From Garden to Forest

IN THE GARDEN

Searching for a herb named solace;
they say it grows in hard ground;
I am sure it used to grow here,
somewhere.
It goes with nearly everything.
Perhaps it is nowhere to be found.
Better than heart’s ease, growing
among honesty and patience.




THE HUNGOVER FOREST

(In memory of naturalist Gerald Durrell,
who wrote The Drunken Forest in 1956)

The Australian forest wakens;
crapulous, hungover;
the koala sleeps it off
in a nook of his tree, 
stuffed with gum leaves 
and dozy on their oil;
kangaroos blink in the light,
possums and gliders hide
indoors after a hard night;
frogmouths and nightjars 
look like drunks,
hunched together, bleary-eyed 
in bars;
as dry-mouthed as the soil;
but galahs fly by, pink and white
and gray, turbulent in flight,
screeching out: Wake up,
you blokes, it’s another
blessed day.

About the contributor

Julian O'Dea is a retired government scientist, who began writing poetry a few years ago. He has had poems, including haiku, published in various online and print locations. These have included Ygdrasil, Creatrix, Friday's Poems and The Australia Times. As a government officer he worked in a number of technical and policy fields, including fisheries management, animal welfare policy, science policy and regulatory toxicology. He was a Visiting Fellow in Archaeology for several years, at the Australian National University.

Related Articles

Grant Guy, Poetry

Grant Guy is a Canadian, writer, illustrator and puppeteer. Currently he is the artistic director of the Circus of Objects.

2 poems by Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer was winner of the Carmel Bird Digital Literary Award (2018) for The Age of Fibs, Her books include Vagabondage (UWAP, 2014) and Things in a Glass Box (FIP, 1994).

Zither Music – Short fiction by David Butler

We’d been to the Gate to watch Barry McGovern do his Beckett thing. A character whose proportions might’ve been dreamed up by Alberto Giacometti....

More Like This

Monsoon and other Poems by Glenn Whalan

MONSOON Hard buckshot comes the rain, the first monsoon rain,  the first ever real rain for months.  All conversation dies, all plans are...

Ruth Stacey’s How to Wear Grunge – Reviewed

The speaker in Ruth Stacy’s How to Wear Grunge (2018) is a struggling female poet who is heavy, hung-over and coming down. The poems...

Poetry by Guinotte Wise

Guinotte Wise writes and welds steel sculpture on a farm in Resume Speed, Kansas.

Grandpa’s Bib Overalls by Michael Lewis Beck

Mike Lewis-Beck works and writes in Iowa City. He has pieces in Alexandria Quarterly, Apalachee Review, Big Windows Review, Cortland Review, Chariton Review, Guesthouse, Pure Slush.

2 poems by Magdalena Ball

Magdalena Ball is the author of several published books of poetry and fiction, including High Wire Step (Flying Island Press, 2018) and Unreliable Narratives (Girls on Key Press, 2019).