States of Poetry Series Two - Victoria | 'Heidi-Ho' by Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Below great ears like galleon sails
hangs an off-grey trunk – odd word –
more than the puny dangling tail
marking this leatherjacket.
So much overcoat in our tropics, then?
But why is any creature as it is?
The ark’s gangplank must have been sturdy,
shipping creatures from those Turkish hills
before due discipline on deck. Sailing,
the very devil: not a Tasmanian one,
since that’s not in the book, those
bitter creatures dying in their south.
But then we consider the fateful tusks,
in some departed species upside-down
we are told. It’s not a fairy story.
Lumbering, munching, these can also gallop
and then the planet shakes like a dish of jelly.
Threatened jumbo touches all our lives.

Chris Wallace-Crabbe

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