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More wonderful poems by Joy. All printed with kind permission of her daughter Janet King.

DX BEFORE DISHES!

DX before dishes?
That's alright I suppose,
The dishes are always with us,
The DX comes and goes.

And though the dust is inches thick
That is a matter minor
When you hear above the QRM
A YL voice from China.

Crumbs upon the carpet?
You can't vacuum the floor!
You might miss, above the cleaner's noise
A chat with Labrador.

What if you haven't made the beds,
Or if the kids are bawling?
These things are unimportant,
If you hear San Felix calling!

What if the lawn needs mowing,
All the windows ceased to shine?
Who cares about those boring chores
When Svalbard's five by nine?

The OM's bent the tin-opener?
Well, who can think of cooking,
When Africa is coming in
And round the bands you're looking.

BUT - if you do the dishes
(With one ear to the set)
Here's a bit of good advice
'Twould pay not to forget:

If you should hear some rare DX
Which everything surpasses,
Don't "drop what you are doing"
If you're washing crystal glasses!

REFLECTIONS IN THE RAIN

The autumn day is dying as I listen once again
To the misty, moisty monotone of gently falling rain;
Remembering another time - was it so long ago?
Faces shadowy, reflected in the flickering firelight's glow.

The bright eyes of my children toasting damper for their tea;
Friendly old log fire inviting "Pull your chair up close to me".
In our cosy little cabin, raindrops pelting on the roof;
Though it wasn't much to look at, well at least 'twas waterproof.

When the creek, a rushing torrent, races o'er stones and rotting logs,
And Dan and Ben our neighbour pulled each other out of bogs
"Neath wishy clouded mountain tops, mysterious and stange,
And our whole world was locked within that wild Victorian Range.

Boiling up the battered copper, washing nappies when the sun
Rose in hazy mazy majesty, spring morning just begun,
And shy blue wrens were nesting hidden deep within the scrub,
Little swallows darting here and there above my old wash tub.

From sunlit paddock by the stream I'd see my children come
With noisy chatter bringing home some wild bush flowers for mum.
Not orchids, or gardenias, no roses would I see;
But those scraggly wilting daisies meant a whole lot more to me.

When daytime toil was over, and the Tilley-lantern lit,
Children tucked up in their beds we'd often go and sit
Watch the moon roll up, a golden ball on ghostly mountaindside,
Shine on graceful flying phallangers, in daring aerial glide.

Life was far from easy, we'd no carpet on our floor,
Electricity or telephone, or lock upon the door,
A fuel stove cooked our scones and pies; the kids clothes all were made
On an ancient treadle sewing machine for which twelve pounds was paid.

Now - two of those dear little ones are gone for ever more,
And we live in a larger house than we ever had before;
But at times I think I'd rather be in our cabin in the bush,
Where we didn't fret or worry, and we didn't fuss or rush.

We had no modern conveniences to help us on our way,
But are we really more contented, any happier today?
And the night is dark and gloomy as I listen once again
To the dirgy, doleful drumming of the pounding autumn rain!

I'M HEADING FOR THE BUSH!

You say "I don't like the country, the city life's for me".
You like the fashionable shops and going out to tea.
The constant surge of traffic and the ceaseless beat of feet.
Pounding out a rhythm as they hurry down the street.

The neon signs which permeate the somberness of night.
Beaming seductive messages in a blaze of garish light.
The hustle and the bustle and the ever changing scene
Of the people, and the traffic in a maze of red and green.

And air-conditioned offices, and going to a show,
Where the plushy, warm interior emits a welcome glow,
And the evening's lost in merriment, frivolity and fun
When you linger at a nightclub long after day is done.

I can understand your feelings, but we're different, you and I.
The attractions of the city somehow seem to pass me by.
I hasten to the bush again, to breath the clean fresh air,
And to marvel at creation and the peace that I find there.

When a myriad stars bespangle, the Southern Cross dips low,
And a gentle night breeze whispers the dreams of long ago,
Brushing shadowy trees with gossamer as shy bush creatures creep
To forage food, and gambol while the daytime world's asleep.

There's a hush, a sudden stillness at the first faint flush of dawn,
When all of nature holds its breath in wonder at the morn.
A twittering starts, and presently an avian song holds sway,
As the radiant sun arises heralding a pristine day.

In burbling bubbling merriment a little creek flows down,
Weaving beyond scrub-covered hills beyond the tiny town,
Sometimes in a hurry, sometimes just a crawl,
Sometimes dissolved in water-holes, not moving much at all.

I see your skepticism, nature's not always serene,
Sometimes her face is darkened by a very different scene.
Yes, we've know our droughts and floods, all had our hard times too,
But bush folk are resilient, and somehow they pull through.

Bush folk help each other, 'specially when the going's rough,
Rebuild the shattered pieces, though the outlook's grim and tough,
And there's always compensations as the seasons come and go,
A satisfying way of life most city folk don't know.

So I'll farewell the bright lights, the country life for me,
Though you would find it boring. We'll agree to disagree!
You don't like the slower pace, and I can't stand the rush,
So you can have the city - I'm heading for the bush!

OUR YEOVIL VISITORS

Arrangements are proceeding,
Excitement grows apace.
The great Yeovil Invasion
Will soon be taking place.

We've all been making ready,
Our welcome speeches written.
When their bus comes thundering into town
We'll greet each Yeovil Briton.

Our catering arrangements
Are simple, but quite good.
We thought we'd give these visiting Poms
Some genuine Aussie food.

So we'll cut the kangaroo steaks up
And light the barbecue.
Add a cup of water
To the tasty possum stew.

Bedeck the baked goanna;
Go out in the scrub
To hunt out the elusive
Fat white witchetty grub.

We'll cook camp oven damper,
And lots of billy tea.
(But we'll make a stack of sandwiches
For the likes of you and me!)

This will be a visit
They'll talk of year by year;
'Cos if they get through that lot,
Then they've nothing more to fear.

We'll take them round our Yeoval School,
Attend the local show,
And we'll be so disappointed
When it's time for them to go.

So to our friendly English "Twin"
We surely wish you well.
We'll try to turn the sunshine on
And give the clouds a spell.

And though our towns are different,
And very far apart,
Although we're small, I think you'll find
We've got a great big heart!