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Hogan & the Jacaranda

by | 6 July, 2018 | Poem

By James Penfold

There was once, in the city of Logan,
On an busy but unknown street,
The house of a man named Hogan,
And in front, a Jacaranda tree.

Every year the tree had bloomed,
With a rich purple to put emperors to shame,
But unfortunately, it stood where the council had approved,
A brand new highway lane.

So Hogan wrote his letters
To councillors and planners in their droves.
But while they all replied politely,
Their responses were all “No’s”.

So Hogan took his case to a higher court,
To the press, he told his tale,
For the best justice that can be bought,
He went to the Courier Mail.

Now, the whole country talked about Hogan’s tree,
And the oncoming tragedy of its loss.
It occupied everyone, to preserve its beauty,
From the nation’s Parliament to idle coffee shops.

Politicians considered how to act,
Should they think personally of Hogan’s plight,
Or for all Jacarandas, in the abstract.
Is the general or the specific true and right?

However, the Fourth Estate had no fears,
With Hogan as the subject they ordered articles and more,
Dramatic spots to move ecologists to tears,
Op-eds, petitions and online polls galore.

But so it was, in an interview now famous,
That our Hogan was embarrassed and revealed,
As being pretty racist,
And not in a way well-concealed.

Naturally, condemnation followed quickly,
With politicians clamouring to join the throng,
But in all the politics and spin, they had all forgot the tree,
Who had itself, done nothing wrong.

And so for Hogan’s sins,
Plus our small attention span,
The tree was doomed for the green waste bins,
And the road went ahead as planned.

Natural beauty is a timeless thing,
Slow-moving and evolving,
Alas no match for our short-sighted hungering,
And a media cycle constantly revolving.

However, our story has one last tragedy,
For Hogan did not even miss the tree,
Because he used his TV appearance fees,
To move house to Indooroopilly.

With thanks to Jazz Wright, and apologies to C.J. Dennis


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