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Grey Ironbark: Eucalyptus Paniculata

If I could forget myself, if I were only
A tranquil tree,
Branches to spread out the silence,
Trunk of mercy.
 
                              ‘I Want to Sleep’, Jorge Guillen, translated by James Wright


 
The ironbark doesn’t shed.
Ridges and scars: holds
resin in its trunk. Heartwood
 
of rust. Railway sleepers
rubbing their eyes. To sheathe
the hulls of ice boats. Sapwood,
 
dried. Long planks for houses,
sweetness of bees. Feathered
flowers shed cloches on a winter’s
 
day; dark sides of leaves turn
to face the sun. Little men
pack their pipes. Splinters
 
against the grain. Furrows,
memories. Fire, phoenix:
green doesn’t forget, stirs, buds. 

 

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