The Poetry of Brian Langley
I'd seen the ads on TV shows, I'd seen it writ as text
How one day Queensland's beautiful, and perfect on the next.
The ads all show a tropic beach, with palm trees on the edge
And schools of multicoloured fish around a coral ledge
And folks reclining, drink in hand; a smile on every face.
Beside a pool, near golden sand. A lovely looking place.
This is the place for me I thought. Itís where Iíd like to be
Sitting, sipping Bundy Rum, beneath a shady tree
So off I went, four thousand K, across our country wide.
To find this paradise on earth, on our Nationís sunrise side.
East along the Barclay Road, in my motor home I drove
The road was wide and had no bumps. The evening sky turned mauve
And then I crossed the border. In Queensland now at last.
But the road was something shocking. And the sky was overcast
Was this to be an omen? Perhaps the ads were wrong.
But ever east I travelled, as I shook and bumped along.
Then finally I reached the sea, and headed up the coast
If they reckon itís a highway, they really shouldnít boast
Itís narrow, rough and dangerous. Thereís nowhere you can stop
Except for car parks right next door, To every 4X shop.
Eventually I saw a sign, it pointed to the beach.
Van Park bays at fifteen bucks! The price was in my reach.
It was a picture postcard place, Perhaps the ads were right.
With palm trees bending in the breeze, a lovely peaceful sight.
I was all set to have a swim, the ocean looked just fine
Till I saw at the waters edge, a great big Danger sign.
Do not swim in the ocean, except where thereís a net
Thereís jellyfishes here that kill; if ever you forget.
I looked around to find the net; there was no net to see
So all that I could do just there, was sit beneath a tree
So there I sat, an hour or two beneath the shady palms
I'd put some sun screen on my face, my body and my arms.
For I was an Australian. I knew of Slip Slop Slap.
But in this shady place I wore, just bathers and a cap
Then several hours later, come time to go to bed
My legs got very itchy, my skin was sore and red
I couldnít sleep at all that night, I scratched, I felt all hot.
So next day to the Docí who said, ďItís sand fly bites youíve got.
It seems that youíre allergic, and it really would be best
To stay inside, no beach for you. That is what Iíd suggest.
But meanwhile take this medicine, and rub this lotion on.
Youíll find, that in a week or two, the itches will have gone.
And by the way, Ďcos you are not, a local, I believe.
I donít bulk bill, feeís eighty bucks. Just pay before you leave.Ē
To read the remaining 17 verses, just buy my booklet, "The Forest and Other Verses"
” Brian Langley June 2004
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