A black and blue visitation

 

Selected poems

 

 

Plovers

They are pensioner birds of considered gait,

Who studiously avoid stepping in something unpleasant, 

Whilst searching relentlessly for the bright worm.

They so carelessly dropped those years ago.

Not for them the high safety of nests and trees,

Their freckled eggs are laid at austere rest on the ground

For all the world to ogle:

The cost of their improvidence is eternal vigilance.

From beneath their pastry snoods

They squawk their manic alarms

Raising the bluff of their spiked wings — a feathered canopy

Above the reddish knobble of their tiny knees.

You might have heard them at evening as their cries

Lacerate the transit from day into night. 

Grant Fraser

 

 

Black Symbols

(Calyptorhynchus funereus)

They are arriving, 

kee-ow … kee-ow … kee-ow,

witch-beaked, pressing 

into the sky,

black and blue visitation

by which we are blessed,

or warned.

Screaming like lovers,

en route, regal, 

snapping for nuts and dominance

in the clattering trees.

Great holy creatures,

yellow cheek and tail,

they are a primeval troupe

terrifying the modest inhabitants —

blue wrens, New Hollanders and martins

adept in modest survival,

traumatised by the raucous jubilance

of sixty or more 

deigning to pose 

eagle-bodied, cacophonous

across our sky, screeching, 

pre-human arrows of the past, 

of ancientness, 

blackness, 

driving resurgent

into their future. 

Lyn McCredden

 

 

Feathers

These are the fallen

feathers I pick up

 

& store in bottles

which you began

 

before your fall

I am filling them 

 

a feather at a time

spine against spine

 

before the fluttering

as quickening

 

brought you

into the new world

Rory Harris

 

 

Morning Sounds in Suburbia

 Down in suburbia I hark to the songs of the multitudes of birds

Currawongs, Parrots, Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Superb Fairy wrens and Koels

An operetta of caw-caws, trills, coo-coos and whistles 

I extend the pleasantries by essaying their foreign tongue even though I twig they are not bilingual 

They could be saying, ‘Just you wait you polluting loser. Target is in sight. Tora! Tora! Tora! Bombs away’.

‘Check out this geezer fellas! Have you ever seen someone that has such unrefined plumage. Fashion Police now,’ snickering 

‘Didn’t our cousins the chicken, duck and quail have ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’ affiches to be on the lookout?

It’s worthwhile familiarising yourself with the feathered watchmen 

Should I be so bold to duplicate that social lubricant with a ‘Good Morning’ to my fellow homo sapiens it is usually met with facial bewilderment

I guess our ornithological friends have not devolved

Perhaps it is something in the damn water

Jamie Dawe

 

 


Rory Harris currently tutors at Playford College, a small R-9 school in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. His most recent collection, beach (2016)

Lyn McCredden is Professor of Literary Studies at Deakin University. Her research interests are in Australian poetry and fiction, with recent publications including Tim Winton: Earthed and Sacred, and a volume of poetry, Wanting Only.

Grant Fraser is a lawyer, poet and filmmaker.

Topic tags: Rory Harris, Grant Fraser, Lyn McCredden, Jamie Dawe, poetry

 

 

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Existing comments

I love the affinity with birds these poems express, also the awareness, the affection and the playfulness.


Jena Woodhouse | 08 June 2021  

Indeed it is " . . . worthwhile familiarising yourself with the feathered watchmen", Jamie - they bring such variety and interest to our lives with the nonchalance of gratuity. And Rory, that's a deft touch of nostalgic sadness you capture in your sacramental ritual. Thanks.


John RD | 17 June 2021  

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