Bush Camp

Bush Camp

Woke up one morning to the sound of nothing and the street lights still on. Began to wonder where everyone was and whether I was one of the privileged ones who’d been left behind:

MARS

Who’s gonna turn the lights off
Now that you’ve all gone to Mars.
The city stores are empty, there’s
No people, trains or cars.
And all across the country side
It’s quiet and dark and still;
The houses are deserted,
Farms idle and untilled.

It’s like the world’s assembled
At a giant footy game –
Left all the houses empty,
And the roads, streets and plains.
Yet even in broad daylight,
Through all the sun and rain,
Nobody’s turned the lights off –
The whole country’s all the same.

The air is clear this morning
And the silence seems so stark.
If I’d a car up Main Street now,
I’d get an easy park,
Cos all the roads are empty
And all the freeways clear.
Everyone’s left home for Mars
And left me standing here.

Maybe I was comatose,
Cos no-one told me why
They’d leave their house and
Neighbourhood and take off to the sky.
There’s no news on the radio,
Just static far and wide,
And streets lights burn so brightly
All across the country side.

And all across the nation
And all around the world
The lights are burning everywhere,
And all the flags unfurled.
And stuck on many windows
Are these quickly scribbled signs:
“We’ve gone to Mars, so help your self
To anything you find.”

The rivers are all flooded
With the rising of the tides,
And gaping holes across the land
Have wrecked the countryside.
The local dams are empty
And it hasn’t rained in years,
And sand creeps in from way out west
As the forest disappears.

Above, the skies are empty –
No satellites or planes,
And the skyline of the city
Bristles aerials and cranes.
But all the shops are empty
And offices are bare.
Seems, everyone has gone to Mars
To dredge the riches there.

There’s nothing left for taking,
It’s all been packed away.
And the sun creates a furnace
On these empty streets today.
A scrawny cat is searching
In the rubbish for a feed.
You think they’d take their cats and dogs,
Diseases, toads and weeds.

No sign of devastation;
No wars or battle zones.
The whole world’s fallen silent now,
And bleak as dried up bones.
They’ve taken everything that moves:
The oil wells are dry,
The metals and the minerals,
Gone with them to the sky.

So who will turn the lights off, now
That everybody’s gone?
It seems a waste to let them burn
If no-one wants them on.
I look up at the stars and see
A planet rising, red,
And wonder what you’re doing there:
Perhaps you’re even dead.

But, why in such a hurry,
And with all the cities bare,
As oceans lap the mezzanines,
And flotsam floating there?
And why desert the countryside
And miss the Devil’s dance?
‘Hope you’ve two of everything
While there was still a chance.’

You’ve left ships in the harbour
And buildings straight and tall,
And aircraft in the hangars
And rubbish in the mall. There’s
So much you’ve forgotten:
And I wonder how it feels:
Surrendering this Paradise –
The real estate and deals.

A few of us stayed sleeping
As you quietly flew away.
We live here quite contentedly
Like in the good old days.
And only one thing bothers us
On bedding down at night:
Who will turn the lights off
Now that you have taken flight?

We all use fire to see with
And we don’t need lights to read.
We lived this way for centuries
Before you crossed the sea.
We don’t use coal or iron ore
For what we need to do,
So someone find the bloody switch –
Because light’s ruining the view.

You’ve left your polystyrene cups
And paper, brass and steel.
Your bauxite and plutonium
Won’t cook an evening meal.
As I sit here by the campfire
With a steaming cup of tea,
I wonder why you bothered
For three wasted centuries.

Seems such a way to travel
To dig holes and farm the land,
And pile up Leggo buildings
With your clever brains and hands.
Barely here, and gone again,
To start on frontiers new:
Digging holes and farming Mars –
That strange stuff you folks do.

So who will turn the lights off now?
They’re running up a tab.
We’ve starlight in abundance,
And the lights will drive us mad.
Who forgot to throw the switch
That makes the cities glow?
I’m asking you to ask someone
Who knows someone who knows.

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