The Poetry of Brian Langley

 

This poem was written in three sections over 13 years  The first part, titled Guilderton was a submission to the ABC Sunday Morning program "Australia all over", for the segment "Why I live where I live" - It was broadcast in May 1993
In 1996,  A development company put forward plans for a large residential development on the south side of the river, in what was then a mixture of  virgin sand dunes,  heath land and some degraded farmland.  I was not impressed with this idea and wrote the second part - I retitled the combined poem as "Moore River Blues" 
After many changes and counter-changes to the development plan, in 2006, the then Government of Western Australia made a decree that the development would not happen,  I then wrote part three of the poem. 
In 2008, a new government reversed the previous decision, but with considerable restrictions on the size of the development -  We wait for the next episode in this saga. 

Parts 1 and 2 of this poem are in  my booklet "Sun, Sand and Saltwater"    Parts 1 and 3 and the beginning of part 2 are presented here

Moore River Blues

(GUILDERTON)

In a quiet little village, about an hour north of Perth,
I've got a modest cottage on my special bit of earth.
I look out on the ocean, and the river flowing near,
And know I'm very lucky, that I am living here.
For I watch perpetual motion, in the river and the sea.
In the colours and the texture: They set my spirit free

At dawn and in the evening, I hear the magpies trill,
And the kookaburras laughing, on the tree up on the hill
And high up in the tree tops, on every branch and fork
I watch the antics of the birds, as they squabble, chatter, squawk.
And 'neath the trees, the silver-eyes and wrens are quietly drawn
to flutter in the rainbows of the sprinkler on my lawn.

Then in the spring, the heath lands, come alive with vivid hues
Of wildflowers in every shade of yellows, reds and blues.
On many mornings, early, when the breeze is easterly
I stand knee deep in water casting bait into the sea
I'm often times rewarded, with tailor, herring, whiting.
But the joy is in the sunrise. (It's a bonus if they're biting)

Some days when its a trifle cool and the morning air is chilly.
I chase a little golf ball on fairways green and hilly.
My handicap! Now what is that. I neither know nor care.
For the pleasure's not in counting, but just in being there.

You ask, why is it special? The reason's plain to see
I can forget the city's rush, and commune with earth and sea

Part 2 starts here

But paradise is threatened by the city's urban spread
Instead of trees and sandhills, there'll be rooftops there instead

For the far side of the river, where our children used to play
and families have their picnics on a windy summers day
Where the water birds go wading and the eagles soar above
This special place of nature, The place that many love
The place that makes a poet out of any common bloke
Is set to be all houses. A most unfunny joke

For the plan has now been published, its down in black and white
Houses almost to the river, A different kind of sight
And room to put a shopping mall, a library and a school
Will the company put them in there? If you think that, you're a fool

(22 lines not printed here  Then starts Part 3, here, but not in the booklets)

Now years on down life's highway, a light shines clear and bright,
The South Side River Urban Plan, has almost gone from sight.

For after near on ten long years of plans that came and went
And bleatings from the company regarding money spent.

The government has had its say, there'll be no urban zoo;
The land will stay much as it was, and the river, it will too.

And the voices of the people, who cried out in protest long
Can be heard along the river as they sing in joyous song.

And this little piece of paradise, where the river meets the sea
Will stay a place to be enjoyed by the likes of you and me.

(c) Brian Langley,  1993, 1996, 2006

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