leaning in

Yvonne Deering


where what we call our block

abuts the land along the river

I am weeding out invasive grasses

leaving wallaby grass fine-waving

saltbush ruby-berried speargrass

spice-smelling cassinia


recent-rain soft soil

I’m dragging weeds out roots and

all my fingers driving into dirt

nails fill with grit as

earth is giving

I am giving time to


earth-scent ant-scent deeper

leaning in to see the slater

earthworm caterpillar

coloured as an artless


as hands roughen

clay and stone

I’m leaning in

to hope

to hear

earth healing

as my fingers blister

bits of bark down falling

crested shrike-tit feeding

grey shrike-thrushes shy

come closer closer



earth is speaking

earth is asking something of us

I am hearing in the noiselessness

the lack of out-abouting boating

lack of roadnoise comings goings

clustering gatherings

all things slowing


down on my knees

I’m feeling fibrous root

moist mallow-tangle

touching seeing earthstar fungi

wing of phasma frogmouth feather





Yvonne Deering lives in Central Victoria. She has been a student of Anthropology, English Literature, Education, Art & Design, and Writing & Editing. She has worked as a secretary, secondary teacher, tertiary teacher, cleaner, dishwasher and waitress (in that order). Her writing draws largely on Nature and Place.

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