Les Murray is Australia's national poet, a non-conformist who writes about the Australian landscape, its heat and dust, its animals, its redneck farmers, and his personal memories of family and childhood in the outback. These poems take you on an emotional roller coaster ride that is humorous, colourful and achingly touching.
He hated thunder and gun shot
And would charge off to restrain them.
A city dog too alive for backyards,
we took him from the pound's Green Dream
but now his human name melts off him;
he'll rise to chase fruit bats and bees;
the coral tree and the African tulip
will take him up, and the prickly tea tree.
Our longhaired cat who mistook him
for an Alsatian flew up there full tilt
and teetered in top twigs for eight days
as a cloud, distilling water with his pelt.
from A Dog's Elegy