First published 25/10/2006 Green Left Issue 688
and in Union Songs
Mary River – childhood home
I’ve seen your banks eroding
watched farmers plough your loam
now there’s a dark foreboding
because of the pending dam,
which will block your waters,
the gentle waters where I swam.
It’s going to dislodge farmers
force families from their land.
Let’s stop the political charmers.
Struggling farmers need a hand.
Mary River you once flowed free
from Boorumba to the sea.
You are a very scenic river;
to drought and flood you’re prone
I’ve surveyed your raging torrents
and observed you dry as bone.
I’ve watched your Lungfish playing
and caught your Eastern Cod,
admired the Black Ducks flying
whilst on your banks I stood.
I’ve waded in your waters,
fished Mullet at the overflow
and in floods of ’55
nearly drowned in your undertow.
I’ve eaten your Silver Catfish
devoured your Eel Tailed Jew
and watched drought-breaking rains
make you flow anew.
Lungfish are totally protected
except from these dam engineers
safe for 150 million years
but not from political careers.
They claim they need your water
to flush down sewerage mains
to build more concrete jungles;
I wish they’d use their brains.
They’ll kill the mighty Lungfish,
devastate the Eastern Cod
they’ve the hide to call it progress
cause Mammon is their God.
It’s environmental wilfulness
as they reap so shall they sow
the destruction they will cause means
that these politicians have to go.
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson