Futility (Leard forest, winter 2014) – Georgina Woods

Lightless through the night, disused coal farm
homesteads loom and retreat. Your gratitude
billows in the dark. Torchless, you navigate
by the glow of industry in Leard forest. It’s easy
walking in grassy box gum, past smudged white
ashy trees adorned with hidden Microchiroptera.
There might be six yellow-bellied sheathtails
huddled snout-down in any of these branches.
Their sweet rarity blooms darkly, too.

They only need tiny hollows,
smaller than your white hard balled fist,

as the clearing opens up.

The heart’s a caged cat, a drunk in the back
of a paddy wagon. It yowls, not knowing
how it came to be

pacing impatiently,


side to side.

Chunky limbs and sides of white box
are pushed together in broken windrows
across an open clearing. When the rain arrives,
there is no shield of canopy, no hollow to shelter
your bare and broken vanity.
With torn skin loose over flightless fingers,
any heart might exchange bravado for caution,
and hide in the bushes from workmen.