If ever there’s a campfire, rekindled as the sun goes down,
where ghosts of articulated writers, return and gather ‘round;
raise their glasses to a toast to commemorate their rhyme,
I wish that I could be there if they gathered just one time.
The awe would be amazing, as they recalled our young country,
as we grew out of ‘childhood’ at the end of the last century,
where man and horse immortalized, would blaze our new frontier.
I would disregard the ‘here and now’ for their writings then to hear.
So stoke the fire ‘Banjo’ mate, lift the hair upon my neck.
Let me ride with you your dashing steed, flared nostrils and unchecked.
So graceful burns your outback; I urge the blaze reach higher,
so ‘Banjo’, won’t you be a mate and put another log upon the fire.
And as you do the flame will lift; only your voice will be heard.
I’ll sit here amongst your peers and imitate you word for word,
for you breathe the outback into laughter, rhyme and bubbling mirth,
and draft the patriotic feelings for the hands that toil the earth.
And if that campfire should burn low, for time often turns it’s back,
and we let the weeds grow thick and tall. We might lose our walking track.
History repeats itself surely; there is constant conflict on the land,
so we must turn the pages back and read from the people’s hand.
So stoke the fire Henry mate; read us all another verse.
Incite the flames inside my mind for those who feel much worse.
Cast your light to ‘edge the sword’. Pen your class desire.
So Henry won’t you be a mate and put another log upon the fire.
Then sparks shall fly and burn the flesh, of they who’d down-tread the poor,
and warm the hearts of the striking men who defy the corporate corps.
Fill the stomachs of the wretched souls, where hunger is so real.
Put faith back into broken hearts and return their backs to steel.
As the night grows deeper and the Southern Cross grows brighter,
more logs are thrown upon the fire, as up steps every writer.
McKellar, Gilmore, Gordon, paint with words of bush-land hues.
Dennis, Kendell, Ogalvie, add heritage and humour to these views.
There’s all those other balladeers who may have added just one twig,
and so they keep the campfire burning, although not quite as big,
but their feelings are as real; they’ve lashed out and struck the core,
of Australia and Australians, fighting drought, flood, fire and war.
With the waking from my dreaming, there’s the book still on my knees,
and I can feel the lore still with us with the movement in the trees,
There’s still enough of us Australians who can keep the legend growing …
so come on put your pens to paper, and keep the ‘campfire’ glowing.
Copyright © Lindsay Laurie | Year Posted 2021
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