The bird-bath on our balcony
has many visitors.
Two floors up at tree-top level,
discreetly screened by potted shrubs
and safe from predators,
it seems as if the birds have found
a sort of Baden-Baden
where they can drink and bathe.
Noisy miners wing in
usually in pairs, nervous
in their attitude to getting wet.
In they hop for a second,
then as quickly out,
with finicky flapping
to dry themselves
before they plunge again—
a performance they repeat
as often as thirteen times.
Different the solitary currawong.
He comes first for a drink.
A slow sip, then his yellow eyes
are skyward, lost in some reflection.
Now and then, although too big,
he takes a bath and a tidal wave
slaps over the rim,
sloshing the balcony floor.
Before the lorikeets venture our resort
they socialise in the trees, colours
bouncing in leafage as they maintain
a non-stop conversation. Bathing together
they wallow, water up to their necks,
so their olive greens and yellows, scarlets
and ultramarines seem freshly painted,
shining, dripping wet.