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A Walk In The Bush - A Poem of Life and Death

Updated on September 29, 2016
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir | Source
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A Walk In The Bush

by John Hansen © 2014


Today I took my four dogs walking.

They raced ahead as we walked the block.

It took awhile to traverse the 40 acre fence line,

Then zig zag through the centre.

Past the half full dam,

Through the ironbark trees,

Disturbing a few kangaroos

Resting in the shade,

Sheltering from the midday sun.

The dogs chased a goanna

Up the nearest and tallest tree.

As we approach the rocky outcrop

The carcass caught my attention.

The dogs raced over to inspect and sniff.

It was only a black and white hide

And two leg bones.

No skull, ribs or spine.

Taken by dingoes,

Or stray domestic dogs

Let go wild.

No smell assailed me,

The carcass picked clean.

I hadn't seen that steer for weeks,

I guess it had been dead as long.

It made me wonder,

If I died while living alone,

How long would it take,

For anyone to miss me?


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    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Kim, it surprises me what goes through my head sometimes.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Kim, it surprises me what goes through my head sometimes.

    • klidstone1970 profile image

      இڿڰۣ-- кιмвєяℓєу 2 years ago from Niagara Region, Canada

      Very thought provoking. I think everybody at one time or another has contemplated the end of their journey and how it would affect others. Nicely done.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Aw Gypsie, what a nice thing to say. Thank you.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Jodah I enjoyed the journey. You would be missed instantly if your hubs didn't show up.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much Harishprasad. I always appreciate your intelligent and insightful comments. I glad this poem had a special effect on you. I have approached the subject of death in a few of my poems recently, because it is a subject most people are uncomfortable with discussing. I am trying to cover as many aspects of life and death in as many different ways as I can. Thank you for the vote up too.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      While I was on a trail reading your beautiful poetry lines, there was suspense at every step where actually you wanted us to lead ? At last, the epiphany combined with your bold question made my mind blown from all sides. Your question is straight from the deepest recesses of your heart which evoked such a great empathy for the deceased deer that you encountered on your way while walking your dear dogs. John, I have been reading most of your poems and relished all of them with all my heart but this one was laced with a different kind of flavor. How many poets dare write with such frankness while dealing with the question of life and death ? I loved your eye-opening words in this very beautiful poetry. Voted up.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your kind comments Theresa. Much appreciated. Yes, a agree with you that most of my poetry does also end in a "contemplative or philosophical vein" also. I am usually trying to get some message across or make my readers think deeper about something. I wonder if there is a name for our type of poetry.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Audrey, yes I agree that dogs add another dimension to a walk in nature. They always find something interesting that you'd miss if walking alone.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Jodah - The lead picture is amazing and I really like the poem. I really like the philosophical turn it took at the end -- relating the facts and events of nature to issues of how we live and die. Very striking.

      Recently my School Dean agreed to read some of my poetry and write a book blurb for it. He said some nice things, but then he said something about me usually ending my poems in a "contemplative or philosophical vein." I had never thought about it like that before. I think you do that as well, and I like it. Theresa

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      So much enjoyed this John! I love walking out in the agriculture with my dog! You never know what she will turn up!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks so much Ann, I'm glad you enjoyed this poem. Yes, we all need to be observant of everything around us. I think a photographer is more attuned at taking everything in than many of us. There is so much wonder and beauty in the world. Have a great day photographing, but take care with the floods. I saw that on TV, not good. I probably see a Gianna about once per week..lol.

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      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Great read about a wander through the bush; amazing what you can find! I love looking for details, large and small, when out for a walk, especially with my grandchildren. The oldest (13) is a keen photographer and she has a great eye for the unusual; it's half-term here next week so we're having a day out photographing the area (but we'll keep away from the floods!).

      I've only once seen a goanna. It crossed our path as we walked around the outskirts of Perth a few years ago - wonderful!

