by Judy Panucci, Australia
So, next door there were these trees see Nothing much to sing about A stray Jacaranda Shade for our veranda; Self-seeded wattles Creating soils and mottles Yellow Gum giants Standing tall, defiant Leaves like scimitars Bark marked, full of scars Fringed bowers full of flowers Gum nuts swellin’ up Sugar Gliders cruising’ in Supping all the nectar up Gangster Goanna sauntering Stealing eggs and slurping up Lazin’ round and burping up. But she’s just an old bag, bet she’s a real nag She’s such a dumb wit; talking quick, she’ll chuck a fit The tree hugging slag. So, there were all these trees see But not anymore Not anymore. Used to be, see Now, nothing to see. The scraggy wattles fell To the chainsaw’s rattle. Jacaranda groaned But gave no prattle As its limbs were torn. Trunks screamed long as it writhed and twisted While handfuls of purple Hurtled down, down, down So the Dual Oc could rise ’N’ what a surprise! Needed air conditioning Heat kept on swishing in No shade for the veranda From the felled Jacaranda Heat kept on blistering, sizzling. But she’s just an old bag, bet she’s a real nag She’s such a dumb wit; talking quick, she’ll chuck a fit The tree hugging slag. So, there were all these trees see But not anymore Not anymore. Used to be, see Now, nothing to see. The Yellow Gums beheaded Sawn up and shredded. And the Sugar Glider glided Down, down, down While the Dual Oc rose The Colourbond fence marked the boundary Between nature and dumbwittery What fun, more sun! What a surprise! The sun kept on slamming in Needed air-conditioning And the newly planted hedge Shrivelled as it fried In the furnace of the fence And the grass had no defence And turned Brown, brown, brown. So, there were all these trees see But not anymore Not anymore. Used to be, see Now, nothing to see. So my question is genuine but general: Why do we human animals Keep purchasing on plastic Having to have; having to grab? And not having a clue ‘Bout the relative value Of an old tree Home and sanctuary Torn down for a boundary A Colourbond furnace? Or am I barking up the wrong tree? And he says “The roots of your Liquidambars Are gunna fuck with my verandas; The Fig Tree’s a pest” (Too healthy, too wealthy In branches and buttresses Too green and shady Faraway tree and sanctuary.) “Its limbs might drop fungus On my Colourbond boundary Gunna cost a fortune To pull that fucker Down, down, down.” So the sun can sizzle Helter skelter, swelter Melt her. And the air con explodes As it strains in overload And the ice in the fridge And on the planet Melts down, down, down.