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Image by Olga Thelavart


By Adanya Shadi

Homegrown  ∙ Signs of Life  ∙  Scribbly Gum  ∙  Lengthen the Tent Pegs  ∙  Hassans Walls Lookout




feet on the ground

earth much farther beneath

I close my eyes

and hike ninety-three miles

of yellow diamond-shaped road signs

between the Blue Mountains and juicy July trees

sweetness is as fleeting as the summers here

hell is a bitter cold place

with leadlight windows and a white picket fence.





Signs of Life


a solitary

stark green shoot

sprouts defiantly

on the limb of a charred-black eucalypt

signs of life like first light

returning like the prodigal sun

natures retort consumed an arid landscape

cremating land and life without mercy

the lucky ones vagabonds

less than eight weeks later

a single shiny stem emerges

thirsty for hope.








Scribbly Gum


I found sweet solace

among the naked natives

a space to unravel knotted narratives

by trees that secrete oil and gold

under a canopy of muted green

and noiseless woody bells

an open-air cathedral

a camphorous sanctuary

a confessional without a roof

ancient treasure trunks

reliable witnesses

to the ages turning like pages

perfuming pain and

weathering wisdom

for Honeyeaters like me

scribbled secrets

lore in an ancient tongue

history hidden

beneath shedding skin

zigzag tracings and sacred sayings


unless you speak scribbly gum.






Lengthen the Tent Pegs


it's not the lines on a map

or the ground underfoot

it's the bend of a river

a merry-go-round bloom

the satiny surface of a pebble

it's the steadiness of a tree and the ebullience of its leaves in the breeze

it's the nuance of sunlight casting a shadier shadow in the afternoon

of land and limb a second skin

this is place.








Hassans Walls Lookout

sitting on top of the world

legs dangling over the edge of the Central Tablelands

heaven bound mountains

Mount Wilson

Mount York

Mount Tarana

Mount Blaxland

towering over the Eden-green undulating Hartley Valley.

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Adanya is a serial tea drinker, creative tinkerer, board games enthusiast, word artist and lover of humans. She is a star student at Southern Cross University, completing the Associate Degree in Creative Writing. She also runs her own freelance writing gig. Her aspiration in writing is to pull people close through the exchange of meaningful information. 

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