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Sunday, January 06, 2013


by Martha Landman

Ghost Gum, Mount Sonder, MacDonnell Ranges 1953 by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira. Photograph: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010.

“Australia's totemic 'ghost gum' trees burnt in suspected arson. Two trees made famous in Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira's watercolours were due to be placed in national heritage register. “--The Guardian, 4 January 2013.

A didgeridoo weeps
pristine tears
in Albert Namatjira's grave

Evilly, a fire
belly laughs
Australian desert coloured in ash

twin ghost gums
topple in
smouldering mourn.

Martha Landman is a South African-born Australian poet residing in tropical North Queensland.  She has published on- and off-line.