Tellumbuggerum Farm Tour

[Poem on the ‘joys’ of small farm life in Australia. ‘Tellumbuggerum’ = Oz way of saying ‘tell them, bugger them’. ‘American foul brood’: a serious and contagious disease of bees. ‘Myxo’ is myxomatosis, a virus spread with the intention of killing rabbits, Australia’s number one introduced pest animal, now no longer effective. The shot is of the exiled old man boss kangaroo mentioned in the last line.]

Tellumbuggerum Farm Tour

Twenty three years working & walking
& I know every inch of the place.
Put on your boots. Let me show you where

the startled goshawk dropped the startled rabbit in mid-flight

the maggots returned the fox to the soil with a fine necklace of bones

I looked into its soft eyes & shot the roo with the broken leg twisted into the fence-wire

the seedling walnuts I’d carefully raised all died when planted out

the cabinet timber blackwoods form-pruned for my grandsons snapped in the westerlies

the carefully designed wind shelter of pioneer wattles eroded the slope

I gassed & buried my new bee hive dripping with American foul brood

small hive beetle armies destroyed the honeycombs & disappeared my bee colony

the storm-enraged overflow swept my neighbour’s new fence into our creek

a failed potato patch is now glum grass again

the shade-tree roots sucked the life from our terraced garden beds

Stan’s seven goats got under the fence & ate ten new tenderly tended hazels

the rabbits outfoxed the myxo & moonscaped the slope with despair

the exiled old boss roo limped his way into dying & drying down by the water tank


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on April 28, 2017.

2 Responses to “Tellumbuggerum Farm Tour”

  1. your place…the planet…we are but…i’m feeling like that old roo these days…

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