Hilda Oakley

Australian author and poet

   Oct 02

Pioneers – Loggers of the Bush

Huddled round the crackling camp fire,
Telling tales, both tall and true,
Of a local rugged hero of the day.
He was no ordinary Aussie bloke,
But strong, suntanned, true blue,
Working hard from morn ‘till night for a meagre pay.

He kept the sawmill running,
By dragging huge logs from the bush,
Utilising the strength of his magnificent bullock team.
The animals were a cussed lot,
But he held the upper hand,
Using a stock-whip and colourful language, most profane.

He yoked the bullocks together
To haul timber across the land,
Cracked his whip to urge the surly beasts along.
Dragging heavy logs through forests thick,
They obeyed his every command,
Those beasts of burden were ever so strong.

He would never take a “sickie”,
Or shirk from a dangerous job,
But would labour on until the work was done,
He’d chop down a giant tree,
Trim it back into a log,
Then the bullocks, their days work had just begun.

The logs were carefully manoeuvred,
Loaded up onto the dray,
Using bullock power and driver expertise.
The timber tightly chained in place,
Then they were on their way,
To the mill, through dense forest, scrub and trees.



The timber-mill roared into action,
The mighty saw was spinning,
High pitched squeals pierced the quietness of the day.
It sliced through the enormous logs,
Though their ear-drums were still ringing,
They knew that selling the cut timber was their pay.

The logs were sawn into selected sizes,
Stacked neatly and left to dry,
A wagon would come and take the lumber away.
Then it’s back into the forest,
With bullocks, axe and saw,
As daylight breaks, he prepares for another tortuous day.

Hilda Oakley
Copyright © 21.06.2013

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