COUNTRY BLOKES .. Maureen Clifford © The #ScribblyBark Poet
How much more can a farmer bear? How much can one man take?
How do the wife and family cope watching this tough bloke break?
How does he rise from slumps and lows that always cross his path?
How does he carry on each day and still find time to laugh?
Why does he keep on fighting when these things at him are tossed,
and why won't he just walk away when it seems all is lost?
Where does he get his strength from when around him all seems damned?
Because, circumstances are not the measure of this man.
These blokes are tough, resilient, hardy and pig headed.
They don't give up, they won't give in - to their land they're wedded.
The red soil is their flesh and blood, the white gums are their bones,
and though the life is harsh and tough these acres are their homes.
Most wear the country on their skin, with forearms tanned and brown,
likewise their legs, though white peeps out whenever socks fall down.
A hundred corrugations show 'neath Akubras deep shade
and look deep into squinting eyes, to read the hands they've played.
A plaited leather belt is worn with knife in leather pouch,
and worn blue jeans oft' stained and torn on lanky long legs slouch
over the worn, scuffed RM boots that polish never see.
And usually there's a dog - tucked close, right by the knee.
Our farmers make each dollar count, they punch above their weight,
they battle rising diesel costs, the added costs of freight.
Trade prices fall, and so does wool, grain prices ebb and flow,
and hours spent aren't nine to five as all farmers well know.
Our seasons come and seasons go, with drought and flood and fire,
one day they're fighting dust storms, the next in mud they're mired.
Two years in ten might just be good - with farm income rising -
the other eight, they quickly learn the art of compromising.
And yet they'll rise tomorrow with the dawning of the sun,
pull on their boots and venture forth to do what must be done.
These blokes are heroes unremarked, as is often the case,
They're Aussies, true blue, ridgey didge - and out here - commonplace.