© Brenda Joy, 2013

Winner, 2013 Country Music Festival Bush Poetry Competition, Boyup Brook, WA.

Throughout the seasons we have shared we’ve known both joys and pains,
the kiss of sun through dreams we dared, the tearful touch of rains.
We joined together man and wife in passion born of youth
and mellowed through each phase of life to find a deeper truth.
The marriages that can endure the tests and rise above
vicissitudes become secure.                             
    That’s how it is with love.

When we combined we found the space that we would call our home,
a wild, remote, enticing place on which to write our tome.
And just as partnerships will grow through nurturing and care,
our land brought love.  Through seeds we’d sow, our hopes were planted there.
Its needs enmeshed us in its grip, we came to understand.
It bonded our relationship.                                 
    That’s how it is with land.

We planted memories and dreams within its fickle soil.
We reaped the produce of extremes, the harvests born of toil,
the barrenness of empty years when it was seized by drought,
yet through response of smiles or tears there wasn’t any doubt.
This patch of earth we called our own through times of peace or strife
became our refuge, safety zone.                              
    That’s how it is with life.

But land and life are borrowed gifts that we can come to lose
and fortune takes dramatic shifts when companies can choose
to confiscate a person’s dreams and drill below the earth
in mining exploration schemes. That’s all our home was worth.
They tore the gases from its heart, get rich, commercial plan,
so ‘Progress’ played its cruel part.                            
    That’s how it is with Man.

We felt the shock of disbelief but found we had no say.
We wore the anguish born of grief but had to walk away.
Against authority and might, in anger and despair,
we were too powerless to fight and so we had to bear
the pain of governmental crime in our declining stage
as winter stalked our earthly time.                          
    That’s how it is with age.

Our land, just like our still-born child, will always be a part
of who we are, for love is filed forever in the heart.
As aching bodies weather through inevitable tears,
I’m grateful Darling I have you to share my latter years.
We’ve grown together, man and wife and we will rise above
this further trial of earthly life.                            
    That’s how it is with love.

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