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Poem: Elegy for a Koala

Books & Poetry

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Australian summer has left us for the time being again, but Poet’s Corner contributor and Adelaide Hills resident Sue Cook remembers one of its casualties.

Elegy for a Koala

                       (Australia Day, 2012)

The blue gums creaked and groaned
under the lashing of the wind,
branches cracked and fell.
In the morning our breakfast guests
taking a morning walk,
despite the wild unruly weather,
found a lone dead koala
face down on the tinder dry grass
bookmarked by a broken branch.

But alas the unyielding rock hard
summer earth defeated
our fervent efforts
at digging his grave.

There were no funeral rites,
only a black plastic shroud in an empty green bin,
his cortege a lone council garbage truck.
We knew not where this grim hearse would take him –
to the dump, a mass grave, a crematorium?
an ignoble end
to a national icon.

Sue Cook has been a long-term resident of the Adelaide Hills, with its gum trees, koalas, and raucous lorikeets and cockatoos. As a senior English teacher, she edited the annual anthology “Spring Poetry Festival” for the South Australian English Teachers Association from 1997 to 2002. Her own poetry has appeared in Friendly Street anthologies, literary journals and magazines, and online.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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