by Barry William Metcalf

There is a sort of majesty
'Bout the stance of stately gums,
The way they thrust their branches out
And up towards the sun.
How like human limbs they feel
To the touch of my caressing hand;
How like the remnants of tattered clothes
The bark that hangs from many a branch.
How blue the sky whose patches glimpsed
'Tween layers of leaves that droop,
Hanging their bodies in listless silence
'Neath the heat of summer's sun.
There is something quite relaxing
In the foliage of many hues,
The different greens, the browns and reds
That reflect the dappled light:
Yet when the breeze deigns to raise its pace
And give life to listless leaves
The sound that's made is like the sound
Of heavy rain rattling on a tin roof.
At their feet the ground is matted
With leaves and bark, both brown
Which kill the grass but provides a home
For the myriad insects that abound.
There is a sort of stateliness
'Bout gums that have survived the times,
The way they emulate our human existence
With its many ups and downs.
How like ourselves they suffer setbacks
From fire and drought and famine;
How like our bodies the gums' own trunks
Bear the scars of life they've known.
How like survivors of all life's tragedies
They reach upwards to the sky,
Leaving adversity in their wake
To simply keep on growing.