Bandicoot poem by Gail Watson, local writer… after a trip to see the gardens & bandicoots at Cranbourne

BANDICOOT  1     Cranbourne

All day long we have strolled around
these gardens waiting for a glimpse of you
enjoying plants which grow in lines
or on strictly measured trellises
a post modern garden of medieval formality
where the design references are familiar
but the plants and features are truly antipodean.

We have searched all over for you here
We have seen the holes where your nose has foraged
beneath the hedgerows of grevillea and netbush.
and yet our sketch books remain empty
We even sit quietly and wait
but you are nowhere to be seen in this garden today.

Storms build in the afternoon
skies turn indigo
the rain begins to pelt down
we wait and shelter until the rain passes
then we leave.

On the other side of the fence
the bush runs free
a pre-Christian place
where swamps and snakes abound
where plants intertwine and meander
like those in an illuminated manuscript
where the blooms of melaleuca and ti-tree
flash cream through the bush.
Native clematis climbs the trees.
Small stars of deep blue native bluebells
dot the forest floor.

And it’s from this wild place you emerge
crossing the path.
Without a care for us
you sniff at my grandson
then snuffle and forage in the bush
on the other side of the track.

Our lives are lightened by your small presence
all the niggles of the day forgotten
we are enthralled by your quick nimble movements,
soft hair and the dark shine of your eyes.
You fire our imagination in ways that all wild things do.
We leave sustained by the knowledge
that there are places of wilderness left for you,
left for all of us.

© Gail Watson 2012