The Old Hermitís Hut
Wizened and old but his eyes were still clear,
The old hermit had long lived alone,
Some thought him eccentric others a bit strange,
Of his history so little was known.
In the bush by the river his old tin shack stood,
Its corrugations were covered with rust,
Itís split timber palings blended in with the bush
While itís interior was covered in dust.
A rough picket fence of eucalypt boughs
Marked the boundary of his small vedgie patch,
Mint and wild hops grew near the back door
Where a piece of string was used as a latch.
Scattered at random was a small stand of maize
And white quartz edged a small flowerbed,
Its colors were bright in the dying sunís rays
Backed up by a rose and geraniums red.
From back door to river a track wandered down
Through scrub & rushes to the edge of the stream,
And there on a log was a comfortable seat
Where the old fellow would sit and daydream.
Long ago he had lost all faith in mankind,
At their behaviour he had become totally disgusted,
The galahs and goannas, the wild life in the bush
Were the only things now that he trusted.
Inside the old hut, though a haven of peace,
Much junk hung there on some nails,
Tattered clothes, ropes and a battered old hat
And a past history that told many tales.
An ancient rifle & fishnets could be seen at a glance,
Some discoloured books were there on a shelf,
On an upturned tea chest an empty bottle of gin
That he had evidently drank by himself.
The cast iron stove surrendered its warmth,
To this old hermit who lived here alone,
While the black iron kettle spewed forth its steam
And the old shack had a smell all its own.
An old wooden table leaned on the wall,
At its end was just one single chair,
Several melted candles had burnt low in a jar,
The whole place showed an absence of care.
Some hessian bags divided the cabin in two
While the bed sagged close to the floor,
The greasy old blankets were in need of a wash
In conditions one could only abhor.
An old photo hung at the head of the bed,
Much faded and discoloured with age,
It showed a young lady in the prime of her life
But so long ago now had fate turned the page.
I wonder what happened to this man in his youth,
Some tragedy that remained long unseen,
Evidently fate had dealt him a terrible blow
And now he dreams of just what might have been.