Treasure Island

David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

Leap of Faith


‘There has to be something more than this, ’
She said, with a thoughtful frown,
Standing over the farmhouse sink
And the dishes, looking down,
Her brother was out in the milking shed
And her mother had gone away,
They hadn’t seen her in fifteen years
But thought of her, every day.

They’d both grown up in the countryside
Secure on their father’s farm,
Had walked the mile to the little school
By way of Maltraver’s barn,
The air was pure and the nights were clear
They could see way up to the stars,
And Jessie would watch as the moon appeared
While her brother would stare at Mars.

They had their chores as they grew, of course,
For Adam would milk the cows,
While she would carry the bucket down
To feed the pigs and the sows,
There was fencing, drenching, ditching too
There was never a moment spare,
But Jessie fretted for something new
In the way of the world out there.

The father died in the Autumn time
And left the farm to his son,
‘Jessie will marry and move away
The way that it’s always done.’
She packed her bags when she turned eighteen
And she caught the bus to town,
She told her brother she’d keep in touch
But Adam was feeling down.

‘We’ve always been together, ’ he said,
‘And now you’re going to roam,
When you get sick of the city lights
You can always come back home.’
‘I’m bored, ’ she said, ‘with the simple life,
I’m going to have some fun,
She kissed him as she got on the bus,
Said, ‘Sorry, I have to run! ’

She rented a small apartment with
Some money her father left,
And worked in Haile’s Department Store
In the basement, wrapping gifts,
She gradually met the bright young things
That hung in the clubs and bars,
Dangling chains and cheap gold rings
And high as the planet Mars.

‘It’s a totally different world out here, ’
She wrote on home to the farm,
‘The place that they hold the dancing here
They call it ‘The City Barn! ’
It’s full of strobes and coloured lights
And the music’s wild and free,
You’ll have to come to the city, bro
And I’ll take you out with me.’

Adam finally drove to town
In the farm’s old battered ute,
He took a shirt that he’d newly pressed
And his only screwed up suit,
He knocked on Jessie’s apartment door
And a Goth had let him in,
The place was full of the hoi poloi
And he couldn’t hear a thing.

The thumping rhythm would drown him out
And it made him feel a fool,
His sister gave him a little pill,
Said, ‘take it bro, it’s cool! ’
He shook his head and he dumped the pill
In a pot plant on a stand,
Said, ‘Jess, you’d better get out of here,
This crowd will see you damned! ’

‘I’ve never heard anyone talk so slow, ’
Said the Goth with the purple hair,
‘Your bro’s a little bit slow as well,
Are they all like that, out there? ’
One night was all that it took, and Jess
Was pushing him out the door,
‘You’d better get back where you belong
Or I’ll die of shame, ’ she swore.

It took all night in the battered ute
‘Til he reached the open plains,
Shook off the stench of corruption
In the first life giving rains,
The city lights in his mirror had
Receded to just a glow,
When the stars came out in a country night
That the city would never know.

And Jess, back there with her new-found friends
Was dizzy up on the heights,
They fed her chemicals, liquid dreams
And they tricked her into flight,
‘There has to be something more than this, ’
The last thought that she’d got,
While Adam had smiled at the countryside
And said to himself, ‘There’s not! ’

14 August 2013

Submitted: Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Edited: Thursday, August 15, 2013

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