Winter is definitely here this week, but I have no snow to show, only a lot of cold wind and rain. Wombat and I managed to get out for a bushwalk when there was a short sunny break and I am always amazed how much warmer it is among the trees. This week I am going to share my all-time favourite bush poem. I am quoting it in full as it does not appear anywhere on the internet and I only ever found it in one small anthology. I think it deserves a wider audience!
from 'MAN INTO TREES' for Caroline Kalmar
Here, nothing is ever folded
and put away:
leaf, stick, twig, shards
of bark, like shed garments,
are simply dropped when finished with,
and turn to compost where they lie.
Pollen is spilled upon the glass
of a dressing-table top;
earring petals drop
and rust where they are fallen
The floors and walls are damp,
tier upon tier of shelves of stone descend
scattered with gritty pebbles
and glittering sand.
But not a tidy notion troubles
the innocent conscience of this land,
a sweet, sweet odour rises,
a lovely fragrance comes
of spilled unguents, spices,
and aromatic gums.
And now to my own offering - an Alfred Dorn sonnet...
They'll put on party frocks of red and gold,
adorn their limbs in glorious array.
A gaudy show of colour, one last fling,
then, naked, sleep away the winter cold.
In slumber deep they'll dream that soon they may
awaken to the gentle kiss of spring.
But in the bush, that's not how things are done.
Bold eucalypts embrace the winter sun.
She'll swell her trunk and split her skin, unfold
the pearly wood beneath. She'll curl and shred
the dangling, tattered ribbons of the old.
In stormy gales, she'll toss her heavy head.
Where others lose their leaves, she'll keep her hold.
This eucalypt will shed her bark instead!