Meelup Mallee

Progeny nursed in its lumpen fist,
a giant inhabits the limestone ridge.
Shy in its limey cave of soil,
while centuries rise and pass.
Wanting to read this archive of weather,
we clamber across lichen mosaicked rocks,
squelch along soggy tracks
through arched moodjar groves,

scanning the surface for a sign;
leaf, bud, bark, clues to what lies substrate.

But the Meelup goliath does not appear,
knows better than to show its face,
has witnessed extinctions,
the arrival of the bulldozer.
Rather to remain curled
around its latent beginnings,
beneath what the eye can see,
an engram of ice shattered clefts
in the ragged coast, an ocean rising
in the footsteps of the Wardandi;
a portent of saplings germinating
into a world without us.