By | 31 October 2021

It’s not right to be awake late at night, here:
there’s secret business down in the gully
between the darkness and the trees

and it must be obeyed. So I wait until
the morning’s walk to bear news of our liaison
to the discerning ferns. My skin carries

your heat. The daring stringybarks shed
their robes, and discard them in heaps
at their feet. They step lithely down to the creek,

dip their toes in the cool dark water.
(Sometimes we find they have died in the night,
and fallen headlong into it.) And today,

the thick old chopping block is shredded
to rags. I stand on the deck and watch clouds
whip themselves black, and you speak me

that impossible verse, twisting your hat
to a furball in your nervousness. Nobody
intervenes. But night falls again on Blackheath.

So we follow the law of the storm
the way the beasts keep each other warm.

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