Don’t you long for the days when a car was a car?
To see the glint of the sun off a chrome bumper bar
White wall tyres on wire spoked wheels
And two-tone duco over fair dinkum steel.

Not plastic. Not that poly whatsaname stuff
That poly wussy wimpy mush.
And those poly wheel trims scraping the kerb
It’s like plasticene reinforced steel. It’s absurd.

Old cars always had a mean exhaust note
And a horn that could blow the white line off the road
And shockies that could tell you if the road was rough
And you could hear if your brakes were working or not.

And a bench seat, so your girlfriend could help you to drive
Makes you wonder how you ever survived
And a floor-shift, to help you to build that relationship
That’s why those old-time marriages could survive such hardship.

And aerodynamics these days have totally lost the plot
There’s no big chrome grill to stop the engine getting hot
And wind tunnel tests had proven beyond doubt
That tail-fins stop the back end blowing about.

So what do you get now with these new fangled cars?
I mean, apart from plastic bumper bars
You get a car so paranoid if you take it to town
Its alarm goes off and it howls the place down.

You get an engine that’s tuned by some whiz-bang computer
I used to do that with a hammer and a shifter
And a silicon chip that’s so smug and so smart
Yet can’t even handle a simple jump start.

Then there’s this ‘ABS’ for goodness sakes
Still can’t see the point in anti-stop brakes
Oh and don’t give that brake pedal too hard a push
Or an air-bag’ll jump out and smack you in the mush.

You’ll get air conditioning, that works, if conditions are fair
If you can get the right conditions, you might even get air
So if you’d like to keep breathing, best be a magician
Because you’ve never seen air in such condition.

So is there no sense of style around any more?
Don’t they know that’s what curves were invented for?
They’ve got all the smooth lines of a sleek wheelie bin
And a coefficient of dag of minus 147.

But if you think it’ll help the way that you feel
Go ahead. Buy yourself some flash new abominabile
And when you’re cooped up in there with that half vacant stare
That’ll be me cruising by with the wind in my hair.




I don’t reckon they landed on the moon
I was watching that night with the binoculars on zoom
And no one landed there that I could see
They don’t put that one over me.

’Cause all I reckon happened on that long ago day
And I shudder to think what they had to pay
Was that some crazy scientist who was pushing his views
Hired Steven Spielberg to do the TV news.

And I don’t reckon the earth is round
Isaac Newton tried to tell us that an apple falls down
But if he’d have tried that on the other side
He’d have fallen off the earth and hurt more than his pride.

’Cause what I reckon is, the earth’s dead flat
Though true at first glance it’s a bit lumpier than that
With a big sea wall right round the extremity
That stops the ocean emptying into eternity.

And how far away do you reckon the stars are?
This mate of mine reckons “Not that far!”
But another mate of mine who’s done high school, eh
He reckons “Mate! They’re a fair way away!’

But what I reckon is, though it’s a bit hard to say
They’d have to be at least a couple of hundred K
And I’d guarantee this without a shadow of a lie
They wouldn’t be any further out than the sky.

And I don’t reckon that the sun’s on fire
Although one bloke told me (and I reckon he’s a liar)
That the stars we see above in the night
Are where sparks from the sun have burned holes in the sky.

What a fool! He wouldn’t fool you and me
Anyone with half a brain can see
That meteorites hurtling past on high
Have punched those holes right through the sky.

And I don’t reckon that a rainbow consists
Of diffracted light through a vapoury mist
That comes and goes as the moon and the sun
Decide who’s to rule that heavenly run.

’Cause what I reckon is, and I’m sure you’ll agree
The rainbow’s made specially for you and me
Of colourful crystals that God has given
For an archway over the stairway to Heaven.

But there are some things I’m not sure about
Like how does the tide go in and out?
And if there are holes in the sky, why doesn’t the air escape?
And how does the moon keep changing its shape?

‘Cause what I reckon is, it’s important to know
What makes the place tick? Why is it so?
I expect I’ll write a book for the whole world to read
And I reckon I’ll call it “The Universe” by me.



Last Sat’dy night, Jimbo and me
We cruised into town for a bit of a spree
And you know how it is, apart from the odd fight
There’s never nuthin’ much doin’ on a Sat’dy night.

