More poetic ornithology

November 23, 2010

The poem ‘Currawongs’ below was recently highly commended  in the Ipswich Poetry Feast.  Incidentally, I just judged the adult sections at the unrelated Cooma Feast of Poetry.  Some wonderful poems were entered, making my first foray into judging rewarding but difficult.  It’s much easier to write ‘the stuff’ than to judge other people’s.

Seems there’s a lot of word-feasting going on.


Weaving nets of strong noise in the air,

the electric weft and warp alarming,

they swoop down, direct as any stare.

They are nobody’s favourite bird,

brunching on bright blue wrens

or snacking on smorgasbords

of tenderised olive silvereyes.

They watch us watching them,

estimate our worth, and dismiss us

from their mental menu: Too big,

head too tough to spear with beak.

This is why we dislike these

sharp-gazed moving funerals.

They don’t sing for us, or plume for us,

and reduce us to something at the edge.

Currawongs’ natures know no flattery,

offer nothing to our mountainous vanity.

Beyond cute, below eagle’s sky-high beauty,

they care only for their meat, song and nest.

They tell us that we are not the centre,

the be-all, the crux; the inarguable best.

Thoughts? Carrots? Sticks? Comments? Go ahead!

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