By Steve Denham


In my teens, Sydney’s flora
brushed the inner city and CBD
with green - but the first tree
I really ‘saw’ ...
curtsying to a zephyr at the
corner of Druit and George,
leaves fluttering ... sinewy sapling
boughs like limbs narrowing
and widening, swaying
diving, returning upright,
in rhythmic courante, as if
held in the arms of dance
partner unseen; was
truly a thing to behold …
alive and spry - how could
it be forty-four years ago?
‘More like forty-four seconds’
I whisper to myself sighting
that same tree today, munificent
sentinel of oxygen, height and shade …
companion loyal to that grand
old Victorian woman, the
Sydney Town Hall.
Now friend, deciduous ‘planatus’
- you too stand among Sydney’s
stalwart landmarks … her churches and
shopfronts whose stately decline
defies the eye; yes
heritage-listed facades,
monuments, roads, and footpaths ...
even old guard Box Elders, may opiate
the senses, suspend synapses
with longevity - but for mine
you will always be that
child who bedazzled, when
I had eyes to see.