Sunday, March 21, 2010

~ intense psychological presences

The Huntingdale Wetlands, a small regenerated wetlands site which I pass on my near-daily walks, was host to a white-faced heron today. Last week there was a pelican and a pair of masked lapwings. There’s an old pied cormorant that perches on a dead branch extruding from the not too healthy water. There’s a family of superb fairy wrens near the dank tunnel beneath the freeway and a group of raucous yellow tailed cockatoos on the other side.

Apparently, the yellow flashes on the cheeks and tails of these cockatoos are explained by their having travelled, like Icarus, very close to the sun. I learnt this from the book of poetry I’ve been narrating of late, which happens to include an unusual amount of bird poems. Birds are the perfect subject for poems. Robert Adamson, the editor of this poetry book, The Best Australian Poems 2009, explains it in this way:

“I have a theory: we miss having poets among us who can imagine that a soul can ‘clap its hands and sing, and louder sing’, that we need to acknowledge visitations by intense psychological presences, and that birds are the closest things we have, more or less, to angels.”

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