The alkali cleansing

In this forest I smell
the leaves, always the leaves,
their eucalyptus breath
But not today

Today I smell, dark but not dirty,
the alkali cleansing
of charcoal and ash

I hear not beaks, not bright feathers, only
the baritone wind
and my soft alto heart

I taste not smoke, not now, but fire-dust
surrounded and spent
in the wet film on my tongue

Rain is coming
I smell the negative charge
Rain is coming
Rain is coming and I feel
the fire-sprung seeds
making ready

(First published in Fire, Margaret River Press 2013)