THE FOREST'S SECRET
While at university in the 1960s friends and I would sometimes head off, away from the city, our books and study. One of the favourite spots to which we would travel was the Blue Gum Forest.We camped for a couple of nights one Easter in this special part of the Blue Mountains National Park in New South Wales, Australia.This month marks the seventy fifth anniversary of the Blue Gum Forest being gazetted as a public reserve.
About twenty years ago I listened to an oral history recording made by Mr Jack Harris who lived with his family at Blackheath. The tape is part of the Blue Mountains Oral History Collection. Harris tells of an experience that befell his brother Ted and himself in those youthful days around the 1920s. It has to do with the vandalism of what he refers to as “a truly magnificent tree” in the Blue Gum Forest.
After listening to the Harris tape I felt moved to write a poem which retells this sad little piece of history. I hope my poem also underlines the constant need to value and protect the wonders of our natural environment. I know this comes through strongly in Mr Harris’s account of this senseless vandalism by people whom he says “had absolutely no regard for Nature and what it meant”.
The Forest’s Secret
Darkman’s tribe has walked this forest
These trees have stood for countless years
One tree stands out above the others
But some who pass are not so caring
A tree so noble and so stately
Well, J.C. and R.M. are no longer
[ posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 ]