When They Came by Jane Frank

Between forest giants
bunyip eyes
watch the ship
glide through the Mary’s
tranquil waters.
From among  the kauri,
bloodwood, stringybark,
river flats wreathed
wistaria-purple,
they are seen
encroaching silently
in steadfast early sun
older than time,
but they will bring noise
to this ancient place,
their voices more strange
than the whip birds,
their calls brasher
than the cockatoos,
the crash of their axes more sad
than the curlew’s
desperate call at dusk.

Jane Frank beach photo

Jane Frank’s poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Writ, Uneven Floor, Yellow Chair Review, Antiphon, The Lake and elsewhere in Australia and the UK. Jane teaches a range of writing disciplines at Griffith University in both Brisbane and on the Gold Coast in south east Queensland.

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