Redwood Plantation, Otways National Park
Poem after Jennifer Rankin
Things seem cut up here, clipped up in straight lines, divided on/by the
horizon, little river, heath, rainforest, waterfall, plantation,
I had only ever seen Redwoods in California but forgot to touch
them. What we had come for. A measured Saturday. A friend, good at
trees, tells me they are soft. I can only imagine this in the way I once
peeled off paperbark and held it for a long time. There’s shaky video
footage of you, walking down the stairs and a picture of me sitting
in a river, when we were lost and sharp. Months later you said, you looked
so pretty that day. Before this, hot chips in the wet.
We are losing light. Then that space, carved out and distant. A
quick partition. The gaps between things extend height. imagine that
the trees aren’t tall at all, that we’re just really tiny. Which is how it is
anyway. Stand in places where trunks line up, much smaller/planted
once. One has fallen over and bridges across the water. Edge sinks
back into the ground. Softer than green, which is only upward. Sharp
pillowed hills. This brown, deeper than soil, not a colour we remember.
Hands disappear into wood.
- Melody Paloma reads 'Redwood Plantation, Otways National Park'