2017/08/09

Ceyx azureus

There,
on a bough of wattle
jutting over water,
a little azure kingfisher,
Ceyx azureus,
sits.

Blue as a summer sky,
bronze-breasted,
stump-tailed,
squat,
with long beak disproportionate,
it waits.

I know that if its
keen eye spots a fish
it will dart down
and splash
and instantly be back there
with its catch.

The summer day being long,
I take a spell from busyness
to sit
in stillness
like this little bird
whose business is stillness.

I watch the kingfisher
watching for fish.


Yvonne Deering (Victoria)

The Wren Boy

I must have been having the time
of my life the year I started singing,
trying hard to remember the words,
but high on applause and silver.

In the lounge bar of a pub
in Swinford I tried out a repertoire
I’d culled from The Clancys and mixed
to a Home Counties hybrid.

Shock-headed, crowd-pleasing,
I might have been one of their own,
giving them back The Irish Rover,
The Woman from Wexford Town.

Lured by the promise of easy pickings,
I tagged along St Stephen’s Day,
togged out as a mummer,
and welcomed for miles around.

Strapped across her shoulder,
my cousin lugged her squeezebox,
melodeon, whatever, down lanes
and over fields. At each house

we stopped I gave them my party piece,
while across the buttons and keys
perished fingers danced
like spiders on warm stones.


David Cooke (UK)

What's a wren boy?

2017/08/02

Purple Lady

Big City
Busy Street
People catching buses

Sit down
Wait for bus
Next to purple lady

Busy busy
Coming and going
Lady unmoving, staring

Odd smell
Is it me?
Hope not

There again
This time stronger
Sweet but unclean

Purple lady
hands unsettled
Mumbles under breath

I look at her

I look

I notice

Short hair once highlighted
Clothes seem neat
Like for travelling
She wears a zipped up purple jacket
Neat and tidy over black pants
Cowboy boots underneath

Clean complexion
In her 30’s
Rather pretty except

Staring vacantly
Waiting for the night
Alone and withdrawn

She is not catching a bus

Should I offer to help?

Last few times
I received fear and anger
I hesitate

Bus arrives and I am whisked away.



A few days later
Walking in the crowd
Face marked with dirt and a white smear

Clothes are the same but
Dirty and unkempt
Greywhite t-shirt hanging out raggedly

The days have been unkind

She is washed away
River of people
Lost in the crowd.

I am filled with sadness, loss, and feel ashamed.


Kim Robertson (Queensland)
First published on the author's blog