Floral Organs (a history of fire)

Sophie Finlay


deep red swells from skin

an eyelid opens black


how deep do the roots go —

where is the tap?


the shutter mouths of stomata pinch the sun

as air dries

as the blue dawn snaps


leaves narrow to stretched tears

flash light, tinkling molecules


then measure the years of fire

in waist-high wattle

being reveals in shattered yellow


offerings of dust

to charm beaks and tongues


wade the undergrowth

wind stems through fingers


my arms cover

leafed,   heavy with particles


somewhere in the connections

of receptors and cells and secretions


they remember

daily red-shifts of light

pronouncing the orbit


and another light –

the muscle of flame, to deepen black trunks


they like the woodlands

they like to be entangled


swollen organs wait to erupt

raise oil and wax to red winds


blackened liquid can bleed from wounds

and time leaks from my body in a dark artery



Sophie Finlay is a visual artist and poet. Her poetry is published in Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Otoliths, Enchanted Verses, Verity La, and Shaping the Fractured Self (UWAP). She has been a finalist in several art prizes including the prestigious John Leslie Art Prize.

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