The giant is felled

The giant of our backyard is felled.

For twenty years or more she stood

white limbed


watching over our neigbourhood,

calling birds to perch awhile,

to sing their songs

on high.

What tales she might have told.

Perhaps she did,

in waving whispers.


She saw our baby girls into womanhood,

from swings to sandpits,

to salaries,

watched the house next door

reduced to dusty rubble

for the three in its place,

looked down on guinea pigs and dog,

our barbecues,

our digging and our planting,

our rest and our play.


Through storms she stood,

through drought.

She hung on in white resplendence

as her sweet leaves vanished.

Marauders of the night devoured her,

stripped her bare

to gleaming bones.

She stood, a gracious skeleton

of death,

clinging to a ghostly life.


So not to eke a stark existence out,

her final days she shed

to warming hearths

and nourishing soil.

She bowed out gracefully

and vanished like the ghost she was,

to memory

of lemon-scented leaves

and towering tree.


© Ellen Carr 2014

Written when our beautiful lemon-scented gum tree (eucalyptus tree) had to be cut down due to the effect of our drought years, a few years back, and the destructive work of possums, eating its leaves. I miss its tall beauty and the many rainbow lorikeets (little parrots) that used to sit in it and squawk loudly.


10 responses to this post.

  1. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul, now lost to all but memory.


  2. Posted by Sarah on 06/02/2014 at 9:58 pm

    A beautiful way to remeber our tree Mum, well captured.


  3. Posted by Merryn on 08/02/2014 at 3:43 pm

    I love the nostalgia of this poem


  4. Thanks, Merryn. Having a look at your blog now.


  5. Posted by Merryn on 21/04/2014 at 10:55 am

    Ellen, hope you don’t mind – thought I would nominate you for one of these awards called the Sunshine Award – sounds like a bit of fun – it helps to get more people reading your blog and celebrates the wonderful encouragement you bring to others through your writing. Don’t feel you have to participate, but if you are keen, follow the link and there are instructions in my blog post. :)


    • Hi Merryn, I’m thrilled and flattered that you want to nominate me for this award. I think my answer will be yes but I’m a bit tired now to follow up and find out what it is all about. Is it OK if I let you know sometime within the next day or so? Thanks. Blessings, Ellen


      • Posted by Merryn on 21/04/2014 at 12:24 pm

        No worries! I am still finding out about these awards – I think they are created by bloggers to increase blog traffic and highlight great blogs.

      • Posted by Merryn on 21/04/2014 at 1:09 pm

        Basically what you do is answer the questions I included in my post for the award nomination (see the link above), save the image for “Sunshine Award” in your media files and add it as a widget on your page (footer or sidebar). You also nominate 10 more blogs, include their links and notify them (see my post). It’s a way of keeping it going to bless others 🙂

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