Shearer's Letter Home

(from New Guinea)

R.A. Waters


You can have my combs and cutters,
I'll not need them again
In this land of range and jungle
And never ending rain.

When they ring the bell at Rockwood
I'll not be in the pen,
They'll have to get another gun
To race the southern men.

My feet are deep in mud and slime
Instead of snowy fleece,
With the bark of a tommy-gun
To break my rest and peace.

Creepers and vines above my head
Instead of Cooper gear;
I have a different machine
From that I used last year.

You're eating dinner in the huts,
And having smoke-ohs too;
I'm dining out on luxuries
Like bully beef and stew.

The going's rough, the Japs are tough,
The pace is rather slow,
But not worse than shearing hoggets
In scores of sheds I know.

I'm not out in the lead here,
I'm battling for a place,
Holding on with a fighting team
Setting the blasted pace.

I wish my mates a lengthy run,
A cut that's fairly good,
Not much wet weather, and light sheep -
As any shearer would.

And I hope that we will soon cut out,
That home leave will be strong;
So use my combs and cutters,
And until then - so long.

Fire of the Southern Cross: A Collection of Poetry for Australian Nationalists

Australian Nationalism Information Database -