Friday, November 18, 2016

John Bennett # 23 Tombstone

‘hearing oftentimes / The still sad music of humanity.’    Early this morning, Friday

Memorials are scattered through the forest
but due north, clear-felling has devastated,
leaving nothing - we forget  trees die like us
but discovered creation long before we did.

This stump was once a mountain of wood
an enchantment, tall and wide and old
breathing before the invasion. 

I imagine it feeling pleasure from a sunny
spring day, or a summer storm
even though it never had a name.

Trees have talent - a tree is not a tree
but a small universe, habitat, larder, lookout,
By day, birds sang melodies from its branches,
at night it kept patience with Gliders
Cicadas and Flying Foxes.

Flowering in its season for the nectar seekers
strewing gumnuts  on the ground, a dependable mystery
rooted the foundations of life, conversing
with other roots and other life forms,
the web of interconnections buried.

This stump reveals power relations
and the potency of steel, labour, enterprise,
but the branches airdanced in a southerly
and the sun trod on its leaves. Now,
pale bone is eaten out, reflecting light
for a selfish art that skirts the shadows.
The ruins have become picturesque,
like Tintern Abbey without the stones,
the architecture and without God.

Today is an awful black day for NSW. Despite letters and phone calls from us in the conservation community, the Baird government's controversial biodiversity laws passed last night, with farmers getting greater powers to clear their land of native vegetation. Hugh Possingham who resigned from the biodiversity legislation review panel warned that broadscale clearing could double in NSW as a result of the changes.

Meanwhile, this morning's birds are feeding


  1. yes :( too angry for words. Thank you, John.

  2. It is a cruel, thoughtless world we live in. How can we change that?

  3. clearly legislation is needed - in certain places - to clear land of farmers and their destructive practices


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