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Poem: Moonah Musings

Books & Poetry

Phillip Island in Victoria’s Western Port Bay is the setting for this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Junette Schoell of Melbourne.

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Moonah Musings

Fringing the bays of Fisher’s Wetlands
and neighbouring Churchill Island,
ancient moonah trees silently stand.
Of the Boon Wurrung people, these moonah’mia*
may live to four hundred years,
eerie witnesses to eons of salt tides
bleaching their gnarled and twisted trunks
and dropped driftwood, sculptured
by the wind and waves of time.

Walking the track inland
through this pristine paradise,
I wonder at the vast canopy of green
springing forth from fallen old wood,
its few residual roots succouring new growth.
On the bays abundant water birds
peck among the mangrove tidal flats,
great egrets take to flight
and a duet of black swans glide by
mirrored on the shining waters,
shored with smooth dark stones,
spongy saltmarsh carpets
and spiny native tussocks.

Silhouetted on the Point
a tribe of still proud moonahs stand erect,
tall lighthouses of the past
and continuing future.

* Moonah’mia is also the Boon Wurrung Aboriginal name for Churchill Island from the distinctive moonah trees that grow there.

Junette Schoell returns to Poet’s Corner after two years this week and next with more poems inspired from nature. Born in the Barossa Valley, she began writing poetry when living on Kangaroo Island, where she began her teaching career. With an arts degree in English and History from the University of Adelaide, she then taught in private and public schools in Adelaide and Melbourne before retiring to focus on family and health, train as a counsellor and start up various care groups in her local church community. Since she has had a holiday house at Ventnor on Phillip Island, that environment has been the source of inspiration for poems such as today’s.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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