A Feast of Birds

Galahs, of the blushing, watermelon-pink breasts,
squawk and gnaw at the bark of grey-skinned gums
The neighbour’s palomino pigeons swoop and loop
like fighter pilots in formation,
banking through a hair’s breadth between branches
Down below, the diminutive and dainty native variety,
their quirky quiffs quivering through the garden beds,
pick-pick for seeds or scraps of worms.
Tiny, tawny, roly-poly sparrows twitter sweetly, like Disney birds,
and bob about beneath the shrubbery,
using the wild olive as camouflage from the bigger, bossier fowl,
outgunned by the outspoken, cacophonous screeches of the indigenes.

An early morning breeze recites poetry through the leaves
which the magpies punctuate with their warbling gurgle,
and raucous demands for breakfast ‘if-you-please!’
Down in the valley a solitary kookaburra roars with laughter,
ridiculing the world for its precarious pretensions, or perhaps
mocking the hook-nosed ibis as it high-steps along the river bank.
On the horizon, the sun slips smoothly, peach-like above the hills,
turning the grass from gun-metal grey to old ivory
and flecking the gum leaves with kaleidoscopic sparkles.
Through the wispy fronds of a casuarina I catch a glimpse of the sea, white capped and eager to start the day, like a bumptious puppy,
while the soft, cotton ball clouds drift across the broad, blue sky.

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