Michael Leach


Luscious                  Beautiful

blushing spider orchids                   kangaroo apples

(Caladenia lorea)                   (Solanum aviculare)

spread leggy pink petals                    bear purple flowers & red-

on a Western Australian                    orange fruit amidst this east coast

sandplain.                   rainforest.


Bristling                   Flamboyant

red toothbrushes                    firewheel trees

(Grevillea hookeriana)                   (Stenocarpus sinuatus)

brush passers-by                   boast scarlet spokes

in the depths of a dry                   in the heart of the humid

summer.                   tropics.


Upstanding                     Elegant

scarlet banksias                     bleeding-heart trees

(Banksia coccinea)                     (Homalanthus populifolius)

raise up squat, cylindrical                      warmly welcome weekend

pincushions in a native                      visitors in a native

backyard.                     front yard.


Hardy                    Hardy

tubada plants                    burrawang plants

(Melaleuca phonicea)                    (Macrozamia communis)

grow green-blue leaves & red-                    grow green fern-like leaves

purple bottlebrush flowers                     & cantaloupe-coloured, pineapple-

beside this west coast                     shaped cones amidst this east coast

watercourse.                    rainforest.


Fiery                     A rosy

lemon-scented myrtle                     Sydney rose

responding to its                    responding to its

botanical name – Darwinia                     botanical name – Boronia

citriodora – is just as lemony                    serrulata – is just as sweet

and significantly more                     and dramatically more

taxonomic.                     taxonomic.


The red-and-green kangaroo paw                     The New South Wales waratah

(Anigozanthos manglesii)                     (Telopea speciosissima)

is blossoming with long, curved                     is blossoming with a fluoro red

mammalian fingers, its morphology                     flower arrangement, its morphology

singularly spectacular                      singularly spectacular


& emblematic.



Michael J Leach is Bendigo-based poet, statistician, and researcher who enjoys combining science with art. His poems have appeared in Cordite, Meniscus, the Medical Journal of Australia, the Antarctic Poetry Exhibition, New Shoots Garden of Poems, and elsewhere. Michael’s debut poetry collection – a chapbook – is forthcoming from Melbourne Poets Union.


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