Desert pea

Kathryn Fry


Swainsona formosa


There, above the gibbers and crusty

earth, the rise of red on a wash

of green—red flags, red keels, the dark

lustrous boss in between, ready for birds,

ready to seed for the long odds of summer;

florid David among the arid Goliath.


I’ll grow you here, in the newly parched,

seed you in a bed of dry bark and creek

sand. To course rampant down my brick

walls, to carry the cool stars of a desert

night, the light swamping a red-ochre range,

and the optimism you ride, on a whiff of rain.


Kathryn Fry relocated to the Lake Macquarie area from Canberra a few years ago. She has poems in various anthologies including Australian Love Poems, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Watermark and Once Wild (the Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2014). Her poem “Under the Old Tangle” was longlisted for the inaugural Ron Pretty Poetry Prize awarded in 2015.

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