David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Back of Whoknowswhere!


I’d had a spat with my only love
So I set out in the car,
She said, ‘Well, where are you going to? ’
I answered, ‘Eversofar! ’
She said, ‘That isn’t the name of a place,
You really drive me spare! ’
I said, ‘Oh yes, it’s a place all right
At the back of Whoknowswhere! ’

So off I went, and pointed the nose
Of the car along the track,
I didn’t know where it would take me to,
Except to the Great Outback,
A man could get lost in this country, for
It’s huge, beyond compare,
And every road and bullock track
Leads on to Whoknowswhere!

I travelled north and I travelled west
And a good bit in-between,
The countryside was a-glow that day,
The trees and the fields were green,
I passed the town Wotwillya-Do
And began to count the cost,
For by the time that the sun went down
I knew I was more than lost.

I stopped at a pub called ‘Halfway There’
Took a room, and unrolled my pack,
Then I saw the other side of the sign
That proclaimed it ‘Halfway Back’.
I thought that I’d better sleep on it
To decide which way was best,
Did I want to be tied forevermore
If our love had failed the test?

I asked the publican where we were
And he answered, ‘Onyarown’,
And out in the bar were single men
Who knew that their hopes had flown,
So I drove due East on a narrow track
That the publican said was fair,
Would take me back to a major road
And the township called ‘OutThere’.

It struck me then that our lives had hinged
On the track that we chose to drive,
And every choice took us further from
The place that we felt alive,
The countryside became burnt and brown
The further I drove away,
So I took a right and I headed south
When I hit the town ‘Dismay’.

Why do we ruin a perfect love
When that love is not to blame,
And take ourselves off eversofar
That it never can be the same,
We try to reclaim the one we’d been
When we’d wandered, way out there,
But the one we’d been has long since fled
To the back of Whoknowswhere.

No matter which way I’d twist and turn
There seemed no getting back,
There wasn’t a simple way to go,
Not even a bullock track,
So I called her up on a mobile phone
And she cried when I said I cared:
‘I’ll still be around when you get home
From the back of Whoknowswhere! ’

Submitted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Edited: Thursday, June 13, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

13 June 2013

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