Otway Fire Mother

Julie Maclean


The gully is numb today

eyes everywhere


as spirit winds

from the red heart


blow smoke, flames

and tangled atoms


into her dry hair of wild casuarina,

eucalyptus obliqua


Her belly soon fills

with rare hooded plover,


baby echidna, quolls

In her mouth


a caged platypus

swims from side to side



against her teeth


She spits it out

as charcoal


like a lorikeet

spitting seeds


while a lyre bird



the cries of frogs—




Striped Marsh, Spade-foot—


too slow too late

to leap or crawl


from the boiling pools

of her sacred eyes


Julie Maclean lives on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia, and has published three collections of poetry. Her fourth, ‘Lips that Did’  is due in 2017 from Dancing Girl Press, US. Blog: www.juliemacleanwriter.com

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