A gust of starlings dribbles
to a ping pong
They wadd-waddle along
and take off together,
like an umbrella opened in a hurry.
The lawn resembles a colander
and the sky
a scattering of poppy seeds.
ii The curled lip of our bird-bath
is worn thin with claw-cuts.
Each day: a wet, demented knit-a-thon
of single needles in descending size....
Wattlebirds wipe epaulettes
and lower the water for the lesser honeyeaters,
easing their click and cast-off.
Badges bob and dip. Fledgelings shuffle in a queue.
A wagtail crochets the air.
A tiny sampler
of delicate stitchery
hangs from a black tack
which flicks amongst the scale insects.
A kookaburra glides up
in flak jacket and baseball cap
to unpick the stitches.
You make of this what you can,
i.e. sport scrags the arts
and bags the loot.
A honeyeater hits a window,
lies upturned. We cradle it
and chirrup to the parents,
restive, near. Their baby squats
upon an open palm - head tilted
to assess us, calm.
The world this day's unfallen.
Life's no longer further on,
and cradled in a choice
to either stay
More poetry by James Charlton
Reviews of James Charlton's poetry
David Kelly, reviewing So Much Light
(and Stephen Edgar's History of the Day)