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Colin J. Patterson

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology


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Different strokes for different folks    

From his home beneath the mountains,
In his shabby, leather chair,
Sat the old high country farmer.  
With the log fire burning there.    

He was feeling tired, but happy,
For the muster was complete,
Of the flock down from the mountain,
Safe from rain, and hail, and sleet.    

From the unforgiving Winter,
And the drifts of powered snow,
To the sheltered lowland paddocks,
Where the golden tussocks grow.      

From a lifetime on the station,
He had gained a love of art,
And a passion for the poet,
As he rode the station pass.    

Now word had reached the station,
Of the work of P. McGahn,  
Purchased for a milliom dollars,
People came from near and far.    

So he set out for the city,  
In the early morning glow,  
And crossed the braided river,
With the Winter's lower flow.    

From the river, through the foothills,
Leading to the patchwork plain,  
Where there's dairy cows in thousands,
And there once were fields of grain.     

As he closed in on the city,
Emerging in the morning sun,  
There were shepherds in the paddocks,
For the lambing had begun.    

Soon he reached the central city,
With the latest art on show,
And he parked beside the river,
Where the weeping willows grow.    

With acute anticipation,
And a spring in every step,  
He approached the glass-clad building,
Where the art treasures are kept.    

There he stood before the painting,  
The academics "Ohh'd" and "Ahh'd",  
While the cocky from the station,  
Stood with craggy jaw ajar.    

Oh the painting was a plaster,
Splats of blue, and green, and gold,
Was the artist really famous?,  
Or, a lad of six years old?    

So he trudged on through the building,
Wishing he had never come,
Wondered who could be so foolish,
To buy that work for such a sum.    

Then he came upon a painting,
Of a proud old Maori chief,
And the skill of the creator,
Was a skill beyond belief.    

From the furrows on his forehead,  
To the moko on his chin,  
See the wrinkles, see the texture,  
On the gnarled and weathered skin.            

See the power, see the wisdom,
Captured in the chieftan's eye,
See the cloak of kiwi feathers,
This will thrill the passers-by.      

Yet those city academics,  
Stood with silent jaws ajar,
While the cocky from the station,
Gazed in wonder and "Ohh'd" and "Ahh'd".    

No, the city academics,
Scarcely gave a second glance,  
To this work of C. F. Goldie,
That held the station boss in trance.      

So he trudged back to his Hilux,
Coated thick in crusted clay,
The artistic taste of academics,  
Left him bewildered, and dismayed.    

So he set off for the mountains,
Where the braided river flows,
To his home below the hillside,
Where the golden tussocks grow.

There he sits beside the fire,
In his shabby leather chair,
Safe from the closing Winter,
And the frosty mountain air.

 


 


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