Tag Archives: birds

the breakfast rush

For the Monday dVerse haibun prompt “birdsongs“:  

The sky is white and the air autumn-cool. Inside the children are eating breakfast, packing bags, looking for lost things. Outside, I throw scraps and a saucepan-scoop of pellets to the pig, and a scoop of wheat to the hens.
The rosellas swoop in, to perch chittering and bickering in the bent brittlegum by the chicken coop, waiting for me to leave. Among the brilliant reds and blues of the adults are a few youngsters not yet in full-dress plumage, but still in their dull cami greens. They are flamboyantly beautiful brats, especially the adults. Unable to share, they chase each other away so none has much chance to feed.
Circling the house, I pour a little wheat into each feeder. At the front I disturb the chough family who have arrived early. They hop and whistle back into the tree line, in their dignified black coats with only a fan of white lining showing when they spread their wings. Always together, like a close-knit family of undertakers, the choughs alight together at the feeder, all eight forming a black flower – heads down, tails up, as they share a meal.

The sky falls, screaming –
the cockatoos have arrived.
The small birds scatter.

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evensong

For dVerse Tuesday poetics: the poet’s storehouse, celebrating National Thesaurus Day (US):

The clamour
of the hundred-member
froglet
kazoo-band
is punctuated
by the flatulent bellow
of the pobblebonk.

Their amphibious hubbub
rises from the damn
as an almost-solid layer of sound.

Above,
the dulcet tones of the carolling magpie
curl through the air
like a sweet fragrance.
He embellishes his song with each repetition,
creating variations,
adding overtones
harmonising
(impossibly)
with himself.

Kookaburra,
ever unimpressed,
and, indeed,
unimpressible,
chortles, chuckles,
and then explodes in full-throated,
full-bodied,
cackles –

silencing the frogs
and sending magpie home in a huff.

 

The challenge was to use a word from each of these lists:

   bellow; clink; drone; jingle; quiver;
   clamour; dissonant; rip-roaring; tempestuous; vociferous;
   dulcet: honeyed; poetic; sonorous; tonal;
   blabber; cackle; dribble; gurgle; seethe;
   beseech; chant; drawl; embellish; intone

So obviously the poem had to be about either my (droning, bellowing, dissonant, vociferous, blabbering, cackling…) kids, or the (other) local wildlife.  

I can’t post files, but here are links to the frog and bird songs mentioned if you want to hear them:
eastern sign bearing froglets (kazoo band)
pobblebonk
magpie – quite different in look and sound to norther hemisphere magpies.
kookaburra 

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0500, kookaburras and roosters

I cannot sleep with the window closed anymore.
I am stifled,
drowning in the bathwater-warm,
human-scented air.
Open,
all night a cool breeze drifts gently through the room,
carrying the melancholy sighs of a thousand eucalypts.
But before the sky even begins to lighten
to the silvered-grey hues of the brittlegums,
the kookaburras hurl their song through the window,
shattering my dreams into disconnected shards,
scattering their laughter
like seed-pearls.
Until the roosters add their shrill dissonance
to the raucously hilarious dawn,
compelling me to close the window.
And wonder
if my hatchet
needs sharpening.

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a glass of sweet autumn gloaming

For the dVerse Monday prompt “In praise of the grape“, a quadrille using the word wine:

 

The autumn-sweet air is eucalypt clean,
light, yellow as late-harvest wine, gilds the trees,
insect hum deepens the stillness,
stirred by currawong’s mournful goodnight.

The trees blush rose,
then dissolve
into the darkness rising from valley
to meet an apricot sky,
ripening to indigo.

 

 

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cockatoo tree

The cockatoo-tree blooms
at the first touch of light slanting over the ridge.
Great feathered blossoms drop and swoop
 …white against blue
white against green
white against black
as they fall into the shadowed land below.
Their screams pierce the morning silence,
waking the sky,
that stretches out now
to reach down to the ground.

 

Inspired by sgeoil’s lines The sky reached from the ground / all the way up and around and Nick’s seagulls.
I dreamt of peacock feathers and woke up to see the first rays lighting up a dead tree full of cockatoos, unbearably white against the blue sky. Here on the western side of the ridge the early morning sun lights up the tree tops, leaving the land below still in shadow, until the earth turns towards the day and the sky reaches down.      

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hawk

This is for Frank’s Haikai challenge #176: Hawk, and also in response to Dwight’s “The King”.  

 Hunger rides the wind,
watching for the flicker of
small life far below. 

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fledgling III: rosella

Flanked by an escort
in full dress uniform
– blues and brilliant red – Continue reading

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the cocky

Cocky, cocky screaming loud
sulphur crest raised high and proud,
what immortal hand or eye
did make a thing with such a cry? Continue reading

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0900, 30C

The westerly that has flowed,
cooling and caressing,
lulling us through the small hours,
has warmed already,
heated by its passage
across the already baking land. Continue reading

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fledgling II: kookaburra

For weeks they have circled the clearing,
pausing at each compass point
to claim their territory with a raucous laugh,
defining its borders with their mirth.

Now with a hoarse uncertain chuckle –
soft grace notes dropped into their song –
their duet has become a trio,
and their joyous laughter fills the forest.

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