(For my brother Michael and my sister Margaret)
Our tree, lissom, muscular,
Stood forever tall against wind and rain,
Shading against intrusive suns.
Only the time-blind Moonbone
Sees the ants gnawing its guts,
Its fall, long as shame.
Naked in the dust of passers-by,
It and the sheep it killed
Grow grey together
Until Half-Eye’s quickening
Transforms worm etchings
Into airy silver chimes.
Peter Burges (Western Australia)