Blossoming Cacti by Mabel Forrest

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Dreaming of far-off deserts, in the murk
   Of hot and moonless nights in Brisbane town.
Each sap-filled leaf arrayed in spear and dirk,
   They look like stars themselves come drifting down
As slowly in the midnight garden pent
They wake to blossom through their discontent.

By day they close their eyes and lie asleep;
   The dust from street and road comes drifting in;
Who knows but in their hearts the cacti weep
   Green heavy tears for their long-sundered kin --
Flags of the Open Plain who own a world.
While theirs in narrow garden plots are furled?

On these hot nights I think they hear the wind
   Sigh through old memories, and the jackal slink
By the sand dunes some laggard prey to find;
   The scampering scorpion, in his coat of ink,
Threads in and out the glistening cacti-grove
To some mysterious rendezvous of love --

Seed of those other cacti. desert-bred,
   Offspring of some spiked hedge that spans the wild,
Remembering through those channels, parent-fed,   
   How the red dawn on desert acres smiled,
And how, across the long and burning sands,
Pale Evening came with comfort in her hands!

First published in The Bulletin, 27 February 1919

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 27, 2014 7:30 AM.

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