Lord Howe Island Phasmid, Land Lobster

Dryococelus australis


B. R. Dionysius


We fled from terror. Black rats migrated onto

Lord Howe from shipwrecks & we fed their

ravaging colonial instincts. Without contradiction

there can be no life, so a thicket of us hitched

a ride on driftwood & by the mercy of the moon

we managed to find landfall; refugees who had

turned themselves into sticks. This sheer peak

was almost barren, but for a scraggly melaleuca

shrub which had like us, held the gate against

the fittest surviving. We were rescued again;

years later, still a small outpost on the edge of

civilisation, our shit led you to us. Surely our

near miss is a cautionary tale? Don’t you see?

There’s no captive breeding program for you.


B. R. Dionysius was founding Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. He has published over 500 poems in literary journals, anthologies, newspapers and online. His eighth poetry collection, Weranga was released in 2013. He teaches English at Ipswich Grammar School and lives in Chapel Hill, Brisbane.

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