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scent of decay

crush of leaves underfoot
soft mound of brown where a tree once lay
warm, woody scent of decay
of life and death entwined

all along the mound of tree that was
life is emerging
from the crumbly mulch a man-fern sprouts
delicate fungi in clusters grow
and moss drapes elegantly over all

from the earth the tree was born
grew magnificent, reaching to the sun
birds sang in its branches
possums clambered its trunk
devils growled and chased around it
wallabies nibbled and contemplated
while womats ignored all and dug

and tree fulfilled its life
returned to earth
to live again

I want no coffin for my grave,
no cross to mark where my body lies,
let me rest beneath a tree,
branches reaching to the sun, the moon,
proclaiming life that includes me.


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I write stories. Sometimes I take photos.
The photos of me were taken by Ron Co
The art is by Sergei Rukavishnikov
I’m Australian, and I thank Muds for that.

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  • Unique-Mystique
    Unique-Mystiquealmost 4 years ago

    Wonderful descriptions given

  • Thank you …. it’s how the forest was this morning :)

    – Alenka Co

  • digiphotox
    digiphotoxalmost 4 years ago

    Lovely work.

  • Thank you ….. that’s a nice compliment, seeing my writing among the art you favourite :)

    – Alenka Co

  • Sybille Sterk
    Sybille Sterkalmost 4 years ago

    1/11/2010 Congratulations, you have been featured

  • Thank you for featuring ‘scent of decay’ and for your lovely description of it in your ‘touched by fire’ blog. Very much appreciated.

    – Alenka Co

  • Arcadia Tempest
    Arcadia Tempestalmost 4 years ago

    The first stanza grabs and reels you in… fabulous prose.
    I heard the voice of regeneration amongst the scent of decay :O)

  • Thank you …. that a big compliment, a really encouraging boost :)
    It’s how the forest seems/feels. I used to have romantic notions of Nature until I came to live slap-bang in the middle of it. My first impression was, “everything eats everything!!” which of course I knew before but hadn’t been confronted daily with so graphically. Slowly I’m coming to terms with it, seeing it as described above.

    – Alenka Co

  • markhadafairday
    markhadafairdayalmost 4 years ago

    awesome write.

  • thank you …. it’s kind of you to read it and respond :)

    – Alenka Co

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