Saturday, December 17, 2011

Conversations Under Grandmother Tree

Conversations Under Grandmother Tree

I always call big old trees with spreading arms Grandmother.... and big old tall ones Grandfather... silly me, really but it stems from a day, nearly 40 yrs ago now, when I sat under a tree with an indigenous girl, whose name has faded from memory ; she told me stories of her people, Dreamtime Stories handed down from generation to generation. I may have forgotten her name but I shall never forget her. I fished for barramundi (a fish) and ate witchedy grubs with her and watched the slow moving river grumble along past our feet...

‘Neath Grandmother Tree

forty year old
into present day
two girls
bond in play…
fishing for barramundi
by a slow moving
that grumbled past their feet
searching under thick bark
witchedy grubs to eat…
a tale of ebony and ivory
long before the song
was sung
two girls
playing in the bush
their souls
were as one…
teaching each other
of two worlds
the worlds of
me and she
sitting ‘neath
the cooling shade
of old Grandmother tree…


the day was hot & humid
summer storms
building in layers
of heavy cloud
pregnant with unfallen rain…

rain today
I asked
wiping sweat
from my nut-brown face…

nope, ‘morrow maybe
she replied
her yawn exposing
teeth of purest white
in a face as black as night
you not like dem
white girls in town
she said
dem ones read Dolly
at milk-bar
and paint their nails
and giggle like sick

you not like them
aborigine girls in town
I grinned
they copy white girls
and giggle at the jackaroos
and flutter eyes like
sick cow…

our laughter tumbled
up into the branches
of Grandmother Tree
who rustled her leaves
at our gossip
with good-natured

you think any quandong
are ripe
I asked

nope, we ete ‘em all
she shook her head
you still got much
to learn
she laughed…

we both laughed then
out loud like
healthy kookaburra
we screeched
chasing each other
into the slow moving
water of
the River….

jackaroos - Male trainee worker on a cattle or sheep station

quandong- Australian tree with edible flesh and edible nutlike seed


Lullaby Lyrics

in scattered shades
of filigree jade…
shadows overlaid
with late afternoon
sunshine that stills time…
creating intrinsic
in branches
and leaves
soft melodies
within the stanza
of a faintly stirring breeze
lullaby lyrics whisper softly
of seasons past
and seasons yet to come
as I sit ‘neath
this grandmother tree
to await
the setting sun…


  1. If it where so that we could always see beyond the labels that color skin and belief... being friends with each other and all of our grand natural living things... Thank you.

  2. That is so very true.... and it starts with educating the children, so they see no labels... no differences....only the color of nature...

    Thank you so very much for stopping by.

    Peace & Friendship

  3. I am on the Admin of a private creative site that encourages thoughts like these... we share poetry, stories,and art and encourage others to join in our many discussion groups. We are world wide creative page run by artistes... and as such reserve the right to refuse, block or delete those who choose to cause drama.
    You are most welcome to join us if you wish... I know that your thoughts & knowledge would be enjoyed by many.


  4. Trees are the mothers and caretakes of all of us, makes sense to call them respectful names...I've spent many hot days in the loving shelter of a tree. Great blog! :)

  5. Wonderful blog entries with Grandmother Tree - well named - beautifully written thoughts and photos too.
    I worked in Central Australia with indigenous people in remote communities for almost ten years up to 1999. I regretted having to leave. Made some wonderful friendships and I became family to many, and they to me. I miss them.
    Linda Visman

  6. Hello nice to see you here... I lived in NT for many years growing up and again at 24-25... I lived in every in every main town in the NT and did my nurses training at Alice Springs in the late 70's.

    NT has a very special place in my heart.