Vonnie sent me this lovely poem after seeing my recent post about Whroo Historic Area. It has been a favourite site for her and husband Graham over the years. I can see why. I have Vonnie’s permission to reproduce it here.
This place is littered with broken brick,
discarded bits of crockery,
signs that once this was a home
to those who dug for gold.
They have been gone a long time now –
gone with the spoils of their sojourn –
leaving the bush, now done with,
to its thoughts.
Neglected fruit trees struggle to survive,
the wells are dry and mine shafts filled
with rubbish and with rubble;
their pale pink seed pods dangle,
their spicy scent hangs in the warming morning;
tired pines lean into afternoon
with limbs like old bones, twisted.
Absence has brought wildflowers to
the graves within the little cemetery –
bindweed and finger flowers are bright
against the dusty ground;
the headstones slump and mutely spell out
lives in gaining spent.
The ironbarks have staked their claim;
the native cherry and the wattle stand
amongst the straggling Chinese scrub;
mounds of mullock have grassed over and
the hard earth, spread with scats,
is rich again with golden everlastings.
Choughs in dozens protest at approach;
loudly, harshly they insist
this place of strange abandoned beauty
is their territory.