Botanical Jargon


Since days of old when Joseph Banks
got high on floral bliss,
by sniffing plants our sun produced
through photosynthesis.
A breed of Aussie Botanist
have roamed throughout the land
and named all things botanical;
a busy little band.

They give their finds some weird names
that truly sound quite queer,
Seems some Swiss bloke called Linnaeus
came up with the idea.
Each region has a family
parochially its own
and some men boast they’ve knowledge of
all trees this land has grown.

This one particular chap I met
was on Tom Lockie’s Tour.
He bragged how he could name the trees
and seemed so cock fired sure.
But when we stopped for morning tea
Tom said in his slow drawl.
“You ever seen around the traps
a Dumb Dog tree at all?”

“They don’t exist” was his reply,
“I’ve not found one of those.”
“Too right they do old mate!” fired Tom,
“and I’m the man who knows.
In fact there’s some right over there,
bit grey and rather stark.
They’re all devoid of leaves you see
and don’t have any bark.

From the book You’re Joking – Milk in Billy Tea!

I first met Tom Lockie in 1996 while performing our show at the ‘Homestead Caravan Park’ and became good friends. Tom is a true blue Outback Aussie and we are always sharing poems and yarns with each other. Chris and I accompanied Tom on his tour one day and while having smoko at Grayrock Tom caught me with the Dumb Dog Tree tale. I thought why not put it into verse.

Dead Tree.

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