Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Morris Stephenson

from "Sing with the Wind"

Published by Envirobook 1989


On Clouds And Skies Song of a Summer Night
 
Near, yet far, and powder blue it was
As I lay pone upon that grassy hill,
And wide and clearly fresh above me held
In pure intensity the perfect hue.
Easefully my careless limbs were spread
I seemed to draw delight from that sky,
And with the earth was buoyantly impelled
Through gentle, limpid and unchanging space.
 
Restfully, my eyes were closed awhile,
And when I opened them a cloud was there.
The sun behind my head shone on its face
And it was laughing down at me in glee.
Its snowy depth and softness was most fair,
Ah edged with gold and beautiful to see.
I rose, and, stretching in the wind, beheld
Long ramparts o'er the ocean building up,
And down, Kiama-wards, raced to the sea.
 
Once in a valley to the Cox I watched
Round Sunrise Bluff, the clouds come gently forth
Like lambkins' fleeces floating evenly
In upturned rivers slowly to the north,
And all that peaceful motion dreamily
Urged shut my eyes and from my heart its pain.
 
And once on Korrowall the sky was clear
And, standing on the edge of the abyss,
The valleys seemed like bowls of cream, light whipped,
Foamy, piled thick to where the trees appear
Above the drifting vapour curled and dipped,
Clinging tenaciously where cliffs are sheer.
 
There was a time when clouds were racing by
And I ran too, along the meadowland;
Tall, glorious poplars danced with leaves aquiver,
And with the beauty of the day my heart beat high
Beside Bendethera on the Dewey River,
And pounded with the clouds across the sky.
 
Morris Stephenson
"The Sydney Bushwalker"
November 1940
Note: "Dewey" is the old local name of the Deua River
 
 
 
Gently the moon stole into the blue
Deepening, darkening sky,
Encouraged the fainthearted stars to shine
And wink as they caught her eye.
Perfect as nymphs in ivory carved
In cool green leaves half seen
Like statues, the gums with smooth pale limbs
Reflected her pearly sheen.
She laughed at the creek, with bubbles agleam,
At her mirrored face she glanced,
With silver splinters she sprinkled the rill,
The moss with diamonds enhanced
And so, she passed on her downward way.
The grass was wet with tears,
But the stream talked darkly fickle moons,
And its chuckles smote on our ears.
 
Morris Stephenson
"The Sydney Bushwalker"
February 1941