Metamorphosis by Nancy Fotheringham Cato

I am become a tree with eyes, as still
As the straight, peeled saplings burning through in the bush
In sharp white flame. The golden honeyeaters
Feed upside-down in blossoms, the little fly-catchers
Flirt their fans before me unconcerned
And scarlet robins dart their restless fires
From twig to twig, and I look into their bright eyes.
I would shed my clothes like the shredded bark
And become as a white flame in this dark gully
Springing out of the bracken and maidenhair
Unwaveringly bright; I would stand so long
That my roots should feel down through the damp earth,
My arms reach up till they caught the last gold light
Now tinting the highest leaves; no longer restless,
But rooted content in the one place forever;
no change but the slow march of the turning years,
And the mighty pageant of the night-wheeling stars.

From: Cato, Nancy, ‘Metamorphosis’ in The Bulletin, Vol. 71 No. 3667 (24 May 1950), p. 13.

Date: 1950

By: Nancy Fotheringham Cato (1917-2000)

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