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Poems: Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos & Frog Chorus

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Susan O’Brien shares poems both avian and anuran from her Fleurieu Peninsula second home.

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Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos

Laconic overlords

in tribal black and yellow

the Family flies out

 

Wingbeats desynchronised

veering left and right

deeply dipping

slowly flapping

like underwater flight

 

Their creaking call respects no borders

drowning other, minor songs

a rusty farm gate swinging wide

to claim terrain

wherever they fly

 

It’s hard to pick the sheilas –

same feathers, crests and size…

Tattoos are not an option

but only males wear red eye rings

an intimate come hither

glowing redder only

for their chosen mate

 

Koori colours

Ocker mojo –

If they could ride Harleys

they would.

 

 

Frog Chorus (crinia signifera)

To live is to sing

to sing is to win

to win is to mate

to mate is to live...

 

The cantor tunes up

a tentative trill gains strength

to a confident shrill

The minor tenors join in

they don’t have the volume

but speed is on their side

Overlap beats

suddenly

force the rhythm

to a gallop

 

Outmanoeuvred,

the cantor

suddenly stills.

 

Within an instant

so do they all

leaving

a throbbing silence.

 

Susan O’Brien lives half of her time off the grid overlooking the gorge of the Finniss River on the Fleurieu Peninsula, the other half in Adelaide’s CBD. Since recent semi-retirement from medical practice as a GP with a specific interest in mental health, she has started to capture her poems on the page, writing about what the natural world may present. A particular associated delight is South Australia’s produce, its wines, olives and other Mediterranean fruits. As well as InDaily, her poems have appeared in Friendly Street anthologies, and she has read at the Coriole vineyard and on 101.5 FM Radio Adelaide’s Gastronaut program.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.

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