      I greatly enjoyed reading this. Ann

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks so much for reading and your kind comments Cris. Yes, I sure did miss you, and yes getting in touch with nature does make you reflect on life etc. Hope you are back on board now. I saw a couple of your comments on other hubs and was hoping you were back. We have to make a living in the real world though don't we? Anyway thanks for the vote up pin and share.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      You certainly left me with some thoughts to ponder after reading this beautiful hub. Why when we get in touch with nature our inner thoughts always speaks of something profound that is more often hard to explain?

      I was quite away making a living outside HP and I wonder, did anyone notice my absence. Just a thought....

      This is very creative and beautifully penned. Up, pinning and sharing.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Alicia, yes that's true. though I guess most don't like to consider that unless they have to. Glad you found the twist at the end interesting.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting poem with a very thought provoking comment at the end, Jodah. I'm sure that question has occurred to many people as they think about their own lives, especially if they live alone.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your kind comment DDE. Yes I feel everyone should include some outdoor activity and adventure in their life. Thanks for reading.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A Walk In The Bush (A Matter of Life and Death) is a beautifully written and shared hub. Outdoor adventures is a great way to think and be free from all

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Cat. Great to hear your observations and yes you are right it isn't common, though it does happen. I have heard of elderly people in apartment blocks in the city who have passed and it is weeks before anyone finds them, because they usually kept to themselves. I guess they are people who have no family though, or close friends. I'm glad you'd miss me.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks so much Phyllis for the generous comments. I will take note of your suggestions and see what I can do.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Eric. it's not a nice thing to think about it, but we do have to consider the possibilities.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 3 years ago from Los Angeles

      Interesting observations from your walk and well expressed in your creative poetry. I think we all fear dying alone and unnoticed, but it is rare except for the hermit. You would be missed right away!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Flourish, for your kind comments and good advice. I know you are right and I will mae a few changes here and in my future poetry hubs to try to make them more 'evergreen'. :)

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the lovely comment Nellieanna, yes you'd certainly be missed and the comments here are convincing me I would too. Hugs back.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Jackie, I think some of your comment got lost, but I'm sure he was a great dog.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Than you for reading MsDora. Yes we all have to think about it, and I ntend to keep writing. Have a great day.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      FlourishAway and Jodah: I agree with the suggestions FA has written. My stand-alone poems did not do as well as the ones where I added some information/facts related to the main topic of the poem. Hence, my Lavender Nostalgia poem and Walking On The Dark Side are my top two poems in terms of views, score, and earnings. I also agree that this Walking In The Bush poem is great and very well-written, for it pulls the reader right into your walk and gives a clear image of the surroundings in the bush. Well done, Jodah.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I do a lot of hiking alone. This thought definitely hits me from time to time. Great Hub!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      What a great poem. I enjoyed reading it very much, especially the twist at the end.

      Recently you were looking for ways to increase traffic. Just a few ideas, although *I find nothing wrong with poetry for its own sake*. For this poem, for example, you might do a side bar about the process and timeline of decay or facts about dingoes (or other specific animals that other countries don't have) and change the title to something broader so that the poem is more SEO friendly. I've written one or two hubs that contain embedden poems as sidebars. I also have one hub with a stand-alone poem. (My standalone poem does very poorly compared to the others, probably because I did not follow my own recommendations here. It also pulls down my average Hub scores.)

      Again, I like your poetry for its own sake, and these ideas are simply in response to your forum post. You're a superb writer, and I want to help you in any way I can, John.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      What a lovely, touching story! How relieved I was that it had a happy ending. Your last question fits my situation so well, but I think I'd be missed and I know that you would be! Thank you for sharing that poem and the story. Hugs.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Someone gave him to me and he was grown but we loved him, he was a great dog.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Jodah, your ending shocked me; but the truth is,we do get similar shocks in real life. Not for you, though! Keep writing!

