Will God keep gumtrees
When he makes the world again,
Count ironbarks and wattles
Worth enough to mend?
And will I feel the wide warm light,
And hear cicadas hum,
As lazy evenings fall upon
The new Jerusalem?
A childhood here has filled my head
With creek beds, paperbarks,
Red space, and milky stars,
their colours in my heart.
So, I dream smooth stones to skip,
Long grass, and cockies’ shrieking,
Will also line the river’s banks,
And be the nations’ healing.
Perhaps it cannot be.
Groans betray the earth’s hard curse:
Dry land turns to dust and night.
Is our hope brand new day,
When we shall wake to our new life,
New trees drunk on new rain,
And all that’s dying, old and parched,
Will come to memory?
Must I learn to bear this loss,
sad cost of our sad pride,
and watch the country drift away
on hope’s transforming tide?
Or may I, greeting that new world
Far past this old one’s end,
Feel a smile of recognition,
At reunion with a long-absent, much-changed friend?
Photo by Ken McCormack