|Photo by Christoph von Gellhorn on Unsplash|
Dub Leffler grew up in the small western NSW town of Quirindi. He is descended from the Bigambul and Mandandanji people of south-west Queensland. He is an illustrator of children’s books, including one of my favourites from 2011 Once There was a Boy (which he also wrote) and Sorry Day (2018) with Coral Vass.
NSW is currently in the grip of the worst start to the bushfire season in living memory. Over two months of non-stop fires, that have now joined up to create a ‘mega-fire’ zone north of Sydney, with no end in sight. I understand that Leffler’s reasons for crying in this poem run much deeper than the current environmental crisis, still, it seemed appropriate to visit this particular poem today.
I Cry for You, Country
By Dub Leffler | 1 February 2019 | Cordite Poetry Review
I cry about this country.
As I travel about in between the sliced stone mountains.
The train is a salt dipped saw.
Sawing back and forth in the wounds.
I watch the relentless invasion of lantana. We open the cuts and rip off
I cry for you country.
A tree’s single scream lasts years.
When I die, you will have my body.
You take my water, you take my bone.
When we have our dead days,
I will think on you.
The day we finally go, is the day, we finally return.
Jennifer @Holds Upon Happiness posts a lovely Poem for a Thursday each week. I enjoy sourcing poems from my recent reads to join in with her whenever I can.