Cockatoo

Rose Lucas

On the rise leading up to the dam    
                its dense clumps of reed
stirring gently in mud   

in amongst the stand of black wattles and soft
                       grey-green haze of spindly 
melaleuca           a mob 

of cockatoos     maraud      from tree to
           tree            ripping at bark         burrowing
for insects    laughing and

chattering       shrieking bandsaws
            in the early spring sunlight       that 
catches at sap       shimmers

leaves          their bodies     are large 
            black sails         flapping and swinging     between
branches    they rise   together

calling into crispness            the pungent blue
                     vivid yellow flashing in
lift of stately wing      stirring up small

grey fantails       as they go   
          twirling and diving         
                         in puffs of ruffled air



Rose Lucas is a Melbourne poet and academic at Victoria University. She is the author of 5 collections of poetry, including Even in the Dark (UWAP 2013) which won the Mary Gilmore Award. Her most recent collection is This Shuttered Eye (Girls on Key, 2021).

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