Excerpt from the Introduction:

Who reads poetry? By all accounts, not a great many of the population do. Poetry, as for all of the arts, in the hands of the experts, is used to push the boundaries of its own technique, of morals, and of meaning. To those of us who are not academics, much of modern poetry remains somewhat inaccessible or intimidating, and resides in the domain of the specialists. For this reason, some avoid poetry altogether, but it may be likened to driving cars. Only the specialist races Formula 1 cars, but almost everyone has the opportunity to drive the family sedan.

"Australian Bush Poetry" has been around for more than one hundred years, and is based on classical verse from earlier times. It is written with a regular rhyme and rhythm, is still alive and well, and is used as a story telling medium. It's easy to 'cotton on to'. It's the family sedan - everyone 'gets' it.

All in all I hope that the reader will be entertained, have emotions touched, and even be challenged as this varied offering is read. I write that the reader might be able to sit down, relax, read, and enjoy without having to solve an academic puzzle. I believe that all styles have their place and can coexist. Let us not abandon the old for the sake of the new, and may we feel comfortable with our family sedan.



I was thrilled to learn that Tom had written a second volume of poetry to follow on from his delightful first edition of truly Australian work, "Along The Way." Like any good author he has an encore ready for his eager audience while he has their attention.

From the first glance at the cover photo of this new offering, Tom presents us with a picture of a journey we all know. We have all seen the scenes he depicts, but Tom, as always, presents them with his own little twists, turns, cadences, and surprises. So his second symphony begins.

Once again there is a range of moods and ideas, always with the twinkle in Tom's eye and his enjoyable perspective on life.

Some of the poems draw on Tom's strong Christian faith and remind us of God's being in control.

In the more serious glimpses of life, Tom still knows how to yank the heartstrings in his retelling, as his own were obviously tugged at hearing a story such as that retold in "This One Suits Me Fine."

Sometimes an incident, a comment, or a place strikes a chord in Tom's life's symphony and the melodious metre of his life leaps from the page.

The expanded epigrams of life—memories revisited and recreated with a considerable mind—are wise gems from a master craftsman.

Reading Tom's work makes you think about the variety in life but overall it just makes you feel good. He reminds us again and again how the most valuable things in life are really the simple ones we often overlook. So he slows us down and points them out.

In his wonderful gentle way, Tom's spark and his love of storytelling remind us of the joy of life in all its variety. The poems reveal the man: from the inquisitive boy, observing and experimenting with life, as today's children rarely have the freedom to do, to the older and wiser observer; from making his own mistakes to watching others make theirs, and always with Tom's trademark gentle humour and modesty, such as in his fantastic and fanciful solution to life's problems in "Seniors' Driving."

Tom just writes as the mood of his life strikes him. He observes pensively, with wit, musing on the irony, sadness, gaiety and joys of his life and ours.

Another volume of fun, both in the writing and in the reading. Thank you maestro.

Robyn Christmas: LTCL, ATCL
July 2008