Scribbly Gum by Colleen Keating

Scribbly Gum

who writes the scribbly dialect
written into trunks of eucalypts ?
I watch the trunk of a gum-tree
no sign of a scribe

who writes the scribbly dialect
written into trunks of eucalypts?
i run my finger along the rambling lines
and enjoy the mystery

May Gibbs found inspiration
for her writing on the gum leaves
Judith Wright peeled its splitting bark
and wrote her poem
of this life she could not read.

how lovely to enjoy wonder 
believing in fairies 
at the bottom of the garden

who is this secret poet ?
who is this hidden creator?
this graffiti artist?
leaving its tag  on trees         
and what is it trying to say?

a brown moth rarely seen
is the curio   its tiny eggs hatch
mysterious larvaes  burrow down
like children in class taking up their pen
they tunnel along writing  their journey
and as the circle of life comes round 
form moths and  like students fly free

 

May Gibbs 1876-1969    May Gibbs MBE was an Australian children’s author, illustrator, and cartoonist. She is best known for her gumnut babies, and the book Snugglepot and Cuddlepie  and her scary old Banksia man.

Judith Wright 1915-2000   Judith Wright was an Australian poet, environmentalist and campaigner for Aboriginal land rights. She was a recipient of the Christopher Brennan Award in 1975.  Judith was also a recipient of the Australian National Living Treasure Award in 1998.

Scribbly Gum Moth tells the story of the insect’s life cycle.

Scribbly gums are spectacular Australian eucalypts that get their name from the strange ‘scribbles’ left behind on their smooth bark. These rambling tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth and tell a story of the insect’s life cycle.

Photos of the Scribbly Gums were taken by me in the Ku-ring-ga Botanic Gardens in Sydney.

Ku-ring-gai is an Aboriginal word describing the home or hunting ground of the local people.

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