The Sandstone Country
Like the first people, guardians of the earth,
we, too, are in the service of the land,
caring for the Angophora, for Bluegum and Turpentine,
Geebung and Scribbly Gum.
We learn to speak a rich vocabulary of secret names,
of Flannel flowers and Christmas Bush,
Boronia and Waratah, Hakea, Grevillea, Banksia and Tea Tree,
Darwinia and Dilwynnia, and the chant goes on.
We learn their songs
and the melodies of all the spirits of those places:
where Wianamatta shale blankets the sandstone plateau
and spills its clays down broken sandstone stairs
past algae-blackened, lichen-patched, wind-hollowed ledges,
which give abundant holds and food for:
Wax Flowers, Blandifordia Bells, Epacris Longiflora’s crimson tubes
and purple lilies flowering after rain.