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The butcher bird pours
liquid ripple of song
into the blue sky.

The rosella dips his red head
at the stone bird-bath
and drinks in alert delight.

We sit on the verandah.
Your eyes smile.
I reach for your hand.

By Neil Creighton

eastern rosella is perched in a tree


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo of Eastern Rosella by Susan Flashman

Temple

The nave is fields of flowers,
the aisles are snow and forest trees,
the transept is rippling wind on grass,
the altar rivers, tides and seas,
the stairwells are mighty mountains
leading to the attic sky
and music effortlessly resounds
from wave, bird, storm and soft wind’s sigh.
The floating dome is decorated
with endlessly changing hue
of billowing white, scudding grey,
or deep ethereal blue,
and fleetingly in east and then west
comes a stained-glass blaze of light,
after which the dome transforms
into star-studded velvet night.

By Neil Creighton

Bavarian alps flower meadow


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photo of Bavarian Alps by Jakob Radlgruber

Earth Music

An intricate, richly sensual tune
this tactile, perfumed earth sings
and to the song of sun, sea and moon
all creation its own harmony brings.
The lover sun holds earth in his arms,
the insatiable sea caresses the shore,
the night is besotted by the moon’s charms
and everywhere is the cry for more.
Flowers willingly open for honey bees,
clouds are the vaporous water’s embrace,
and with earth and sea the insistent breeze
changingly communes as if face to face.

Thus every creature is entranced
by the music that around them flows
and caught up in this harmony dance
patterns each intuitively knows.
All these are creatures of the dust
caught in earth’s scent and song,
singing and dancing in the way they must
patterns of desire to which they belong.
Whether in stealth, danger or death,
in grace, beauty or fluttering need,
in savagery or urgent stress,
all play in earth’s symphony of seed.

So you and I, who smell the perfumed air,
are caught and enfolded by this song
and to its great pattern and desire
our lives in close union belong.
The sounds ringing with rich complexity
melody upon melody entwine,
and tenderness, love and fidelity
in its high, clear, pure notes shine.
O my love, I in this great world stand
surrounded by rich music of life,
sustained in spirit, heart, mind and hand
by you – my partner, my joy, my wife.

By Neil Creighton

couple watching sunset by ocean


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Photos by Galyna Andrushko

Lyre Birds

Well above the boulder-lined mountain creek,
the tangled profusion of vine and tree,
the spreading glory of strangler fig,
the remnant cedar’s towering beauty,

where the mountain steeply slopes,
where filtered sun casts a dappled light
where tall trees grow from leaf-littered ground,
stop for a moment in hushed delight.

Two young lyre birds cavort and display,
practising for some more urgent time
their dance, spread of tail and joy of song
with beauty far beyond the power of rhyme.

Their tail is two curves of yellow and black,
enclosing silver gossamer wisp
as delicately coloured as dew-filled web
or wind-blown sea mist.

This glory they arch over their backs,
graceful, delicate, surprising long,
then dancing a quick, little, staccato bob
pour from their throat liquid miracle of song.

Mimicry of diverse forest sounds
in effortless beauty from their throat pours-
kookaburra’s laugh, whip bird’s soar and crack,
king parrot, rosella and many unknown more.

Hush! The vault is blue, white and green,
there are ethereal slants of light,
great supporting buttress columns of trees,
and a choir praising in unrestrained delight.

Walk quietly away from this pure moment.
What you have seen is sublime.
Your heart is full of gratitude.
You sense a glimpse into the divine,

For on that on that mountainside
with effortless grace these small birds raise,
without tuition or much thumbed page,
their hymn of beauty and praise.

By Neil Creighton

close up of a lyre bird


Neil Creighton is an Australian poet whose work as a teacher of English and Drama brought him into close contact with thousands of young lives, most happy and triumphant but too many tragically filled with neglect. It also made him intensely aware of how opportunity is so unequally proportioned and his work reflects strong interest in social justice. Recent publications include Poetry Quarterly, Poeming Pigeon, Silver Birch Press, Rat’s Ass Review, Praxis Mag Online, Ekphrastic Review, Social Justice Poetry and Verse-Virtual. He blogs at windofflowers.blogspot.com.au

Watch and Listen on YouTube: Sounds From The Lyre Bird – David Attenborough – BBC Wildlife

Photo by Susan Flashman