Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Is it tonight?

We were just first wed
Moved in our very own home
Free as little birds

Some friends lived not far
In a small rented cottage
with dunny outside

Their rooms were damp and
Outhouse had a toxic smell
Much like fiery hell

Often we played cards
But when at their house it was
Best to shun that loo

For night soil men came
Notorious in those days
For their sloppy work

And “is it tonight?”
Always our plaintive plea when
Nature made her call

Dunny - Australian term for outhouse toilet

Image found at


  1. Oh, good one! I can see the alarmed anxious faces of the young people in this poem.

  2. I've always found outhouses to be a bit terrifying. My grandfather, though, used his until he died in 1994, even after installing a modern bathroom in the 1950s to please his wife and children.

  3. Fun poem/memory! I actually have some fond memories of outhouses from camp and cabins ...

  4. Ah the good ole dunny! Thank goodness we don't have them anymore!

  5. LOL My aunt had an outhouse when I was little

  6. Oh my - i have phobia on this kind of toilets. i dont know but i feel unsafe lol

    thanks for the smile Robin.

  7. So funny to me, as my aunt had an outhouse. When we went there to visit I had to hold it until my eyes were floating to keep from having to use the privy.

  8. i love this poem for all the bad memories of days gone by

  9. i was wondering about the meaning of 'dunny' then saw it at the spite of all this dunny problems:) the old world was no less charming.."Often we played cards"...just imagine how much leisure you had...hmm heavenly i think...

  10. I don't fancy that - snakes in the loo and all...shudder...i think i'd hold it to morning!

  11. When I was a girl ours was in the pasture. Grandpa built it from cinderblocks. Once I got stuck in it for about an hour cause, Curly, the mean bull stayed in the path. That was one thing I promised myself about growing up- I would have indoor plumbing!

  12. Such tension related to going to the bathroom. Nicely done.

  13. Well written, great reference to the old methods of clean up.

  14. Funny, I touched on an outside dunny, obliquely, too.

  15. O, those interesting details and a new word too. Still they are in the town, when any road works or just general feast. ~ Fun memory.

  16. Good one. I'd be hesitant too, to use that dunny.

  17. We had one of these when we first came to Finland, fitted with shelves for books and papers, and a note-pad hung on the wall in which to record any thoughts we might have whilst using the place. Damned cold in winter, which is why the top of the seat was fitted with Styrox padding.

  18. Long drops are still used in many parts of rural Australia.