The School of Trees

Richard James Allen


You learn more from trees than from people.

They speak with their silence.


Though sometimes you are forced to listen

through the squawking of birds,


whose scuttlebutt inhabits their leaves

the way thoughts flap about in our minds.


Richard James Allen met Martin Harrison on ABC Radio National’s Surface Tension, and knew him, over thirty years, as a fellow poet, mentor and friend. Thanks to Martin’s supervision, Richard won the Chancellor’s Award for most outstanding PhD thesis at the University of Technology, Sydney in 2005.

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