These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

March #1

Their Song

They tell me of lost
country, of
stolen generations:
once in this town
they were thousands
now counted in dozens.
Silent Spring? Not yet
but soon.

I listen to their screaming
keenly, translate
their screeches into
my own outrage
my fear of stealth and story
that justifies theft.
Their community voice
pierces the certainty
of self-interest.

“Too many!”
“I hate that noise!”
“They destroy my orchard,
“I hate them!”
Their dispatched  feathers –
fluffballs, quills, faintest
orange or lemon on white –
I stuff in my pocket.

Their views are aerial
and urgent; they shake
elm and eucalypt
with equal fervour
having careered across roads
and paths above
hostile tribes.
I prevent collected feathers
from drifting away.

It is that insistent
commentary, their claim
to country – unreconciled,
unrecognised – our ears
do not want to receive.
It is a wordless song
a treetop rant
we have never
learned to assimilate.

— Jennie Fraine


  1. 1000 species
    around the world
    saying good by

  2. I like both the overt message and the sub-text. Beautifully said, as always.

  3. thank you rosemary. and ronald - thank you for your commenting. i can confront one species at a time ... 1000 overwhelms ...

  4. I can't wait to use your last line! Whoo-hoo!

  5. i'm glad you like it! i thought it rather suggestive myself :-)


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