Digger Country

the scars cannot be covered

eucalypts attempt their interment

through the years

their roots shifting soil – reclaiming broken bush


this was digger country

mostly Irish and Italians

come for gold

and punted to scrape

at these low-yielding hills


the ground reeks with memory

corpse-chimneys loom between the gums

and mumble about miners' rights

while myna birds nest within


tourist boards ascribe each dip in the landscape a name

Fight Gully, Italian Hill, Tubal Cain

Wilder than the wild west, one proclaims

with no recompense for times before


Be careful not to stray from the path

The area contains open shafts  



Enjoyed this poem? Read Lachlan's article on the GoldfieldsTrack here.

Lachlan Robertson is a writer living in Trentham, Victoria, with interests in ecocriticism, fantasy fiction, and poetry. Lachlan is a keen beekeeper, hiker, and horse rider.

Banner image courtesy of S.T. Gill, sourced from the State Library of Victoria.