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      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      I KNEW it!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for stopping by Mel, yes my little piece of Heaven. I never take nature for granted and really miss it when I have to stay in town. Thanks for the great comment. It reminds me I have to go read a few more of your hubs too.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hopefully not Bill, I'm not intending for that to happen anyway. Thanks mate, you have a great one too.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Great to see you Jane, and thanks for that wonderful comments. Yes it's weird what strange thoughts you ponder at times. If one of us disappears from here I know we are missed but would anyone try to make the effort to find out what happened, or think "oh, he probably just went to another writing site where he could make more money...etc"? Anyway, this was a true story that happened to me yesterday only a few hours before I wrote it. Thanks again.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well let's hope we never have to find out the answer to your last question. :) Love your poetry, John. Well done, mate; have a great weekend.

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      Jane Arden 3 years ago

      ((If I died while living alone,

      How long would it take,

      For anyone to miss me?))

      Woe. How poignant. We would miss you immediately on here. It is surreal though this Internet relationships. If we do disappear - its all left in the unknown. Was it real this experience John? I felt as though it was. But that's a key to a really good writer isn't it. To sound authentic. I'm now picturing you with those beautiful canines. Again such sublime words coming from Jodah's heart.

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      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      Sounds like a fascinating place, your own little Walden Pond where you commune with nature on a daily basis. Heat work!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Joelle, Somglad you enjoyed this poem and the song. Yes our animals are quite unique, and it would have been totally different creatures if it was set in Canada. The world is so diverse. Hope you have a great weekend too.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great poem, John! I was thinking that if I had to write this here the animals would be different :-) Our Earth is so interesting and diverse; what a beautiful place to be and to explore! I can't wait to go to Australia and see kangaroos, koalas, dingoes and many other animals not known in our part of the Earth! Thank you for sharing!

      Have a great weekend!

      PS : I love the song; beautiful story that ended well :-)

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Jo for your generous comment. I'm glad you enjoyed this poem and the images. I'm starting to feel I may be missed...lol.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Oh Eddy, thank you for saying such kind things. It is always a pleasure to read your hubs and to have you visit mine. You have a great day too.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Jodah, a very sobering thought, but in your case, I don't think it would be too long before you're missed. Brilliant poem, loved the images.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Oh Jodah what a heart rending creation.I can only repeat what's already been said and you would be missed instantly.You are one of my most recent followers/friends and its always a pleasure to see you called by. Have a great day .

      Eddy.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for visiting Tony, and your great comment. Yes It's a good place to live.

    • Tony DeLorger profile image

      Tony DeLorger 3 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Wonderful images of our Australia, and aren't we all glad to be living here. Well done John; great wright.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Frank, I always appreciate your comment. It's a good point, who would find me..hmm?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

      problems for the elders.. most who live alone die and are discovered several days after they go.. sad.. but that would have made me think about who would find me if I lived alone :) good work

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your comment Dream On. Yes, you are right, we need to make the most of every day, the good and the bad. Life is always interesting if we appreciate everything around us.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      I love your pictures and your dogs.What an interesting topic.I know for sure you leave a great impression that will carry on long after your gone.Life can be funny and sad all in the same day.I will never figure it out.So lets make today a Great day!Then we have nothing to worry about.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the vote up Jackie. Yes, I guess they would...but how long would it take them to realize, that is the question...lol? Really, you had a dingo? tell me more.

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I am sure the kids would miss you greatly just judging by how I miss my parents. They leave us when we are only getting to understand them and know all those words we resented at times came from love. Interesting read. I use to have a dingo several years ago. ^+

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes Faith, it's weird the things that initiate such thoughts. Funny, that you'd care what people thought about your wardrobe when you're gone, but hey. Thanks for your kind comment, glad I would be missed.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Awesome poem and interesting too! I was just thinking about such except I was cleaning out my closet and got rid of anything in case I died and someone would look in there and say oh my ...she wore that!!! Lol ...funny the things that go through our minds. You would be missed right away! Up and more and sharing. Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      So true David...lol. Thanks for reading and your kind comment.

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      David Carl 3 years ago from New York

      You are prepared for a 4 dog night if you get lost out there in the cold. Good work!

      David Carl

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Aw Phyllis, what a sweet thing to say. Thanks for reading and your great comment.

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      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I believe we would know the first day you had gone missing, Jodah. You are a great part of this community and we would miss you right away. Nice poem. I enjoyed reading it.