round the glen, `sounds that keeps us on the
And a shiver runs all over as I feel the icy wind and horizontal rain
That's when I thank God for the freedom to move and stake a claim

This country might be dry mate, but here the family's made a name
The menfolk of the Mallee have been raised with tougher frame
They can mix it in the city, commerce, university and sport
The boys from the bush can get a place wherever quality is sought  

The women too can take their place on the farm or in the town
There were nurses and teachers, fell in love a and settled down
And raised the kids that are the future for any property to grow
Taught the ethic of their fathers, work and fallow, till and sow

Tamoshanter to Akubra, Tartan Kilt to Drizabone
Tall ship journey, hopes on fire, half the globe to make a home
From calico and hessian to a home that's wide  and  cool
Water under pressure, lawns and shrubs, a veranda and a pool

Where the trees stay green all winter they do not drop their leaves
And the murmur of the Buloke in the summer evening breeze
Sugargum and  black box, Eucalyptus, the smell of peppercorn
Give me an Aussie Autumn where the days are bright and warm.

I would not swap it for a townhouse in Glasgows  roaring rush
Our family has thrived on this challenging, virgin block of bush
Our towns are good and solid, sport and  schools, the educator
And the fellowship of churches teach us not to forget our Maker

Lord God created Australia as well as verdant Northern Spheres
Our forefathers tamed it albeit with blood and, sweat and tears
Now the challenge is preserve it , share the faith we've learnt
We are our brothers keeper and the future of its, yours

The motto from West  Scotland is 'reverisco'  'We grow again'
The tenacity of a highland man inspires us to play the game
Instils in us a new beginning with Christ our cornerstone
And 'I serve God first' is our motto wherever we may roam     

Ian McEwen on the occasion of the Family reunion March 2001
     Australia Day

Through the buloke trees on the mallee plains
The grey leaves murmur and the dry wind strains
Two hundred years for farmers to tame this land
flooding rain and drought, challenge at every hand

With up to  five generations of character forming
The horseworks and grubbers, sent the gum tree crashing
to make cropland and pasture for the tractor and seeder
Wheat  for bread, prime  stock for the red meat exporter

The wool from Macarthur’s  proverbial sheep’s back
that this country rode on, has got off the track
Now its oilseeds and mining and tourist delights
Sugar, rice ,pulse crops, export hay and the like

Five world class cities grace the coastal border strip
around the vast  inland, Nullarbor and Kimberley , take the  trip
Uluaru ,The Alice, the vast sandy beaches, the barrier coral jewel
Australia ,driest continent on this finite, global pearl

“Go aussie Go”, and the old enemy England
Cricket has always been watched by the thousand
“Aussie rules” football and the “Melbourne Cup” thoroughbred
Sport, and the chance of a win, always the subject in a mans shed

The Mediterranean immigrants, the “New Australian” cliche
Developed the hydro, irrigation and learnt to say “goodday”
East Asians brought computers in a later year ,”Smart country” folk
cosmopolitan now, able to smile at “The English as she is spoke”

The original, with the didgeridoo taught us to roam and be free
In a climate so mild he could sleep under the bark off a tree
Thanks to the God of creation for allowing us to live in this land
lets us take time to know Him and let Him lead our hand  

The sparse buloke still murmurs in the shimmering heat
the light breeze brightens the  campfire around  the stockmen’s
Australia day, Australia my country,  in sprawling cities or desert
Thank God, it is so good to come back  home again

Ian McEwen 26 January  99
Ode to Buloke Shire

There’s a wind of change on the northern plains
A zephyr of question - what sweeping gains?
Through the Buloke trees and across the Lake
That’s a name for the Northern Shire to take

There’s a north wind now in the heat of drought
The water is low and the cash running out
We remember a land of flooding rains
We remember the 60’s, the wool and the grains.

Our young are off to the urban opportunity
The challenge of business and the university
Doing well in the city with country work ethic
No job in the home town is pretty pathetic

A breeze on the nose from the Canberra dugout
And Spring Street blows a  wind with a clout-
Hytech and restructure for farm and for shire
or change and decay we didn’t require

Elected to govern and even things out
The pollies listen when cities shout -
That’s where the votes are that gave them a seat
They’re forgotten who grows their bread and the meat.

