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Famous Reporter # 35
 

 

 

rob walker

Camellia in the Bush

Scott Creek Conservation Park

 

I.
 
Soldier-settlers. They fought on the other side       some returned to eke out the remainder
on the margins           cleared the Bush           planted pasture for European cows
The soldier-settlers fought on this side. They lost   Some moved away   some died here
Planted in this marginal soil. The Bush has pulled up its blanket

 

II.
 
Mopping up after
the bushfire,
an unexpected access
 
it felt like virgin scrub
 
a sudden wash basin
and a riveted
cubic water tank
 
the soldier-settlers were here.
 
I can feel their past
feel their presence
 
zinc and rust returned to soil
a wattle grows up
through the tank

 

III.
 
amongst the banksias
astroloma, platylobium, isopogon
ancient spikes             sculpted by drought
and fire             bandicoots and echidnas rustle.
 
Sometimes pushing
through Easter lilies
the naked ladies
of the bush
 
Still standing at attention in formation as
the soldier-settlers
and their wives
planted them.

 

IV.
 
Every year coming upon the Camellia in the Bush.
 
i imagine the farmer's
wife after all her
backbreaking chores
 
growing this, planting it
out, fetching it dippers
of water after a lowtide bath.
 
Now the house is gone,
the dust of her bones scattered
to the north wind
 
And this unlikely
refugee
foreigner in a strange land
 
thrives.

 

 

 

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