I was inspired to write this poem by my Dad who wrote a poem like this when he was a teenager and also by the beautiful black swans that live on Western Australian rivers. I also think it is important to include Aboriginal people and their traditions when you are writing about something Australian because they were the traditional landowners of our land, Australia.


I am standing here proud and tall

the birds are my friends and I can see all

the river below flows by peacefully

and it's the stage for the black swans who perform almost daily for me

And some nights I am blessed to see the flames in the fire of the Corroboree

and my friends dance and sing in honour of me

And the whole world seems to be in harmony

Then one day on the water they come

the well-dressed ghosts

carrying black thunder posts

my friends all hide, scurry or run

The ghosts take what they want

they bruise the land black and blue

and the land they clear

But there is nothing I can do

my branches tremble with fear

The grey square things with a clear bit

have ghosts peering out while they sit

My swans no longer perform for me

and I miss the magic of the Corroboree

I now alone looking at a nearly starless sky

The ghosts have turned the world so dull, and I don't know why

I fear the ghosts now come to take me down

to make me a square thing in their town.

Grace Dunleavy

Year 4B