The Poetry of Brian Langley


Old Hector


He’d be sitting on the footpath as I walked by each day.

His skin that once was shiny black, it seemed a mottled grey.

Beneath the Poinciana tree, the sunlight’s dappled shade,

Hid disfigurations that the sun and time had made.


A pair of faded, once black shorts, was all Old Hector wore;
With reading glasses on his head, though I don’t know what for.

I never saw him read a book, I’m told he knew not how,

But he knew well, the book of life; On that I’d take a vow.


For I’d been told that in his day, he’d been a man of worth,

Known for his special skills, from Wyndham down to Perth.

For he could read the signs he saw, like footprints in the sand;

He could always find fresh water in this dusty arid land.


He’d track the flight of finches: He’d watch the eagles soar.

He’d see the trees along the creek from fifteen miles or more:

And food, he’d find, enough for all, when there was none to see.

A kangaroo, deep in the shade, beneath a stunted tree.


The old explorers knew him well, his skills they’d often use.

A young man then, his name unsung, he didn’t make the news;

For he was black, and if at all, his presence got a note;

“Accompanied by a black tracker” was all the papers wrote.




Read the remaining 8 verses in my booklet  "The Forest and Other Verses" 


 ©  Brian Langley   20-7-2005


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