For Judith Wright
Gravity is rolling her particles into a child’s spit ball.
Like a student chewing paper in the classroom’s dark,
There is something unlawful about our decline & fall.
In her honour, eucalypts shed their clothes, dropp bark.
She has already touched the universe’s filigreed edge.
The red shift galaxies shine singularly as flame trees
In a distant quarry; their blooms are a well-kept hedge
That borders our knowledge; doubt swarms like bees.
She had long been a part of it; her hand me down cells
She returned to the sun’s up-market store. A dying star’s
Decaying gift signalled the blow of her heart’s iron bell;
As her last breath vanished like the atmosphere on Mars.
She is monumental now; as though there was a Marathon
Mound of ancient Greek heroes piled up inside her head.
She was the flint of eco-consciousness that was fiery born,
When she struck at the builders who cleared out the dead.
Still, the Earth sucks in its belt-line & gyrates its middle age
Spread. Forests recede like hairlines thinning out, as the hand
Of progress combs through them. All that’s left is hollow rage,
As small groups of creatures turn & make their final stand.
Judith. Her poems are etched on the trunks of scribbly gum.
Insect mouths chew through the grain of her poetic field.
As they kill, borers translate her words into a universal tongue,
& hollow trunks of eucalypts drum; never yield, never yield.