© Leonie Parker

Winner, 2016 Broken Ski Award, Snowy Mountains of Music, Perisher Valley, NSW.

A gum tree seedling lifts its brand new face toward the sun.
Those tender eucalyptus tips have only just begun.
Its spreading crown in years to come will shade the forest floor
when scant years pass and it is not a seedling anymore.

A gum tree sapling sways and bends in light September breezes,
then swelters through the summer until winter comes and freezes
its red tinged leaves to brittleness, those autumn left behind it,
until the season changes and the summer showers find it.

A young gum tree stands strongly strips of stringy bark now shedding.
The old men say that this means rain, or floods that they are dreading.
The rivers rise and lower limbs are thrust into the water.
A nesting bird within the branches yields to nature’s slaughter.

An adult tree is standing tall; its luscious crown is rustling
and hidden in its branches many creatures are all bustling,
building nests and seeking food the big gum is providing,
a flurry of activity, they’re swooping and they’re gliding.

Another tree has tips of pink so tempting and inviting.
Its resident koala is ignoring insects biting.
Scratching lazily, his tummy full, he drifts off, sleeping,
while all around him little ants and other bugs are creeping.

A grand old tree is possum shelter, given over wholly.
Its damaged trunk is hollow, leaves are falling from it slowly.
Bush fires take their toll, it’s true, but nature has her reasons.
This grand old tree has seen it all, a century of seasons.

Another tree is dead and white, its branches now denuded,
adorned with crested cockatoos, one can be near deluded
into believing what you see are yellow flowers blooming,
as heads are dipped and wings are spread for daily feather grooming.

Furred and feathered animals are spreading seeds asunder.
Summer storms arrive with all their fury and their thunder.
As the rainy seasons pass a seedling greets the sun.
Those tender eucalyptus tips have only just begun.

Return to 2016 Award-Winning Poetry.

Terms of Use

All rights reserved.

The entire contents of the poetry in the collection on this site is copyright. Copyright for each individual poem remains with the poet. Therefore no poem or poems in this collection may be reproduced, performed, read aloud to any audience at any time, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written permission of the individual poet.

Return to 2016 Award-Winning Poetry.