Yet we will be there in the wide Buloke Shire
In the two thousands - we’ll never retire!
Diversity, value add the crops that we grow
Invite hordes of tourists to see the show

Like the buloke tree on the northern plain
We’ll be here, tough, resilient - still waiting for rain!

Ian McEwen
February, 1995
What Christmas means to me

Hark the herald angels sing
The wheat has overflowed the bin
An expensive noise behind the drum
The harvest hassles have begun

Christmas comes at this time each year
It is hard to find the time to cheer
The shepherds made time to find the child
The harvest moons bright the night is mild

Just another hour to fill the truck up
Will we make the silo before it is shut
Peace on earth good will to all men now
Saviour comes no need to shout and row

Time is so precious at harvest we know
The rain could come and spoil the show
the soil we work on seems not to mind
It is timeless like our Lord we find

The carols on the radio tell us the season
on this header so long is that the reason
The water is hot and the tea is cold
Pool or cash another  load is sold

The excitement in receiving and giving
The tree with the coloured lights shining
The cammeraderie trigered so long ago
A king born in a stable the high made low

This event of 2000 years is now celebrated
The gift of a child, it is not complicated
God became man in a miraculous birth
His spirit is upon us a gift of great worth

The good and bad seasons come and go
Like Headers this world is imperfect we know
But because our Lord has become incarnate
The future is perfect have a nice Christmas mate

She'll be right mate. Turn out the  lights and shut the gate
Battling with terms of trade the weather and rates
And whims of bureaucrats  has laid us flat on our backs
Our heritage lost, it has stopped us in our tracks

A letter from the Barley board arrived the other day
The august cheque expected will not arrive today
It may come in October but alas and heres the laugh
because of our slack marketing it will only now be half

Three million bales of wool is a dubious asset
The buyers are apprehensive and the market is upset
with our surplus hardly earned we cannot give away
to the third world who are starving they can only pray

She'll be right mate  we  still have a feed and a coat
The people of Bosnia have neither take note
Count your blessings and learn to appreciate  life
The sun and the space  clean air  and no strife

She'll be right mate,  do something before  its too late
The mice are using the straw that has broken our back
They have built nests in the cracks left after the  dry
They play games in the ceiling and make the wife cry

The  Bible  tells us Moses knew all about plagues
The frogs and the locusts got Pharaoh  in a rage
As in the Days of Noah  We scheme and we play
The Gurus in Egypt the sphinx and pyramids give way

The Lord God has promised to come back alright
With trumpets and glory but like a thief in the night
He'll come as he promised the same way he left
He'll never forsake us or leave us bereft

She'll be right mate for  those who trust in the Lord
The word is to encourage you will never be bored
A positive bringer of hope is all that,s required
For all those  around us who are sick and tired

She,ll be right mate we will take time for a break
leave the stock and crops  it,ll be nice by a lake
From north east west and south we come to Halls Gap
Away from the place, all work and no plays a trap

Blessed is the Nation who,s God is the Lord
We must pray for this one that's abandoned His word
O Jerusalem ,Jerusalem over which Jesus wept sore
We must weep for our Nation that is very much poor

Our wives and our kids ,the bloke down the road
Cultivate the contacts and help ease their load
Life is the people around us our mission for sure
Is to love them as we love ourselves this is His law

To love ourselves and not be proud is to Know Him
The perfect one who gave his all and took our sin
Who died in a shameful mess on a Roman torture cross
We forfeit the old self and greed that is no loss

She,l be right mate is a slack Nations cliche
It will only be right when we give God His way
Quiet in the bush at this beautiful place
The still small voice will make your your heart race
70 years reflection

As the decades roll on Life is the people around us for sure
a cell phone button, a world away or in the street next door
Number one is the partner and wife and a lifetime of memories
We grow close as we share the days tasks and personallities

The digital  communications  makes commerce a decision each
Sorting and reading Filing and losing spending precious time
Email and facebook a webpage  with overload information we love
Coping and driving get the crop in on time or early no time for

Life is family, the kids and their Kids O lord we are grandparents
The girls particuarly a challenge a minute with prangs. I need it  is
it ready
On reflection keeping cars under them was a major achievement I,
d say
home Friday night in a cloud of smoke and I got to have it Sunday

Life for a car is mainly two elements oil in the engine and the
radiator coolant
Or maybe forgot to check fuel  and who borrowed the jack theres
no need to rant
Could you  pick me up you will need a rope or a chain That’s life on
a farm
FJ ute to fairlane  when fuel was cheap and back to pulsars it goes
on and on

The tractor became a replacement for horses and the horses
ended up under the bonnet
The farms expanded exponentially  under competition got to feed
the world damit
Five acres an hour was a sense of achievement
now its 40 or more and you can rely on it.

