The Billabong

Discussion in 'Creative Traditional' started by mountainpepper, Feb 28, 2014.


  1. There’s an old river course with beginning and end,
    now the river runs straight without this river bend,
    where the water is still and the reeds do grow strong.
    New life has taken over in a billabong.

    The mat rush is spreading replacing the sedge,
    and old fallen gum trees lean in from the edge
    creating a haven in the shelter below
    for smelt or gudgeon, and the common minnow.

    There’s a ring on the water, so danger is nigh,
    and life is now over for one caddis fly.
    Dragonflies hover on their predator flight,
    so mosquito and midges best keep out of sight.

    There is many a song around a billabong
    to break up the still with an assembly throng
    from birds of the forest, and wading birds too,
    so the billabong offer is there to pursue

    for blue heron and egret, coot and the teal,
    and for the banded rail that the bulrush conceal.
    In the billabong shadowed by gum and ti-tree,
    bellbirds are tinkling; wattlebirds disagree.

    An oft-diving grebe keeps on searching for food
    for the striped downy chicks of its latest brood,
    and a hunting kingfisher waits keen for its prey
    from a twig of a gum tree it frequents all day.

    There is many a scent around a billabong,
    filling the air with the perfume quite strong,
    from black wattle and mint bush, or mistletoe
    cascading from gum trees where only they grow.

    Painted lady butterfly flit upon flowers,
    and blue banded bees keep on working for hours
    on lilies and orchids, heath, sweet appleberry
    and clusters of flowers on a native cherry.

    Ribbon weed, nardoo spread out in the shallow,
    with buttercup, duckweed; an introduced mallow,
    struggling for survival near the water line,
    aiding coral pea that does lightly entwine.

    The banks of a billabong are dangerous too
    with predator snakes not so often in view,
    but they are aware, that the growling grass frog
    will climb from the water onto an old log.

    But tigers and copperhead, red-bellied black
    often lay in the sun on an overgrown track,
    where the wombat or wallaby travel along
    to graze on native grasses near the billabong.

    So life still carries on around the billabong
    where water looks stagnant, a bond is still strong,
    with a river now rushing it’s way to the sea,
    past the billabong living, where the course used to be.
     
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  2. Jearry

    Jearry
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    Oct 8, 2013
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    This is a really interesting poem. The language used makes it feel like stepping into a fantastic little fairy tale, and the imagery is wonderful. You've created a whole little world here, and it's beautiful.
     
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