The sunset-silhouetted Norfolk Island pines broadcast a screeching chorus, to completely fill the space between the buildings, and high above, the currawong calls to its reflection.
Against a flat blue Summer evening, reflected in the flat blue glass façades, the gurgling fruit bats are the only things of substance, until finally a song cracks open the shell that surrounds us.
To the tiny honey-eaters, gravity is trivial, yet approaching water is a delicate dance, refining the approach in successive sorties, ever closer until finally the belly just kisses the water. There is always an over-zealous life-guard who stays dry, yet chases any perched anxiously on the edge of the bath back up into the branches with a chiding tutter. But then the dare-devils arrive, and all take their dive, in quick succession with precision and delight. The spiky foliage fills with the fluttering of drying feathers.
A tiny tornado of tweeting,
as though a nest itself
has taken to erratic flight:
is it their mother who follows,
voice like a rusty hinge?
Half-way through the newspaper, the garden encroaches, a slow, bursting flood of green and red and yellow. He keeps his eyes intent upon the pages, but his grip is tight. As the clearing shrinks, his long beard will grow whiter as the pages grow yellow, and when the dark, dense thicket closes over him, he will finish the last page, fold the paper in half, add it to the stack and lay his head upon it once again.
The rain says, “stay; be still,”
and so I let ink follow water,
try to catch the words
that fall from the sky.
birds flock to the feast –
his smile makes the smallest things
The ibis teeters on the highest point of the battered old gum tree, its weight in its wings on the wind, before it surrenders to the gusting of the coming rain. The others, jostling for perches, seem to be cheering or jeering, or maybe they’re just trying to wake the legion of fruit-bats, still wrapped in their blankets next door.