Walking the Michael Perry Botanic Reserve, NYE


Walking the Michael Perry Botanic Reserve, NYE


I wish he hadn’t told us:


a koala mauled a dog


sickly tear of skin, punctured lungs


earth swallowing blood


stench of sepsis in the hospital


when the owner died.


I wish they hadn’t put up the sign:


Snakes seen in this area.


We walk light-footed, remember


childhood stories, when we believed


calling them by name would attract them.


Then an eastern brown slithers along the fence.


Adrenalin-pumped legs race uphill to safety.


I wish we needn’t talk


of out-of-control bushfires,


a pandemic raging the world,


domestic violence,


the futility of new year resolutions


here on this short stroll with friends,


soft sun, clean smell of pine, a cocker spaniel


in the protected quiet of a shaded park


chasing magpies



Martha Landman


Martha Landman writes in Adelaide on Kaurna Land. Her work has appeared in anthologies and online journals in Australia, the US, UK and South Africa. The latest was in The Poetry Village, Blue Bottle Journal,Tamba and Sparks of Calliope. She was shortlisted for Emerging Older Poets in Queensland. Her Chapbook Between Us, was published by Ginninderra Press in 2019.


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