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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.


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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.

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