An observation of the first 90 days of President Rodrigo Duterte.

A new broom sweeps clean, at least that is what I’m told.
Those fresh clean bristles wipe away the stagnant dust of old.
The bad habits of yesterday, the tide-marks of the past,
had all been clinging on with hope, but knew they couldn’t last.

There is a new Sheriff with a shining badge, sitting outside of the jail.
Just watching the street as the people go bye as the postman delivers the mail.
We’ve all seen him before, for he is the law, he will clean up this cesspit of a town.
and as you walk past, without malice or mask, a gun could lay you to ground.

It’s just a bit of Collateral damage. the price we have to pay.
It’s not what you done, you don’t carry a gun, but it seems you were just in the way.
There is always an excuse, a “raison de faire” that can not be cast aside.
Inside your own home, you will find yourself prone. For there is, nowhere to hide.

It will all blow over you hear yourself say, when the dust settles and the road is clear.
And life will be easier now in the land. now there is nothing more you must fear.
But was it all worth the loss and the pain. will you think harder now you have seen.
When you’re shopping for change, you must accept some distain,
a new broom always sweeps clean.


Desert Life.
A Moloch horridus sits in the spinifex.
A line of ants walk up her tongue.
A wedge tailed Eagle glides through the air
And his silhouette shadow, cross’s the sand,
His silhouette, cross’s the sand.                                                                                                                                                                     .
Pin pan,palala, pin,pan,palala.
The Bell bird chimes through the clear fresh day.
While the Perenti’s and Goannas make tracks in the dust
And in a flurry, the top knots flutter away.
The top knots flutter away.                                                                                                                                          .
The sun starts to rise in the crystal blue sky
Black cockatoo’s are in boisterous flight
It’s still only early on this fresh dewy morning
We’re bestowed with this rich Desert Life.
So bestowed with a rich Desert Life.


CD note


There’s a lot of water washed under the bridge.
Many friends have passed and gone.
Each life is full of comings and goings.
And we write them down in our songs
My songs are no different than your’s my friend;
We all have a tale to tell.
So befriend your neighbour and abide the fool.
And love your family well.


The Undaunted Stevie E

Stevie E comes into town for one week at a time,
the other one he spends an operator down the mine.
He comes in on a Tuesday, heads straight on for the club
with his NT news and Advocate he don’t care much for grub.

He drinks his mid strength liberally he’s not a swigger of his ale
And he can chat as good as anyone. Stevie E can tell a tale.
He’ll tell you a story of his UK tour, the pubs, the girls the pot.
cos that was in the old days when we use to smoke a lot.

He tells of all the girls he knew, who he still respects so much.
Their soft white skin and doe faced grin their gentle tender touch.
How he loved em and how he cherished every moment that they had.
And thinking back don’t sadden him, in fact it makes him glad.

Thats why he has those memories embroidered as they are.
They make him feel young again and those listening at the Bar.
The anecdotes from Asia make the ears of the bar room flair.
Cos someones always unaware that he’s even travelled there.

Those balmy nights in Bali as the magic mushrooms took effect.
As he sat beneath a banyan tree his whole life to reflect.
You see he’s been there and he’s done that, he’s got the t-shirt too.
He doesn’t brag about his feats, though we know he’s done a few.

So if you get to meet Stevie E, and start telling him a yarn.
Just remember that he’s had a life and it wasn’t on a farm.
For every tale that you tell him, he’ll have five or six to share.
He really isn’t holding court it’s just that he’s been there.

He’s been a bushy and a statesman, a surfer and a bum.
But he’s doing alright today. His race is far from run.
And he’ll buy you a drink and not wait, for your shout in return
It’s not that he’s a rich bloke or he’s got money to burn.
He’s happier in company it beats drinking alone.
Then when he’s filled up to the gills he can toddle off back home.

And just remember when you see him drinking round the traps.
He could have turned out different on a distant road perhaps.
But it didn’t and we can all enjoy the way that life can be.
Especially in the company of the undaunted Stevie E.


Bob The publican at Pine Creek

Bobs not a racist he’s just averse to all things black.
He’s not the sort of fellow you’d find reading Kerouac.
He doesn’t like the Hippies and the bikies make him frown.
In fact he dislikes 98% of folk in town.
You might say he’s Nouveau Nazi? But he’s really CLP.
This is hard to differentiate here in the Territory.


One of the guides to giving advice.

The Fortune-teller foretold;
A long sea voyage, Coconut palms,
Dancing ladies and garlic prawns.
Sounded great to me.
The fortune-teller never said how all this was going to be got together;
Still, I don’t suppose you have to be very practical when you’re dealing fortunes, especially other peoples.


Written on the demise of the Alice Springs Star Newspaper
(To the tune “On the cover of the Rolling Stone”)

I’m Skite I’m Blather
I’m sad I’m sadder.
The reason’s plain to see.
I’m greed I’m greedier.
When it comes to the media.
And we’re both keen on photography.
We’re so sad were thinking we might take up drinking.
Drown our sorrows at the bar
Cos they’ve gone and ditched her
We won’t get our picture
On the cover of the Alice Springs Star

Alice Springs Star.
Never get our picture on the cover
Never send ten copies to my mother
Never see my smiling face.
On the cover of the Alice Springs Star.

