Iwerre Atherre/Two Roads

Barry McDonald


On country is the time to talk of these things.

“Plants have their stories too” Auntie told me, “lots of them.

They tell us what’s happening, and we know then, straight away;

When the bloodwood’s in flower the possums are healthy

And aretharre blows when the tea tree blooms.

Once that sick-wind comes, then it’s watch out for snakes

And prickly wattle blossom shows the kangaroos are fat.

Stories like that we get from plants”.


Back through town, I mark the trees

That grace the streets with their ardent purple show.

“When the jacaranda’s out” the old lady replied –

No trace of tease or that well-known cheeky grin –

“We know the children are sitting for their exams

And all the tax returns are in”.



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