With the Poet Lorikeet (song)

Written and sung by Jim Low
We could hear the sound of water
On this winter’s day
Walking in the valley
Poems along the way
I met the Chinese lion
We watched the dancing trees
He shared his love of the Mountains
And all the things he sees.

Singing on a rock ledge
His songs were everywhere
He told me of the bush bird
In love with him down there
We spoke about our childhood
In the silence of the day
His visions of the women
In pools along our way.

He talked of solitary pleasure
I remembered the roaring crowd
Past Mountain Ash and Wattle
He chanted songs aloud
Old Billy Wye and Robin Bell
Their memory will live on
Through the years they’ll continue
That’s the power of a song.

We gazed at moss and marvelled
Their fingers on display
His thoughts about song writing
Where honesty ruled the day
A kookaburra’s laughter
Made our time complete
I’m sure to remember my bush walk
With the Poet Lorikeet.


‘the Chinese lion’
In the poem The Gifted Stone Denis featured this ‘lion that guards the ferny glen’ i.e. Denfenella (Ah, White Man, Have You Any Sacred Sites? p 13)

‘I remembered the roaring crowd’
This line alludes to Denis’ song The Roar of the Crowd which I first heard in 1965 on the long playing record Australian Broadside by Gary Shearston.

‘Old Billy Wye and Robin Bell’
William (’Billy’) James Wye (1866-1952) was a Victorian bushman and poet. Denis set some of Wye’s poetry to music. He had recently written a song about Robin Bell, a farmer, at the time of our walk.

‘We gazed at moss and marvelled
Their fingers on display’

The reference is to Denis’s song Moss’s Gentle Fingers. (Ah, White Man – p19) This song includes the memorable verse:

Like octopus’s tentacles, the roots of trees have grown,
With steel embrace, they vainly try to crush the hearts of stone,
And stone from stone, and tree from tree, or is it stone from tree?
They wrestle, in the half-light, for the lyre-bird and me,
The lyre-bird and me.

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