Green is the Colour
Wilson’s Prom 2009
Cloaked in convalescence, the landscape without foliage
resonates with loss. Once forest, now individual trunks
stand out, painted the black of cinder and mourning.
I know the theory – bush regenerates after fire, birds
return, rise from ash. But the burn here is heartbreaking
hillside after hillside – stubbled with match-stick thinness,
like the poor head-hair of chemo patients. In some places
recovery is obvious. Eucalypts have put on sleeves –
pressure bandages on burns victims you hope protects them.
Elsewhere a moss poultice covers the earth, blanketing harm.
No regrowth yet in the banksia forests – sounds are broken
and brittle. Seedpods remain silent. Their mouths will open
eventually, articulate with seed. I’ll trust seeds’ eloquence,
their tumble into the waiting ashbed – kernels of thought
into earth’s imagination. Green is the colour when
the regeneration wheel turns. Shoots will appear, new ideas
nosing their way into life. Already the grass trees thrive.
From burnt beginnings, single, solid spears rear into space,
fields of lingams insisting on existence. The tale of recovery;
I want to be told it again and again, until I have it by heart.