Orchidaceaen Footholds

Ben Walter

 

Thelymitra

Sun

 

pencil shy faces on your buds,

these sweet small rosellas envy

fertile pods bound to the dirt;

blue and purple hair

with your freckles

and magnified names.

 

sleep through the night till

a steel wedge of sunlight

bares your bloom.

 

 

Caleana

Duck

 

watchmakers, bird watchers,

dainty care to wings and bill,

keel and feet; a dry flock

of tiny paintings twitching

in the breeze.

 

metronomes of flight,

our applause finds no

echoes in wingbeats;

sing now silence

in the gasping gust.

 

 

Calochila

Beard

 

such bristled wisdom;

this second birth founds

a face brimming with rings.

your mauve strands

(blotting senses)

see me clearly:

i am a toddler

fondling fur.

 

 

Nemacianthus

Mayfly

 

quiet midge with thread legs,

when the season sinks

your focus blurs, slapped

between hands and

crumpled in the air.

 

 

Caledenia

Orchids

 

flowers, just flowers,

with two vain petals

adjusted like minutes;

 

whose presumption swells?

blossom, can I see

in you the earth?

 

 

 

Ben Walter’s poetry, essays and short stories have appeared in Literary Hub, Meanjin, Overland and a wide variety of other publications. He is the fiction editor at Island magazine.

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