Rose Lucas is a Melbourne poet and academic at Victoria University. Her most recent publications are 2020 Shelter in Place, a collaborative project with visual artist Sharon Monagle and This Shuttered Eye (Liquid Amber Press, 2021). He new collection, Increments of the Everyday is forthcoming with Puncher and Wattmann September 2022.
Where A Tree Begins

in the electric

           blue of brain and

cord           and artery

                        where quiet communities       bustle

rhizomes of             reaching       


                to synapse          and chasing

through flickering filaments

like an expanse of night city watched

from a plane’s small window

         its territory of what is seen and what

is not

an incipience of energy      studded

on velvet black –

         in the eye of this azure field

a tree

might begin to

           unfold       coiled

possibilities of green        hidden

encodings                 of stem and leaf and

blossom       delivered         into sunlight

          that airy space            a trepanation

of light       and breathing

a clot of roots –

the wonder of what flares

                             and sparks

and vanishes

          swallowed     in the crook of darkness


pounds in cranium’s

dark spaces

a sudden roar of temperature    stirring

a primordial wash of impulse

this viscous seedbed of what

drives        something

out    into the incipient

receptivity of        somewhere else

medium of turbulence    curlicue of

synapse that leads on

to synapse    building threads of distinct

and overlapping patterns

this beautiful cross-section         of what sees

or makes     what might be

considered meaningful

the brevity of this temporal moment

of fire        it flares   waves of vermillion heat

sparking the world