Jack’s Tree House
A young boy with freckles in 1961,
taught to love God, respect teachers, dance and have fun,
with Southern Cross flapping, saw acceptances of its call,
of joining Vietnam and freedom, to stand upright and tall.
This boy now a young man, married with kids,
dreamed of a future, happiness and bliss,
but with pollution now massing, trapping the sun,
was the war over, had a new war begun?
A war that started, a long time ago,
one of rivers and creeks once free-flowing, but now not so,
one of vast brigalow woodlands, as others also gone,
to axe, chainsaw and burning, over and over again.
The old man reflects, with remorse and regrets,
his tree house now embers, burnt along with his soul,
why did he not listen, could he not hear,
the groans of the earth, see its tears of despair?
But listen we will, listen we must,
now that fire’s black rain, has flooded the plains,
that tall trees once proud, leafless and slain,
with a new dawn tomorrow, will rise yet again.
Henning Herringe was born in Denmark’s Copenhagen, lived for a while as a young boy in its historical fishing village of Jyllinge on the Roskilde Fjord, and emigrated to Adelaide in 1957 with his parents. Attending Hindmarsh Primary School and the then Strathmont Boys Technical High School, he established his own model-making and design business Herringe Design in the Adelaide Hills, and is now retired in one of Adelaide’s golf course suburbs. Vintage green, he cares passionately for trees and the climate in general, plays guitar, writes songs to go with it, and remembers the awesome FJ Holden.