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acing uphill on a morning that has just shaken
off the dew, the lyrebird co-opts gravity
as she backheels a storm into the scrub flotsam.
She stumbles on and voices a chainsaw lodged deep
in her gorge in the same motion.  She engineers
a compost from the leaves, twigs and banksia cones, 
the chrysalides and shed skins, sifting and shifting it, 
mounding it, gouging out catacombs and sanctuaries
for snakes and lower-slung vertebrates.  Only wildfire
rivals her in upheaval, a dozen skips’ worth
per year, yet fire breeds more cold-bloodedly
where her husbandry has not prevailed.  

While the galahs and Major Mitchells flock
to sanctuary, at the fire-front, the perching
opportunism of black kites and brown falcons
has vision only for the single-minded flurry
of insects, lizards and small mammals under the whip
of flame.  Should their appetites surmount this bounty,
the hawks may pilfer an ember and freight
it to a more distant part of the savanna where they
will stoke another oven in the grasslands.  The science
journals are only now the equals of the lore-men.