“Whroo” by Vonnie Deering

Vonnie sent me this lovely poem after seeing my recent post about Whroo Historic Area. It has been a favourite site for her and husband Graham over the years. I can see why. I have Vonnie’s permission to reproduce it here.

This place is littered with broken brick,

discarded bits of crockery,

signs that once this was a home

to those who dug for gold.

They have been gone a long time now –

gone with the spoils of their sojourn –

leaving the bush, now done with,

to its thoughts.

 

Neglected fruit trees struggle to survive,

the wells are dry and mine shafts filled

with rubbish and with rubble;

peppercorns droop,

their pale pink seed pods dangle,

their spicy scent hangs in the warming morning;

tired pines lean into afternoon

with limbs like old bones, twisted.

 

Absence has brought wildflowers to

the graves within the little cemetery –

bindweed and finger flowers are bright

against the dusty ground;

the headstones slump and mutely spell out

lives in gaining spent.

 

The ironbarks have staked their claim;

the native cherry and the wattle stand

amongst the straggling Chinese scrub;

mounds of mullock have grassed over and

the hard earth, spread with scats,

is rich again with golden everlastings.

 

Choughs in dozens protest at approach;

loudly, harshly they insist

this place of strange abandoned beauty

is their territory.

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