Sarah’s Mountain Ash   2 comments

Up on the Dargo High Plains wandered
A sad old man who in life pondered
With axe in hand whetstone in pocket
Days felling trees to find a locket

Forty-nine years how that time had passed
His sixty-ninth birthday had come so fast
His days on earth were sadly numbered
With too few dreams before final slumber

He sat on his porch to reminisce
Of the life he’d led with little bliss
Since Sarah had left those many years
And the night he cried a million tears

When young he was his years so tender
Jack had no youth he could remember
Working hard from the age of eight
Young kids today could not relate

A man of steel, an axe man please
Up before dawn to fell the trees
Mountain Ash was to be his cut
His bullock team they forged a rut

He watched the trees, observed the land
Knew the journey to be hand in hand
Selected trees whose life had run
Had slowed their growth on reaching sun

Falling in love under mountain trees
She just a slight girl of five foot three
He was a giant at six foot five
Together they made their world come alive

Only twenty when they were newly wed
First night as one in marital bed
His loving wife a vision splendid
How soon it was to be all ended

Before the sun they both arose
Earth floor so cold it burnt their toes
Ready to work to begin a new life
On their first day as husband and wife

From her on tiptoes to him so high
With a love as vast as the mountain sky
She reached within her long skirt pocket
To bring out a golden chain and locket

Remember me as you work, she said
She put the chain down over his head
Inside the locket are strands of hair
Yours and mine I have plaited with care

Up onto the plains the bullocks ran
Towards Mt Sarah where their love began
A timber cutter, mountain man true
Would he have gone if only he knew?

This mountain man with axe so deft
At the trails end the bullocks he left
To blaze a new trail to find that tree
A Mountain Ash for sure – no gidgee

But first he boiled his billy for tea
Breaking damper, his hunger appeased
When ready to start with axe in hand
He removed his locket and wedding band

Threading his ring on the golden chain
He looked around this Dargo High plain
On a sapling growing tall nearby
He hung the chain about six feet high

He found the tree it had caught his eye
Its branches were blocking out the sky
He lifted his axe, checked the blade
From this tree was a life to be made

The cooee came before he could strike
It startled him and gave such a fright
Jack can you hear me, Jack are you there
Came a panicked voice through mountain air

I’m here he answered with troubled voice
What’s the problem do I have a choice
Jack it’s your Sarah lets go with haste
She’s been bitten by a bloody snake

Without thought his feet hit the ground
Clearing fallen trees in single bounds
He raced to where his friend did stand
A mountain-pony’s reins in his hand

I’ll take the bullocks you take the horse
This one won’t let you stray off course
Ride hard and fast to see your wife
Doc Brown is trying to save her life

He rode the high country trails so hard
The mountain-bred pony was caught off guard
Home at dusk in a lather of sweat
Met by the Doc with a look of regret

Sorry Jack there was nothing to do
A snake bit her on her way to the loo
I’m so amazed she lasted so long
For it happened just after you were gone

Five minutes too late that’s all you are
She tried to live but you were so far
The last words she said for you to hear
Tell him I love him, my Jack, my dear

The years went by and young Jack mourned
He felt now as if his life was scorned
His axe he left to slowly rust
In life and love he had lost his trust

Seven years to the day, he awoke
Feeling hand on hair with loving stroke
He remembered then their hair entwined
In the locket with chain he’d left behind

He knew then what he had to do
No simple task, that was true
For he’d forgotten the way, lost the track
There would be no easy going back

As days went by and the months went too
He searched and searched as if he knew
To find that chain with locket and ring
Would finally make his rent heart sing

For many years he searched the plains
Felling trees for only one gain
But as the years passed and the trees did grow
For all his work he had nothing to show

Nearly fifty years of pain and suffering
Years and years of always dreaming
When on the anniversary of her death
He felled the tree, the treasure chest

And there he saw from time long past
Grown into the branch as he’d forecast
His golden chain with ring and locket
That he reclaimed and put in his pocket

The time had come from the past he was free
He would put to use that Mountain Ash tree
He had it milled to his own design
To be used on the day when it was his time

Seventy he was on hearing the call
A soft cooee from his girl so small
Saying come here Jack, come now to me
Under the shade of our Mountain Ash tree

Taking heart upon hearing her voice
He packed his swag and billy by choice
Off to Mt Sarah where their love did start
For there he could finally mend his heart

Of Mountain Ash they made his coffin
Where his body was laid in final offering
The ring and locket clasped in his hand
He was off to meet Sarah and walk the land

They say on the plains on a very clear day
You can hear their laughter as they play
Jack and Sarah are now together
Two hearts in love, young forever

Posted 07/05/2011 by DarKarsean in poem, poetry, Uncategorized

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2 responses to “Sarah’s Mountain Ash

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  1. That’s a really poetic, tragic love story. Nice work.

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