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Australia was no less exotic than Madagascar. The flora and fauna were out of this world with its Marsupials and bird-life. the startling range of parrots from the Gala to the Rainbow Lorikeet to the Cockatoos both Sulfur Crested white to gorgeous black, the enchanting morning calls of the pied Magpies and laughing Kookaburra and the sinister black Ravens in the Out Back. Every mammal reared its young in pouches on the abdomen, be they mice or giant Wombats or Kangaroos in all sizes and shapes. The extinct Tasmanian Tiger or the Tasmanian Devil were all a naturalist’s delight. Plant life also never ceased to amaze from Eucalyptus gums in the ‘bush’ to extraordinary blossoms. The red Outback with stunning geological features like Ayer’s Rock were awesome.

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Sydney in my view is the world’s most beautiful city with its waterways and stately homes, the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and its spotless cleanliness, quite unmatched anywhere in the world. The people who made this happen, the remarkable Anglo-Saxon convicts exiled, sometimes for mere shoplifting, were also the best specimens of the race, torn away from their clammy, cold and wet if sophisticated northern island, to populate the land. Hats off to them for creating the Lucky Country, much like America.

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Not so lucky were the native aboriginals who were hunted down and confined to reserves. The guilt is more marked in Australia than what white Americans may feel for the displaced Indians. What remained of the after – ‘Dream Time’ culture of the aboriginal Australian were only the exotic names of Canberra, Kangaroo and boomerang. and numerous other names of towns and quarters.

So yet another experience unfolded in ‘Down Under’ as my poem seeks to bring out.





The diagonal missile

Of a great white bird

Alights on the tallest


declaring its Cockatoo crest



An Anglo-Saxon out there

Pruning his garden with pride

revises the universe

After Dream-Time has passed.


Trumpeting the morning air

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The unreal Pied Magpies

Pinch milk bottles

In faithful pairs.


In the bush flits

No aboriginal form

Though an ancestral spirit

Ungainly flutters distantly;

A black raven’s soulful caw

As it plunges

To puncture

The eye of an imported Marino.


On the peripheries

Across a great bridge bulge

A highway of cars

Provides a context

For pubs and cricketers,


Qantas-Airways-FleetAs too, the Kangaroo

Bouncing through the air

Like a boomerang

Is neatly sealed

As dog-food in a tin,

Or impressed on the tip

Of a Qantas’ tail-fin.


Pretty red roofs in a row

Well tended avenues

Of plum and cherry,

Pink cheeks and fair hair

Together lie,

Into each others’ affairs

Taking care not to pry,


The greatest good

Is keeping politely to yourself,

Counting out change

With nimble fingered efficiency

And the pronounced necessity

To thank and be sorry

And thank once again


As the thoroughbred bulldog’s

Subtle resemblance

To its master

Grows more striking

Than the Kookaburra’s hysterical laughter.

laughing Kookaburra Credit :

laughing Kookaburra
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