The Theater of the Bush

To westward the sun seeks a comfort nocturnal,
Her warmth slipping under the covers ahead;
And daylight soon passes the threshold eternal,
Turns on the night-light and settles in bed.

Awakens from slumber those creatures encumbered
By prisons of sunlight and tethers of day.
Possums in number search treats to be plundered,
And kangaroos bound here and there as in play.

Silver dewdrops on muzzle, Fox pauses to puzzle
At traffic’s far rumble, the wonder of star;
But he has scents to follow, locations to nuzzle,
For meals of his making, wherever they are.

The powerful owl with talons at ready
Blinks in the moonlight, at watch in the trees,
For cockatoos fidgeting, rabbits unsteady,
Morsels of glider to snatch on the breeze.

For the night is a stage and each creature a player
With lines etched in paperbark, wattle, and stone;
Costumes of feather, fur, whisker, and layer
Of drama in theatre more grand than a throne.

As each act nears conclusion scripts seem an illusion,
For instinct ad-libs though the scenes are rehearsed,
And conflicts are settled, lives lost in profusion,
Heroes applauded, misfortunes reversed.

Until starlight flickers like spotlights made dimmer
And bouquets of sunlight descend from the east;
Then curtains of stillness slowly close to a glimmer
Of creatures contented with slumber for feast.

New players make ready for morning’s rendition,
Resplendent in costumes designed for their parts:
The lizard, echidna, brown snake, take position
On stage as the darkness of evening departs.


A Mist of Fears

Days are dark without exception since the tenth of June;
Midnight follows midnight, as lyrics merge with tune;
And yet it makes no difference, for joys are joys the same
Whether lit by brightest light or feeblest of flame.

Scent of Eucalyptus still wafts in midday sun,
And River sounds a joyful note on finding place to run
Beneath the skies where cockatoos return in raucous flight
To treetops as they congregate each starry, moonlit night.

Smoke from distant campfire brings treasures, none the same,
Without the need for knowing direction where they came;
And Breeze still moves the branches – I know because I feel
Tender leaf caresses, evening’s coolness real.

Yes, pleasures are abounding when senses know to look,
Not literally by eyesight since blindness closed the book
On vistas full of colour, faces, places, tones,
Images remembered, submerged like river stones.

I always will remember the day of accident,
The tenth of June set firmer than reinforced cement;
Losing sight forever, expecting to be poor,
Yet gaining in the process riches infinitely more.

Pearls of ancient wisdom unknown ‘til recent days,
The bounty of the seasons perceived in novel ways,
Preciousness of morning bestowing sounds intense,
Feelings always present now making greater sense.

And time will not diminish the beauty of your smile
Nor fade to shades of greyness those tresses which beguile,
Because I had the foresight to gather through the years
Snaps to lead me safely beyond a mist of fears.

Never take for granted, vision, hold it fast,
For who’s to say each picture may not be your last;
To store within the album of memories to draw
When hearing, touch, aroma, come firmly to the fore?


David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.

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9 Responses

    • David Watt

      Thank you Lorna for your kind words. The beauty of Nature always presents as a fine theme for poetry.

      • Lorna Davis

        David, I just wanted to add that, in A Mist of Fears, you’ve also taken a tragic situation and spun a thing of beauty out of it. This is the realm of Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy; I personally believe the arts of sorrow are a precious gift we have for dealing with all that life can throw at us. Rather than a lament, though, you’ve created a hymn to the beauty that remains, and a song of gratitude. Thank you for sharing these with us.

    • Grahame Watt.

      I agree – Davids poems are just beautiful.
      Real Bush poetry and thought provoking.
      An artist with a pen.Congratulations David.

    • David Watt

      Lorna, I am gratified that someone of your standing has made comparison with Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy.
      I do believe that although difficult at times, we should strive to recognize and appreciate beauty under all of life’s circumstances.
      Beauty takes many forms and may be lost to the keenest eye, or shine bright to those unsighted.

  1. Lucy Mulholland

    Both these beautiful poems painted vivid pictures in my mind. So well written. Well done David!

    • David Watt

      Thanks so much Lucy! I am glad the feelings intended in each poem have come through in some way.

  2. william hurst

    I have been trying to get in touch with Grahame Watt as I love his poem Goodbye Grandad and I would like to buy a copy of “I Likes a Laugh”
    Can you help me?
    Bill Hurst


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