Riding Once Again [poem, 18 January 1951]

[Editor: A poem published in The Western Mail, 18 January 1951.]

Riding Once Again

I dreamt old man that you and I
Were riding once again
Through fields of yellow Morrison,
Along the open plain.

Away along the scrubby bills;
And o’er their sloping crest
The grand old drooping smoke-bush lay
Like camping sheep at rest.

We passed the huts at Neerebub,
With jarrah slabs all grey.
The roofs of paperbark were down,
And fallen to decay.

No bushman’s voice to greet us now,
Nor dogs with welcome din.
Grey fencing rails lay scattered round,
The well had fallen in.

Gone are the rides of yesterday
With saddle horse and rein.
Old fires are dead. Their ashes cold
And we are old again.


The Western Mail (Perth, WA), 18 January 1951, p. 13

Editor’s notes:
jarrah = eucalyptus hardwood tree (Eucalyptus marginata), native to western Australia

Morrison = a flowering plant (Verticordia nitens), native to southwest Australia, commonly known as “Christmas Morrison” or “Morrison” (named after the Scottish plant collector William Morrison)

smoke-bush = the common name of various plant species around the world; in Australia, “smoke bush” may refer to Conospermum (a genus of 53 species; found all over Australia) and Adenanthos sericeus (a shrub native to the south coast of Western Australia; also commonly known as “Woollybush”)

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