ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Writing Poems Swansong for a Fisherman or an Income Tax Catch

Updated on March 15, 2013

Taxation's net is thrown both wide and indiscrimminately

The writer at work in 1992.  Swan Song for a Fisherman was written eleven years earlier.  It is based on a true story.
The writer at work in 1992. Swan Song for a Fisherman was written eleven years earlier. It is based on a true story.

Writing Poems - One way not to 'conserve the revenue'

Many years back I worked for the Australian equivalent of America's Inland Tax Revenue organization. Inevitably the government, in its efforts to catch tax cheats, made the occassional blunder. Our Inland tax revenue department would perhaps unearth a source of tax, only to find it close down on them to become a drain on the taxpayer. The poem below depicts such an incident.

Swan Song for a Fisherman

-Or an Income Tax Catch-

There was a man who worked hard and long,

Yet each day his toil was filled with song;

His earnings to all did they belong,

He’d never heard of Taxations gong.

One day there came to our man, Max,

A Government man to check some facts;

Our poor hero, he’d been lax-

In all his life he’d paid no tax.

Now, our man, Max, for was a fishing man,

To sail and fish, was his life-long plan;

But out of his life this ambition ran,

When his tax-returns oversight hit the fan.

Here, a bumbling bureucracy really did kill incentive

All his saving went to pay his debt,

His current earning, too, were kept;

There was no way out for our fishing boy,

His days were no longer filled with joy.

They couldn’t take from him his boat,

His fishing gear or warm, wooly coat;

But his bank-account they shook by the throat,

Made him feel around town a proper goat.

With this kind of tax it no longer paid to earn,

The harder he worked, the more he’d burn;

“Oh, well,” he said, “We live and learn,

From Aussie’s workforce I’ll adjourn.”

He gave up fishing and went on unemployment relief payments

And so Max decided not to work.

He’d fish just weekly for a lerk.

To slave for the Government? Why be a jerk?

He’d go on the dole – a far better perk.

Our Max, he didn’t know right from wrong,

But on the dole he doesn’t belong,

It’s men like him who made our country strong,

We were far better off when we heard his song.

Moral of this fishing tale, is a fishing pro,

A man who was always on the go,

Who fed the country, made us grow,

Was encouraged by The System to work real slow.


So I think you'll see that Australia's system of Inland Tax Revenue can be ever bit as clumsy as any other in this big wide world.

I hope you enjoyed Writing Poetry - Swan Song for a Fisherman.

Keep smiling



Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)