This was written at the request of some of those on the ground just outside York trying to stop the destruction of the old-growth trees alongside the York-Quairading (York-Merredin) road (known as 'Cathedral Avenue' to some).
This doesn’t have to be a requiem,
no, not yet. Each breath these strong
old trees let us have is a breath that keeps
us going, keeps the pieces of belonging in place.
What is held in the cathedral
of salmon gums and wandoo?
The branches reach to hold
the sky in place, to keep
earth and sky connected.
Prayers in all languages
and all faiths collect in their
illustrative branches, echo in hollows —
all creatures that come and go,
that make life in their outreach
help us hear and see who we are,
singing past present and future.
And the owl knows the cockatoo
and a galah cocks its comb at the sun;
the shade translates the writing of time
which the machinery would cut short.