New Year's Day at Trin Warren Tam-Boore

 

 

The beautiful park, whose name means Bell Bird Waterhole in Wurundjeri, was warm and humid in its summer dryness, as I walked with Rose and her parents around its S-shaped ponds.

 

A lone moorhen and accumulating clouds,

Piling up with threatening edges

Lazy pobblebonks reclining 

In ponds of sedges and saltbush.

 

The motion of still water’s flow,

Imperceptible, like moments of time,

Like silent clocks sneaking past midnight 

Into the new year while I am wrist-deep

In suds and melancholy, 

Surprised to hear my family’s joyful exclamations

And the pop of illegal fireworks.

 

The park is a haven for wildlife, looking for a natural retreat from the pressing urban landscape. I feel that I am one of them.

 

Here, it is rush hour 

At this intersection 

of ants. 

 

We come across a small tree that is laden with small white flowers. I use my plant identifier app called Picture This and see it is Bursaria Spinosa, commonly called (and colonially known as) ‘native box’. I think of Sylvia Plath.

 

Bursaria spinosa - 

a native box for arriving bees,

Their furious language a familiar mystery.

 

A sports field is lined with English elm trees. I think of how they survived in Australia, but were all but wiped out in the UK because of Dutch Elm disease. I wrote these linked haiku in response.

 

Copse of English elm, 

Variegated, serrated.

Homeless colonists.

 

Old weathered tree stump,

Rhino head, alien tusked,

The textures of time.

 

Remnant scrubby ridge

Quarried, lost and overgrown

From the beforetime

 

I think of Victoria’s Indigenous languages. They too are remnant, like the vegetation along this ridge, surrounded by another world. They are treasures that have survived enormous waves of destruction.

 

This is an old place

Where time once unfolded slowly 

And without threat.

 

Now the dinosaurs of Swanston Dock

Raise and lower their brontosaurial heads

A child’s fantasy of giants’ fingers

And Zhuangzi’s butterfly 

Gently baking in the afternoon sun.