[Editor: A poem by “Kookaburra”. Published in The Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 30 January 1931.]
Here and There.
Note. — One of our friends writes these lines under the nom de plume of “Kookaburra.” He is well known in his district, but his retiring modesty causes him to shrink from being dubbed the “Poet Laureate” of his district.
Some people now are quite disturbed
Through councillors and seats;
While some are really much perturbed
About the price of eats.
They say the butcher is too dear,
The baker’s overcharging;
While Boniface his pots of beer
Just now should be enlarging.
Though whisky has been broken down
And is a little cheaper,
There’s nothing gained because to drown
Our cares, we’re drinking deeper.
That he who runs the apple shop
Is on an even wicket.
For while the prices rise and drop
He’ll seldom change a ticket.
The grocer, too, is doing well,
But here the secret lies.
He simply has to buy and sell,
And freely advertise.
The smithy carries on somehow,
Though work is not aplenty.
For horsey, with his tail up now,
Is barely one in twenty.
But bravely to his job he sticks.
And cheerfully he whistles.
For he still sharpens hoes and picks
For those who’re blest with thistles.
For now the motor car rolls on,
The Juggernaut of woe.
Though hope is lost and credit gone,
On all the roads they go.
And many millions will we spend
On foreign motor cars
Ere all our weary souls ascend
To mingle with the stars.
And where will all the “shofers” go —
To heaven they’ll surely pass;
Or will they wander down below
For a refill of gas?
And as we to destruction go,
There’s always something new in.
The motor car is now too slow —
We fairly fly to ruin.
Now crazy golf is everywhere
It must be very catching.
If we’d a plague of flies, I swear
There’d be no time for scratching.
A parson prays with much alarm
For sinners in the city.
Those dependent on a farm
Should now arouse his pity.
A farmer growing hay to sell
Is simply courting trouble;
’Twere better far to take a spell
And try to pick a double.
Another having wheat to sow
May do so now until
He finds that he himself must go
For a clearance through the mill.
Though he who milks the moo cows here
Is never unemployed.
He finds that now from year to year
Less profits are enjoyed.
The land boom, too, has come a slump,
And he would be a hero
Who’d buy a shop site on a dump,
Where things are back to zero.
Our civic fathers do their bit,
But what it is we wonder.
Argument seems to give them zest,
Whilst their paths move asunder.
But now the winter comes apace,
And one of discontent.
And who will enter for the race
Or scratch for the event.
And should one with a certain cure
Be fitted for the job.
And should he be a Simon pure,
He can be made His Nob.
The Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic.), 30 January 1931, p. 3
blest = (archaic) blessed
Boniface = the keeper or proprietor of a hotel, inn, nightclub, or restaurant; from Boniface, an innkeeper in The Beaux’ Stratagem (1707), a comedic play by George Farquhar (1678-1707)
nob = (slang) someone of social importance, a person in change, or someone who is wealthy
nom de plume = (French) “name of pen”, pen-name; pseudonym; an assumed name
shofer = a vernacular spelling of “chauffeur”, the hired driver of a car
Simon pure = genuine, real; pure, untainted; from “the real Simon Pure”, a Quaker impersonated by Colonel Fainwell in “A Bold Stroke for a Wife” (1717), a play by Susannah Centlivre (1669-1723)
ticket = price ticket, a sheet of paper placed with goods in a shop, with an amount written or printed on it to show the cost of the goods