twilight by the creek

a naked hillside burns to rusty red
in the last rays of the autumn sun
that is melting like apricot sorbet behind the hills
in a blanket-soft, blue sky
smudged with candyfloss cloud

the raucous shrieks of stocky cockatoos
tear the silent sky into ragged strips
while an idle koala hangs, unperturbed
and sloth-like, over a broad branch
another wedged in the crook between trunk and beam

the twisted arthritic limbs of ancient gums
stretch across the sludge brown creek
that turns to liquid mercury in the dying light
swirling and churning over rocks and roots,
waltzing down to the sea

fragrant eucalyptus permeates the still air
making nostrils flair
with its soothing, balmy scent
unearthing nostalgic childhood memories
as strong as a mere madeleine may do

a squat and solitary bandicoot snuffles anxiously
amongst the undergrowth
blending – almost – with the coarse grasses
eyes scrunched tight so she can’t be seen
burying her snout between sturdy claws

a little green road to fairyland
weaves up the river bank, between the trees
where a miniature world of fairies is revealed –
mossy cottages and hidden doorways –
to cries of glee from eager infants

a picnic rug left forelorn by the creek
where parents sat peacefully in the shade
as their children paddled small toes in the creek
and clambered, lithe as mountain goats over fallen branches
as the day drifted lazily away…

koala

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