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‘My garden must have
colour at all times,
it must be designed
by a professional!’, she said
‘with flowers in bloom
each month of the year’.

I reply that green
is also a colour,
and that from my window
I can see the sombre green
of a lemon-scented gum,
the darker hue of the she-oak
tormented by the June wind,
the emerald of pasture
after the opening rains,
and the lime of an elm
with the lighter touch
of bottlebrush leaves
beneath and against
a vivid green horse rug.

I also add that from the window
I can sometimes detect envy.

Second prize winner Write Stuff National Poetry Competition 2004. The judge, Anne Kellas, commented: ‘The poem I selected as second place is in its form and poise, perfect. I returned to read it again and again, its inner harmonies are finely made; they sing. Here’s a writer calm and assured, and a poem that achieves the condition of music’.

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