“Who are you?”

You are not alone,
far from home, yet safe

Many hands turned such soils
since time was stamped with dates

Your steps fall on Footprints
that sink as deep as sacred grounds breathe

They recede
from a taxing chronology

The many hands bear a Timeless lease
on a mosaic of intent

There is no date that will draw an end to this place
As long as the planet survives - so will we

Beware mosquito custodians
Who ask again “What brought you here?”

Your silent answer lands on
Water dragon surveillance

the guards of paths to the past
When melaleuca & paperbarks

shaped creek banks
Their roots still stand the test

As remnants of responsibility
Or succession of inhabitants

Human lives are often stranger than flies
strangling in web nestled

in window of strangler fig
All while this stranger nests

in a garden born of a world
that strangles trees & creeks

Red Cedars’ never ceded
hence, their cries

Sunlight dances with the wind here
Eight legs sunbath on glass hammocks

winding paths intertwine like water vines
Our winding lives on glass hammocks

Follow Mother mountain’s web
She watches every step

See there,
bush turkey scratching

With beak like Coolamon,
and feet like spear

Sweeping a floor of leaf
and blue quandong

Gusts of wind clears Country’s throat
Filtering creeks are Ancient stones

that mirror history,
reach deeper

watch clear waters
filter existential trauma

When the rain hits,
families sing

husband and wife huddle tight
beneath canopy

While lonely lyrebird sings in melancholy
multilingual lullaby

In the middle of it all
Mum Geera's tears flow and teach

From sclerophyll escarpment
toward an annexed beach

Everything here has purpose,
has story, has name

more than a square label
or QR code could explain

& in the middle of it all
A garden of life’s secrets
Is where you’ll find me

In 2021, we celebrated 50 years of Wollongong Botanic Garden with poems connecting plants, people and place. As part of our New Shoots program, we collaborated with Wollongong Botanic Garden to commission a series of poems, including 'Mosaic of Secrets' by Dakota Feirer, and produce a number of workshops, installations and activities.