Back in the really wild days,
in this colonial outpost
as mud and stone houses went up
and Noongar folk looked on bewildered and confused,
so much was said by poets and others
about the wind in the Casuarinas.
As if that wind were sent to spook us.
Spindly trees with skinny leaves
all along the banks of the Swan.
Their real name Kweela.
That wind is surely just a wind?
Those skinny leaves make a soft and constant sound,
no ululation, no change in pitch,
just a long whisper, like a distant jet,
whooshing through our ears
reminding us of way way back
before we left our mark, and what a mark we left!
And now we've named a prison after those skinny trees
and fill it with the bewildered and confused...
Don Smith (Western Australia)