Japanese Garden

Tony Smith

Japanese Garden
© Tony Smith 1991

The following was inspired by the Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre in Cowra, NSW.

For more information on this garden whose history is rooted in World War Two, visit HERE.


between ghostly gums
over stone spring waters fall
to a pond of carp
fresh enough to come
from melting yama snowflakes
it sings of morning
while happy snappers capture
the golden frenzy
near fresh crumbs they toss

the soil’s soul is iron
blood enriched by sacrifice
of boys past ageing
for once war twisted
trunks and limbs leaves and flowers
to wreaths for lost lives

but now peace prevails
sak-ur-a and eu-ca-lypt
grow in harmony
as Buddhist bell calls
across the ancient landscape
and bees mix blossoms
pink and red and white
the old and exotic
camellia by the tea house
where charred billy thrives
and wattle and azalea
flourish side by side


A former academic, Tony Smith has written extensively on a wide range of subjects as diverse as folk music and foreign policy issues in the Australian Review of Public Affairs, the Journal of Australian Studies Review of Books, Overland, the Australian Quarterly, Eureka Street, Online Opinion and Unleashed.