Lunch in the Garden; Dream

 Lunch in the Garden

How still is the life on that table set

for lunch in the garden? The white cloth spread,

knives and forks, a basket of fruit,

ham and salad, cheese and bread,

still life indeed and fixed in place, yet

when a breeze disturbs the shade

of a stand of casuarinas, splintered light

seems to put everything in flight.

Holding up my glass, a flash of olive green

and yellow tells me I’ve just seen

a lorikeet speed to his favourite tree,

Callistemon linearis—but bottlebrush to me,

where, feasting on the crimson flowers

he’ll stretch his lunch for many hours.

But I will lock this garden meal away

in grateful memory, marvel at the play

of moving light and a brilliant bird on the wing

and that brief moment—shimmering.

Barbara Fisher



We did not see the bird at first.

It was dark on top of the wardrobe

but when the moon escaped the cloud

what seemed mere shadow moved

and the creature stretched its wings

in the light flooding our bedroom.

It was a very large bird with a beak

fierce as a petrel’s. How had it got there?

We did not have time to wonder

for suddenly it took off and wanted out,

flying around the room, wings

wildly flapping, thudding against the ceiling,

hurling itself at the window.

“Quick, quick,” you cried and rushed

to open it more. “I’ll show it how.”

Next thing, you’re clinging to the window sill

with a forty-foot drop below.

Leaden-bodied, I could not throw off

the covers, cried out, and woke.

Woke you

When I went to the window

it was only open a crack

but a speckled feather

lay on the floor.

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