Will it all click into place?
I feel it might.
I had a glimpse
That things could all come right.
I'd wake up
On a sunny, slightly roostered morn
And wouldn't realise at first;
The rightness would take time to dawn.
the thing would start to gleam;
This worried life I'd had,
This awful world, this painful mess –
It was, in fact, a kind of dream.
The penny would just drop
Into my hand,
The penny that I'd lost so long ago,
And all the peace withheld and blocked from me
Would start to flow.
The gentle hum, the gold and silver light
Would all resume;
The fairies and the pixies,
The particles of dust
Caught in the sunlight in my room.
I'd pick up
Where I'd been so rudely interrupted;
I'd have it back again for keeps,
My dog, my brilliant grasp of life,
My backyard and my paddocks full of time,
The world all glad around me,
My rightful place,
My joyous leaps.
from Poems 1972-2002, Melbourne, Penguin (Viking) 2003.
Leunig is a much-loved Australian cartoonist with a quirky, whimsical style, who has been part of the national psyche for about 50 years and by now is almost as well-known and loved for his poetry too. He often illustrates his cartoons with poetry – or perhaps his poetry with cartoons.
He is modest about his poetic talent and has described some of his efforts as verses rather than poetry, but his public insists on calling it poetry. Wikipedia describes him as a cartoonist, poet and cultural commentator. He was declared an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia in 1999.
His website features his cartoons, paintings, prose writings, poems and prayers. He writes beautiful and often poignant prayers, in simple language; and his cartoons are to fall in love with. The site includes a detailed biography about his life and work.
He is often referred to as a prophet – of both innocence (childlike wonder) and disillusionment (he can be politically outspoken).
He has the knack of touching a chord and saying just what everyone wishes they'd said, or would have if they could. (Well, except for people who take offence at the more controversial material.)
I love this poem for presenting us with another view than all the sadness, horror and alarm with which the news keeps deluging us – for taking us, if just for a little while, back to the joys of childhood. (Oh to have 'paddocks full of time'!)
Is it the happy poem it seems at first glance? I think it is in fact a sad poem, detailing the things lost outside of dreams. I think it expresses yearning.
Material shared in 'I Wish I'd Written This' is presented for study and review. Poems, photos and other writings remain the property of the copyright owners, usually their authors. This photo of Leunig: Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 - Own work Original file name = DSC12222.JPG)