My Country

A sunburnt country

As a writer I always appreciate the ability to weave words in such a way they’ll evoke an emotion or paint a picture This poem by Dorothea Mackeller is one of my favourites. I feel the spirit of Scotland when I go home – the lochs and the mountains move me deep in my core – (core of my heart) – they replenish my soul. So my first verse might look a little different to the love of field and coppice. And yet, my love for Australia is a different love. Mr P organised a month-long honeymoon around some breathtakingly ‘raw’ parts of Australia – remote townships, dusty plains and stunning seascapes. I fell in love with Australia on my own terms during that trip. I can’t help but ‘feel’ the words in this poem. I too love a sunburnt country. Dorothea Mackeller died in 1968 so this poem is still under copyright. However, I have received permission to use here so you can enjoy too.

Thank you for your creation Dorothea. Another magical example of how Gaia guides us home.  Reproduced here by arrangement with the Licensor, The Dorothea Mackellar Estate c/-Curtis Brown (Aust) Pty Ltd.

The love of field and coppice
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies
I know, but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror
The wide brown land for me!

The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon,
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops,
And ferns the warm dark soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When, sick at heart, around us
We see the cattle die
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the rainbow gold,
For flood and fire and famine
She pays us back threefold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze …

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand
though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.


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