Late afternoon , light waning,
driving East to that little village.
Summers’ garb velveting the lands’ swellings’,
luminous cloak… protecting earth.
The endless ribbon climbs heaving , breath expanded hills,
denuded long ago to graze hungry mouths .
So long , the remnant veterans forget the company they kept.
I feel their ghosts this evening… swaying in the wind , saying last farewells
as they crumple to another life .
A hut , or boundary claim , some rising as a pheonix from warming fires , escaping cunningly.
Those that remain stand alone or in huddled groups for strength.
Their last stand… through drought , stress and mistletoe, survivors who deserve their place.
Cresting the summer grass waves ,
filigree lace in silohette , introducing land to sky.
Some advancing like a last charge , in unbroken lines over the ridge,
no pounding hooves or lances held….just their dignity as armour.
They filter the suns low rays in conversation flowing , inviting me to join,
and join …I do….with eyes held wide , drinking in the silent words.
My body feels the whispers offered in this moment that is as long as eternity.
Im part of the dialogue now, drinking in this scene , absorbing proffered stories of all they have seen, captured in this softened light which pours itself on me.
Time shifts and all is whole , absent forests stand and croon, lamenting lost potential.
They reach up from the dust , restaking their positions , claiming their ground.
I feel them clamouring all around , even as I pass by.
The veterans feel them too…memories stir and spread through leathery leaves.
Tucked away for lonely times , imprinting dreaming nearly lost.
And on this evening they are young again as distant storm fed breeze allows play .
Come dance with us , and those we grieve.
Pay homage to the life force that still flows deep within our roots.
Whilst driving home one day I was pondering the loss of Australias unique forests …felled to make way for grazing land, building materials and firewood in the early days. Noticing the last remaining “veteran trees” still standing in the sheep paddocks.And wondering about the stories they could tell.