Leafless - leafs

                                                (East Gippsland foothill forest: Gunaikurnai country)

Words are leafless

In the forest some words are too loud

Most words belong to someone else

The sheen of words precludes listening

Leafs wait to be heard

Felled: the story between earth and sky

Trees are determined as the rocks

The middle story

Is dialogue? Logging

The tracks of words eviscerate echidnas

Leafs align along a ridge

Do all the words inculcate colonialism?

Greater gliders cannot eat your words however leafy

The colonisers’ word morphs into enforcement

The route into the valley is not shown by words

Forest: a word with many leafs

Words that are seen, leafs that are not

The track vanishes off the map but the route remains

Leafs as necessary as touch

The old forest…

The creek is not leafless, words float on the surface



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Louise Crisp

Louise Crisp’s latest collection is Glide (Puncher & Wattmann 2021). A previous collection Yuiquimbiang (Cordite Books 2019) was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. ‘Leafless – Leafs’ was written as part of Stony Creek Collective, a multi-artform collaborative project in the foothill forests of East Gippsland (Gunaikurnai country) in 2020–21. This project was supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

More by Louise Crisp ›

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