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Trang Nguyen Sep 2013
Municipal Gum was written by Oodjeroo Noonecaal. Municipal Gum is about the changes in society and the tendency of people to want to control everything. Oodjeroo uses various techniques to convey this idea.

At the beginning of the poem Oodjeroo is addressing the tree. This immediately creates empathy for both the tree and her people. By the last line she has emphasised this with the pronoun “us” to show that they suffer a similar fate.

This poem expresses how life in Australia has changes especially for Aboriginal people. In the first half of the poem Oodjeroo is talking about how life was for her and others. It explores the changes in society and the displacement of the Aboriginal people from their land.

“Whose head hung…Its hopelessness”, the author uses this as further re-iteration of the immorality of the situation and by the use of analogy comparing the tree to her people to further emphasise the shame and lack control of that the Europeans have inflicted upon her and the environment.

Oodjeroo uses extended metaphor technique in the very first line of the poem ‘Hard bitumen around your feet’. This means that the gumtree has been placed in the city scape where it is suppressed and not allowed to spread out and be unique in its own way. This is clear and immanently direct link to the pain and suffering endured by the Aborigines post European settlement.

Oodjeroo uses vivid language to present these ideas. For example the use of the word castrated is very effective. The connotation of the word is very demeaning. With castration often comes a sense of a loss of pride and power. The word castration is symbolic of how Oodjeroo feels the European have treated Aboriginal people and the environment. Castration also refers to the fact that what is done is done. Nothing can undo what they did and the damaged they have caused.

Other symbolism includes the title “Municipal Gum”, municipal meaning community, implies that the gumtree belongs to the community. One of the vast differences between European and Aboriginal law is that Aboriginal people did not believe in the ownership of land or of animals and plants. Municipal Gum is a reference to the Europeans assumptions that everything is theirs to own and control.

The rhetorical question, “O fellow citizen, What have they done to us?” is the conclusion of the implications that have been made throughout the poem. Oodjeroo, is advocating for her people and all things wronged by the controlling behaviour of the Europeans. Rhetorical questions are used to provoke thought and to stimulate a pre-determined response. “What have they done to us?” They have “castrated, broken… strapped and buckled” and ultimately changed things to a point that they cannot be fixed.

In conclusion, Municipal Gum is a poem about the constrictions and change that the European invaders forced upon the Aboriginal community and the environment she believes that the Europeans have deemed themselves ever powerful and practice their power in a manner that is immoral.
This is not a poem but an analysis about the poem
Edna Sweetlove Sep 2015
It was on Hallowe'en when we said we'd meet;
as we thought it might be romantically spooky;
and I trotted gaily along the pathway
through the dimly-lit park
where the predator ******* maniacs roamed
hoping for a bit of backdoor action
and my excited little heart went
with eager anticipation
of a hot new nymphomaniac date.

We had been a-texting with
ever-increasing frankness
for several weeks and I was beginning
to get tired of wiping the keyboard clean
after each bout of frenzied
manual self-stimulation
which she had boldly urged me to
and the built-in camera was out of order
because of the damp ***** build-up.

I found the pictures she sent me
stimulating to say the very least
especially the one with the melon
peeping out from between her legs
and I found her blood-red eyes
rather exciting really
once I got used to them;
and I was quite looking forward
to the love bites she promised me
which was why I had washed my neck
with particular attention to the blackheads.

Promptly at the stroke of midnight
my putative mistress arrived
with a ******* great clap of thunder
and to say I was surprised by her sulphurous breath
would be putting it mildly
and the fifty-five inch waist
was a bit of a disappointment,
and I honestly and truly think
she might have mentioned
the suppurating scabs
and oozing boils
or at least hinted at them.

As I fought the ravening hell-***** off
with the hatchet I had wisely brought
in my briefcase as a safety precaution
once more I rued my innocence:
how many times have I been let down
after such high hopes from internet dating
and yet - trusting soul that I am -
I had again let my heart go astray.

Once it was all over
and I gazed down at her hideous
and mutilated corpse bleeding
and twitching on the ****** bitumen,
I lifted up her skirt
just to check the melon photo
hadn't been a fake;
and although there was no large
piece of fruit in situ at the time
I could see it had always
been a very real possibility.
Built on the Berkley model
Paid for with mothers essential oils
...a bitumen

And a flower blooms from Medicine Rock
Like a ballerina

As the Old Man weeps joyfully
Listening to Arcade Fire : 7 kettles
I (Bread and Music)

Music I heard with you was more than music,
And bread I broke with you was more than bread;
Now that I am without you, all is desolate;
All that was once so beautiful is dead.

Your hands once touched this table and this silver,
And I have seen your fingers hold this glass.
These things do not remember you, beloved,
And yet your touch upon them will not pass.

For it was in my heart you moved among them,
And blessed them with your hands and with your eyes;
And in my heart they will remember always,--
They knew you once, O beautiful and wise.


