Overhearing happiness

Faye Brinsmead
Gradually, you get your forest eyes.
The ground, you see, is carpeted 
with tiny star-shaped blossoms, cream and gold,
released by an unknown tree.  
Rust-speckled signs instruct the walker: 
Who’s been logging in my forest? 
A massive brush box stump sculpts
from its mutilation a chalice of sunlight.

You quicken. Feet, quadriceps, mind, heart.
But a host of retinal surprises
exploding quietly arrest your stride.
Bird’s nest ferns, one flung to the ground, 
mohawking a rock.
Knotted vines, a living lyre. 
A colony of pricking fungal ears 
listen to your tread.

The call of the white-headed pigeon
thrums the understorey 
for a canopy
of whistles, rustles 
hums, gurgles, clicks. 

Pausing beside a corkwood, you hear
a single flower fall. 
A soft thunk,
then more and more, 
as one by one
the gentle missiles hit.  
Far away your name is called, but
mute delight roots you to the spot.

Faye Brinsmead’s poetry has been published in journals including Meniscus, The Ekphrastic Review, and the Wales Haiku Journal. She lives in Canberra, and tweets @ContedeFaye.



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