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Books & Poetry

Poem: Four Seasons at Yallaroo

Books & Poetry

Leon van der Linde ponders the natural cycle of things in this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution.

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Four Seasons at Yallaroo

Northern Tablelands, New South Wales


The gold-warm spell of summer
and its green and flaxen colours
now fade into russets and browns
and a chill in the early morning
foretellers of dormancy
prompting hoarding senses
the splitting and stacking
of Stringybark wood,
shelving of fig jam, pickles, jerky –
much needed stores
for nights getting longer.


A sabre-sharp wind sweeps in
all-out from the Antarctic
its frosty breath testing the resolve
of my homestead walls,
doors and windows,
the yellow-red crackle
of the fireplace,
and comforting simmer
of warm soup on the stove
my Australian White Sheep huddled
in a straggle of cough bush
trying to find shelter
against fresh-white sleet.


A new scent of promise
on the early spring breeze
the orchard’s pink-white blossoms
signals of growth and renewal –
of ewes bagging up,
hope of even better lambs,
and my grandson growing taller
before my eyes and in my heart.


The granite scrub is parched
in the simmering midday heat
in the West over Bundarra
fleecy white clouds drift in
packing heavy and dark
turning into a symphony
of thunder and lightning
big raindrops, first hesitant,
then soaking the thankful land
bringing familiar smells
of freshly sodden earth.


And so I am, after all,
a passer-by
submitting to the natural
cycle of things:
of renewal and stasis,
growth and death,
joy and pain –
so pre-designed, so it is.

Leon van der Linde was born in Zambia. After a number of years in Tasmania, he now lives with his family on his farm property and Australian White Sheep stud near the rural locality of Yarrowyck on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. With a PhD in psychology from Western Sydney University, he works as a psychologist in nearby Armidale specialising in brief or time-limited dynamic psychotherapy, and is the author of the book ‘A New Drive-Relational-Neuroscience Synthesis for Psychoanalysis’, details of which can be found here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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