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Mix Margaret Dylan Jones

W.A. composer, pianist, teacher, article writer


...where eucalypts green-tip the sky



Thirteen poems by seven Australian writers
as selected by Margaret Dylan Jones for her song cycle
for choir, piano and speaking voices.

First few lines of each poem

Landscape With Gum Trees

Only the gentlest movement
In the uppermost branches, the
Breeze sliding from limb
To limb... (Shane McCauley)
 
Tuart Forest, Ludlow
 
Grey is the bark of the tuart trees,
Grey is the soil where they stand,
Grey is the day if we mine them away... (John Joseph Jones)
 
Interceptor
 
Salt in the earth, like submerged snow,
congregates insidiously,
its incipient assault past undoing,
while patches of trees
fret into graveyards of alabaster... (John Joseph Jones)

The Last Tree
 
The last tree stood proud
On the empty plain
Battered by winds, dust and rain
The last man knelt
He held on tight
As they dreamed and cried
Through the Nuclear Night... (Gladys Milroy)
 
Green Gums & Gravel (excerpt one)
 
In Spring
 
imaginings are everything.
The mind inclines to travel south
down country highways gravel-edged,
where eucalypts green-tip the sky,
their sculptured trunks like columns rise
to colonnade the forest floor.
Beside the road where saplings sprout,
young gums, new-leafed, are shining red
and wildflowers launch themselves in space,
earth-popping through their underplace.
The white clematis starry-eyed
climbs twining rampant round its host
the drooping fissured peppermint,
while leschenaultia, pink pimelia
each colour-code their artistry. (Claire Grose)
 
Marri with Nuts
 
After rain
sometimes gumnuts
---the big-bowled,
 
boldly-rimmed
nuts of the marri
---smoulder.. (Andrew Lansdown)
 
Jarrah
 
The calm of the forest amplifies
a faint, flat tintinnabulation.
The jarrah trees are just in bud
and the buds are beginning to burst... (Lansdown)
 
Green Gums & Gravel (excerpt two)
 
A half-way stop to stretch and stare,
a jarrah cabin nestled there
where bush paths lead from gravel tracks,
the smell of wattles, forest mulch,
the feel of damp and gravel crunch
the thought of billy tea and lunch
the curling smoke from burning twigs.
To live here, though, would be to fear
the smell of bushfire ever near.
The ibis in the creek can fly---

not I. (Claire Grose)
 
Breaking Out
 
A eucalypt bud is an incarceration of strong men---
boxers---cramped, bent double in a green locker-room
with a conical ceiling-cum-roof... (Andrew Lansdown)
 
A Remembrance of Robins
 
From the twig where they rested
I saw them flit away: two robins
white-capped and scarlet-breasted. (Andrew Lansdown)
 
Green Gums & Gravel (excerpt three)
 
Young jarrah forests steal the light
from rustic rammed-earth cottages.
The redgums weep, the magpies call
in woodlands near the river deep
and, near the dam where water flows
the hooded lily stilted grows.
The streets are quiet, no high-rise
to pierce these virgin country skies.
 
Imaginings are sweeter when
I pack and drive down south again. (Claire Grose)
 
Woodchipping
 
The forest moves below the ground
and sways above it,
jigsawing the sky... (Jean Argyle)
 
Karri Forest
 
The voice succumbs to celebration
In such places
Where the shadows have nothing
Of politics lurking in them... (Shane McCauley)
 
Yellow Tingle Tree
 
O yellow, yellow tingle tree
we mourn the loss of majesty
that in your falling clouds the skies
and stamps a blindness in our eyes... (John Joseph Jones)
 
Forest Giant
 
You have stood there for centuries
arms gaunt reaching for the sky
your roots in cadence
with the heart beat of the soil... (Jack Davis)

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