Cherry

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

'Some I got with amber stems an' some with silver bands,
Bent ones an' straight ones an' all sorts o' brands.
A lot of pipes, sez you, for one old pensioner to own;
But, folks, as soon as Christmas comes, they won't leave me alone.
'We'll give old Pete a pipe,' they sez, forgetful in their way,
It's wot they gives me every year,' said old Pete Parraday.
'Bent ones an' straight ones, some must ha' cost real dear -
More than I'd smoke if I should live for two hundred year.

''We'll give ole Pete a pipe,' they sez. (People is awful good
Here in the bush! 'He sucks,' they sez, 'at that ole cherrywood
All bound with bits of wire an' stuff, an' cracked an' caked up too!'
But, lordy, none of 'em don't know that pipe the way I do.
I've had him over seven year, an' I just likes him fine;
For, cracked an' all, an' caked an' all, he's a good ole mate o' mine.
'Cherry,' I calls him, just for short. I own he smells no end,
But, if I was to lose him now, I'd feel I'd lost a friend.

'Yes, he knows me an' I knows him - a cranky coot some ways:
Got to be youmered, like a man; he has his sulky days.
Goes stubborn an' won't dror at all if I packs him too tight;
An', if I cuts the baccy coarse, the cow won't stay alight!
But on long winter evenin's, there by the blazin' log,
The three of us gits yarnin' - him an' me an' my ole dog -
But, lordy, if I told you all about ole Cherry here,
You'd say me brain was softnin'; you'd say; 'Ole Pete's gone queer.'

'He lost his self last winter down there along the creek,
An' a pretty dance he led me with his crazy hide an' seek.
That's how I catched pnoomonier. The doctor sez, 'Yer mad!
Risk death for that old stikin' pipe!' But I sez, 'Listen, lad,
Ole Cherry does me far more good than all your doctor's stuff!'
But he jist stands an' grins at me; he knowed it sure enough.
'Cherry,' I sez, 'has been my mate -'. But he sez, 'Hold yer row!
You tough ole hunk o' hide!' he sez. 'Sit up an' drink this now.'

'Some I got with amber stems an' some with silver bands,
Bent ones an' straight ones - all sorts o' brands.
If you came into my bush hut you'd see a brave array -
Pipes of every shape an' cut,' said old Pete Parraday.
'But don't you say you seen 'em, 'cos folks is awful good.
'We'll give ole Pete a pipe,' they sez. 'Pooh! That ole cherrywood!'
Yes; folks is kind at Christmas time; but, now an' then, I grants,
I wish they'd stand a man a short, or p'raps a pair o' pants.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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"Cherry" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 7 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6257/cherry>.

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