I wrote this not long after leaving Darwin to come and live in Hobart….
The love of palm and coconut
Of flesh-warm tropic rains
Of sand and surf and bathing-suits
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of suntan lotion
Of cloudless glaring skies
I know but cannot share it
My love is otherwise.
I love a wintry island
Where snow falls on the ground
Where the air is full of wood-smoke
And storms don’t muck around.
Where it’s not too hot for woolly scarves
Or gloves or roll-neck jumpers
And boots are fine though I draw the line
At those ugly fleece-lined numbers.
I love the way those winter clothes
Can make you look lots thinner
And you don’t work up a sticky sweat
Just eating a big roast dinner.
I like the friendly ‘click’ you get
When you turn on your leckie blankie
And it’s never too hot when you fancy a spot
Of good old hanky-panky.
You can have your squishy mangoes
Your paw-paws rich as blood
I’ll take the fruit of the good cold earth
The apple and the spud.
You can have your humid northern climes
With their swarms of flies and mozzies
You can stick those flying cockroaches
In a very darkened possie.
I shall not grieve if I never perceive
Of crocodiles one more trace
I like a land where nature’s grand
But the wildlife knows its place.
I shall not weep if I can’t sleep
‘Neath a rackety ceiling-fan
I’d very much sooner be wrapped in a doona
A snug Tas-man-i-an!
(With apologies to Dorothea Mackellar)