Ringbarked by Kathleen Dalziel

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Gone long ago his hoard
   Of gum-blossom, nut and bough.
No bee or feasting bird
   Cares to visit him now.

Only the bull-dog ants
   Scurry about his base,
Or a lone windhover haunts
   Some high perching place.

At times the magpies use
   Him as a pedestal;
Broadcast their morning news,
   Concerts at even-fall.

Or a phantom cuckoo grieves
   That spring might soon go by;
Otherwise life just leaves
   Him alone with the sky.

Twenty years he has lacked
   The leaves that shimmered and laughed --
How many gales have rocked
   Since then that silvery shaft?

Yet when the bush is drawn
   Into the sky's disputes,
I have seen green kings torn
   Up by heir mighty root,

While, last of his tribe, alone
   He stands upon the rise
Pointing a useless bone
   At the uncaring skies.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 May 1947

Author reference site: Austlit

See also

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 28, 2014 7:36 AM.

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