'Treecreeper' by Sarah Holland-Batt | States of Poetry Queensland - Series One

Bebop sparkplug spurred in withershins,
loop-de-loop interloper, he hop-steps
ravines of bark, shirking faultlines,
going solo, headstrong, scion of impatience,
juddering like the stalled engine
of prop-plane on tundra runway, skirting
and skimming up, peeling out,
reeling in spiral, spy, scout, prematurely
thrusting into the unknown, Magellan
running aground on an idea of home,
small caravel listing on lateen sails
then surging helical in staccato, rounding
each horizon in horror of what lies behind,
long a believer of earth-as-cylinder,
denier of his long scroll of crimes,
smiter of pseudoscorpions and mites,
he scours the lonely atolls under cover of snow,
dreaming of Cape Verde and the Canary Islands,
forewarned of the way death arrives, ahead of his time,
the age of discovery sinking out of sight
in the forest's surge and slide.

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt

Sarah Holland-Batt's most recent book of poems is The Hazards (UQP, 2015), which has been shortlisted in the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, the NSW Premier's Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry, the AFAL John Bray Memorial Poetry Prize, and the Queensland Literary Awards Judith Wright Calanthe Award. She is the editor of The Best Australian Poems 2016 (Black Inc.), and works as a Senior Lecturer at QUT and the poetry editor of Island.