Resurrection Plants at Nookaminnie Rock

They’re full-blown in their early spring
rush – pin cushions a fakir’s bed of nails
so soft to tread on, so easy to make false
comparisons by, and all the baggage that carries –
rest-break on a granite slab looking out over
the island sea of scrub shaded with formations
beneath a green lagoon’s surface. It’s what we
bring to the apogee before the drying-off,
dead crunch beneath our feet as rock-
dragons wake to the heat, and emphatic
belief that the dead will stay dead
and there will be no lift, no rebirth,
wherever you come from, whatever
you believe. Step carefully around these
wreaths hooked into granite sheen, holdalls
for a soil-less ecology, a carpet you know
would say so much more if your boots
were off and skin touched life brought
back, restored, gifted, bristling with death
because death is the most alive district
to inhabit. We could say so much more
            if only we had the time.

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

John Kinsella's most recent books are Displaced: a rural memoir (Transit Lounge, 2020), the novel Hollow Earth(Transit Lounge, 2019) and the poetry volume Open Door (University of Western Australia Press, 2018). He is an anarchist vegan pacifist who lives with his family on Ballardong Noongar country at Jam Tree Gully.

is the author of over thirty books. His many awards include the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry, the Victorian Premier’s Award for Poetry, the John Bray Award for Poetry and the WA Premier’s Award for Poetry (three times). His latest work is a collection co-authored with Charmaine Papertalk Green, False Claims of Colonial Thieves.

More by