It began with the two willows
in the vast back yard of my childhood.
Dad hung a swing from one
and I swung inside a green cocoon,
sky-dreaming in a trance.
And the black wattle over the garage —
the solid, spreading branches
made a seat for me, half way up,
out of Mum’s view. I played deaf
when she called me, reading till dusk.
Then there were the dark pines
edging my grandparents' fields
alongside the railway line,
like guardians for my cousin and me
as we played on hillocks of heath.
I remember that river gum
somewhere between Three Ways and Darwin,
off even that not-very-beaten track,
with the Territory’s warm winter sunlight
bleaching patches of trunk.
And the tree at the top of the paddock
at North Tumbulgum, past the dam,
right on the neighbour’s fence,
with a trunk too broad for my circling arms
and two lopped branches forming snakes’ heads.
These and many more. I have a forest
of trees, beloved, living inside my mind,
speaking to me forever after. Far-flung
individuals, their roots connect underground;
their branches join invisibly through air.
April PAD Challenge #10 Tree and/or Forest
Some of these poems are autobiographical, some are entirely fictional, and some are a mixture of both. The intention is art rather than self-expression. I don't allow factual details to get in the way of poetry! (I do seek emotional truth.) They are works in progress, and may be subject to revision without notice. Completed versions appear in my books. Nevertheless copyright applies to all texts found here. Copyright also applies to almost all photos posted here, most of which are my own, though a few are licensed under Creative Commons.
Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your posts as much as possible.
This month, June 2016, I'm a daily guest blogger at Project 365+1 and will be posting my poems in both places. It's a varied group of Aussie poets and artists; worth taking a look. (Only members can comment there, though. But there is also a facebook page.)