But there in this window we seen this sign
Says “Presenting-Tonight-Miss Candy Divine”
Now that sounds to me like a bit of a rage
And there’s one table left, right in front of the stage.

Now it’s a flash kind of joint. Mate they’re all drinkin’ wine.
There’s this stage with a red velvet curtain behind
And we’re checkin’ out these pictures all around the walls
And Jimbo goes “Hey, what are Cabaret Halls?”

Then up comes this waiter with a flourish and a bow
Says “Would you like to place your order now?”
“Too right,” I says, “I’m hungry as a hog.
I could eat the back leg off me little blue dog!”

“But let’s see.” I says, “The prawns look a treat.”
Jimbo goes “Yeah, a steak will do me.”
And the waiter says “How would you like your steak?”
Jimbo goes “With spuds thanks mate”.

Then he shows us this ‘wine list’. It’s all a bit strange.
Jimbo goes “Reckon I’ll go the stubby of Grange.”
And I’m tuckin’ right in till me belly’s fair bulgin’
And wonderin’ where I’m gunna fit in me puddin’

When out comes this bloke with this really posh manner
He sits down, and boy can he play the piana
But he ends his song with such a great swish
And I knocks half me schooner in me finger bowl dish.

Then this voice comes boomin’ out on the PA
Sayin’ “Welcome to the Queanbeyan School of Arts Café!”
And here’s this bloke all poshed up to the nines
Yellin’ “Please make welcome – Miss Candy Divine!”

Well! The piana strikes up and the lights all flash
There’s cheerin’ and clappin’, it’s a hell of a bash
And she comes through the curtain out onto the floor
Crikey, I never seen nuthin’ like ‘er before!

She comes onto the stage all satin and lace
With her long black hair fallin’ half down her waist
And big bright eyes you’ll always remember
… Sparklin’… like the Murrumbidgee in September

And a long flowing dress with a sort of a bodice
And these proud, thrusting bosoms (which I ’ardly even noticed)
And this hat on her head with these huge coloured feathers
They must have crossed an emu with a flamin’ rosella.

Then the piana bloke, he starts up this beautiful song
And she’s standin’ there swayin’ and sighin’ along
And she starts to sing “Chanson d’amour …”,
Crikey, I never ‘eard nuthin’ like ‘er before!

But now she’s movin’ to our side of the stage
And Jimbo’s eyes have come over in a glaze
And she’s singin’ “I long for your caress…”
So I reaches out and touches her dress!

Now here’s the piana bloke fallin’ half off his chair
And fixin’ me with a hell of a stare
Dunno how come he’s got so much to say
Well he’s not that much chop anyway.

But now her eyes are dreaming of faraway
… Like the Brindabellas … on a blue summer day
And she’s singin’ “A sigh is just a sigh …”
And she’s fair dinkum lookin’ me straight in the eye.

The skin starts creepin’ on the back of me neck
Me flamin’ kneecap’s crawled half up me leg
I’m tryin’ to speak but I can’t move me jaw
Crikey, I never felt nuthin’ like this before!

But now she’s singin’ at Jimbo! And she’s givin’ him the eye!
And he’s droolin’ back with that stupid smile
’Cause that’s Jimbo’s trouble. He falls for that stuff!
I says “Jimbo get your tongue off the table cloth!”

So for hours she singin’ all me troubles away
And we’re cheerin’ and clappin’ as the spotlights fade
And I’m whistlin’ that hard for a flamin’ encore
Me blue dog comes hurtlin’ in through the door.

I says “Under the table you little mongrel!
And just shut up and don’t move a muscle!
And if we get chucked out ’cause of you messin’ the floor
You won’t never be chasin’ no girl dogs no more!”

But now she’s back and singin’ me one last song
Now the curtain closes and now she’s gone
And I’m realisin’ as we’re walkin’ out the door
Crikey, I’m prob’ly never ever gunna see ’er no more!

So we’re headin’ off down to see the blokes at the bar
And Jimbo’s still droolin’ like some hopeless galah
I says “Weren’t you eyin’ ‘er off like some flash Harry?”
He goes “You know, I wouldn’t mind bein’ married.”

And the blokes at the pub are askin’ “Where’ve you two been?”
I says “Nowhere much, checkin’ out the scene
Hangin’ around, takin’ in the sights
Never nuthin’ much doin’ on a Sat’dy night.”



