Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.



When you're sucking on your pencil,

and you don't know what to say,

When you wish the flamin' census

had never seen the light of day

There's always, one small item left,

Considered good to tell.

It doesn't take much writing,

"Dear Mum, I'm safe and well".


The tucker may be "onkers".

The water pretty crook

You haven't had a drop of beer,

Since Wavell took Tobruk,

You've been up before the skipper

For being AWL

But take your pen and write it down

"Dear Mum, I'm safe and well".


You've heard the Jerry bomber

Come screaming overhead

And it isn't very pleasant

To be dodging lumps of lead

When you're lying in the trenches

Midst hail of shot and shell

You still have time to send a line

"Dear Mum, I'm safe and well".


A grey haired mother standing

Beside the old bush track,

Waiting for the mailman,

For news of soldier Jack

A smile lights up her worried face,

With a beauty words can't tell

As she reads the familiar words

"Dear Mum, I'm safe and well".


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