Words from a bench 2015

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

of hedgerow

land scratched from earth

then a colder language

scars December

offers us nothing

no sound

only the whirl of starlings

caught in a slab of open sky

wheeling, veering off

falling to ice —

to ground

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.

Hooked beak,

dragon clawed

golden tipped.

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.

To everywhere.

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.

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