“How’re you going cob?” my old mate said
As he propped up on one side
“Not bad” I said. “You feeling okay?
Doc says you’re doing fine.”
“Well I’m fit as a blowie with a brass buckle belt
You can tell that doctor for me.”
I said “Aren’t you just a little bit crooked on the world?”
He said “No. Why would I be?”

“’Cause of all the planets drifting round,” he said
“It’s here that I dropped my swag.
Where there’s oceans and hills and creeks and trees
And a sun to shine on my back.
I could have been born a tiny little mouse
Wound up in the belly of a snake
Or I could have been born a thousand years ago
And died the next day of the plague.”

“I might have been born in famine and fear
Never copped a decent feed
Or I might have been born where some Idi Amin
Locks you up for the sake of his greed.
I could have grown up where there’s always a scrap
With the mob just over the hill
Or even in some far-flung tribe
Where the reason to live is to kill.”

“You can spare me the whinger with his world on a plate
Grizzling about his lot
Where it hasn’t quite dawned on his muddled mind
That we only get one shot.
Whatever I’ve done’s been my own fair cop
And when I get the call
I’ll be going out with a grin on my face
It’s a bonus being born at all.”



The Right Honourable the Prime Minister, welcome to you Sir
Your Excellency, thank you for being with us today
Mr Premier, Mr Minister, distinguished guests
Visitors from near and faraway
Today all of Sydney can feel justly proud
On that, I know we all agree
As we declare open this structure, this thirteenth runway
Where Botany Bay – used to be.

As you well know, projects such as this
Spring from minds with the foresight and vision
To see far beyond what the ordinary folk do
The splendour of this grand reclamation
For thanks to this runway tourists will come
From all corners of the world to see
All the natural treasures of our wondrous land
Where Botany Bay – used to be.

If Captain Cook were to come here today
He’d be astonished at the progress we have made
From his haven just outside the heads
He’d marvel at our technological age.
Rivers of tarmac where waves once rolled
Concrete mangroves holding back the sea
Watching Jumbos land where Endeavour hove to
Where Botany Bay – used to be

And when Captain Cook discovered this land
I doubt that he could have foreseen
That there simply wasn’t enough land mass here
To fit all our infrastructure in
But I’m proud to say we’ve developed the skills
To reclaim these waters for you and me
So sir, would you declare open this thirteenth runway
Where Botany Bay – used to be.



As the bridegroom slipped the lacy garter
From the leg of his lovely bride
An eager pack of young bucks formed
Their futures on the line.
For folklore says whoever wins
That lacy garter thrown
Will surely wed a lovely girl
And never live alone.

Now this old grey man strayed into the pack
And when he saw that garter fly
Those old competitive juices flowed
And he headed for the sky.
And as he flew his mind flashed back
To those heady days of yore
When he’d soared above Cazaly’s head
And kicked 80 yards to score.

When he caught a Dougie Walters six
In the tenth row at the SCG
Took a Langlands up and under
For the Dragons in ’63
Saved a header from the back of the net
For Johnny Warren’s team in the World Cup
Taught the Ella Brothers how to catch
Andrew Gaze how to slam dunk.

The young bucks stood and watched in awe
As that old grey man flew high.
His hand latched onto the garter sweet
The garter was his prize.
As he strode back proudly to his wife
The lacy garter round his neck
He copped a left from Lionel Rose
That laid him on the deck.



By Isobel Robyn
Young Miss Peckandinganclacker
What a wonder! What a cracker!
Top girl at Commercial College
Stacked with facts and business knowledge
Speedy shorthand – wizard typing
Patient when the boss was griping
It’s no surprise this gem, this jewel
Soon outgrew the typing pool.

At twenty-five, the boss’s very
Treasure of a secretary
Prompt, precise and never sloppy
Doyen of the carbon copy
Calm when phoning, cool when filing
Kept the boss serene and smiling
And every day, at half past three
She made the perfect cup of tea.

She pleased her Managing Director
In ways that couldn’t be corrector
Jogged his mind when he grew cursory
About his wedding anniversary
Kept a spaced appointment diary
Soothed him when his mood was fiery
Understood his hypertension
And other problems I can’t mention.

