Back home, 9 Aug

International day of the world’s indigenous peoples.

I am not expecting to talk to any Gumbaynggirr today,
am not expecting anything. Am tired,
am getting back into being back, being home.

Broome was 33 degrees, that was not winter, that was winter.
This is not winter and not quiet spring, a word that fails
the wattle either side of the driveway. A Kookaburra calls
a loud insistence on presence then looks down, absorbed
as if reading a really good book, reading the garden, never
seeing the same worm twice. How could I have lived for so long
without that strange call, so loud it much reach my bones.

One gentle squawk alerted me. They flew in silently, wreckers
of an Ericifolia Banksia, after the large orange flower heads,
their large grey beaks break open the hard woody follicles
and eat the seeds.

These are skittish birds and close. I catch them
through the window with my phone. Close in,
press the lens against the glass and they fly.

Afterwards, I go down, check the wreckage
face wears fresh webs since this morning,
baby orb spinners filling empty spaces.

They have left one feather behind, a gift.

I wire money to NEFA for their court case: ‘The North East Forest Alliance has taken the NSW Forestry Corporation to court in an effort to save the homes of Koalas, and 23 other threatened species, including the Southern Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Rufous Bettong, Masked Owl and Squirrel Glider.

NEFA has engaged the Environmental Defenders Office to commence legal proceedings in the NSW Land and Environment Court to challenge the validity of the Forestry Corporation’s harvesting plans . . .’[i]

Finally good news in an email from Richard, ‘Beach Stone-curlew: I was at a meeting this morning where planning was underway (finally!) to fence off an area of the ‘spit’ on Urunga Island where the endangered Beach Stone-curlews have been nesting in recent years – but often failing because of disturbance by people and their dogs. Some funding is available for this, but we will be looking for volunteer assistance to erect fencing. Please let me know if you would like to be involved.’

Together, we have witnessed dogs chasing the birds from the river bank. I am in limbo, uncertain when my cancer treatment will start.

How often is a poem mistaken?
How often does the language fail to keep in touch?


[i] Email 9 Aug from North East Forest Alliance <

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