Howard Firkin
Her conifers are military trees.
They live and reproduce in rank and file
and wear their deep, drab military green
because it has a purpose, not a style.
      They live for close inspection on parade.
The ghost gum is possessed of different spirits.
It’s undirected. Solitary. There.
Its limbs shaped to a chaos they inherit
from each day’s growth into the flint hard air.
      He sits beneath it; sips the tea he made.

And who knows what goes on beneath the soil?
And who can say whose nourishment is drawn
from whose decay? And who decides it’s worth
the wait in darkness for the chance of dawn?