An ode to the Camphors

Church Street

Beneath the camphors.

limbs like flesh, maternal, nurturing, solid, comforting,

providing wonderous light,

shadow and shade for birds,

frogmouths, peewees, pigeons,

noisy galahs and human beings.

Children play in their huge

motherly outstretched gracious boughs.

With arms akimbo, they receive tentative

clambering little limbs, so proud

of their achievements; up above, they look

down on mothers and dads, 

“I am a koala, I am a lion, I am a monkey!”.

"Look where I am!"

Even dogs  climb these gentle giants,

who have given of their grace

for many many decades.

Here growing imaginations thrive

as do the smiling faces of onlookers

at these children playing their games

as they did in times gone by, (like we used to),

without the shackles of OH&S

and the censoring by bureocrats,

of such simple freedoms.

These trees are the 

portals of one of Mother Nature's cathedrals,

(of the) Church street, where so

many gather to converse.

For so many who would otherwise

be alone,  

can enjoy the freshness and abundance,

savour connection to nature

and to one another,

playing chess, drinking coffee,

reading the newspaper, catching up

with old friends, or perhaps,

meeting with the the next would be lover?

For here beneath the trees

at the best office in town

Is Life, an essence renown in,

Bellingen, we so love and cherish.

Children can play safely in their surrounds.

Parents can watch while drinking coffee,

and life can effortlessly manage itself,

notwithstanding the company of elves, 

and bureaucrats to admonish

that one is in fact, enjoying ones-elf

beneath (an evergreen canopy

of flourishing, deliquescent leaves)

which are really (wicked, wicked!) weeds..

But this landscape is a testimony to life,

and a fact of Bellingen's appeal

which in these days the world could do with,

weed or no weed.

People are happy here.

Church Street, has become a main gathering place,

which along with Maam Gaduying 

(also" Meeting Place", with

magnificent camphors),

make Bellingen so special,

Because of these sacred giants, totems

to much of life’s mystery; and

guardian watchers to so many of our

human activities, our comings and goings on.

As dispensors of love and grace from ancient friends, 

from the earth to the heavens

they area  living monuments of our history

and times long gone.

But how fortunate are we, that these beautiful, strong

healthy arbours still exist in this town,

(when we have lost so much to 'progress"?).

Weed or not, they bring grace, shade,

and splendour ...

So why on Earth would we want to cut them down?