The artwork accompanying my poems in the soon-to-be-published anthology, Birdsong: a Celebration of Bruny Island Birds, are so delightful that I wanted to share them with you.
This wonderful Korean rice paper sculpture, Bird Dreaming – Pink Robin is by Hana Han and shares the page with my poem,
MORNING WITH BIRDS
I write these lines at a pine table
in a sunny kitchen, accompanied
by a wall clock’s loud announcement
of each minute and the drone
of the fridge gearing up
for take-off. On the grass, shadows
imitate teatree and wattle branches
shaking night and yesterday’s rain
out of their leaves. Behind the hedge
traffic rhythmic as the long translucent
rollers combing empty miles of coast.
Intermittent birds inscribe the sky
with wing beats and tremolos, yellow beaks
open and close in time with the vibration
of their throat feathers. A woman
in a black and white shirt strides
the gravel lane to the gull-encrusted jetty,
her arms swinging. My hand, holding
this pen, is a shadow puppet. On the page
it makes the shape of a wren,
tail feathers erect, foraging.
One of Bob Jager’s beautiful miniature oil paintings was chosen to illustrate my poem, ‘Cormorants’.
I’ve walked all morning to see this,
my eyes stripped clean by the sea’s
steel breath: cormorants in a splash
of light on the slick rocks, their wings
outstretched. Around them, the softest
intonations of blue, the silver
staccato of waves lapping the sides
of a dinghy moored to its shadow
and two anglers bent over their lines
still as the cormorants’ wings.
Sandra Rofe’s exquisite acrylic painting of two nests was chosen for my poem, ‘Flame Robin’.
Wait long enough where she-oaks cluster
at the cliff’s edge, their scale-leaved needles
combing the salt wind, and he’ll appear,
flourishing his colours. His grey-black feathers
blend with charcoal-shadowed branches,
white flashes on his wings, his chest
ablaze with orange-red.
He perches on a limb, preens
and sings in high staccato voice:
You will come if you will to the sea
His dull-clothed mate is foraging bark
and grasses for the cup-shaped nest
she’ll bind with cobweb threads,
camouflage with lichen. Then, with moss
and fibres plucked from downy seed
or scavenged fur, she’ll line a bed
to lay her three blue eggs.
The target for raising funds for the publication of Birdsong has almost been reached but there is still time to participate as a sponsor and receive a personally signed print of one of Bob Brown’s bird photographs, and go into the draw for one of three Sponsor’s Draw Prizes.