Monday, December 14, 2009

Springbrook Mountain


Eucalypt, fir and pine hem the giddy climb to heaven.

Old servants, arm in arm, in rhyme of song,

they twist and bow to wind and storm.

Warm-clothed they liaise with sun and rain

in loyal high-country tradition.

Their ranks stay closed on by-roads and paths

to convex lookouts

where relatives in unending sweep below

swing their limbs with the joy of freedom.


Water rushes from rock eyes.

It falls furious-fast past wind-sharp cliffs,

past trees that swing suicidal from tight lips.

It collapses to fill pools eyelashed with shadow,

or renew the flesh of creeks that creep beside the feet

of the tree kingdom.


Amongst them, brown rockcakes sit on tables and wait,

never to be eaten.

Ancient-baked below earth, in a fire-driven oven

they exploded into unyielding shape.

Flat bush, like icing, spreads from their heads

and drips haphazard down their brows.


The wind whips and licks the spongy tip-topped heads

that arc from single threads of long-necked trees.

Nearest to sun and moon they flaunt a superiority.

Rivers, unpraised, untampered by man, carry the secrets

of the forest in her pockets. They think only of

joining the sea. They smell her, hear her calling.


A blue shawl throws its mohair warmth over the dips

and ridges of the northern valley.

It steals the horizon sky, blurs the scars of a witch-black

escarpment. The giant girths of the forest lords -

the Antarctic beeches, bear the weight

of the brawny branches,

and the caterpillar leaves

that release with calm, their ancient breath.


In this hideaway country grows the greenest grass

in Queensland;

and people slip like coloured angles of wind

from wildflower homes to greet you. Their voices,

foliage-soft, speak the songs of the forest.


The wayfarer wanders the silence with renewed

woodland and wildlife empathy.

He listens for the whip and lyrebird, but seldom sees them.

The damp after rain swells his mind into half-remembered

landscapes of childhood; that place of innocence

where the child’s dreams flew hawk-eyed to the unknown,

like the horizons of the Springbrook mountains.


Caroline Glen ©

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