In the beginning were the words
and the words were printed in ‘The Age’
and the words became a deed of sale
for a piece of unbuggered bush
in the bush-be-buggered country.
And the sale became a track,
a dog and two cats,
and two city runaways
confident that ignorance would see them through.
And the ignorance became a nightmare
that rained forever,
was always delivered late,
broke down as soon as you were broke
and sacked you the first day the sun shone.
But the sun did shine
and the sunshine became foundations
and the mud and the sand and the straw became
and the bricks became belief
and belief became relief,
as the even bricks stacked up the odds
in favour of home,
where the hearth is,
for a dog and two cats and two country rebels,
who began with words,
bought a dream,
learned through lack of knowledge,
huddled together in pig-headed defiance of adversity,
danced in the sunshine
and made bricks and laid bricks
to live within their own shelter from the storm.
In the beginning they were impulsive,
in the middle they were insane.
At the end they are resolutely and incorrigibly
and they live on the only road
that leads to home.
This piece won a Highly Commended citation at the Deniliquin Writers Festival in 1994. The judges commended it for “its humorous demythologising of an urban-country movement evident these days. Nicely shaped too.”