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Poem: Laughing Magpies

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Lindy Warrell shares a poem inspired by the visual arts.

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Laughing Magpies

After a sculpture, bronze on Australian timber stump, by Bill Steele at the Stationmasters Museum, Strathalbyn

There they are, on a log,
laughing in black bronze.
At first, I mistook them for crows –
where’s the white, I thought.
But, the fun is frozen there, in this cheeky pair
of finely tinkered magpies –
wrought from tin and copper.

The birds fly me to an open space –
no – a red earth flat with an old grey log
beside a billabong under a eucalypt
white with corellas looking down
to see what the fuss is about.
Not a warble in sight,
my maggies chatter and squawk
watching two naked girls
slide giggling down the bank
till their skin is mustard with mud
and goose-bumped in the icy water.
The corellas lift off, a screeching cloud
in search of new horizons
and the girls and the magpies
laugh and laugh and laugh.

Lindy Warrell is a publican’s daughter, anthropologist, meditation teacher, aspiring novelist and poet. She writes of the bush, the beach, city life, random moments and disturbing things. Her first chapbook ‘Ol’ Girl Can Drive’ was published in 2017 by Ginninderra Press in its Picaro Poets Series. Her second entitled ‘Soft Toys for Grown-ups’ was published in 2018 as No. 75 in Ginninderra’s Pocket Poets Series. Now living in the seaside suburb of Glenelg, she is working on her second novel.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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