We’ve made the Advocate
We even wore their hat
And pictures of the Tennant creek news.
Tried to bribe the star editor
But his prices where to high.
We’ve been on TV thanks to auntie ABC.
They all say we’ll go far
But they’ve gone and ditched her
Now we wont get our picture
On the cover of the Alice Springs Star

Alice Springs Star.
Never get our picture on the cover
Never send ten copies to my mother
Never see my smiling face.
On the cover of the Alice Springs Star.

We’ve a slim idea
You might think it queer
But we may just give it a bash.
We could by the whole newspaper
All we have to do is find the cash
Yes if we we’re richer
We’d be every cover picture
On Aspro’s Alice Springs Star
The name has a lovely ring
And who’d ever want to sing
About the Alice Springs Midweek Territorian.

Never get our picture on the cover.
Never send ten copies to my mother.
Never see my smiling face
Cos there’s no more Alice Springs Star.


Nowadays in Darwin,
When ever you remark about Darwin and it’s surrounds.
People always say ”you should have seen it before the Cyclone”
One day I was sitting having a beer at the yacht club.
I said “ what a beautiful Sunset.
Only to have some bloke retort.
“You should have seen it before the Cyclone.


Written very tongue in cheek about Maleny 1989

She’s got a weekend ticket to meander through the fair.
All the joys that she can muster are waiting for her there.
All those celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
To dance around and kick up dust along the Queensland coast.

It’s a pastime reminiscent of the tournament and joust.
A chance to breath some fresher air away from office frowst.
To meet celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
Along with other non-descript amusing plebeian folks.

A chance to eat some wholesome foods like granary and rye.
Swap a thousand and one recipes for mysterious fungi.
To dine with celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
True connoisseurs seducing flesh from global artichokes.

When Fridays questionably over fatigue compels her to her bed.
There is no end of locations for her to rest her weary head.
With celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
Assisting her to slumber reciting witty anecdotes.

Its immensely fascinating observing Lawler’s beard grow.
Or just gazing on his Lordship as he cleans between his toes.
Oh those celebrated people Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
Who’s told everyone how good he is from Zanzibar to Basingstoke.

There is no finer procedure to envelope one in dreams.
Some wild quixotic fantasy floating lazily down stream.
With Celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
Who all hold captains tickets in simply messing about in boats.

When the dreams are vanquished and the morning sun appears.
Sounds of infectious laughter pervade her waking ears.
They come from celebrated people like Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
As they give talented narrations of their all-time favourite jokes.

The festival is nearly over, Bloodwood try but it’s a crime.
She can’t hold her concentration for one thing is on her mind.
Yes those celebrated people Laidlaw, Lawler and Oakes.
How have they managed to remain such unpretentious blokes?


Thoughts on his latest farewell.

T’is nae a braw brick moon lickt nickt the nee, as when we first met.
The monkey had left me some weeks before and I had no regrets.
A life of strum and diddle de dum you offered, I had but to accept.
A merry dance since then advanced, as all before we swept.
Through desert sparse with open heart and a momma mia pizza.
Ermond arcade where stood the brave. That precipice we’d teeter.
As Overlanders licked their lips, and hacienda’s mexican’ed.
A routinely bent pervasiveness led to pies we disregarded.
And thee away to sandy bore, with heat sweat and fly’s galore.
As I the hero of the hour don’d velvet coat and gained Chinese power.
And others of that entourage set sail upon that thespian barge.
We traversed up and down the track, through fields both deep and wide.
One night we laid our bodies bare on stage, twas clear we had no pride.
But we where young and life was long no fear and no surrender
Though it was rough and off the cuff, we’d just add it to the agenda.
I was outcast from the Godspell show and you missed the Oliver twisted.
Bounced with friends past from Hahndorf fast when the shootsen we infested.
With the Administrator of this Northern T, we blathered and we skite’ed.
And as crocodiles clad in tights and smiles on the riverbank we delighted.
Singing of Johnny’s and mounting time and whatever would fit the chorus line.
And those singing telegrams produced and pantomimes we mother’s goosed.
Yes we really knew how to keep mum, where did we get the energy from?
To think how we busked in the Halls creek pub that Sodom and Gomorrah.
We took the money and flew like the wind as if we’d no tomorrow.
If we’d been caught there may not have been but we’d no fear no surrender.
Taking bulls by horns was our breakfast norm and we’d chew it till it was tender.
And when the water was hellishly high we did top end ladies lullaby.
For we will always win the fight be it opening or closing night.
And there will be things I’ll forget to include some long forgotten truth
But with alibis sound we stood our ground to paint that bloody roof.
And you wished to return to your given name on that 50th birthday spree.
John Robb you said, get it into your head, but you’ll always be Laidlaw to me.
I have wished you to fly on albatross wings, wished you goodbye more than I care.
But you keep on returning again and again do you think that that really is fair.
T’is nae a braw brick moon lickt nickt the nee, but a glorious star filled night.
So look to the emu, those black bits of sky, as it prances along in full flight.
Its head is the Coalsack and it fills the whole sky it’s visible when there’s no light.
Rumour is rife you are going away to the land of chocolate cuckoo clock makers.
When the chips are down take a look around for smiles are there for the takers.
When we jumped from the skies with our parachutes wide; hearts in mouths but a tale to remember.
From beginning to end my bonny Scots friend; it’s no fear and no surrender.

