An illustration of green leaves by Navita Wijeratne

Ode to the Eucalypt

Art by Navita Wijeratne

Swaying gently, 

Solidly moored by a vast civilisation of roots below. 

Generations of growth and decay, 

Growth and decay. 

 

Life goes on for the Eucalypts. 

Slivers of bark 

Suspended by svelte branches. 

Slender limbs macabrely examine their former skin. 

 

An ashen pallor to the trunk, 

Smudged shades of grey and green and blue and white 

By the brush of Albert Namatjira. 

The ghost gum stands tall and straight on this plane and in the next. 

 

For want of water, nurture and relief, 

Pines and Firs and Oaks will wither and crumble 

Under the golden sun in the red dirt of the Lucky Country. 

Far from home.  

 

Something so pale and so spindly 

Should succumb to the will of the colonisers. 

Nature should bend to man’s will.  

And yet in my lifetime and the next, the Eucalypt is well rooted.