Clifford, Maureen

Australia, (contemporary)

Goin’ Piggin’

  1. In the back of the Ute*, water bag and boots,
  2. fencing wire, ratchet and chains,
  3. a shovel and pick and a crowbar,
  4. and a dead roos quite smelly remains.
  5. A carton of beer for the day will be hot,
  6. and a tarp and some ropes in a box,
  7. plus an esky of food, ice to keep the beer cold.
  8. Today we’re out hunting for hog.
  10. Those darn pigs are breeding, it’s been a good season,
  11. and lambs, well there were quite a few.
  12. But sneaking at night like the Devil in flight,
  13. come big pigs who kill, maim and chew..
  14. The tables will turn, for we’re now set to learn,
  15. those darn pigs a lesson or two.
  16. The pig traps are set and tomorrow I bet,
  17. that we’ll catch quite a few with the roo.
  19. Carnivorous beasts, with their sharp cloven feet,
  20. and big tusks on the boars ugly head.
  21. They’re killers of stock, not good for a lot,
  22. though the overseas market it’s said,
  23. sells them off as wild boar, that’s all they’re good for.
  24. Pig shooters take them to the box.
  25. The scourge of the nation, on each outback station,
  26. along with the crow and the fox.
  28. The suckers are cute, little pink and black brutes,
  29. but there’s no place for sentiment here.
  30. You have to remember they’ll grow – come December
  31. on BarBQ plates they appear.
  32. We’ve had good dogs killed or at least their blood spilled,
  33. by these demons of parry and thrust.
  34. A good dog will hold them at bay till you get there
  35. to get a head shot as you must.
  37. They’ll rip you to shreds if unwary you tread,
  38. cross the paddocks, unfettered and free.
  39. And you know you’re in strife as you run for your life
  40. without spotting a suitable tree.
  41. It happened to me, the legs went into freeze.
  42. I then let loose with a bloody great yell.
  43. My two dogs that were chasing, now turned back, came racing
  44. to protect their mistress as well.
  46. In gumboots and raincoat, with big hat on head,
  47. it must have been a comical sight.
  48. There was no tree to climb and I doubt my behind
  49. would have made the manoeuvre in flight.
  50. So I jumped up and down, screeched and flapped all around,
  51. and waved a big stick in the air.
  52. The pig was quite startled, and I was scared witless
  53. until my dogs finally got there.
  55. So climb into the Ute. Got your rifle to shoot?
  56. For today we’re not out hunting bear.
  57. But down near the creek we’re intending to sneak
  58. for we know that the pigs have been there.
  59. They’ve ploughed up the paddock, like Ute’s doing donuts
  60. we’ve found some small hooves from a lamb.
  61. The lamb count is down. Pigs have been going to town.
  62. Tomorrow they’ll be turned into ham.

Editor’s Note:

* ute – an abbreviation for “utility” or “coupé utility” – is a term used originally in Australia and New Zealand to describe usually two-wheel-drive passenger vehicle with a cargo tray in the rear integrated with the passenger body; as opposed to a pickup whose cargo tray is not integrated with the passenger body.

 Maureen Clifford. from The Center for Western and Cowboy Poetry, Inc.. (2011).

About the Poet:

Maureen Clifford (contemporary) is an Australian poet. She worked for 30 years in the Private Health Insurance Industry and then 6 years as a self employed grazier on a sheep property in SE Queensland helping to raise Merino sheep.

Now retired, Clifford is the editor of the fortnightly The Australia Times Poetry Magazine published by The Australia Times Group. She has been doing this now for several years on a voluntary basis and has poets from around the world and our own home grown Aussie bush poets submit work to her. She is also an active member of the ABPA and a member of Writers Dock, Linkedin, and Poets Collective. [DES-04/17]

Additional information:

A random image of a pig, hog, boar or swine from the collection at Porkopolis.