Sulphur-crested Cockatoos


[A poem from 2011. A very common bird around here, now of pest proportions.]

Sulphur-crested Cockatoos

Mellifluous as trail bikes ripping up
the blue gum haze, these white demons
imprisoned childhood’s yards with raucous
demands for scratching or cups of tea.

Aroused, puzzling clockwork questions
their tamers have taught, cocky linguists
shoot blinding sulphur from phallic crests,
do their dyskinetic shuffle on shitty bars.

Wild, long association with us
has rubbed off into a taste for apples,
nuts, the homely wood round windows

shredded, julienned, nihilist master-chefs,
avian anarchists, have you wet your beaks
on our sly species’ love of doom?


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on October 15, 2013.

2 Responses to “Sulphur-crested Cockatoos”

  1. Note from a Kiwi Cousin:


    [Whereby Picnickers Are Forced to Attend an Annual Torment in the Southern Alps]

    Mischievously wickedly back they fly

    Clowns from the clouds, with tricks from the sky

    Pulling out rubber, pecking on wire

    Loosening the windscreen, slicing the tyre

    Skating the tiles and sliding the roof

    Looking for weakness but charmingly goof

    Seeking out back-packs and shiny white plastic

    Dissecting pack lunches and twanging elastic

    Out from the mountains and skirting the snows

    With tumbles and jokes and red furbelows

    Nodding so sagely but eyeing its chance

    The Kea is ready to lead us a dance.

    Hist! square shoulders, tidy your crumbs

    And clean up the teacups — here he comes.

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