Eucalypts can be large and tall, generously spreading their branches wide
Or thin and small on every side.
They have evergreen leaves, of every hue, from green to blue
No matter what the season.
Are long and narrow like an arrow, or irregular, or round,
or change from young to old
The bark is remarkable and almost indescribable
It's black as soot, or white, or brown, or creamy
It's thick or thin or papery
It's smooth or rough
And mighty tough.
The seed cases called gumnuts, by May Gibbs made famous,
Are large and woody or delicately small
And carpet the earth, all around us.
The flowering gums from the Mallee or WA
Have spectacular flowers which take your breath away.
Eucalypts provide shade and shelter for all our peoples
Homes and food for many creatures
Clean air and water for all.
For the First Nations
They provided transport, shields and weapons.
To walk in a eucalypt forest
or admire a single tree or flower or bark
on the roadside or farm
is to have your life become less dark.
They inspire us to stay rooted while soaring to great heights.
They give us courage and hope and insight.
Here's three cheers for these marvellous trees
Which with awe, may bring you to your knees.
May they live forever and ever!