The Dry, and Where to Find Shade
Billabong sopped only in old blood-coloured
surrounding paperbark gum trees fat with water,
hording it deep within their inner rings,
bark too flaky and dry to present more than peeling reams.
Nothing of reward in the eucalypt leaves,
poisonous to all but koalas,
which are nowhere near this deep country;
no welcome here.
Burrowing frogs deep in the ooze,
too far down to dig up and suck dry.
The mud, the mud.
The true blue sky,
and sun as fanged as taipan snakes.
Nothing for it, white man,
but to crawl into a cave,
dehydrate, and die.
You’re near to delirium when
‘Bunnip! Bunnip!’ grunts through the air,
and the drag of solid flesh
across dusty ground.
The cave opening cuts into black,
clayed stink surrounds you,
as something hard and wet slurps up your leg like
and burps a cheerful ‘bunnip!’.
Helen Patrice lives with a merperson.
Her email address is: email@example.com,
and her blog is: https://witchandworld.wordpress.com