Monday, January 19, 2009


The Paradox of Green

On the Destruction of Old Growth Trees, Dwellingup

When the day is twice as hot as the last day of winter, when a visit
to the country opens its secrets, 'doubt' like a downward curve touches
your shoulder. Suddenly you realise they're still raping the land.
Trucks criss-crossing the forest you used to know.
They bend to the task of filling up trays;
lorries hauling away a history of shade. And in the forests:
empty pathways, divided lots of tearaway soil,
bulldozer and saw ragging edges of old Jarrahs -
old growth without sanctuary, without song.
Seeing through it all, seeing the waft of endless
butterflies, you know the birds have fled.
Near the Murray, there's nothing so forlorn
as the empty soundless call of wind
through pines. Small pines, neat pines, no nothing
conifers that hold no wallaby nor owl.
You wonder if that one tree by the roadside,
graceful in its largesse of leaves,
still shares a sentiment with these foreign -
re-assignments filling up the hills.
On the road, the camera is the only thing that
regards this scene. And as you enter picnic
grounds, a gatekeeper informs you the road is rough
at the 2 mile-peg, and mutely anticipates
you will enjoy what is left
of a valley green.

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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/

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