Andrew Barton Paterson ('Banjo')

Here you will find the Poem Camouflage of poet Andrew Barton Paterson ('Banjo')


Beside the bare and beaten track of travelling flocks and herds 
The woodpecker went tapping on, the postman of the birds, 
"I've got a letter here," he said, "that no one's understood, 
Addressed as follows: 'To the bird that's like a piece of wood.' 
"The soldier bird got very cross -- it wasn't meant for her; 
The spurwing plover had a try to stab me with a spur: 
The jackass laughed, and said the thing was written for a lark. 
I think I'll chuck this postman job and take to stripping bark." 

Then all the birds for miles around came in to lend a hand; 
They perched upon a broken limb as thick as they could stand, 
And just as old man eaglehawk prepared to have his say 
A portion of the broken limb got up and flew away. 

Then, casting grammar to the winds, the postman said, "That's him! 
The boobook owl -- he squats himself along a broken limb, 
And pokes his beak up like a stick; there's not a bird, I vow, 
Can tell you which is boobook owl and which is broken bough. 

"And that's the thing he calls his nest -- that jerry-built affair -- 
A bunch of sticks across a fork; I'll leave his letter there. 
A cuckoo wouldn't use his nest, but what's the odds to him -- 
A bird that tries to imitate a piece of leaning limb!"