Cockatoo and gum

Cockatoo and gum

Cockatoo and gum – symbols of an unspoilt age

Poet Pavithra Joseph and photographer Roderick Hatrick have joined forces to reproduce a quintessential picture of the resilience of Australia’s exceptional flora and fauna.

When the red gum sang 

I heard a red gum sing

in a quiet alto once,

as the wind ran its fingers

through her leaves.

She wore the scars

of a thousand years ago,

when fires burned bright

and stars shone brighter.

 

Her tears, blood red,

shone like rubies,

once scarlet;

now, dull and forgotten.

 

She remembered a time

when we didn’t own the earth,

when fires burned bright

and stars shone brighter.

 

Every song she heard

earned a place on her bark –

it peeled ribbons upon ribbons,

each note left its mark.

 

There had been a time

the river flooded to meet her,

when fires burned bright

and stars shone brighter.

 

She broke off some branches

making way for a bird,

its family, and then, another.

They grew – so did she.

 

The people, they were kinder then,

not strangers, out of place and time.

Their fires burned bright,

and the stars shone brighter.

 

Her song ended in a sigh,

her roots digging deep,

finding graves of cruelty

and kindness, all in a heap.Poem copyright Pavithra Joseph.

Photos copyright Cockatoos Roderick Hatrick … taken at St Michael’s Golf Club, Little Bay

& red gum wiki.

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