A Glimpse of Birdsong

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.

Hana Han's Scarlet Robin

Bird Dreaming by Hana Han

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’.

Cormorants by Bob Jager

Cormorants by Bob Jager


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’.

A Study of Two Nests - Sandra Rofe

A Study of Two Nests – Sandra Rofe


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.


Partner with us (jpeg)

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.

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4 Responses to A Glimpse of Birdsong

  1. Beautifully evocative words, Lyn – and I love the accompanying imagery in this shared snippet of your work, from the Korean rice-paper sculpture, to the wonderful paintings of the pied cormorants and the fabulous nest. Congratulations…

  2. navasolanature says:

    An astounding mix of fantastic words and art. Hope publication goes well and how will you market it?

    • fortyspot says:

      Thanks for your comment, Georgina. The Bruny Island Environment Network will be taking care of marketing the book, and hopefully other authors and artists will also let people know about it. It will be available at The Bruny Island Bird Festival and other environmental events. I expect they will also have an online presence when the book is published. cheers, Lyn

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