Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems




From the George Bateman Collection, copiled by Howard Rose.


 The Tale of Doom


Here I sit on Isle of Crete,

Bludging on my blistered feet,

Little wonder I've got the blues,

With feet encased in big canoes,

Khaki shorts, instead of slacks,

Living like a tribe of "Blacks"

Except "Blacks" don't sit and brood,

And wait throughout the day for bits of food.


Twas just a month ago, no more,

We sailed to Greece to win the war.

We marched and groaned beneath our load,

While bombers blasted us off the road.

They chased us here, they chased us there,

The bastards chased us everywhere,

And while they dropped their loads of death,

We cursed the bloody R.A.F.


Yet the R.A.F. were there in force,

They left a few at home of course,

We saw the entire force, one day,

When a fighter shot the other way,

And when we heard the wireless news,

When "portly Winston" gave his views,

"The R.A.F, he said, "in Greece,

Are fighting hard to give us peace".


And as we scratched our heads in thought,

This smells distinctly like a wrought,

And if in Greece the Air Force be,

Then where the bloody hell are we?


And then one day we  met the "Hun",

At odds of thirty three to one,

And though they made it pretty hot,

We gave the "bludgers" all we'd got.

The bullets whizzed, the big guns roared,

We howled for ships, to get aboard.

At last they came, and on we got,

And hurried from this cursed spot.


And then they landed us in Crete,

And marched and marched us off our feet.

The food was light, the tucker crook,

I got fed up and "slung the hook".

Returned that night, chock full of wine,

And next day, copped a two quid fine.


My pay-book was behind to Hell,

When "pay" was called I said "aw well".

They won't pay me now, I'm sure of that,

And when they did, I smelt a rat.

The next day, when rations came,

I realised their wryly game,

For sooner than sit down and die,

We spent our "dibs" in food supplies.


So now it looks like even betting,

A man will soon become a Cretian,

And spend his days in blackout gloom,

On Adolf Hitler's Isle of Doom.


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