The Settler's Struggle

Clearing the New Land


Peter Pickering

3/6/20242 min read

I'm Jack, a settler in this sunburnt land,

With axe in hand and a calloused hand.

Alongside mates, Tom, Bill, and old Joe,

We clear the bush, row by painstaking row.

Our boss, Mr. Clark, he's a stern man,

Wants acres cleared, as part of his grand plan.

From dawn's first light, till the day does end,

Under the harsh sun, our backs we bend.

The toil is tough, the heat a searing blaze,

Through dust and flies, in a sweaty haze.

Our horses struggle, in the thick bush land,

But we press on, with a steady hand.

We live in shanties, makeshift and bare,

A shelter from the elements, with little to spare.

The days are long, the work never done,

No days off under this relentless sun.

Pay's meagre, just a few coins in the hand,

Hardly enough in this challenging land.

But we toil on, for a future unseen,

In this vast, untamed, and rugged scene.

We aim to clear a few acres a day,

It's backbreaking work, no time to stray.

We burn the timber, and the brush it feeds,

Flames licking high, fulfilling our needs.

Sometimes, we harvest timber that's prime,

A valuable resource, in this tough time.

From sunrise to sunset, the axes swing,

In rhythm with our hopes, and the dreams they bring.

Breakfast's simple, just damper and tea,

Lunch a bite on the go, under a gumtree.

Dinner's a stew, if we're lucky at all,

Then it's to bed, exhausted we fall.

I dream of a farm, with fields of my own,

A place for my family, a place to call home.

I yearn for rain, to soften the ground,

For the seeds of hope, to take root and abound.

But fears, they linger, in the quiet night,

Will this land yield, will our future be bright?

Yet, we settlers, we're a sturdy breed,

We'll carve a home, from this wild, bush seed.

So I rise each morning, with the sun's first light,

Holding onto dreams, with all my might.

In this land of challenge, under the sky so vast,

We'll build our future, strong and steadfast.

© Peter Pickering. 2024