A snail without a shell, this vulnerable unseen world
Of exposed cargoes and hopes in a vain defence swelled;
As the chameleon’s hues turned green and blue;
As the cuttlefish’s ink imprinted oceans, voluminous
As they wrote, and as they grew before my eyes;
As zebras conformed their stripes to shapes of grasses parched;
So to survive, the gasteropodic substance alchemied into
Something luminous and new.
For the untrained eye, as once was mine, note-worthy no.
I did not write of this love-dart bearing hermaphrodite.
Herald of rain, you carry all you will ever need:
Cornucopian organs, rituals, instruments clanging
In that bivouac, all calcified and brownly-bound.
Golden in myths and sleep, subtle in the making,
Forever known to be slow, carved in stone ideas forsaking
The knowledge of six seasons spent in Kakadu national park,
Where you were the gods, and the poets paid homage.
I placed you back where I found you, on mortal ground,
Reunited to your humble home by muscular foot,
Returned to the threats of hedgehog and thrush;
As if from a dream, with your knowledge I woke.