In a hard year (Henry Lawson’s birthday)

“The fields are fair in autumn yet, and the sun’s still shining there,
But we bow our heads and we brood and fret, because of the masks we wear,
Or we nod and smile the social while, and we say we’re doing well,
But we break our hearts! For the things we must not tell.” 

– Henry Lawson, born June 17 1867.

==

A hard year is upon them; as a hard year is on many.
A hard year has that certain way, that pall.
A hard year’s glum forebodings, they turn a viewpoint sour.
A hard year has its way; it takes them all.

Fresh weekly wallets-full of various hues of strife and angst.
He carrying their debts; and she carrying he,
Fresh weekly, broken spirits, broken team; broken colours.
Breaking hope and that once-shared sense of we.

“This week, love. You’ll see,” he says, scanning Friday’s newspaper.
But shaking his head again. Injuries
And selection neuter confidence that he once did have.
She knows to nod along; knows her duties.

Confident tread of March devolves to furtive steps by June.
Sunny dispositions eclipsed; they fall.
Tensions rise, small fires they rage, leaping containment lines.
A hard year has its way; it takes them all.

Fresh weekly, as the siren sounds hope flares briefly anew;
As a struck match, of potential, blazes;
And fresh weekly, their team lose the game; lose it early on.
Blankly at the scoreboard now she gazes.

A hard year is upon them; ‘spite knowing it’s in their heads.
They stop going. Start turning, to the wall.
“This week, love, ha. Another bloody disaster; you’ll see.”
A hard year has its way; it takes them all.

Out of life’s shared conversations they feel themselves now fall.
Gloom descends on them, bereft of hope.
There’re other things, sure, in a life, of that we can be sure.
Family, health, job; on a slippery slope.

And so they go just one more time, to ‘get their money’s worth’.
“As daft a line of thought, as e’er there was.”
Yet at the G they see their team knock off the flag fancies
One brief, bright night of thunderous applause.

A hard year is upon them; as a hard year is on many.
A hard year has that certain way, that pall.
A hard year’s glum forebodings, they turn a viewpoint sour.
A hard year has its way; it takes them all.

 

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About David Wilson

Hit for a towering 6 by Mike Gatting at the Banyule Cricket Club, December 2002, theatrically attempting to reproduce the SK Warne delivery. The ball is yet to land. @e_regnans

Comments

  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Happy Birthday Henry and nicely framed ER. Hoping for the best, but expecting the worst is one way to allow the joy of surprise – Geelong game!!

    Sometimes I stew and grizzle as it takes longer to peel off my Magpie mask after defeat. Yet, I keep going back because the misery muse has a humour felt by some, unseen by many, understood by few.

  2. E.regnans says:

    G’day P Dimitriadis.
    I see you pose on Twitter whether our man Henry would have been a Pies fan…

    The desolate nature of (some of) his observations would certainly suggest someone with a deep understanding of hardship and human suffering.

    I reckon he would be a Dane Swan supporter.

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Wonderfully well put together ER.
    “Yet at the G they see their team knock off the flag fancies
    One brief, bright night of thunderous applause.” What a wonderful, brief moment that was.

    I love Henry’s poem “The Teams”.
    ‘A cloud of dust on the long white road
    And the teams go creeping on
    Inch by inch with the weary load’
    Very 2016 Collingwood.

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