I have danced cloaked in the leaves of the stringy bark
It touched my skin, entered my nostrils.
I have been amongst those trees, breathed their breath, warm sun through curved leaves,
The smell of a coarse bark after rain, crackle dry leaves on forest floor
Warmth, fire, shelter green.
The honey bees gather in stringy bark hollows,
people and animals can may rest wherever the stringy bark stands.
Cycad and spear grass take root in the spaces in between, turkey bush not far away...
Do you know the Stringy bark?
Ask the black cockatoo, he loves this tree too well.
It was a sacred song where we met, and now I know when you are near and I feel when you are cut too deep.
The cry of the birds when you are lost and yes too many have been lost!
At Lyons I saw the curlews huddled together in a patch of only a few meters, until that too was taken... where are they now?
Then at Muirhead where my good friend took council in the private sanctuary of your shade, the savage destruction rolled on!
I heard the cockatoo flock come to roost in their favorite spot,
I was on the phone my friend in tears, birds circling, crying, calling.
A haunting sound.
Tears flowed so long that only the poppy could stem his grief...
As the forest fell the dust rose...
Do we really need more dust and bitumen?
Is it over? NO! The forest I ride through on my way to work is the latest patch of life to be dozed into the dust! And the 'Long Grass People' who took shelter, sitting, singing, talking, sharing fire, food, smoke, and yeh grog...? How far do they now have to walk to take shade or shelter from the expanding apatite of this Booming northern town?
|Bushland between McMillans Road and Osgood Drive (April 2014)|
|Stringy bark stumps and dust on block between McMillans Rd and Osgood Drive (August 2014)|