Who is the master gardener
of this surreal autumnal sculpture park?
In hushed awe, I walk down avenues
strewn with leaves of gum and blackwood:
fallen but not deciduous.
Timorously treading the soft beige
and copper peppered carpet,
past dark Herculean figures,
my senses reel before gaping jaws
of sinuous black forms;
a fluted baleen whale;
a lunging prehistoric head
with vacant eyes and flaring nostrils.
On every side, dismembered limbs
and languid bodies
recline within a toppled temple
of obsidian obelisks.
But the crowning glory
of this eerie sequoia world
are the tall black pedestals
spouting bright green ornamental fountains;
mature tree ferns silently, imperceptibly,
shooting forth their vivid fronds
above curlicue brown skirts.
I wander further
into a time-warped wonderland
of fallen gods;
through glades of tangled wiry hoops
and freshly springing bracken.
Suddenly, my feet subside
through scorched red earth
to hidden cavities below,
where combusted roots of gum trees
once held firm.
I kneel bewildered, giddy,
beneath a towering giant:
broad, powerful, commanding… mute.
Dwarfing the copper-headed forest,
it’s charred feet give way to pale torso
and white truncated, lifeless limbs,
still reaching for the clouds.
An ancient being;
now awaiting reassignment
in other roles and forms
within the master gardener’s