Do Slowly

Jane Downing
The path is lined with fairy wren
the jewel of their blue better than gold

winding between lagoon & wetland & river
known here as the Milawa

tiny kingfisher of a more mythical blue
observe from the knotty branch above

while willy wag tails scythe the grass
for bugs 

In the still lagoon every fallen branch
is encrusted with turtles nose to tail

ibis nests are tufted with birds
islanders marooned by water-level rise

as a trio of parrots wrestle in the sky
wings clickety clack swoop clickety clack dive

The Yindyamarra trail is about respect
Be gentle, polite, honour and do slowly

the black swan glides by
five cygnets in a train behind

Jane Downing’s poetry has appeared in journals around Australia including Meanjin, Cordite, Rabbit, Canberra Times, Bluepepper, Not Very Quiet, Social Alternatives, Best Australian Poems (2004 & 2015) and previously in Burrow. Her collection, ‘When Figs Fly’ (Close-Up Books) was published in 2019. She can be found at



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