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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Trees, dogs and Poetry.

Tree planting started for me this week.  I only do seven or so at a time so I don't kill myself digging the holes.  The seedlings themselves are smalll but I need to make sure I'm not planting them over sheet rock, because if I do they won't be able to survive the long dry symmers.  So, down I dig!

My first seven this year went in beside the queen Jarrah.  She misses her friends who once grew here on her south side, and I am hoping that giving her some new company will cheer her up. All they need done in this pic is their tree guards to keep the ravens and rabbits from biting them off and to protect them from frost.    
Mum hurt her back a bit last weekend so her two dogs came with us for the run as well.

That's Tuppy on the left, then Mama Rosie, then her son, Angus and finally Grandma Tess. We didn't plan it that it was two black Labs in one house and two yellows in the other, its just how it worked out!

After planting, it was time for a walk round Moy-Mel.  It is finally getting green.  It is only ten minutes up the road from here, but it is much dryer there than here.

It was lovely to get these smiling pics of Tess, because she is one of those dogs who gets embarrassed about photos and usually looks kind of shut off in them.

And of course Rosie smiles nearly all the time!

I was hunting for something the other day and came across this poem I wrote as part of my Ovate studies with the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.  It is about trees that have been important to me.  Hmm, horses seem to feature in it too.  I still haven't spoken about me and horses much yet, have I?  Soon. 


Picnicking under the Peppermint trees
By the old carousel
At the zoo
Their spicy smell and
Willowy leaves all around us
My Grandparents
My Parents
My sister and I
In our little velvet dresses and white stockings.
Horses on the carousel to ride afterwards
That's why I remember.

Curled, nesting, imagining I was a wild beast
Or a little dog
Deep inside the pile of lopped branches
From the Cape Lilac
That stood in our back yard
Every year cropped to a bare trunk
but every year flourishing anew
A slim tunnel from the edge of the pile
Over and under branches and into my nest
Hiding deep in the soft, green, sweet-smelling heart
I was a fey child.

Tapping, tapping in the night,
Leaves like impatient fingers
The Umbrella tree that grew in my Grandparent's front yard
That dropped its fruit on car and lawn
And patter-pattered me gently to sleep each night
Making shadows on the ground
That moved and swayed
When the sea breeze came to call
A safe, gentle house
A protecting, nourishing tree to guard it.

Mulberry trees
I have loved a few
Small child
Climbing in the branches
Face and hands and clothes purple with juice
Primal hunter gatherer
Enjoying the berries even more for that
Than for their sweet taste
A tree that feeds so many
Feeding the birds to their fullest
Till their very droppings on the leaves turn indigo
Light green leaves with lines of beauty
Feeding the silkworms at school
Feeding us jam and pie
And still I love to pick and eat them
Stained like a child

Plantation of tall pine trees
Pinus Radiata
Humble timber tree
Much maligned for using too much water
Stealing too much nutrient
When uprooted to this unsuitable land
But the Black Cockatoos love them
And I love them
Teenaged, sister and I ride
Down the long, ranked laneways of straight pines
Whisper of muffled hoofbeats on needles
Rough-barked trunks all you can see in any direction
Easy to get lost
Fun to get lost
Fun to gallop down those laneways
Especially on cool, misty days
With only the roos bounding away
To remind us we are not in
Some medieval forest in Europe.

The bright red of the Coral trees
As they flower to tell us spring is coming
Great leaves, like hearts, falling in autumn
Green the colour of lushness
Bark like the skin of an elephant
Growing beside the stable where my good roan horse
Would wait for me to bring him his bedtime carrot
Growing both sides of the streets
That I love best to drive down
Hardy and cheerful
Can grow anew from a whole branch
Just stuck into the ground
A survivor
A teacher.

Jarrah Trees
My greatest tree loves
Sister and I, older now, riding again
A long ride to new places
Into a hidden valley of ancient Jarrah Kings
Silence, only hoofbeats
Tall grey trunks of great size all about
Grey-green canopies far above us
Awesome already
But then a raucous call and a clatter
And a long-tailed peacock male
Blue and metallic bright
Flies from high in a great Jarrah tree
And on into the forest
Right before our disbelieving eyes
A mythical beast, out of place
Hard to believe we are seeing him at all
Hard to believe he can fly with that tail
But he does
And we are stunned by the magic of that moment
And our luck in being there
Among the tall Jarrah kings and queens
At just the right time.

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