Was My Country

I love your sprawled-out cities
A land of metro-plains
Of enraged private drivers
Of traffic and seldom trains
I love her far-flung carparks
I love her dual-carriaged streets
The roaring of the engines
The wide-tarred land for me!

The love of bicycle riders
Who use so little space
Of bike lanes well constructed
Disappearing without a trace
Strong love of these two-wheelers
Who breathe sweet monoxide
While within each motorist’s heart
Inspire hatred as they ride.

A stark land of forgotten corner stores
All tragically closed down
The widened roads pass by them
As commuters rush crosstown
Green islands lie at impasse
Where coils of cars stream oft
Where pedestrians are a nuisance
Skin fair and bones so soft

Core of progress, my country!
Her pointless urban expanse
Where children are endangered
By the four-wheeled metal dance
Each time they wish to venture
Over street from safe foot path
They offer up tiny lives
To the gods of fender’s wrath!

Core of progress, my country!
Land of street-lights gold
For incense burnt in worship
For another land parcel sold
Over paddocks once so fruitful
Watch rooftops glitter bright
They send your sweet rain seawards
Our oceans pay the price

A petroleum-hearted country
A once unique brown land
All terrors bestowed upon her
Great wonder nature doth stand!
Though your splendours once were many
And your people very few
Your land is now black, not brown
As your skin colour once was too.

After battling traffic in Sydney and ‘enjoying’ the sounds of traffic over breakfast this morning I penned this parody to Dorothea MacKellar’s “My Country”. No disrespect meant to that beautiful piece, but romanticism must meet satire once romance has left the building.