As I said a while back, I'm in the thick of writing Aussie nature poems. Writing Aussie nature poems for publication, in fact. They should emerge in the first half of 2014.
There are many challenges: writing what hasn't been written on this subject before; shaping poems that are unique and unexpected; avoiding predictable gum and wattle references; steering clear of bush poetry; playing with purposeful form and layout; avoiding sentimentality and writing too many poems that pay homage to our natural world (which is easy to do, when you're a birder and wilderness tragic). I'm trying to balance things out, compose fantastical and truthful pieces. I also want to highlight this irony: our wilderness sustains us, but doesn't give a toss about us.
Eighteen poems are done. Another two are in mind. There's fire, rain, leeches, glow worms, a bowerbird, a funnel-web, a wombat, Putin, Avatar, Hamlet, Harry Potter, family, heritage, scraps of indigenous culture...
Just as long as the reader isn't bored, as long as they want to turn the page, as long as they wish to have my poems in their life for a little while. And, that at the end of it all, the reader turns away from their life of deadlines and dead ends and gets back out into nature, soaks it up, strives to preserve it for previous generations.
Who knows whether my work will have that much impact?
LJ, November 29 2013.