Young James McPherson.

This is the tale about young James McPherson
who spent time for no reason in a Down Under prison
he remembered his travels on a Sunburned Plain
far away from the Scotland he knew as his Hame.
In North Q’land he visited a pub on a hill
where he drank by himself as a lonely man will
an incident distraction saw James being landed
in Gaol as an outlaw by his Name he was branded.

In a Dark cell he pondered- where had he been
Jamie’s mind took a turn to a wondrous Dream
the flat Sunburned Country so dry & so drear
images vanished like a shower of rain
then Jamie was back in dear Scotland again.
The creek beds so dry, so barren & bare
became lush glens of Kincraig & greenery there.

At a place on a ridge where Gum trees were growing
he saw Highlands where Newtonmore cattle were lowing
the dried up waterholes where Lillies had grown
became valleys where water flowed fresh over stone
Kingussie Flora kept flourishing still
while the scent of wild Heather wafted over the hill
it was only a Mirage that danced in his brain
his visions of Highlands being Scotland again.

The long Eerie cry of a hovering Hawk
sounded just like the wild birds of high Badenoch
Sleeping soundly, he rode through the hills of Home
where McPhersons had ranted, raved & roamed
but alas, he awoke, his dream was all done
his eyes heavily strained by a hot Q’ld Sun
He raised himself up from the stretch wire bunk
Confused by this solitude, empty & dank

He stood sturdy & steady, soon he felt satisfied
that all was not lost, he could feel his heart cry
Australia is mine, its my Home it would seem
for nowhere on earth I’m so free, I can Dream.

Jock Cleeton. “Wild Scotchman Festival” March 2006.