Niche

Ron Wilkins

 

Were I buried unconscious,

face downward, on waking I

would think the sky below me,

for normally people are

buried with respect, face up.

Held firmly in place by an

even pressure of soft loam,

I’d be like a quivering

fly suspended in aspic

in the dark. Not the same for

a bean, planted eye downwards

from where roots emerge to grip

soil, while the stem performs an

astonishing U-turn to-

wards the light and air above.

How geotropically

apt, the way it knows up or

down in total darkness. I,

and the fly, manifestly

inferior to the bean

in its ecological

niche, reverse in status when

a bean is in the mouth where

despite all hidden powers

its resistance is futile.

 

 

Ron Wilkins is a Sydney scientist who has published poems in Quadrant, Cordite Poetry Review, Antipodes, The Best Australian Poems and other Australian, American and French journals, and ‘Fistful of Dust’, a book of poems and drawings.

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