(header photographs by Harry Waite 1912-2011)

The Myth of the Sacred Brumby






Leaves from an Australian Forest Protest by Ron Fletcher

Tree sitting in the South East Forests in the late 80’s was largely a symbolic affair for which the chief ‘crime’ was trespass in a prohibited area. Sitters were less likely to get arrested than those doing support on the ground, where the name of the game was ‘cops and loggers’. Ron was arrested several times. Following his six-day sit in Nullica State Forest he was very recognizable to the cops, who nabbed him when he let his guard down next time they saw him, despite that he was outside the prohibited zone.
A lot has changed in our forests since Henry Kendall, published his Leaves From Australian Forests, in 1869. Ron’s verse might not convey quite the romantic imagery of poet-forester Kendall, for Ron is a forester of an altogether different kind – a feral forester, yet his lively style lets readers feel they are in on the action, and offers insights into some of the psychological pressures of confrontation in the forest.
Those who know him know that Ron has some rough edges; characters like Ron don’t like taking backward steps, and when a group of them are pulling at the same time they don’t always pull in the same direction. There is a price to pay for our convictions, as I know Ron, and so many of us, learnt in the South East Forests.
So this little book of light-hearted rhymes is Ron’s side of the story. He has worked with the tools available, using basic meter and rhyme to charming effect. Ron tells it like he saw it, with tributes to his fellow activists and homage to the forest under siege he gave his all to protect. It is in this spirit that I recommend “Leaves From An Australian Forest Protest” to everyone who wants a better future of our native forest heritage.
March 2014 Books may be purchased at greenaissance@bigpond.com

or from the author  Ron Fletcher A sample of Ron's poems