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U3A Writing: Murray Musings

Elaline Lawtons poetic musings flow as smoothly as the great Murray river.

Down at the wharf where the paddlers churn,
Whipping the Murray water to foam,
Whistling steam as the great wheels turn,
Bringing their goods and passengers home.

That's where the infant city was born
Anderson's sawmill, the engineers
Redgum for loading stacked and sawn
Awaiting high river, before the weirs.

The mallee was cleared and the pines were posts,
The vines were planted, the fruit trees grew,
The aborigines fled like ghosts
From the white man's settlement strange and new.

The Murray smiled in the summer sun,
Sky-blue reflected in dun-brown depths,
Before the 14 drought had begun
And the trickle was dammed and the settlers wept.

The years have been good, or bad - or both
Depending on timing of rain or heat,
And paddlewheels still churn the water to froth
And the tourists thrill to their steady beat.

But the ancient sea left its legacy here,
Edging the swamps with sparkling lace,
And the water carries it, always near
As the 'salt of the earth' turns its other face.

Bringing the flood, surviving the drought,
The Murray flows on its placid course,
Our life-support system, without a doubt,
Its life in our hands, a precious resource.

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