Living the Life of Reilly

A poem about our prospecting life around Australia...

The wind blows in from the cool south-east,

And I know that it’s time we were gone.

But there’s cleaning and sorting and packing to do,

When it’s done, only then, we move on.

Which road shall we take on our trip, this time round?

Is it North? To the South…or the West?

Take a chance, meet a mate or just head ‘out bush’,

Anywhere…anytime, it’s the best.

The journey is long either way we might go,

As the towns flash on by through the night.

Never stop, take a look - just cruise on past,

The flash of gold lures you on, out of sight.

The clock winds back but time stands still,

As the tar turns to dust, fine and brown.

The sun comes up and the sun goes down,

When you’re an hour from the nearest town.

Each day passes by and the silence is sweet,

There’s no phones, no TV and no cars.

Just the song of the birds and the laughter of boys,

As they sit round the fire, ‘neath the stars.

There’s time to read and there’s time to cook,

Even try weary hands at old crafts.

And the man of the van comes home late, fit and tan,

‘Just a few in the jar,’ he laughs.

Family back home scratch their heads as we roam,

Think we must have a few loose up top.

But it’s boom or it’s bust when you have to make a crust,

Once you start, bills will not let you stop.

The years pass on by and the harder we try,

To make this life, pay its way for our kids.

But the value of time, with our boys, not yet nine,

Is still not, what you’d swap, just for quids.

And as Reilly would say as he wanders away,

‘Go and live…take your time, do not rush.’

For the gold that you find (more than that left behind),

Looks at you, through the eyes, of Tim and Josh.

Frieda Berry-Porter
Halls Creek 2007

Living the Life of Reilly