tea trees
Type
Poetry Prize

Highest Quandamooka entry: The bunyip of Bummiera

Eastward from the mountain haze across the bays enduring gaze

Over soft white sands that surround the sleepy islands shore

Through tea trees softly swaying is a lake neath a bunyips playing

Its evil eyes forever preying, preying on those that dare explore

On the poor and wretched souls tempted by the islands bounty to explore

The bunyip grins and nothing more

 

T’was a flowering arve of spring that fate bore an unfamiliar thing

A lone hunter who did sing, sing ancient songs from times of yore

Through tangled tea trees he lurched, where thereupon a log he perched

All the while his dark eyes searched, searched for game but none he saw

For gifts of game to deliver on his noble quest, but a silent lake was all he saw

A lake and nothing more

 

The weary hunter’s mind took reflection his heavy heart taunted by recollection

Of deep sweet loves perfection and the eternal promise to her he swore

That when the great tribes of the east gather at the Mountain Feast

On the coming of her age he would be her suitor by right of law

For the greatest proven hunter gets his choice of bride by law – She smiles and nothing more

 

‘But wait! What noise pon yonder snaps my daydream thought?’ he wonders

‘Some forest game worth pursuing or mere mind apparitions to ignore?’

Then to his great surprise, from the bubbling lake before his very eyes

Emerged every hunters hallowed prize, Bunyip: fabled beast of fear and awe

Vanishing in the bushes, Bunyip: King of terror, fear and awe – Trees and nothing more

 

The haunted hunter turned to fleeing from the terror he was seeing

For no other living being, that hunted the beast had escaped its jaws

Then he suddenly stopped in a forest clearing, thinking my reward for rightly spearing

The prized beast would be a hearing by the Chiefs to my claim bestowed by law

My claim as greatest hunter to take my sweet loves hand as right by law – her hand and nothing more

 

Now deranged by loves sweet potion, like waves of the storm surged ocean

He tersely turned with moonstruck motion toward his fearsome foe afore

And through the gloomy growth his creeping, grew into swift and agile leaping,

All the while the hunter keeping cautious pace with the Bunyip in the fore

Until there in sight was the Bunyip fossicking unaware in the fore – standing and nothing more

 

The hunter sensed his moment here and with the Bunyip still and near,

Raised and reared his mighty spear taking aim with all the skill he could implore

And before the bunyip sensed his prying, the hunter sent his sharp companion flying

The silence shattered by the crying – a bellowing bloodcurdling roar

Then the muffled sound of moving bushes, and then another terrible twisted roar

Silence and nothing more

 

 

 

‘The mighty beast is hit and sickened’ quoth the hunter as he quickened

Without care or caution through the thickened barricade of bushes in the fore

With bullish bravado he was racing, ducking, jumping, climbing, chasing

When he froze to find himself facing a stone-faced totem standing on the forest floor

The sole gaunt sentry guarding the bounds no man shall go beyond by law

The eerie totem and nothing more

 

Above him storm clouds rumbled, sinister forest spirits grumbled

Heavens teardrops tumbled – omens of the lot the Ancients had in store?

The whip of a wicked wind chilled him, filled him with fateful choices, obey the ancient voices?

Or revel in the ripe rejoices and rich reward the Bunyips capture bore

The hand and heart of his meek sweet Miboo and his amulet she always wore

Ancient voices and nothing more

 

The Ancient’s dire droning was drowned by the Bunyips’ grim groaning

The bellowing beasts’ morbid moaning heavy knocks on deaths black door

And the weight of the Bunyips wallowing like a sweet siren had the hunter following

He succumbed to the black swamps swallowing and betrayed the Ancients’ law

Pushing past the frowning totem to forbidden forests from where no man returned before

Rain and nothing more

 

The hunter sensed the bunyip slowing and with each step his courage was growing

He surged up and onward knowing, the mighty beast was sickly poor

Despite the weary warrior’s body aching he forged the dark, dense bush unbreaking

The Ancients’ guidance faded and forsaking as the creature’s capture guiled him more and more

And grew over him like the gruesome swampland that drew him far from the soft white shore

Swamp and nothing more

 

Then it appeared – frail and fumbling over a ledge the foe was stumbling

The Hunter smirked at the creatures bumbling and hopes for victory began to soar

He slowly drew all the strength stored inside and thinking of his future bride

Mustered all his might and cried leaping over the ledge to best the beast so sickly poor

And his nulla came crashing down to pound and crush his cowering fabled foe so deathly poor

Broken nulla and nothing more

 

The confused hunter thought ‘What is this? Surely something is amiss’

From behind blew a horrible hiss, could his plan have held a flaw

With a sudden blow he was turning – a slash to his legs – intense burning

Pain seared through his soul now yearning to be saved from deaths dark door

Another blow and he was sent crashing down toward the forest floor – Falling and nothing more

 

The blow sent the Hunter sprawling, he was toppling, tumbling, falling,

To the Ancients’ mercy calling, to deliver him from the evils of the more.

As if to answer his hopeless praying he plunged into a fetid bog decaying

Sludge and muck sent spraying, oozing through the Hunters every pore

Blinded in soggy mud oozing into every pore – Mud and nothing more

 

In circles he began turning his dread filled soul now burning

His sickened stomach churning from the evil that he saw

Madness devil dreaming, the Ancients’ high-pitched screaming

The tears of heaven teeming – a putrid pit of bones and stench and gore

Of poor and wretched souls tempted by the islands bounty to explore – Bones and nothing more

 

The hunter started scrambling, a deluge of deranged delirious ramblings

His instant regret to gambling with the Ancients’ natural law

In the gruesome pit he kept slipping over bones and skulls kept tripping

The defeated trembling hunter turned to face the Bunyips deafening triumphant roar

Face to face with the terrible beast and the fearsome figure that it tore – Fear and nothing more

 

And the Hunter’s eyes grew wide with terror as he realised his error

One so fatal that it would haunt the sleepy island forevermore

A curlew’s dreaded dirge commenced the grieving, for so foolish was his believing

For it was I – the Bunyip who was deceiving, deceiving him from my tricks he never saw

For this mighty hunter was merely the hunted, as I crush him beneath my claws

Darkness and nothing more

 

Eastward toward the mountain haze across the bays enduring gaze

Over soft white sands that surround the peaceful islands shore

Through tea trees softly swaying is a lake neath a bunyips playing

Its evil eyes forever preying, preying on those that dare explore

On the poor and wretched souls tempted by the islands bounty to explore

I grin and nothing more

 

 

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