When years had passed without romance
She claimed she’d never had the chance
She’d noticed each contemporary
Fall in love, succumb and marry
At times she felt a mite indignant
When juniors left at eight months pregnant
But loyal Miss Peckandingandclack
Found fulfilment working back.

The world rolled on. Her boss retired
His young successor, speed inspired
Gave her nervous tics and stresses
With VDUs and word processors
Installed a coffee-bar machine
To sweep away her tea routine
And then, on top of all these japes
The wretch dictated onto tapes.

She very soon had cause to dread a
Close encounter with the shredder
Desk-top PCs gave her frights
And threatened her with nasty bytes
Accountants cringed to hear her cry
“My wrists! My back! My RSI!”
Who needs Peckandinganclacker
Send the old girl to the knacker.

Her rage erupted past all quelling
Spellcheck quizzed her perfect spelling
Worse despairs beset her yet
The dots, the coms, the Internet
Never was so fraught a female
Fly to spider, caught in email
From Adaminaby to Zagreb
She tangled up the World Wide Web.

They threw her a few bonus shares
Before promoting her downstairs
To guard the archives in the basement
And then brought in a blonde replacement
Who couldn’t spell or add up figures
But wore short skirts that showed her knickers
And nibbled take away spaghetti
Behind the Wang and Olivetti.

Old Miss Peckandinganclacker
Didn’t pull her hair, or smack her
Instead, she turned her fuming fancy
To witchcraft and dark necromancy
Studied alchemy, and spells
Enough to raise a thousand hells
Above her bubbling urn, she’d mutter
Words no virgin girl should utter.

Bad Miss Peckandiganclacker!
Swift avenger! Cruel attacker!
Photocopiers fell apart
Computers smouldered, wouldn’t start
And on each word processor screen
Remarks you’d hate to hear were seen
While things that put the firm at risk
Vanished from each floppy disk.

The automatic coffee-maker
Turned against each thirsty slaker
Gave them nasty, hasty jolts
From brews that worked like Epsom Salts
And when she’d done all that, she hexed
The output from the teletext
While phantoms would, at times, intone
Mantras from the ansa-phone.

At last she conjured a take over
The boss, before he ran for cover
To Rio, with quite large amounts
Secure in Swiss bank accounts
(and with the mini-skirted blonde
Of whom he’d grown rather fond)
Cried “Curse Miss Peckandinganclacker
Get her on the mat and sack her!

But when they looked, she wasn’t there
She’d simply vanished in thin air
Stuck up on the open doorlock
A note said” Gone to join my Warlock”
The janitor declared he’s seen her
Fly off on a vacuum cleaner
Without excuse, without apology
She’d come to terms with new technology!

Isobel Robin.



Did you hear about my hernia operation
Was a pretty exciting thing
Was at that new hospital, “Hernia’s R Us”
And in the Medibank Profit Wing.
Now you’re probably wondering what a hernia is
Well it’s just one of nature’s ways
Of saying “Time you stopped lifting tractors off trucks
Like you did in the olden days.”

So all these doctors and nurses come flooding into the ward
Like some river running a banker
And this bloke says “Can you count backwards from ten?”
I says “Course I can you wa …..” zzzz.
So now they reckon they’ve knocked me out
They’re thinking I’m unconscious
But I’ve managed to keep half an eye just open
I’ll keep the blighters honest.

So the Doc’s going in andsew up the breach
And I’m watching him really close
He’s got this little camera on the end of a stick
Ah this is gonna be gross.
I’m hooked up to everything ‘cept the world wide web
And my brain’s fair going round the bend
Then he picks up the stick with the camera on
And ties a sewing machine on the end.

Then he reaches down, thinking I can’t see
Undoes my belly button
Shoves in the camera on the stick
Grabs a knife and starts cuttin’.
Now I reckon it was about this time
That I must have up and carked it
When I come to later, mate I reckon they’ve sewn
A pineapple into my stomach.

“So how do you feel?” this soft voice asks
“How do I feel what?” I blurts
“I would have felt better if you’d thought to take
the top off the pineapple first!”
“Now just relax,” she says. “Can I take your pulse?”
“You can keep it! It’s no good to me.”
But at least my blood pressure’s having a win
The score’s a hundred and eighty to sixty three.

