Heathward

1 February 2015

Peeling back a wet blanket
of bracken more or less dead
on its feet, a small patch,
one warily pulled head at a time;
hoping to see the doused
coastal heath, that still smokes
underneath, reignite.
Hot-pink flowering Heath’s installed,
Prickly’s Beauty and Moses, Yellow
Spiky Bitterpea, Sagg: the names,
lit upon like the moled plants,
won’t disclose the wanted wealth
of paucity, desiccation
to be risked in these days
of declining rainfall. Planting
stones at the feet of baby shrubs
to dissuade rabbitual
excavations. Taking fresh
pademelon scats as a sign
of progress: remnant native grasses
reconvening as the patch dries out.
And this morning an Eastern Spinebill,
deeply addicted to the sweets inside
each dripping bell of Heath, grinned
through the patch like good luck,
peppering the bared ground pink
with rifled flowers.

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