Dennis (former Warden, fellow-pilgrim)
transported the surrounding bush inside
to this once stark square where (when young)
we used to kick a footie and the Archbishop chide
that thongs were not professional wear.
Now that so proper lawn has gone.
A eucalypt roughly embraces a pencil pine.
She has lost her slender straightness
and has grown a new and swollen line.
She has a definitely pregnant air.
Dog collars and stiff stocks were de rigueur.
Now a Silver Princess sways at head height
like a demented and giant alien insect
hovering and bobbing with foreign delight.
a tree, a chimerical vision, creation’s dare.
Parrots in the colossal wandoo
scatter pollen, drop nectar to the ground,
neck and squawk their sweet nothings.
In no way to convention bound,
splashing seeds of new life everywhere.
The climbing plant has eaten the wall,
And grown a vigourous, lush and living screen.
The sun shafts aggressively rays,
making the rest dark, and wild, and green,
busting with birds and vital mysteries there.
We have grown a little wild and unkempt too.
The old straight edges are softened and coalesced.
God’s tendrils of outrageous vitality
have sprouted even in the hearts of his old priests,
neatness overturned for more authentic care.
Published in Access Press’s Galloping On VI, Winners And Selected Poems From The Grand National Poetry Stakes 1995.