We had a bumper crop of offerings for the Spring 2015 edition, with a theme of ‘Birds’. A small selection below…
Cockatoos, by Carole Bromley
Dusk and the bovver boys are back,
in twos and threes at first, or maybe just one
with his Mohican raised, grabbing
the tallest snow gum and screaming
come on then, come on what ya waitin’ for
chicken the lot of ya. Then a rival
choosing the edge of the storm drain
as his patch. Yah! Come on then, I dare ya
show me what yer made of, yer all talk
and, grumbling, heckling they beat it
or join the gang, raucous as ever,
Arrrrgh Arrrgh as if they’re on
the receiving end of a Chinese burn.
They have their favourite spots
for hanging out, or hanging upside down
from the ends of twigs, splatting contempt.
From sundown Telopea Park’s a no go,
they take over every tree, commandeer the grass,
try every nut and pebble, gob them out,
balance on one foot, preen their Elvis quiffs,
jockeying to be cock of the walk
jostling for the best position on a branch,
ganging up on passersby, warning off dogs,
other gangs, a flock of trilling carrawongs.
Then, as suddenly as they came, they’re off
winging it across the dark like vengeful ghosts.
Starlings from a train, by Michael Brown
First there is the tilt and curve
land scratched from earth
then a colder language
offers us nothing
only the whirl of starlings
caught in a slab of open sky
wheeling, veering off
falling to ice —
Sovereigns of the Sky, by Jessica Steel
Cut the air
with a blade of feathers.
The arc of predatory bliss
converging on unsuspecting prey.
You are the swift dive.
You are the silent swoop.
You are the graceful skim.
Rising on pillars of air.
The sky is no bar to you
the clouds are plains,
the rainbow a bridge,
the mountains a home.
Roost on the roof of the world,
dive the depths,
climb the stairway of heaven.
Spread your wings, raise your crest.
The park, by Daniela Nunnari
We brought you here today,
even though it rained,
even though you didn’t sleep
and wouldn’t eat your lunch.
We brought you here,
to walk through willows with water hens,
to wave at dogs and dodge the duck poo,
to stamp your feet in muddy puddles
and hunt for gruffalo in the mini woods.
We pushed you on the swings
next to love struck teenagers and mums on mobiles.
We waited while you refused to come down the slide
and couldn’t help but laugh at your tired tantrums on the way out.
We rushed you past the
long necks of geese, hissing
as we neared their young.
Just more protective parents.
We met a squirrel named Nutkin
and picked some buttercups
while the bored ice cream man waited,
engine always running.
And then we saw two boys on the bridge,
arms outstretched, nervous laughs,
covered in milk white doves.
We stopped, to watch,
as they trusted each other just enough,
for a few moments of contact.
Your eyes widened, you smiled, and then you ran ahead,
distracted by leaves and sticks and fluffy ducklings.
We put you in the car, with dirty shoes
and sticky faces from 99s
and you said bye bye to the birdies
in the car park as we left.
The infinite Cycle, by Tyler Paige Leech
A forest of green, yellow and ember
Life surrounding, birds flying
Sounds, squirrels scurry, squeaks from a mouse
Silently, sleeping, hiding from the soft breeze.
Seeds blow, carried by most, travelling to nowhere.
Birds and forest families searching.
Frozen melodies singing,
Footsteps, pitter-pattering on the forest floor.
Twigs broken, snap. Broken.
Feathers land, stolen by mother Badger, making a nest
Under the ash tree
Fulfilling her destiny
Blue outlines the green leafy tops of the trees
Light seeps through the gaps, enlightening
Beams of green, blue and brown in every direction
An escape for some, voices heard in the distance.
The orange light dimming,
Their home, from the nest to the burrow.
The tree tops to the moist dirt floor.
The infinite cycle, undisturbed.