Friday, 8 June 2007


What wakes you up each morning? A radio maybe….
Always at the same time, with monotonous certainty.

I haven’t any curtains, no blinds to stop the light,
But it’s not the sun that wakes me, glowing golden bright.

The eastern sky is pale as my morning call first comes…
A mellow magpie warble from the towering sugar gum.

I pull the bed clothes higher to beat the pre dawn chill

And snuggle down to wait for the butcher bird’s first trill.

He starts off very carefully, his basic three note call,
Like a maestro warming up at old Carnegie Hall.

Then the exercises over, his concert starts for real
Interrupted often by the peewee’s strident peal.

Magpie calls are added in a liquid burbling stream
And the butcher bird expands variations on his theme;

Pure and true the flutelike calls, a pregnant pause between,
The clever, tricky semi tones, every note so clean.

Drowsily I listen to my alarm, so musical…
And pity everyone whose call is strictly digital.

Jan Lowing 2006 ©

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