A LESSON OF LOVE
Our replacement teacher surely was recruited from
Old fashioned suit and tie pin, neatly combed grey
"Please be seated, girls and boys, I'll be with
you in a moment "
Flicking through a few more work books from the
stack beside his chair.
"So, you've studied modern Europe and can name the
Plus all the Presidents of U. S. A.,
Today, class, we'll not be concerned with any of
Kindly put your history books away.
Now - open up your Atlas at the page I indicate,
Ah! You think you know this country - I can tell,
The old familiar outline, the division of each
Of course you know Australia, but - do you know
Here's a large land mass surrounded by a wash of
Thin coastal fringe of varied shades of green,
Vast central section printed in a vivid yellow hue,
Dark lines depicting rivers, few and far between.
I see you learn a little Latin and translate
Can locate Lourdes or Lima, but can you describe
The lands of Yorta Yorta, the Aranda territories,
Or speak one word of the language of the Pitjant-
Do you understand the sea songs that whisper on
Decipher faint script traced on drifted snow?
Share the ancient secrets of the shimmering inland?
Or read wind signals semaphored through storm
You too, may hear the siren call the first
Feel the pioneering spirit, the dreams that drove
Realise that you'd lay down your life for this
Lessons learned from living, not the homework you
You will never know Australia - she will always
keep a part
Untouched and undiscovered, remote as those stars
Where the Southern Cross wheels over her timeless,
You will never know this country, yet this country
you will love.
A quickly muffled giggle, someone hissed ' old
There are always those amused by classroom fools,
Most of us sat silent, stirred strangely to the
We're not taught about Australia in our schools.