Poets of Australia
They carved up Berlin – four slices of pie –
imposed two versions of English. Then armies
arrived, without guns, began clearing the rubble.
Amazing how many trees had survived, hardier
than stone. I smuggled them in as invisible
baggage, concealed like illegal drugs –
a yardstick to measure this landscape by,
a bridge to the first urban dreaming.
And sometimes in winter, or in the peculiar
cleanness of storm-washed air, a particular tree
will beam me back to the streets of my childhood:
the wrought-iron fences, weathered stone lions
spitting their silver rain, the roots of old trees
erupting into the light.
Michael Sariban is a Brisbane poet. He has published four collections of poetry, most recently Facing thePacific (Interactive Press1999) and Luxuries (Ginninderra Press 2001). He recently completed a new manuscript, The Devil You Know
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