“Now why don’t you just make yourself comfy?”
Says this nurse who’s full of advice.
“Is there anything I can get you?” she says
“Well a pineapple caesarian would be nice.”
“No need to be an old grump,” she says
“Just ’cause you’re a little bit sore
In a couple of days you’ll be able to run a marathon.”
“There’s a bonus! Couldn’t run one before!”

“Now best you go home and put your feet up.”
“I’ll need a winch to get ‘em up off the mat.”
“And remember at your age it takes longer to heal.”
“Well thank you for mentioning that.”
“And watch those pain killers for constipation.”
That’s great news. Why is life such a battle?
Now three days later I’m back where I started
I just passed a pineapple!



So long to the office and 9 to 5
Where the daylight glows from a tube
So long to the crash of the traffic lights
And the crush of the big city blues.
Bring me the sigh of a desert dawn
And the touch of a star filled sky
Send me the hush of a warm north wind
Tell me the reason why.

Outback in the soul of an ancient land
Eternal stands Uluru
Timeless as the dream time song
Of Mutitjulu, Mala, Anangu.
And I walk the rock in the lonely haze
Wondering at a world turned colder
When down the rock rolls that warm north wind
And settles on my shoulder.

Kings Canyon where down the gorges glides
The graceful grey strike thrush
And far off purple mountains pose
For Namatjira’s brush.
In the shadow of the rock like a synagogue
Stand the domes of Kata Tjuta
As desert oaks and spinifex pose
For the wide eyed camera shooter.

Have you seen a town like Alice?
Have you seen a desert rose?
Have you seen the wide brown river
Where the water rarely flows?
I’ve seen a town like Alice
Watched the doctor flying home
Where the teacher sees the children
Through an HF microphone.

I’ve swum in the lush of Mataranka Springs
In the warmth of the secret river
An oasis in the dryland woodland
Just beyond the never never.
And I fell in love with Katherine
Gorgeous in orange robes
What are those sounds in the soft evening light?
Only Nitmiluk knows.

Have you been this close to the milky way?
Have you heard a star shed a tear?
Reached up and touched Venus on a clear outback night?
God how I wish you were here.
Yet somewhere in the dance of the dry desert haze
And the starlit night so clear
And wafting soft in that warm north wind
I feel your hand still near.

The red centre rolls back as the top end rolls in
Under Capricorn’s tropical skies
Gagadju calls down Kakadu’s walls
From Nourlangie, Namarrgon strikes.
Lotus lilies laze on Yellow Waters green
Bee-eaters swerve and swoop
Sea eagle rules from his throne on high
As crocodile stalks jabiru.

When I’m dreaming of Darwin on cold southern nights
Cool beer on a balmy beach
Where bougainvillea blooms heal Tracy’s wounds
Along a warm Arafura Sea.
When I’m back in the bustle, the rush and the hustle
With the traffic lights yelling at me
Then let the traffic lights yell, I’ll just wait
I’ll be dreaming of the Territory.



The world goes round
Till it’s upside down
It’s a struggle just keeping both feet on the ground
When it comes back up for another go round
Somehow you’re one lap behind.

So you grab a new tread
And hanging on by a thread
There’s a fifteen ring circus inside your head
When it comes back up, it’s just as you dread
Now you’re two laps behind.

If this whirling stampede
Should ever concede
That it wants to consider just what I need
It can back off from its breakneck speed
And darn well … slow down … to mine.



When you’re all dressed up in your Sunday best
And life’s great moment calls
Why is it that in this great salad bowl of life
That only the beetroot falls.

Why would a woman shave her eyebrows?
Then with some strange glee
Draw a picture of her eyebrows
Where her eyebrows used to be?

I can change a flat tyre on a ute in a bog
without so much as blinkin’.
I can kick goals blindfold and drunk
without knowing which way I’m facin’.
I can solve third order differential equations
without even resorting to thinkin’
But I can’t fill an electric jug
in a motel bathroom basin.

Blokey blokes all Around the world
could only look on in despair
Elle McPherson’s bloke
went out and had an affair.



I’m a nice enough little poem
I’ve got nice rhythm and rhyme
And the story I tell that’s nice as well
And I’m happy most of the time.
But why can’t I amount to something more
Than some amusing little ditty
And have an impact on the world
Instead of sitting here feeling so petty.

