for “the maiden in her dark, pale meadow”
Twilight through the roof of a rain forest
shatters like a chandelier of green glass,
the shrillness strafed by keening cicadas
and unseen flocks of cockatoos that caw
their catcalls at the meltdown of the sun.
Dimming of the day bronzes a pathway
that we follow under vaults of booyong
down a terraced stairway to this canyon
of warm mist, where a waterfall loiters,
draped in a grotto, like a soaked sarong.
Shadows deepen the tinges of each fern
to jade, while we descend into the nave
of this cavern where paramours gather,
unmournful, by the cascade, to witness
the arrival of bright nymphs at nightfall.
Prattle, muttered by the gentle shower
in its pool of shade, softens our voices
while we wait, rebuking the ruby glow
from a camera, its lamplight forbidden,
a red ray doused to darken the drama.