This Old Bloodwood
A poem by Sam McKechnie from Woolgoolga, NSW.
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The rains have been you can tell by looking at the estuary, only days ago a famished brown worn now, having feasted, a magnificent turquoise serpent shimmering scales flexing and refracting with great surging gasps of tidal breath the cicadas’ raucous buzzing sounding almost like laughter the clouds a lucid grey-white canopy subduing summer-heat to a steady uterine warmth and it’s true, I feel small as a child standing here beside elders such as he this old bloodwood, gnarled and knotted limbs tell of centuries elapsed deep, deep roots drinking from the memory of the earth itself the stories that bleed through cracks and ruptures of his weather-beaten skin, the sap that heals the voice of the wind in his leaves tells of times when the people would bring the young boys to him wild, untamed half-formed humans and he would shape them into men of honour raining his flowers down upon them, reminder of the respect and grace that gives them life with hearts wounded by such wild beauty unbound, they would learn to weep like men for the joy and pain of life… but those days have passed now the boys remain boys; though their minds and bodies grow they forget what gives them life and so try to steal it from the earth, not knowing it was once given freely and still the old one stands, bent and bleeding under the weight of his forgotten memories
Thank you Sam for sending me your poem!
Homework: Reflect on the poem
- What is the "elder" Bloodwood tree witness of?
- Apart from nature, what is the main theme of this poem?
- Use your own words to describe the old and new way.
- How do you think we could prevent boys to remain boys today?