Anuran

How I wish I lived until
I’d hear beyond my windowsill
A bluebell-banded burble-rill.

Silver birches, dappled spill,
Mossy logs cross warty swill,
By crag and copse a throaty thrill.

Yet life is for the living still,
And I’m not blessed by Nature’s will,
And so I sit, and look uphill.

Blind Chaffinch

Such nimble, quicker artistry,
Electric in their chemistry;
Fleet-footed, twig throne-seated,
In awe of more than fourteen free;
Chiding, momentarily;
Mocking and most formidably
Locking braiding jaws and beaks
Like dank dim horns
Sub-knuckerholes,
(Only these were forged
For popping seeds);
Then, confiding in their trembling,
Under withered-wimpled leaves
And snowdrop cloaks,
Within a cloister weighted-down
By later morning apogees;
Exuberant rain-dance chatter
With ancient unsolved dialects;
Newly found, this youthfulness
Could put all suffering, hubris
And pedantry
To bed.

A run on pumps,
Bleak the river bends.
I can hear the notes
But cannot see
Something so obvious
Ending just in front of me.

Ngurrumugu Ganbi

Adolescent kangaroo,
Outgrown mother’s pouch,
Pack of dingoes in pursuit,
His gawky form falls out –
Upside down, furry snout.

A wilderness deserts him,
Blind to why, though atavistic
Legs might kick, defensive surge,
Unprotective mobs disperse;
Understorey blending blood
With senna and sun-soaked gorse.

Fugitives found a fleeting feast.
Did you only exist –
Immaturity barely behind you –
So you could fix
The minds of beasts.


N.B In the Guugu Yimithirr language ngurrumugu ganbi translates as ‘kangaroo blood’.