The Ballad of Kango the Kangaroo

By Patrick Thomas

We were up in a town called Marrangaroo,
T’other side of the Mountains Blue
When we met a sad, coughing kangaroo.
I asked, at a distance, ‘How are you?’
‘No wukkies mate’ he sneezed. ‘Atishoo,
S’not the CV, I promise you.
Just a nasty touch of the flucking flu.’

I asked, ‘Any way we can help you?
Tho’ truth to tell, we’re just passing through
Only planning to be here for an hour or two,
Shopping outta town for antiseptic shampoo,
Sterile wipes, face masks and papier de loo,
To resell on Ebay, some dosh to accrue,
Until some mug lair hoon gives us a hostile review.’

‘I’ve been to the quack in Wooloomooloo,
He coughed, ‘Fair dinkum, he hadn’t too much of a clue,
Said I should self-insulate to protect my crew.
Then took me to his mate on a hill called Bellevue.
But I hopped ouuta there without an adieu
Cos they were looking online for recipes for Kangaroo stew.
Best washed down with chilled White Cockatoo
So I bounded off quick back here to Marrangaroo,
Before I got banged up in Taronga Park Zoo.’

‘So here I am, and here are you,’
Said the whingeing, coughing, kangaroo.
‘But bleeve me mate, there’s not much here to do,
‘Cept climb to the lookout to take in the view,
And praps crack a tinnie: take a selfie or two:
But you need to watch out for old man Wallaroo
He’s mad as a cut snake, completely cuckoo.
He’ll rip you to bits with no hullabaloo
If you give him lip, or look at him askew…
He dosn’t like backpackers, has disposed of a few.
But dont tell him that I told that to you…

So we guessed it was time for us to shoot through,
But blocking our way, a dark figure grew,
Big-chested, malignant, his story I knew
The infamous, mad, cranky, bad, Jack Wallaroo!
He shouted ‘I’ve no time for drongos like you.
Your disgusting behaviour, you need to review:
For my environment you don’t give a razoo;
You’ve even polluted the grass that I chew,
And poisoned the breeze that once sweetly blew:
But now you’ve all had it from Covid 22!

It was not a good time with him to argue:
‘Isn’t it only nineteen, that we’ve got up to?’
He snorted, eyes flashing, his lips turning blue
‘You’ve no idea what you deserve and what you are due
As payback from Mother Nature. It was on BBC2
And that’s fair dinkum mate, straight from a guru.’
I started to cough, so he swiftly withdrew,
As I stifled my emissions with a soft pink tissue,
And we set off for home for an overdue brew,
To get locked down for a month or two.
Sadder, older and wiser from our marsupial interview.

  • People were stockpiling supplies creating shortages, and then selling them expensively.
  • Wallaroos are big fearless marsupials that can be highly dangerous.
  • Australia struggles between being very environmentally conscious, while ripping up huge areas of good land for open cast mining; some mines being close to Marangaroo.
  • Smoke and ash from bush fires from global warming wipes out thousands of animals – including the occasional homo sapien. 
  • The Gaia theory suggests that planet earth is self regulating, and that us irresponsible humans will ferment our own demise.
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Veronica Carolan
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Veronica Carolan
14 days ago

Your humour belies the important themes in this poem, which I got more out of the second time round. Clever use of dialogue and rhyme. I really like this!

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