restless

Jane Gibian

 

from nowhere                               oversized leaves shoot

roundness against charred ground                     coal-black

 

that blackness                a ceremonial mourning for the death

 

of the glacier                 a dark patch of density

like ground glass            in the lungs

 

a day warms, loosens                            plaits untwisting

around the shoulders

 

almost hand-sized                    leaves of lucid green

emerge            from burnt trunks

 

sandpaper on one side             the other velutinous

claret shine of miniature shoots

amongst monsters

 

enlarged:           daylight, termite mound, birdsong

 

compressed:                coolness, moisture, twilight

 

plants gather clues

that augur combat

 

the day warms, loosens

 

disappearing                            in the restless mosaic

of eucalypt canopy

 

each leaf extant

holding fast

 

 

Jane Gibian is a poet and librarian whose work has been anthologised most recently in Contemporary Australian Poetry (Puncher and Wattman) and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry (Hunter). Her publications include tidemark (Vagabond Press Rare Object series) and Ardent (Giramondo). In 2020 she will be undertaking a Varuna Residency Fellowship.

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