Imagine if Wordsworth had written me
Words flowing like an old red wine
Instead of this drivel from my author’s pen
He couldn’t write a half decent line.
He uses small words which is no surprise
When you look at the size of his vocabulary
Now there’s a word with more than three syllables
That word’s going to be lonely.

So I’ll never go down to the seas again
To the lonely sea and the sky
I’ll just wallow here in this wasteland grim
This paradise lost, and why?
Because he wouldn’t know a pentameter from an Edgar Allan Poe
Or Ozymandius from a Grecian Urn
So look on my words ye mighty and despair
For I am doomed at every turn.

And oh to be born of a different age
When orators were renowned for their skill
Where I could have been narrated to the whole wide world
By the likes of Sir Winston Churchill.
But this bloke drags me out at his family do’s
And he stands there and reads me out loud
With his boring old voice and his serious face
And he still stands there looking so proud.

But I guess what I’d mostly like to be
Is a song that’s widely applauded
With a melody penned by say, Andrew Lloyd Webber
And sung by Michael Crawford.
My words would fill the world’s concert halls
With the sounds of the world’s greatest tenors
Instead of this drab and dull dissertation
By this second rate ageing Frank Spencer.

Or better still, how about a rock and roll song
Playing midnight to dawn in the clubs
Where Elvis could rock me through the Heartbreak Hotel
And Clapton might do me unplugged.
The Stones could get me some satisfaction
Sergeant Pepper add a little sparkle
And like a bridge over troubled water
I’d lay me down with Simon and Garfunkel.

Maybe Dylan and Elton could collaborate
Like a candle that’s blowing in the wind
Or I could even help save the forests of Brazil
With the razorback rhythms of Sting.
Memphis could set me to some down home blues
Nashville twang bring tears to the eyes
But there I’ll be. Driving my Chevy to the levy
On the day that the poetry dies.

Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo, Dame Joan
I can dream, there’s hope for me yet
Before an audience that’s dripping with diamonds and class
At Covent Garden or the New York Met.
But here I am in this ratty old dive
Being read by some worn out old squatter
Look at this mob of layabouts here
Bet they’ve never been to the opera.

Just how much of this can a poor poem take
This life of being constantly rubbished
I reckon I’d rather have been written by anonymous
At least some of his work’s been published.
And as for my author who thinks he’s so great
I’ve got news that will make him sorry
He thinks one day he’ll be the poet laureate
But don’t hold your breath waiting, Laurie!



The Emperor sat high up on Capital Hill
Passing grand laws and drafting grand bills
When in walked a man with a black leather case
A three-piece-suit and a most earnest face.

He told of the old Boffin with his distinguished white hair
Who’d been measuring and gauging and testing the air
And with graphs and correlations and a very troubled frown
Had computed that the air was turning brown.

For the people were burning coal and oil all about
To power up all their gizmos they couldn’t live without
Pouring smoke and ash up into the air
And nobody noticed and nobody cared.

But the wise old Boffin, he knew the score
The land wouldn’t be able to breathe any more
So the Emperor decided to make a stand
And levy a tax to save the land.

The people grew worried about their fate
So they tuned in their dials every morning at eight
Where the Blaggard explained to them what they should think
And people believe Blaggards who don’t even blink.

For the Blaggard he sneered and he snorted out smoke
The flames shot out of his nose when he spoke
And the Blaggard roared with his ears full of wax
“We have to throw out this bad crazy tax”.

The Blaggard declared the old Boffin a fool
A trickster, a shyster, a con-man, a ghoul
Who fiddled the science and did nothing but rave
And the bones of Galileo rolled in their grave.

The people hung on the Blaggard’s every word
Wanting him to be Emperor, to rule their world.
But the Blaggard thought “They just don’t understand.
I’m already the most powerful man in the land”.

“My house has ten ensuites, eight cars out the back
Two jacuzzis, three west-wings and a spa painted black.”
But a Blaggard can’t know that he has no choice.
He can’t bear the sound of not hearing his voice.

And the Emperor-in-Waiting, he knew the game
What the Blaggard said, he said the same.
“The Emperor must go”, he called to the crowd
Then the Emperor-in-Waiting grew even more loud.

