When we reached the trig station, I took a wrong turn. We headed down a ridge, winding out of the trees and into land that must’ve once been pine forest but was cleared at least a few years ago. It was now full of purple-green blackberry mounds, stringy little saplings, the splayed denuded heads of Scotch thistles and waist high grass still awash with summer’s seeding.
On the path, a thick fungus of some sort, pink and extraordinary, had fisted up like a volcano through an ants’ nest. The ground was cracked around its base, making way. I wondered what the ants saw beneath the surface.
Cresting a small rise, a huge dead tree hove into view – white as bones on the mattress-ripple sky. Two white cockatoos sat mute and ruffled on its outer branches, preening lazily. Another disappeared into a large hollow and even from fifty metres away, I could hear its beak working, working on the dry old timber. The dog ran forward suddenly and I called him off a ‘roo and her joey who disappeared into the thick undergrowth.
Five lorikeets darted in and placed themselves around the old tree like bright flowers suddenly sprouted. I smiled up at them, marvelling at how even dead things still support a kind of ecosystem.
ghost-white parrots on dead limbs ancient marrow still nourishes my old selves creak
Written for Go Dog Go Cafe Haibun Wednesday “YOUR MORNING” – the prompt by Donna Matthews