Published in Overland Issue 220 Spring 2015 · Uncategorized Arcady Frances Olive I A northern branch – rough handled – right for curving the animal from me. In winter she opens: one white flower. Sticks lie flat across branches; raft on the fall of tree. One stick still burns a green flame, like a question or a falling child – testing the sharp edge, death. Ghosts stay in the cut wood. I play with the obedient ghosts, and never wonder about the other child who left so quietly this home-made. I take it in like apples, breaking the falling silence with the snap of hunger. II The wild has entered and planted fence stone full with native weed-fruit; the patience of seeds is water carrying time into the rock. This field is slipping dream toward the river – nature deciding itself (before un-nature is carried into life – sad monster sewn to the wrong soil gabbling a mixed patois). Bulbs speak their tongues in flower – promises of life in impossible places – the fall of living at the end of the cut. III We lie the blanket where the ground slopes west. It’s stars we want: they hang in the old tree their small cold fire. We offer up apples to the taking stars. Our talk tastes better that way; it’s measured and means enough. This second skin is tight with friendship in the hollow of words first tested – rashly bearing what we don’t know as wild turns on inside us, kids. She’s alone, breaking flowers when the deer startles in the dark – animal – white eyes hot above a heart. Misplaced, they both live briefly until the bell of breaking glass recalls her home. Frances Olive Frances Olive is an Australian poet and short story writer. More by Frances Olive › 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. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 15 September 2023 · Friday Features Activating the poetic spirit as friendship John Kinsella I’ve always had the aching feeling that—as a text to be shared among friends and maybe eventually ‘enemies’—the soul-body dialogue poem is a way of arguing towards spiritual certainty in the face of earthly corruption and doubt. First published in Overland Issue 228 14 September 202314 September 2023 · Indigenous rights The ballot box does not translate ideology Jeanine Leane The Voice referendum is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the younger demographic to shape the future of the nation. Future generations of younger Australians will have to live with the outcome of October 14 for quite some time. If the referendum is defeated, it mean a nation was given the opportunity to recognise its First People and refused it.