From the upside-down I spy a date palm, green fronds boogying, not a fruit within eating distance. There’s a miner chasing a wagtail with incessant tour-de-force and a magpie sucking on a worm eyeballing me, her look a warning: I won’t eat again until the apocalypse is over. You? Me? I tell you it’s a dangerous and troublesome thing. To perceive life head-down bum-up is not recommended if you’re starved for wonder. Full hearted silken souls only please. Pessimists need not apply and for the love of all things immaterial, please lock the gate on your way out. If it’s one thing a gecko despises it’s a free-for-all. The Poinciana with its lopped off branches reaches for the river amidst freshly cut grass. A lorikeet’s nest conceals unborn progeny that she knows he knows quivers in too-high winds like bare legs in a snowstorm until chicks are chicks and The Second Coming is more or less obsolete. But I don’t want to get stuck on poems and their purported meanings. No one really knows why from what anyway and no amount of meditation will change the fact that I wear my shirts back-to-front and strive to own a drawer full of red-and-white-polka-dotted-underwear. There’s a place for you, here, if you want it, but you have to be uncertain. The only other way in reveals a rusted padlock, an iron gate and a hangry pelican hell-bent on detecting cynics and fakes.
Kylie Hough studies Arts at UNE. A VC Scholar, in 2015 Kylie received the Lucy Elizabeth Craigie Award, the Richard B Smith Memorial Prize, and the Australian Federation of Graduate Women Inc. (AFGW) NSW (Armidale) UNE ARTS AWARD. She was a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction 2018 and is published with Feminartsy, the write launch, Verity LA, Other Terrain, and Posit. Kylie has poetry forthcoming with Antithesis, nonfiction with The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts and is a grateful recipient of a 2021 Australian Society of Authors (ASA) Award Mentorship in Fiction.