rose-shining amongst coquettish leaves,
with whalebone-stiffened veins –
shy screens for colonies of seeds,
High above, Christmas-strung, wry cherries –
some umber as Darwin pearls,
others, bright beads of blood, cordial
in translucence. But where the birds?
The peckers, pluckers, pilferers?
On Omaru, abandoned Gippsland farm
should slightest swell of seed-pearl dan-
from extended stem
a flurrying red-green gleaner will alight.
So I, chick-gawk at unmolested crop –
impossible where I hail from.