My heart has become as hard as a city street,
The horses trample upon it, it sings like iron,
All day long and all night long they beat,
They ring like the hooves of time.
My heart has become as drab as a city park,
The grass is worn with the feet of shameless lovers,
A match is struck, there is kissing in the dark,
The moon comes, pale with sleep.
My heart is torn with the sound of raucous voices,
They shout from the slums, from the streets, from the crowded places,
And tunes from the hurdy-gurdy that coldly rejoices
Shoot arrows into my heart.


Dead Cleopatra lies in a crystal casket,
Wrapped and spiced by the cunningest of hands.
Around her neck they have put a golden necklace,
Her tatbebs, it is said, are worn with sands.
Dead Cleopatra was once revered in Egypt,
Warm-eyed she was, this princess of the South.
Now she is old and dry and faded,
With black bitumen they have sealed up her mouth.
O sweet clean earth, from whom the green blade cometh!
When we are dead, my best beloved and I,
Close well above us, that we may rest forever,
Sending up grass and blossoms to the sky.


In the noisy street,
Where the sifted sunlight yellows the pallid faces,
Sudden I close my eyes, and on my eyelids
Feel from the far-off sea a cool faint spray,--
A breath on my cheek,
From the tumbling breakers and foam, the hard sand shattered,
Gulls in the high wind whistling, flashing waters,
Smoke from the flashing waters blown on rocks;
--And I know once more,
O dearly beloved! that all these seas are between us,
Tumult and madness, desolate save for the sea-gulls,
You on the farther shore, and I in this street.
Out of the seething cauldron of my woes,
Where sweets and salt and bitterness I flung;
Where charmed music gathered from my tongue,
And where I chained strange archipelagoes
Of fallen stars; where fiery passion flows
A curious bitumen; where among
The glowing medley moved the tune unsung
Of perfect love: thence grew the Mystic Rose.

Its myriad petals of divided light;
Its leaves of the most radiant emerald;
Its heart of fire like rubies. At the sight
I lifted up my heart to God and called:
How shall I pluck this dream of my desire?
And lo! there shaped itself the Cross of Fire!
Carroborree Feb 2016
Snow's melted, and all she's got left is the cone,
the skeletal bone streets, where she was
yesterday once so Snowwhite pretty.

Mountainous mounds of **** from canine and human kind
allude to beasts that roamed these streets in nights gone by.
They thought their tracks and cigarettes butts were covered
in a cloak of snow, but sun can't wash away sin.

All she's got left is the grit, beneath fingernails, iron rails,
bitumen - Pech! - from clinging on too long to yesterday.
Ivie Oct 2013
It’s almost 6, and the night is fighting with the last rays of sun,
Its armor and sword are both stronger the glow of sun, Stars comes out like your eyes, breathing down my neck,
Sitting across the Chinese restaurant in, with a cigarette dangling in your fingers blazing as harshly as bitumen laying on road as your skin on my skin was last night
You have been constantly eying me like I am breast of the freshly cut chicken,
I take slow sips of my beer, opening and reopening my fortune cookie, but it’s already been cracked and my fate has been sealed,
I pity the planets and us, we all are stuck in our orbits, and we always talk about the corruption in Russia and about pirates in Somalia,
We take detour of this city, and only this one, driving circles around the Wal-Mart, buying coffee beans and condoms,
I quiet my raging mind, which writes essays about the Greek gods and Atlantis; it fights with the night, but night plays word-games,
It twists its words into lyrics of lovers and pours them in my mouth, and twists its fingers in my ******
Its, almost 8, there are two bottles on the table, emptied like my heart, your ash tray full like your lungs with smoke and lust
Its 8, and sky is cobalt with streaks of lighter shades passing through like the Helicopters on Independence Day and I take this as my sign, and leave 20 dollar bill and a letter which screams “I’m gone”,

Bustling street and a Vegas sky welcomes my heart to the possibility of finding Atlantis.
hope you like it!
Maggie Emmett Aug 2014
Morning pallor on a grey day
not a five cent shine
to the sun.

Bitumen hissed all night
trees tossed and tangoed
shuddered and split.

Navy clouds, blue with rain
surfed in from the ocean
racing on the wild wind
learning to scream.

The stones listened
moon listed and tried to find
a space in the cloud-tide rush
to quiet-light the gloom.

Morning Armistice on a pale grey day
of debris and displacement
refugees and leaf litter
surrender and detachment
silent and still
only a five cent shine to the sun

© M.L.Emmett
Raghu Menon Jul 2015
The days are becoming hotter
The sweat does not appear
But form into crystals of salt.
The bitumen laid roads are boiling..
The concrete jungles are oven baked..

For those who are well off,
The air conditioners roar day and night..
Either at home or at office
Or during the transit in the car..

For those who are not so lucky,
They manage it ..
For they have no other choice
Rather than to sweat it out..

Is it the climate change?
Or is it my feeling?
Or both?

— The End —