Overwintering poems

The Overwintering exhibition has come down, part of a national artists’ response to the plight of migrator shorebirds. It was an ambitious mix involving local print artists (Wyn made a series of curlew prints for ‘a wall of wings’), and local children. I helped with a poetry workshop and wader identification, but I was also involved in a project to inspire book artists [the BookArtObject international artist book collective] corralled by Sara Bowen.

As usual I went over the top from enthusiasm. I wrote 27 poems, an essay, made thee videos and produced a number of photographs. Lucky me gets each of the books. I am eager, was not allowed to touch them and examine them in the gallery. I take possession next week!

1
Ruddy Turnstones close on wind’s compass bearing
beside circular depressions fashioned by stingrays,
the wind whistles the distance they own.
The sea is having its say in the next field.

2
There’s no marketing, no eye-catching feature
in the low wattage chiaroscuro, a smear
of beige sand or khaki mud, the scenario

of Clare’s ‘dreariest place’, somewhat similar
to an empty street, repaying attention
for when the invisible becomes visible again.

Eastern Curlew, Urunga. The population of Eastern Curlews in Australia has declined by more than half, just in the last 25 years and Curlews are listed globally as threatened.