She watched the wide cool Derwent as it flowed
through fields of hops, rows of apple trees,
moving deeply between banks of rushes and verdant edges.
Black swans here and there on the surface and below
fresh water trout for the taking a watercolour setting,
gentle and ordered to the eye, more British than Australian.
Mature in years, this scene is soothing to her eyes, to her nerves.
This Island state provides solace to her soul.
How strange when once it was a prison, a jarring punishment
for those who came under sail. This Island was ancient when they came,
peopled by a proud race who were nearly destroyed. Now Tasmania
Is mature in years, and her people proud of their recent and ancient past.
She thinks of other rivers she has known the Ross and the Fitzroy,
both proud, wide rivers, flushed by the Queensland Wet each year,
running brown, over their banks, both close to home, warm water
with the odd crocodile lurking. She had loved them too,
but in a different way, more in awe of their power and unpredictability.
She turns, again looking at the clear depths of the Derwent,
and thinks how good it has been to know these rivers so varied,
and to have felt very much "as one" with each of them.
© fmcFrances Coll 26-08-2008