Cable-and-hawser coastal heath, slung low to the earth
on capstan roots, bark crusted and bitten
into the wind, stands of wollybutt, swamp mahogany
and red bloodwood, thirty species smitten
with proximity and the probing between cheek and jowl.
White as wave crest, an osprey and its mate
prowl the thermals, searchlight eyes pierce the ribbed stillness.
Beneath the bough line new lives germinate
in a quarried pulp of soil, shed skin and decayed leaf:
a mounded and domed ellipse makes a nest.
A patient, shy, protective bird in earshot of this psalm
shelters thoughtfully, its bill-bristles pressed
flat by the heat. He recalls shards he’s seen the times
he’s ventured beyond the scrub, the newer
shatterings translucent, older ones smoked opaque
by the sun and dune-swept breezes—fewer
silvered like a mirror on one side only: these alone had bound
his gaze. The coming night would entwine this
within the helix of dialogue he would spawn with the frogmouth,
a lode-rich progeny blessed as a kiss.