1770 c/o Jacqueline Culleton

Botany Bay

After the conquest of new, found land,
he wanted to go further than any had before him.

He went chasing Venus,
who flew at quite a pace across the sun.

Sealed orders dictated the next discovery:
Terra Australis.

Passing through the Tasman Sea, over coral,
stingray, and weedy sea dragons,
he found the place where sacrifices were made.

This civilised creature laboured to identify
a great quantity of plants never before seen.
The catalogue grew: 1,300 specimens.

The food, medicine and decorations of the Eora people
named into a scientific sort of existence.

Blandfordia nobilis: a perianth, brownish red with yellow lobes;
tube narrowed in lower third.

Bidens pilosa: a hairy, densely woody herb -
leaves toothed, 3 or 5-lobed.

Epacris longiflora,…Lambertia formosa…

Contours mapped, characteristics identified,
his chest swelled from one ennobling inch to another.

The originals watched, transmogrified.