Friday, July 29, 2016

Robert Verdon, #222, Ainslie Backyard

birdlife comes for its breakfast every morning
the magpies are my friends, I give them porridge and apple-pie
the cats don’t bother them
they don’t yet have names
— unless they have names for me
‛soft touch’, ‛soft head’, ‛human’

the currawongs are warier
they eat surreptitiously
as if about to be chased off

the mynahs don’t beg just screech at the cats
one ate one once
about 2010 I think
the elephants of the skies

pee-wees are rare
and the crested pigeons never come
nevertheless I spend too long feeding
and talking like I am mad

they cock their heads
scattered across the lawn like rosary beads
tossed by an apostate


  1. I totally identify - currently, a family of 4 King parrots are demolishing my banana crop . ..that's almost 150 kilos in human terms. They have names for me, too. Lyrical sounding names like 'cat lover'.
    Who ate who, precisely? My cat was terrified of the mynahs.

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  3. Loves dis poem. Loves dem birds.

  4. Thanks to da both of yez!
    It was Emily (one of my cats) who ate the mynah, and she has literally never heard the end of it.

  5. So interesting. The mynahs used to screech at my former cats, who hunted them, often successfully, even when they were elderly. My new cat, a rescue cat 8 years old, is a timid thing. She likes the small, enclosed back yard and never seeks to go beyond it, nor to hunt birds (cannot, unfortunately, say the same about lizards). The mynahs seem to have learned this very quickly and no longer shriek at her nor dive-bomb her.


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