per kind permission of Merv Webster -The Goondiwindi Grey
The old bloke wasn’t all that fussed, but Mal said, “No buts, son.
You take your swag and old blue too and have a bit of fun.”
The cities razzle-dazzle really blew old Jackos’ mind
And Blue marked every light pole in Kings Cross that he could find.
Some dealer asked the ringer if he’d like to score a hit,
So Jacko decked him on the spot. He didn’t mind a bit.
A scrawny, scabby tabby then appeared from out a drain
Which sent the old blue cattle dog completely off his brain.
Blue followed Jackos precedent and took the moggy out
And both were feeling pretty good. They didn’t might a bout.
They wandered down the street a way and walked into a bar,
Where Jacko thought the blokes all dressed a little bit bizarre.
Then as he knocked a schooner down he asked this chap how come,
Some blokes were slipping other blokes a rather tidy sum.
“You silly great big sausage dear. We’re gay here, can’t you tell.”
“Who wouldn’t be?” smiled Jacko “I’d be rather chuffed as well.”
The worms were biting by this time so Jacko turned to Blue
And hinted he could eat a horse and chase the rider too.
They’d had enough of fish and chips and thought they’d have some Thai,
That oriental tucker place big Mal said they should try.
The restaurant was open and the ringer found a seat
And tried to read the menu, but the lingo had him beat.
He called the waiter over, who spoke worse then Jacko read,
So reasoned why not gesture to the little bloke instead.
He pointed to the menu, then to him and down at Blue,
Convinced the confused waiter would now know just what to do.
Then suddenly a grin appeared upon the waiter’s dial
And Jacko thought ... he’s got it ... and responded with a smile.
The waiter beckoned to old Blue who followed in pursuit
And Jacko thought ... that’s service ... and he thought it rather cute.
I wonder what he’ll give old Blue; he does deserve a treat.
A change I guess from biscuits and a chunk of old corned meat.
Old Jacko sipped a glass of wine and sat there patiently
And entertained himself by playing spoons upon his knee.
He wondered just what sort of dish the waiter had in mind
He’d never eaten Thai before or tucker of that kind.
Then from the crowded kitchen came the waiter with a tray,
A meat dish cooked in spices and done in the old Thai way.
He lay it on the table and he said “You like it chum?”
But Jacko look dumbfounded and his body went quite numb.
His look was rather fearful like and tears came to his eyes
And all the boys from back of Bourke they would have heard his cries.
For there beneath the crackly was his one and only mate
Old Blue his only friend in life dished up upon a plate.
Poor Jacko went beserk they say and tore the place apart
And ended up a nervous wreck and with a weakened heart.
These days he’s in a nursing home and life is full of bliss,
But Jackos never eaten meat from that day down to this.
©Bush Poet Merv Webster The Goondiwindi Grey
AUS $19.98 plus p&h
I love people who believe in themselves and have a good go at things that suits their talents. It is a delight to see the way Merv [The Goondiwindi Grey] and Chris take their show Laughter and Tears from the Bush around Australia, charming people with their great range of poetry and yarns. I know good performers when I see them, and here are a couple of the best.
No wonder Merv sold all copies of his first six books and had to reprint. Merv and Chris now present this fine collection, A Muster of Australiana, to give readers a taste of all their earlier books. I am certain that readers will derive as much pleasure as I have had from reading, first, the fascinating Biography “In Days Gone By” and then the selection of poems, the best, from the six previous titles.
What a good idea. What a bargain. The poetry ranges right through the emotional scale. You’re laughing out loud one minute, reflecting the next and occasionally wiping a tear. That’s what good poetry’s all about. It’s very Australian, and that suits me.
Ted Egan AM.
Alice Springs 2002
Contact Merv or email Merv.The Goondiwindi Grey or the snail mail trail is P.O. Box 8211, Bargara, Qld, 4670 PH 07 41591868