Invasion Species

Gaele Sobott

where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs

late in the wet season or early in the dry  
sinuous with whiplike tail  fierce long claws
she digs a helical burrow

down   backfill 		     dead end
across backfill 		     dead end
down   backfill	                     dead end
across backfill		             dead end
down   backfill 		     dead end


corkscrew   spiralling 
down twelve feet  to soil that’s cool and wet
she digs a chamber the size of two clenched fists
and lays her eggs  backfill

up         backfill 		     dead end
across  backfill		     dead end
up         backfill 		     dead end
across  backfill 		     dead end
up         backfill 		     dead end

Ten days later she emerges from the earth
into brutal sun her fork tongue flickers in search of food

where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs
       tightly-packed labyrinths corkscrew spiral
merge collapse erode ventilate the earth
with megacities of lizards  snakes  scorpions  centipedes  
       beetles  ants  frogs
high-rise densely-populated ecosystems 

where yellow-spotted goannas lay their eggs
           baby goannas hatch  with long claws
they scratch straight holes to the top
                                          emerge from soil to sun or moonlight
their forked tongues flicker in search of food
          infestations of cane toads 
colonisers
invasion species 
sugar plantations
dry warty toxic 

corkscrew 
spiral 
lethal                          	 	 dead end
yellow spotted goannas 	         dead end
underground cities    		 dead end
complex ecosystem    		 dead

Gaele Sobott lives on Darug land in Western Sydney. Her publications include Colour Me Blue, a collection of short stories, and My Longest Round, the life story of Wally Carr. She was awarded a 2021 Varuna Writers Space fellowship and shortlisted for the 2021 Queensland Poetry Awards Emerging Older Poets Mentorship. She is the founding director of Outlandish Arts.

%d bloggers like this: