Teone at Green's falls

Teone walking to Green’s Falls. Photo by Steve Reinthal ©2008

…excerpted from MICROCOSMOS TR ©2004

This Christmas, the frogs and the crickets and the owls and the birds are still chirping, warbling, popping, hooting, cackling, laughing and crying as these days fade into their own inexorable death.

Word’s out that Troy left us in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again. That creepy guy from the madhouse down behind Gumnut Grove was taken away in handcuffs. The raving clutch of poets, drunks and artists from Hene’s place are gone, the blues boys have struck camp and shuffled off to set up in deeper and different bush-land, far away from here.

The Friday night crowd at Tucker’s is finally and fully gone, the dread-locked fairies have disappeared, their doof parties packed up, home-births banned, their vegetarian food forgotten, the jam nights over, their organic food stall tumbled into a pile of rotten boards.

The new king on the mountain wears a chambray shirt, and sports a gas-guzzling behemoth. He is the hustler.

I toss in my slumber, disturbed by the encroaching roar of big property business deals, trembling as these “Sims City” developers have perched themselves, squatting and slavering in the tops of trees, everywhere in the highest places; over our oceans, over the great plains and above each and every sacred grove to market the magnificence of wilderness, and to lord their wealth over the land and the spirit that dwells in all things.

I cannot rest for the hacking, chainsawing, grading, cutting and pumping of industry that has cursed the heart of forested mountains and the wide valley places that we see through the trees.

I mourn the development of every possible scrap and parcel of land around here, the elder’s strong words are ringing in my ears,

“That’s sacred land, you white people got no business living up there”.

Yet, I cannot leave. I have become nourished, healed and filled in by the forest, drugged by her damp and darkened scents, my eyes have aged and deepened in the drifting Autumnal airs and I am tattooed by the crawling bite of tiny creatures across my skin.

My blood is altered, I am part humus, part stone, I itch and wheeze with the blue-gum pollen that has seasonally transformed my precious rain waters into foul-smelling cabbage soup, I am grey-blue with the fur of Summer’s mold. I am home.

I know that deep down the developers will never find what they are really searching for, it is beyond their ability to know where to look, and their preoccupation with the almighty trance of money, safeguards an inherent aspect of the majesty that lies beneath the very land that they crave, lies beyond the borders of their self-serving games.

This land is an enduring mother, singing to herself in the crannies of her considerable age. This mother is an old land, hardier and more resilient than all the greed-driven strategies for getting more…

I know that development applications are tearing at the seams of these remaining trees, as progress winds it’s way up the very same dirt track that claimed the life of one elderly woman on her way down town.

I know now, that her tough spirit guards that way.

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