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Books & Poetry

Poem: Moreton Bay Fig

Books & Poetry

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How often do you stop to smell the Moreton Bay fig? This ode to the majestic tree is by Murray Alfredson, a former librarian and lecturer and Buddhist Associate in the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy at Flinders University.

Moreton Bay Fig

That giant lets fall its fruit,
tom-bowler sized, full-ripe
soft to the roadside footpath
where passers tread them into
seeded cakes as dropped
by unseen herbivores.
The odour’s far from foul;
instead, it rises sweetly,
the ferment close to cloying.

How many of the passers
fully know those fruit
they tread?  Some will doubtless
feel annoyed at staining
to the Council’s pavers.
Fruit falling on the soil,
of course, will rot returning
nutrients for the tree
to use again. When ripe
for falling, those balls of dark
softness lend themselves
for eating, not, it’s true,
so lush as Smyrna figs,
but dun, dry and fibrous.
Nonetheless welcome when stomach
gnaws and legs tremble.

Murray Alfredson has published on Buddhist meditation and inter-faith relationships, and was featured in Friendly Street’s New Poets Edition 12 in 2007. He was nominated for the US Pushcart Poetry Prize in 2009 and 2012 and was an original contributor to Poet’s Corner in its print days of 2008.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.




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