They break the air so high—like the slow sound
of a pied butcher bird, like the young on a quest
for the world to join before the heat swells—
the gymea lily up Awaba way, a forest full like
all the moments in your life. They look tame

yet one by one come autumn after the smoke’s
settled, they thrust a spear of a stem or more
and the crown thickens to a fistful filling by spring,
the head a bowl of scarlet swollen with pollen
dangling in green about the openings. These

flame lilies will persist you think (deep-rooted,
drought-hardy); you search for a likeness given
the carbon turmoil—your hands perhaps, lilied
with years of touch or some inner place like
the lily’s bulb underground, something to tap into.

Kathryn Fry


Kathryn Fry has poems in various anthologies including Antipodes 2016 and the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthologies of 2014 and 2016. Her poems are also in Plumwood Mountain Journal (2016), Cordite Poetry Review (2016) and Not Very Quiet (2017, 2018). Her first collection is Green Point Bearings (Ginninderra Press 2018).

© 2019