Pitchin’ at the Church [poem by John O’Brien]

[Editor: This poem by John O’Brien was published in Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, 1921.]

Pitchin’ at the Church

On the Sunday morning mustered,
Yarning at our ease;
Buggies, traps and jinkers clustered
Underneath the trees,
Horses tethered to the fences;
Thus we hold our conferences
Waiting till the priest commences —
Pitchin’ at the Church.

Sheltering in the summer’s shining
Where the shadows fall;
When the winter’s sun is pining,
Lined along the wall;
Yarning, reckoning, ruminating,
“Yeos” and lambs and wool debating,
Squatting, smoking, idly waiting —
Pitchin’ at the Church.

Young bloods gathered from the others
Tell their dreamings o’er;
Beaded-bonneted old mothers
Grouped around the door;
Dainty bush girls, trim and fairy,
All that’s neat and sweet and airy —
Nell, and Kate, and Laughing Mary —
Pitchin’ at the Church.

Up comes someone briskly driving,
“Cutting matters fine”:
All his “fam’ly lot” arriving
Wander in a line
Off in some precise direction,
Till they find their proper section,
Greet it with an interjection —
Pitchin’ at the Church.

“Mornun’, Jack.” “Good mornun’, Martin.”
“Keepin’ pretty dry!”
“When d’you think you’ll finish cartin’?”
“Prices ain’t too high ?”
Round about the yarnin’ strayin’ —
Dances, sickness — frocks surveyin’ —
Wheat is “growed,” the “hens is layin’” —
Pitchin’ at the Church.

Published in:
John O’Brien. Around the Boree Log and Other Verses, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1921

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