For the birds at Tangalooma, Moorgumpin (Moreton Island)
White-bellied sea eagle
it was a sight to sea me, bird of pray nip cormorant
neck n yank clean off, blood flushing beige
sand red, her wedding dress now russet as screams
swoosh me to abandon my picnic but no, thank u
i’ll keep ripping n rummaging til every organ
morsel is skinned n gorged
Bush stone curlew
My party trick? I stay up all day and only sleep
when the very last tourist does. But there’s always one
awake, torso tipping, guts splashed up
in the garden like upended beer bottle.
I’ve only had alcohol once, funnelled with pincer beak
as beetle chaser. Tasted like seawater
gone vinegar. I live in this 90s paradise with Michael
Jackson tunes swelling near signs flashing
WordArt fonts. My knees ache swollen and I still feel
hungover. I’m a life jacket
time loop, a nocturnal
error. I’m one scream away
from erratic rebirth.
Cheeee chk chk chk chk cheeee! Cheeee
chk chk chk chk cheeee!
Harry’s wedding was a tragic sight: two lanky grey birds
preening and feather fluffing ‘I dos’ – then whiptail flash
and swoop of white
and she was gone, tucked up
limp in grappler claws.
Now bride haunts shoppers’ finger-smudged window
as groom’s ghost-grey reflection. He paces
and fusses, paces
and waits. She should
be back soon.
softly born & tourist-raised in boneyard
museum of eggshell & nest …… a living artifact
sailing on aircon winds, asking …… Can I land
on your shoulder? …… I weigh almost
nothing …… Can I land
on your shoulder? …… Can I land ……
I’m counter shaded like cormorant: burnt
on top, bleached under belly, like a flipped
Top Deck chocolate, like bleeding mud
inking snow. You fling silver fish spiny-head first
and I swallow it whole.
I enveloped a chihuahua once: joyous jaw-full of dog
until companion yanked leash like flossing.
I always want what I shouldn’t have. Like fish-filled bucket
all to myself. Like hand, plastic, hook.
- 100: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97 & 98: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones