Chloë Callistemon


a cento


where crimson rosellas swerve sideways

their noise etched in freeze-framed air

unwitnessed silence was a falling amber leaf

with its undertalk of shimmerings and insect wings

drawing attention, like children

electric, shaken, utterly still

neither of us seeing how it had been flowering, drawing lightness to it

shaping and reshaping sideways through winter sun’s white light –

lucky, then, that our air-dropped swallows did

you hear it, or have heard it, waiting here


from Martin Harrison’s White Flowers’, ‘Wattlebirds in Severe Drought’, ‘Forest Kingfisher’, ‘Bronzewings with Lightning’, ‘Plum Trees’, ‘Fine Rain at Night’, ‘By the River’, ‘Cloud’, ‘Spring Song’, ‘Verandah with Owls Calling Through Water’


Chloë Callistemon is a photographer, filmmaker and writer. Her poetry and multimedia has been published in journals and anthologies in Australia and internationally. She is a listener and reader of Martin Harrison’s sounds and words—returned to often for their movement and heart.

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