Back home, 10 Aug

We leave early for a walk, sun shining.
Pass a large male roo munching the verge
sits up with grass whiskers, ears revolving like radar,
watches our shiny new red car sail by.

Did you know they can see the full colour
spectrum (minus UV), the only other animals
apart from primates to do so. Let’s give them
credit for being another extraordinary invention.

On a hunch I turn up to the Urunga cemetery.
The great Glossy Cockatoo count is close,
the population is frail and needs assistance.

We have seen them here before, and we hear
the pattering of husks being dropped, a continual noise.
In haste, I step on a grave and apologise,
hard to get a clear view, five (endangered) birds
are moving around the canopy, but hidden.

I can’t tell gender or age, occasional windows
flash a brilliant red and am reminded of Sainte-Chapelle.
Beyond, the cobalt blue Pacific rhymes with sky.

Reminder: Only five colors were used in the spectacular Sainte-Chapelle stained glass windows – blue (cobalt), red and green (copper), purple (manganese) and yellow (antimony).

A young boy is feeding the gulls, not a good idea
and not seen here. He is Japanese, scampers ahead
on the estuarine boardwalk. Tide out, am hoping to see
waders, Curlews, Godwits. A pair of Beach Stone Curlews
(endangered) stand next to a bush almost statues, then one preens.

His mother lets me pass. ‘Arigato’, I say and her eyes widen.
The rush of water streams white noise as the sea tugs
back what it owns. It must be nearly over.

How could the sea ever seem unstable?

Our magic mountain haunches over the mangroves
and sandflats, flat but so many corners to explore.

A sack of snake is slung on the edge of the two rivers.
the dark skin, faintly tattooed, is sucking in the sun.

I have to rush back to keep my appointment, sweating
my lack of fitness is oppressive.

I bend over for the nurse, the initial
treatment, a process that will eat into time.

To be blessed by health and happiness
requires innumerable things to go right
and innumerable things to not go wrong.

Reminder: Email from Richard.
‘There have recently been sightings of three critically-endangered Regent Honeyeaters at Red Rock. I went to look for them at the weekend without luck so they may have moved on. If you would like to try to see them please let me know and I will send you location details, together with the information I would like you to report if you are successful, and precautions to take to avoid disturbing these special birds.’

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