David Oakes 8th of September 2007.


Alice turning 40

Still compos mentis at 40
Yes that makes me proud.
Still managing and battling, still feeding the dogs,
That also makes me proud.
It’s that inner beauty you’ve had since a child:
Behaving in order, behaving quite wild;
Till the tears of laughter resume in a smile.
Of course that makes me proud.
There is no one else I have ever known,
That could make a garland out of Mistletoe.
But you have created a stately Home.
That has to make me proud.
You’ve stuck it out through thick and thin,
And it’s been your way and you’ve dug in.
And not much help but still you win.
I’m proud I’m proud I’m proud.
Now flowing through life’s eternal waters;
One, two, three four five Granddaughters,
Non a clone; each their own,
Full of loving just like you.
The need I have to shout it loud
You make me tremendously, voraciously and auspiciously:
Very very very proud.


On the occasion of Iain Campbell and Willy Beattie and 70 years.
31st May 2008

(Working title “Spot the deliberate McGonagall”)

There’s a wee slice of Bohemia that nest’s in Alice Springs.
The artist’s come out now and then, and some exhibit things.
It’s a top night out at the advocate award,
That gypsy look will strike the right chord
And with so many entries you never get bored,
And t’is sad when the fat lady sings.

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

There are Crafts folk, Musician’s, Dancers and Magician’s
Writers and Painters, Cooks and Beanie makers.
Sculptors, Adulterers, Alcoholics and naked sitters.
Potters and Quillters and woollen underpants knitters.
Some come from the big city, and some come from the bush.
I have researched and so far none from the Hindu Kush.
Some come from far exotic lands from places never heard.
They bring rich and ancient cultures, some brilliant some absurd.
There are Zimbabweans from Harare and Dutch from the Zuider Zee.
Kiwis commute from Christchurch and the Scots come from Glasgee.

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

Glaswegians by their nature are really gentle friendly folk.
But when they are awakened, well they’re easy to provoke.
This hard guy image doesn’t come from tanning someone’s hide.
It comes from taken off ya clothes and swimming in the Clyde.
So lets dispel some myths that have existed now for years.
This “Glasgow kiss”, tis so amiss, this head butting bringing tears.
A Glasgow kiss is a full lips kiss, a kiss-kiss through and through.
And like the French there’s lots of tongue and tonsils and denture glue.
And as for, what’s there, up their kilts, I’m a drinker I’ve seen up a few.
But really I don’t give a toss, and friend; neither should you.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫
So getting back to Bohemian, Artistic, Alcoholic, gentle friendly Glaswegians
Living in Alice Springs town.
With nothing up there kilts who just happen to be celebrating their seventieth birthday tonight. Now that should narrow it down.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪

I know a couple of blokes, both filling that description.
And when with them I philosophise there is no circumscription.
Our conversation range transcends sex and drugs and rock and roll.
We digest politics, sport and religion and of course William McGonagall.


McGonagalls not gone at all. McGonagalls no post-mortem.
He’ll make his come back in the fall, but of course, he’ll call it autumn.


T’is 70 years ah how time flies, since first was heard your whimpering cries.
It was hard to understand you then and some things never change.
Luckily friendship like wine matures, and enriches more with age.
So, let’s Beattie the Camp-bell young Iain and Willy.
Be not concerned of actions ludicrous and silly
For tonight is yours, and you wear your smile beneath a desert star.
While I raise the pint-pot in my hand and wish you Slàinte Mhath.

♥ ♣ ♦ ♠
And so forth.
Published in the Centrailian Advocate May 2005

Dear Sir
I write to thank Mr Bruce Spencer for drawing my attention to the fact that Mr Vince Jeisman works for Warren Snowdon’s office. Since becoming aware of this revelation I have uncovered many more despicable traits we can attribute to Mr Jeisman. I would like to bring to the attention of Mr Spencer that Mr Jeisman is also a rabid Cats supporter, not feral; he actually supports Geelong Football club, can you believe that, but wait it gets blacker. As most people on east side know, as they see him every day, He rides a pushbike. Throwing caution to the wind he is known to don a helmet and pay nothing for petrol. I’m sure Mr Spencer you can see what he’s insinuating at here. Mr Jeisman also regularly attends the gym at the YMCA, drinks diet coke, has a vast collection of Beatles memorabilia and financially supports a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. All this adds up to the fact that Mr Vince Jeisman deserves the stigma of public enemy number one. How dare he have his own opinion, how dare he not tell us who he works for, But wait a minute Mr Spencer you never  said who you work for, I can only deduct it must be “get a life Inc”.

Dave Oakes
Alice Springs


Ode to an Air hostess.

She works in a vacuum flask that flies.
She had blond hair and amazing blue eyes.
And she brought me my whisky because I despise
The vacuum flask when I’m sober.