A forest tumbling
into a spectral valley,
a river cutting its way
through a landscape’s operatic grief
I walk for what seems a whole night until
there is a clearing in my dream,
stop to consult my palms up close: read their venations.
There are love letters rolled up in the hollows of trees
apologies from once-loves,
instructions too: give the colours names.
Mist rises lethargically and I can see
the doubtful stretch of water now — almost touch it
White spoonbills dredge weeds at the edges,
azure kingfishers and rainbow bee-eaters
sing words sticky like honey, sweet but scared.
Venus is vivid in a metallic sky
where portents flash like fire.
I submerge myself in the water,
wait for the flames to rage above,
leap across the stones from bank to bank
and then for the forest to regrow.
This takes time so I take a deep breath,
swim into the future.