Farming was physical, dig it and fence it . Lift it and lump it
Now its set it and calibrate  and sit back and watch it
Tune the dvd and the ipod and don,t nod off at the end of it
Then Jump in the ute or the Bike you can,t  walk a minute

Hydraulics and O rings a revolution in Farming
Gps , Lightbars, Submetre to Rtk steering
A raaf flying suit to climate controlling
And  a screaming transmission to a luxury cabin

Leave the place better than when you started on it
Always the challenge as we work it and fence it
And the Country we live in this  great south Land
Is our home, we know it and let God leads our Hand

on occasion of 70th Birthday
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My Wife

She's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious!
If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious,

There's no need for dismay
Just summon up this word
And then you've got a lot to say
But better use it carefully
Or it may change your life
One night I said it to me girl
And now me girl's my wife!

I met this teacher from Berriwillock
With the seductive toning voice
With a world view that came as quite a shock
We better work on this one she maybe is a choice

She wanted a ride to a party in the city
The hours there and back were serendipity
But alas I was not invited this time, fancy that
Next weekend I made a date to show her Granite Flat

It took a while but we got there in the end
Persuading Father to move to town took a while back then
And I wore a FB ute out driving to and from the Mallee
Met her mum and dad and welcomed their hospitality

Eventually got the knot tied in Ballan Presbyterian
After all that fuss and bother we went to Lord Howe Island
On a flying boat from Sydney it took three Hours flying
And ended up with single beds was not much use crying

We had a Girl and that was great but a son was ordered next
It was quite a shock to be informed I had another girl
The Matron said no’ that’s wrong she had to change the text
You have a son and to that I had no say, and we are all a whirl

Yes you have a son, Davo’s got the girl and for you another’s
on its way was before the Ultra sound and the x-ray was not
clear, be sure of it today
The corridor was hectic, there was a bit of panic and not a lot of
Graeme looked incredulous and I just said Hell and got myself
a chair---it was a prayer

Two sons, another Girl, two of each, the perfect family potential
A work in progress and ten Grandchildren to achieve their
destiny still
Alison the whiz got them all through their education
Went back to study at Deakin and received her own graduation

The decade at Murdoch gave her a calling for the
The op shop on the corner and the dedicated staff need to be
In town or overseas in PNG or West Timor and the Black Sea
The clothes and stuff, the bikes, the men’s shed no matter the

Always on the go and the calendar is full, she is a dynamo
A diamond has been suggested a Jewell that sparkles on the
The opshop is a credit to all and the place to be in town
The girls who help, and the guys who tie and load, with out a

Landcare, weeds and vermin, Tuesday she will check a bait
Leave the remnant thriving and her motto is fine  
spray some horehound if she can get a vehicle and the
spraycart is going
Check her determination and drive; see it in the shrubs and
trees growing

When she gets those blue bowls perfected and she gives to
them a shine
Watch out the pros, she really is ambitious, it only takes some
Never early, where’s Alison is the cry but she’s always at the
Relaxing on the green she loves the challenge and the leader
gets a mark

A game we can enjoy together sets this game apart
Not like golf it seems that frustrates from the start
A tiny white ball that hooks and slices and ends up in the water
Or lost in the bush at least you can’t lose a bowl and the walk
is shorter

Her living faith is something else she devours the scripture
Learns to love and encourage all with what the Master teaches
She’s solid as a rock in all the tremors and quakes life dishes
It’s been a great ride and unpredictable, not all cream and

She's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Sure she’s a super girl, Fragile too and precious
Wife of 47 years, Mother Gran and friend in all distress
Adviser, teacher and mentor, my lover and hostess

Ian McEwen on occasion of Alison’s 70th
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