five bird poems (Benalla)

highway (crows)

crows shone
on the shoulder
of the highway

business like
from carrion to carrion

ruffs alert to the tender kiss
of a passing breeze

black feet
black beak
black feathers

the black crows
on the shoulder
of the highway


evaluation of a swimmer

the line of the wake
is a duck
is a dabchick

a moorhen

the bobbing of her head
is the forcing rhythm
of hard work
under water

a flotilla of ducks
by the shore
their evaluation

but a quack
is such a nasal thing
whatever their conclusion
I’ll never know


slow water

lazy river
upside down
your silt rides
on the surface

a turbulent mirror
for the sun
to reflect an arc
of cockatoos
in slow flight

among the branches
of a restless corrugating
by soft breeze
soughing low
low along
the rippling water line

but hardly touching
red gum leaves
that dangle close
and lazy

slow river
slow waves
slow water


Cockatoo Tree

cockatoo tree
against the olive

the afternoon
this afternoon
is for sleeping

until you wake up
a hundred
one hundred wings

cockatoo the sky
full of squawking

your white
up against
the stainless blue


More hens please

moor hens
on the foreshore

on the grass

red faced
red chased
by other moor hens

dabbling the river

and still
it rolls

© Frank Prem, 2017

June 2017 Poem #38: breathing air and truth

6 thoughts on “five bird poems (Benalla)

      • I smiled when I saw my typo above (lovey). Since I’m such a perfectionist, it must have been a Freudian slip! I do love birds. We have so many in our yard, Frank. My husband and I keep the yard natural and by that I mean neat and interesting (as opposed to forest natural, or crazy cat lady natural), but without any chemicals, except a little organic fertilizer. Both the yard and the birds (as well as the people) thrive there! Really enjoyed your bird poems, thanks, Frank!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good luck, Frank! Looks like “pace” might be a Freudian slip for you! 🙂 Over time, we have planted shrubs that provide both cover and a food source for birds. That and the feeders keep them coming back! The blue bird house on the edge of the property works wonders, they love it!

        Liked by 1 person

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