Welcome to Dave Berman's Bush Poetry
Blue was owned by a man who ran a large cattle station in outback Australia. Together they looked after 10,000 cattle. The man (Blue's boss) went broke in the drought and they had to move into town.
Blue the Dog
Blue's me name and I'm a dog. A cattle dog in town.
Where there's no cows or bulls for me to chase around
So I chase cars, bite postman's legs, I killed the neighbour's chook
That's why I'm tied up down the back full of feathers feelin' crook
Sometimes I go inside the house. Usually Friday nights
I get thrown bits of pizza while the boss swallows great big bites.
Like last Friday night excited, I was invited in for tea
And we both watched the tellie, just me boss and me
Outside the wind ferociously blew across the ridge
Bringing with it dust. The boss grabbed a tinnie from the fridge
And settled on the couch to watch the video
A Western, lots of cattle and wagons in a row
Outside the dust so thick rolled across the range
(Like waves crashing on the beach)
I scratch myself a lot because I've got the mange
There was dust on the tellie too caused by all the cattle
And the cowboys and the Indians as they fiercely battle
An Indian shot a cowboy and all the cattle bolt
I'd love to chase those cattle and help the cowboys halt
The wild stampede. They splashed through a raging creek.
I went and scratched at the door to say, "I want a leak".
While the Indians all lined up right along a ridge
Preparing to attack, the boss grabbed another tinnie from the fridge
And staggered back passed me still scratching at the door.
He says "go on shut up!!!" so I lay down on the floor
And thought. Now I'm the most devoted mate the boss will ever get.
I bite at strangers trousers and growl at any threat
And yet, for hours I tried to say, "I'd love to see a tree
And run about out in the wind and do a pee or three."
The boss missed the ending of the movie he was sleeping on the floor
When his wife came home from the disco and opened up the door.
I ran into the yard to cock my leg and sniff.
Smelt like the bitch on heat next door. That's my favourite whiff.
Just then I heard some shouting coming from the house.
The poor old boss is having some trouble with his spouse.
"Go on get outside" she cried "tie up that bloody dog!"
"You haven't done the washing up you lazy loafing log!"
"Lying there drunk, like you always do!"
"Go on get outside, " she cried "tie up bloody Blue!"
While tied up down the back there's lots of time to think.
There's lots of time to stand and walk around and drink.
There's lots of time to sit and chew a bone and scratch.
And use my teeth to crunch the fleas and flies I catch.
There's lots of time to think of Friday night TV
When we're both allowed inside and there's just my boss and me.
© David McK. Berman 1990
"Blue the Dog" took 5 years to complete. I tried it many times on audiences with little success. The start was OK but I couldn't find a good ending. I kept making changes until it worked. It has been my most requested poem and is on an "Australia All Over Album" produced by the Sunday morning ABC radio show. Remember it works best when recited live to an audience.
Blue the dog