One of the stranger questions for me to be asked is, “Where do you come from?” Depending on which part of my semi-nomadic childhood is being engaged at the time, answers to that question can vary greatly. Do I say: Ballarat, where I was born, southern Queensland, where I went to Primary School, West Gippsland, where I went to Secondary School, or Melbourne, where I moved for University and have now lived for 12 years? The last week, I have been revisiting my southern Queensland childhood with my family. Today we went back to Mt Tamborine, the small town at the northern end of the Gold Coast Hinterland where I lived from ages 1 to 7, and, unsurprisingly, it brought back many memories of who I was as a child and realisations of how it shaped the adult I have become. Today’s poem reflects in a way on that, and comes accompanied with a photograph from my first school.
Home The grass grows as you watch it; the soil explodes with volcanic past, rich red and deep. The trees bloom: now pink, now green, now jacaranda-violet; the seasons change in shades of leaves and incremental tones, the light dappled in the afternoon. Palm trees sit amongst the ferns and I imagine in the trunks and bowers of beeches, cedars, faces of the past, of kings and poets, men with dreams in eyes, their mouths full of thought and full of life. The soil explodes with volcanic past; the grass grows as you watch it. I explode with life ahead of me; beneath my feet, the rich, deep earth of home.