English Blackbird

Written by: Lindsay Laurie

English blackbird. A foreign presence in my garden.
Indigenous your not, but are at home
Amongst Callistamon and Wattle, the Ti-tree and Banksia,
Claiming my half-acre yours to roam!

I should have been more heartless, when I found that bowl of mud
With blue green eggs and newborn chicks, but I melt to the young.
Watching parents, beak of worms, diligent and fearless,
In a springtime formal truce, where your melody is sung.

Now the battle is relentless and frustrating for my senses.
That yellow bill attacks, the percentage of my means,
With a free flight to my Currants, Raspberries and the Plum,
Gouging holes in juicy Figs, and just ripe Nectarines.

Merle. Why can't you be a migrant?
Leaving one late summer day,
Wing north south, east or west,
And completely lose your way!

For autumn skins of sugar, vitamins and juice,
Soft and tender, all ripening as you wait,
To become my jellies, jams, compotes, or that soothing autumn wine.
Grapes, Persimmons, Pears…I left to pick one day too late.

Among the scarecrows and the nets, bells and turning mirrors,
This urban bird soon disregards, so then becomes a shame.
For slug guns and baited rattraps, are temptations for an end,
To destroy the cunning Blackbird…but I'm not in the killing game.

Winters breath ekes cold and damp. Days are dark and short.
I rug up beside the open fire, for the winter seems so long,
I dine upon past seasons bounty, preserved in jars or freezer…
Joy is not first spring bud burst, but the English Blackbirds song.