The Poetry of Brian Langley
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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