The Sentinel of Fleming Park

The Sentinel of Fleming Park

You’ve stood here longer than anyone
with your branches wide and your crown
touching the sky

So long that they built the fence around you
instinctively respecting your space
age and wisdom

The others, lemon scented, smooth and tall
are mere saplings
their straight trunks the thickness of
just one of your gnarled branches

That thick one, the one facing me
you discarded with a sigh
louder than the wind

I knew it for what it was
as soon as I saw it shattered on the ground

You are preparing for the great turning, aren’t you?
Building up the fuel to feed the flames
that will mark the end of your long life
and allow you to birth the children
that will grant you immortality

But I know the ways of Men
As do you, deep down in your roots

The second element doesn’t come easy to them
They fear it almost as much as
they fear their own power to Create

So I took your fingers
I brought you threads spun by Gaia
I mated them
The scent of you was filling the space

If the flames that bear you children never come
your fawn-coloured fingerprints
will tell the story of your life instead


47 Albert Street Brunswick East
It's the biggest eucalyptus in the park, with the fence built around it. I used the leaves of its fallen branch to eco-dye wool with.

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