Flying Squirrels

On the rugged water shed
At the top of the bridle track
Where years ago, as the old men say,
The splitters went with a bullock dray
But never a dray came back;

At the time of the gum tree bloom,
When the scent in the air is strong,
And the blossom stirs in the evening breeze,
You may see the squirrels among the trees,
Playing the whole night long.

Never a care at all
Bothers their simple brains;
You can see them glide in the moonlight dim
From tree to tree and from limb to limb,
Little grey aeroplanes.

Each like a dormouse sleeps
In the spout of a gumtree old,
A ball of fur with a silver coat;
Each with his tail around his throat
For fear of his catching cold.

These are the things he eats,
Asking his friends to dine:
Moths and beetles and newborn shoots,
Honey and snacks of the native fruits,
And a glass of dew for wine.

A.B. "Banjo" Paterson


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2010 Selected Poetry
The Poets Garret
Tir Na nOg Poetry Community