by / Wednesday, 31 March 2010 / Published in Poetry

It can seem so isolated, so far away from it all,
This place where the salmon gums grow proud and tall,
But to most who live here and have done so for years,
Amid the frustration, the anger and tears,
To sell up and shift would be utter madness,
The good times somehow override all the sadness.

During a drought the sheep starve and die,
And during a flood the waters run high,
Stock was away and fences let go,
Only those who’ve been through it would ever know,
Of the heartache, the anger, despair and frustration,
When flames eat the sheep feed and leave desolation.

In winter it’s green, slippery roads, bitter cold,
The frosts hit hard and the winds blow bold,
It’s preparing combines, fixing fences,
Then all hands on deck as seeding commences.

Tractor lights light up the hills like a city,
Tempers fray and it’s always a pity,
When during a breakdown, parts can’t be got,
City bloke doesn’t care if the crop’s in or not.

The dams will fill and the wheat grow tall,
But only if the right rains fall,
Wildflowers are bright and plentiful in spring,
Good prices it’s hoped the wool clip will bring,
Then with the heat the crops start to turn gold,
By now most of the wool has been sold.

The sheep are dipped for itch-mite and lice,
The days are now warm, sunny and nice,
And as they get hotter, the harvest begins,
For hours a day the header reel spins.

As the mercury rises, so does the thirst,
The “Gum Tree Tavern” comes alive with a burst,
Where else but here would you find such a thing?
Just come as you are and bring your own tins.

There’s no better place to boast bags to the acre,
Miles to the gallon, or who’s the best maker,
Of headers and trucks or how much water you’ve got,
In the paddock where the sheep are, they’ll talk the lot.

It’s heaven and hell, hard work, telling yarns,
It’s making a living out here on our farms,
For this is Pingaring, it’s a way of life,
Not many would trade it for the city and its strife.

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