Eucalyptus Gunnii (cider gum)

The full Moon ablaze in the night sky

Beams down on the dead and dying Cider Gums

Their ghostly silhouettes, so white and stark

Now just a reminder of the past

The Central Plateau, the High Country of Tasmania

Is or was home to these magnificent trees

Now there bleached skeletons tell the story

That the environment in which they flourished has changed

Grazed extensively by native and domestic animals

Used by the aboriginals, settlers and trappers

The Cider Gum leaf, was used to make cider

And the sweet scent used to freshen homes

Eucalypts Gunnii (Cider Gum) unique to Tasmania

Once so prevalent and used in a variety of ways

Now standing forlorn, dead and slowly dying

Their limbs and branches bleached white by the sun

Many attempts have been made to re-introduce the gums

But the changing environment and pressure from the wildlife

Has meant that the Cider Gum is facing a loosing battle

For the seasons have changed, not enough rainfall and hot summers

And the  snow no longer on the ground for weeks on end

Such a unique and magnificent shade tree, stepped in history

Will soon be a distant memory and extinct

Will be left to the old timers to tell about the Cider Gums

For I have doubts that mother nature can revitalize Eucalyptus Gunnii100_1082




Kevin L Fairbrother


The wind, so cold, so bloody cold

Wraps it’s freezing breath around me

Aches my head, numbs my body

Sucks my energy and dulls my brain


The wind it smashes, it breaks, bends and twists

Everything within it’s non-yielding path

Destruction every-where I look…it’s hell

As Mother Nature vents her fury on earth

The wind howls and screams it deafens me

I am fearful for it is relentless…it  gives no ground

I seek shelter and relief… but where

For this freezing blast of cold air is everywhere


The safety of my home so near… yet so far

As another blast completely bowls me over

It rolls me over and over and buries me beneath the snow

And blackness engulfs me… I’m buried alive


I feel no pain…just silence… but I am cold

So bloody cold, I’m shivering, shaking…feel so numb

I’m hovering between life and death… I loose consciousness

A blackness overwhelms and engulfs me


Surely I’m dead… but awaken in hospital

The wind, the snow, the cold has frozen my body

Frost-bite…now I feel horrendous pain

So much pain that I black out again

Only to be revived and the pain has subsided


For weeks and months I endured the pain

Minus fingers toes … a leg… I wish I was dead

Because I tempted fate by venturing into the wind

A wind that went so close to leaving me dead