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Books & Poetry

Poems: Peewee and Kookaburras in Leadlights

Books & Poetry

Australian birds in glass and gutters are the subjects of this week’s Poet’s Corner contributions from Ross Jackson.

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Grallina cyanoleuca, the magpie-lark

distracted from the newspaper by a pitter-patter
of claws, listening hard my mind sees
a peewee bathe and drink from a gutter
on the roof above the gloom in which I sit

it’s not what Google says but actually
I’ve seen a spivvy bird
identified by patterns of black
and white splotches and whorls

interspersed in its feathered suit
it sounds busy with the opening
and closing of the envelopes of its wings
the briskness of the soft clitter-clatter

implies diligence in bathing
I have heard the piping of a peewee
more of its song to know outside
where its strut declares its sentience

Kookaburras in Leadlights

Old with the new

an inner suburb with strip shopping
a suitable vibe for hipsters the Roma’s
classic continental rolls long gone
Vittoria umbrellas outside

shaved poodles in shop windows
but kookaburras still glow in leadlights
old cinema boxed up for
Ayurvedic medicine

The Backpackers, formerly The Grand Hotel
still cool, like effortlessly cool
(cool before cool was even heard of)
a whiff of Havelock’s Ready Rubbed

still hangs about the cornices
no one alive remembers
Norm Appleyard’s battered flake
but kookaburras still glow in leadlights

Ross Jackson is a retired teacher who lives with his wife and their companion dog in the Perth suburbs. He is a member of OOTA Poets, which has had a close association with the Fremantle Arts Centre since 1996. He is also a regular reader at the Fremantle monthly poetry event ‘Voicebox’, and has had his poetry published in literary journals in Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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