In search of Flannel Flowers and my father by Colleen Keating

in search of Flannel Flowers

a soft brush paints stars
your star the brightest
with conversation  velvet
white petals
last for their few short days
once opened to the sky                                        
from the crib of calyx
camouflaged as bush you rise
catch the design of each soft edge
tailored to be just who you are
every flower with a wildness
that’s where I saw you last
in amongst the frey and white abundance

this haven frames a grief
deep below the heart     its only sound
a deep sigh
only action my gentle smile
when we nod we nod togeth

think nature       how it releases old regrets
binds sudden futures
in Obrien’s flannel flowers
a gift on my wall
given when he saw how my tears flowed
at sudden memories
of my father
with his awe at their beauty
its meaning something more then
in the star gazing flowers
even as every spindly floret
is like no other
now sway with a freeing joy

well it is said we who are left
anchored are the ones who suffer
like the see saw of life
where outer edges throw
giddiness chaos
and on the pivot
there is a stillness

the story is finished now
for another year each floral head droops
your sudden loss is softened
by walking here again next spring
you will be walking like the first time
some called an apparition some say imagination
but i will be back.

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Then for the rest of our walk from Crackneck Lookout along the coast through the  Wyrrabalong National Park.