The Orchids And The Heath

The Orchids and the Heath

The steep path zigzags
up the side of the hill
where spindly bush grows wild.
Grasstrees stick out stiff strips
of paper-like leaves. Their roots
grip the dry brown soil.
Eucalyptus leaves, tossed carelessly
onto the ground, create
a warm covering, a blanket
for the new seedlings.

Little quaint rosettes
of small dark green leaves,
maroon stems with tiny
white jewel-like flowers,
and greenhoods standing straight
and upright yet their heads are bowed;
these orchids are hidden
in nooks and niches along
the winding track.

The hills are clothed with thick
dense undergrowth of the bush
and across the deep yawning gully
she-oaks shroud that opposite hill
in a mist of olive green
mingled in with the dull orange
of male she-oak blossom;
but on this side, all is an
overwhelming mass of spiritless green

The trail, clinging close to that
steep hillside, winds its way
below and above the invincible bush.
The lookout is precariously balanced
on a pile of old stony grey
building blocks of rock
which began the creation of these hills.
From these hills, the city can be seen
in its soft hues of blue and pale yellow.

Scarlet-coloured flame heath
sigh sadly and wistfully
for a kind word or some
sympathizing glance from a passer-by.
Modest little flowers they are
for they do not ask
but just dream and hope
for some kind attention.

The bells of the common heath
dance gaily in gowns of
pure white and candy pink
out onto the path
hearing music in the breeze
as the leaves of the towering
gums do when they rustle
in the zephyr which brings
music unheard except
by the most attentive listeners.

The little orchids hiding
and the heath dancing in the bush
are very attractive
The she-oaks sighing and the gums
rustling their leaves are not equal
to the delicacy and daintiness
of the tiny orchids and the dancing heath.

Louise Lawrence

Written after a trip in June 2006 to Morialta looking for orchids.  Published in the NOSSA Journal soon after

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