Python paean

let us praise the carpet snake

for appearing early morning

to a butcher bird alarm

in the tuckeroo  tree


praise it for staying out of range

but low enough to be admired

and for displaying its tessellated splendour

until just after the visitors leave


praise its excursion to the kangaroo vine

via a brief detour into next door's yard

at the very moment when the boy

comes looking for his ball


praise its leisurely progress

measuring itself along the garden wall

so that its sighting

can be recounted accurately


praise the snake

for ascending to the

crown of the lilly-pilly

stirring the leaves with not-wind


let us praise its unhasty speed

its harmonious colouring

its unperturbed awareness

its consummate wordlessness


Kindred Creatures
vagrant birds

all around this town
birds are misplacing themselves
a bush thick-knee
with amber headlamp eyes
skulks on a tennis court
a scaly lorikeet squats in the road
then vanishes under the belly of a car
a sacred kingfisher
bereft of its power
to calm wind and wave
slams into the kitchen window
while a purple-winged ibis
that bird of wisdom and learning
pokes in a desultory way
at a suburban grass verge
why is a peewee
sitting on the sideboard
and why do i
an alien creature
from snow heavy skies
sprawl in the shade
of a drooping banana tree
and say i am at home
where geckoes bicker
and summer heat makes
barking owls
of us all

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