Western Yellow Robin; Waterbird Beak Tanka

Western Yellow Robin

When the Almighty

spoke yellow-bellied robins

into bright being

and told them to multiply,

he already knew

I would observe this robin,

this gentle-grey bird

too shy to wear its colour

on its petite breast,

this yolk-yellow-under bird

drawn from the forest

by the feather-grey and -fine

smoke of my campfire—

and he also foreknew that

I would by virtue

of his implanted image

want to celebrate

and recreate this bird by

speaking it into a poem.

Waterbird Beak Tanka 

1. Innovation

Linking Zulu and

Aboriginal know-how,

the hunting egret

has fixed a stabbing spear to

the woomera of its neck!

2. Offset

That brolga posture

and egret plumage—so grand!

Yet the effect is,

dear spoonbill beside the lake,

quite offset by your namesake!

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