Friday, September 23, 2005

NATIVE FOREST: Southeast Coast Australia

Anna Tambour, guest blogging

If it could,
it would
dig itself deep
under the forest floor
kneel under its roots,
so shallow pale and tender
and pull them, too, down under
this silent and protective canopy.

They'd listen
like pillaged villagers
these roots trunk branches leaves
hunkered and waiting yet again for the army
to pass by

A bash against a trunk: baby whip-bird flight
shuffled leaves: echidna hunting ants
wind whoops through the she-oak trees
zing bang: summer Christmas beetles
squabble screeches: fruit bats in the night
and through the days a constant forest-muffled
rumble clomp and swish of four-wheel drives.

If it could, the tree would
hibernate a month of summer
and in cool April, also cower
hiding through the holidays
when again and again, They come
an army tramping in

with their pink-tinted herbicide
with their tiny sharpened hatchet
with their grim joyous will to kill
eradicate exterminate re-forestate
against this tree: the feral coral tree
(and for the forest here forevermore)

this tree so long ago dug in -
in joy by someones now passed on,
their bedstead now: long earth
lost buried under the forest floor
beside this great and tender-rooted tree
that when They trample off again
will fill, what's left of it,
with song


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