InReview InReview

Support independent journalism

Books & Poetry

Poem: When the last bird sang

Books & Poetry

Comments Print article

Adelaide visual artist and “occasional poet” Julia Wakefield considers the fragility of the natural environment and humans’ connection to it in these two Poet’s Corner contributions.

When the last bird sang

When the last tree fell
they sent out a memo:
use plastic pencils.

When the last wave broke
they told their foreign clients
to ship goods by truck.

When the last bird sang
they listened in awe – then
posted a podcast.

The Human Condition

The pounding waves
are the Earth’s heartbeat

The wind that roars in my ears
is the Earth’s breath

The sand running through my hands
is the Earth’s flesh

The rain beating my face
is the Earth’s tears

The fuel in my tank
is the Earth’s blood

The chrome of my car
is the Earth’s guts

The rock it was wrenched from
is the Earth’s bones

When I wade through the surf
my heart sings with the rhythm
of natural order.

When I sit in my car
my head throbs with the weight
of human folly.

Julia Wakefield was born and brought up in England by Australian parents, bounced back and forth across the world for three decades, and finally settled in Adelaide in 2001. She has had poems published in several Friendly Street anthologies and the Melbourne literary magazine “Page Seventeen”. She is a member of the Bindii Japanese Poetry Forms Group, and Ochre Coast Poets, and is an occasional presenter on Radio Adelaide.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems up to 30 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.




Make a comment View comment guidelines

Support local arts journalism

Your support will help us continue the important work of InReview in publishing free professional journalism that celebrates, interrogates and amplifies arts and culture in South Australia.

Donate Here


Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

. You are free to republish the text and graphics contained in this article online and in print, on the condition that you follow our republishing guidelines.

You must attribute the author and note prominently that the article was originally published by InReview.  You must also inlude a link to InReview. Please note that images are not generally included in this creative commons licence as in most cases we are not the copyright owner. However, if the image has an InReview photographer credit or is marked as “supplied”, you are free to republish it with the appropriate credits.

We recommend you set the canonical link of this content to to insure that your SEO is not penalised.

Copied to Clipboard

More Books & Poetry stories

Loading next article