As he waved his arms, they called out his name
He knew he was playing a dangerous game
And then he waved his arms some more
And the Blaggard just smiled as they walked out the door.

Then the Emperor said “If we all take some care
We can make a difference and clean up the air.”
But the people all said “We’re only small.
The little we do won’t help at all”.

Now the local tax-dodger not to be outdone
His eyebrows went up when he heard that one
“That’s the line I use for not paying my tax.
You can pay me copyright if you want to use that.”

The businessman blinked at his bottom line
Said “This tax has come at the very worst time.
We should wait to see how all this unfurls.
Choose a time when there’re no other problems in the world”.

The Emperor was sad that nobody cared
The Blaggard continued blowing hot air
The Emperor-in-Waiting kept waving in the breeze
The old Boffin heard the land starting to wheeze.

The markets went up as the land went down
The economy boomed and the old Boffin frowned
But commodities markets soon turned to despair
When they found the most important commodity was air.



When tales are told in the sailors’ den
Of gallant deeds where men are men
In the real man’s world of guts and blood
You’ll hear the name of Merkyl Crud.
Now the Sydney-Hobart’s not for the meek
Not the faint hearted, not for the weak
It’s for men like Merkyl who go down to the sea
Where boys become men and where men become free.

So when Merkyl was strolling by Rushcutters Bay
Where the boats were all moored on that fateful day
When the old man said “We’re short of a hand.”
Merkyl said quickly “I’m your man!”
So out through the Heads heading south with the fleet
Merkyl could sense he was with the elite
And as the bow dipped gently to the Nor’ Easters song
Merkyl thought to himself “This is where I belong.”

“Can you take the wheel Merkyl?” asked the old man
And the boat gained a knot under Merkyl’s soft hand
And he felt right at home on the water and dreamed
“If I could be anyone I’d be the wind.”
As night fell he saw the stars dance with the mast
And the moon-beam tagging the stern as they passed
But he sensed they were yet to meet their fate
For lying ahead was the mighty Bass Strait.

As they entered the Strait, the wind roared aback
The spray was as white as the water was black
The Antarctic wind it stung, it hurt
So Merkyl changed into his long sleeved shirt.
He drove the boat up the wave, refusing to crack
Like a road-train up the Razorback
And cresting the wave and heaving a sigh
Dropped like a skier down Kosciuszko’s side.

Then a black gust from hell spun the boat clean about
The old man barely had time to shout
When the boom smacked across and with a sickening thud
Cracked open the skull of Merkyl Crud.
“That was close!” cried Merkyl straightening the wheel
The hardened crew marvelled at this man of steel
When the old man asked “Are you in any pain?”
Merkyl cried “Give me more pressure on the main!”

But as he straightened the boat his heart filled with dread
A giant sunfish was sunning itself dead ahead
And though he swung hard to port on the wheel
He slammed into the sunfish and snapped off the keel.
Straight over the side though he couldn’t even swim
Merkyl grabbed the keel and he plugged it back in
And fearing the sunfish might cause them more strife
Stabbed it in the heart with his Swiss Army Knife.

Then like a bold Viking he conquered Storm Bay
Sailed up the Derwent where the finish line lay
But then found himself trapped in a dying wind
The big maxi ahead would surely win.
But Merkyl spied a gust on the western shore
And the old man smiled as the boat eased to port
The crowd on Constitution Dock held its breath
Could Merkyl do it? Who was the best?

Then the spinnaker filled. The bow of the boat rose.
Merkyl Crud passed the maxi and won by a nose.
The crowd went wild for Merkyl’s great win
“King Merkyl!” they cried, for Merkyl was king.
But then Merkyl’s mum’s voice rang out through the din
“You’ve forgotten to set your alarm again!
Look at your bed! It’s in such a state!
Looks like you just sailed it across Bass Strait!”



I’m a big fat banana growing high in a tree
I’m the wonderfullest fruit that you’ll ever see
When you pick me on high from the big yellow bunch
And mash me on bread I’m your favourite lunch
Chop me up on your Weet Bix in sugar and milk
Whip me up in a smoothie all softer than silk
Ah roll me in chocolate and dip me in cream
Of battered and frittered and custard I dream
I might look a bit bent when I lie on your plate
But I go bananas when you have me straight.