Manna Wattle Pushes to Thrive Despite Macro and Micro Global Aggressions

John Kinsella

 

The spread of influence up and down the hill

is barely the proliferation, the profusion

of manna wattle. A winter blazing.

 

Spokes emanating from the ant colony

under the clutch of jam trees opposite

the red shed’s wall-sized canvas door,

 

halfway to the summit. These mannas

are up against it as much as anything else,

with human majorities stomping on what

 

can be stomped. I doubt Swift truly

loved ‘nature’ and his Lilliputian

anxiety is more than a focus

 

on the monstrous phallus

or the Brobdingnagian crevasse,

the gully through which male

 

and female flower parts might tumble.

When we first arrived, I walked

with handfuls of fruits and dropped

 

into erosion lines veining from the gully,

and now so many years later, the resistance,

the rise, these acts of being. I walk

 

amidst their plethora. I walk in amazement.

I shelter from the land-clearers and know

this is no surfacing on defoliated ground

 

of the next generation that will be mowed

down down. With fallout sickness

more than an act of satire, more

 

than an act of verbal disgust,

the mannas will push health

beyond the spectrums of aggression —

 

those spiritless realm where flowers

are decoration and their bodies scaffolds.

Manna wattle lives outside plantations.

 

John Kinsella‘s most recent volumes of poetry are Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador, 2016) and Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016). His most recent collection of short stories is Crow’s Breath (Transit Lounge, 2015). His investigation of “place”, Polysituatedness: A Poetics of Displacement, is due out with Manchester University Press late 2016. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.

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