Birding in The Promised Land, 20 Feb

Faint mist, slow air, the Never Never rolls past granite
boulders, smooth customers, the creek beautifully adrift.
No sparkle, sunlight is still negotiating the mountains.

The old shooting range is a relic, precisely aligned, small
round metal targets hammered. I admire the grassed
Danger signs, would give our garden a mulch of frisson.

War is brewing to the north – grandmothers are being shown
how to fire a gun. In this corner, a raptor sweeps around
mutating to a White-faced Heron. Birders are so nice.
Imagine Bandidos, Comancheros and Hells Angels riding
into this valley, the Promised Land in the palm of their hands,
being handed binoculars and discovering colour and movement.
Could the world change with birdsong and tranquillity?

The church at Gleniffer beside the Never Never. The Promised Land is just north of Bellingen, NSW.

Extract from a longer poem

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