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(14 July 1963 / Kiama, New South Wales, Australia)

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A butcherbird called

A butcherbird called in the warm even air
From a silky oak apex behind a closed store,
It sang with a clarity and honest sincerity
Heralding days ending all over the Ridge,
As prospectors tired, trudged back to their digs
To dream neath nights opalescent spinning blanket,
A few stark silken verses tipped into smooth silence
And quiescence resumed belying appearance,
A message uncertain, black and white and replete
As if to a ghost town returned to the heat.
A butcher bird silent, flew it away
Over the high street of time drained resources.

Danny Draper 18/1/2014

Submitted: Saturday, February 01, 2014
Edited: Saturday, February 01, 2014


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

On a recent inland vacation with my wife I heard the rich and melodic call of a
Butcher bird while at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales for a few days. Lightning Ridge is the opal mining capital in Australia and is in the arid outback.

Comments about this poem (Aleppo, Syria,8 October 2012 by Danny Draper )

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  • Ruth Walters (4/6/2014 4:48:00 AM)

    Well I've learnt something today. I had to look up, Butcherbird and Lightning Ridge being a Pommy heh heh. The Butcherbird is a sweet little bird as is this poem.

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  • Diane Hine (2/20/2014 3:43:00 AM)

    The picture is as appealing as the butcher bird's song - not sure Id want to visit Lightning Ridge in the middle of summer though.

  • Lyn Paul (2/14/2014 4:14:00 PM)

    The beauty of the Australian outback is most certainly amazing as I have travelled the NT & WA yet not NSW. I have not seen the Butcher bird yet can imagine the excitement of seeing this bird. Lovely write and great advertising for Aust.

  • S.zaynub Kamoonpuri (2/9/2014 11:58:00 PM)

    Fabulous wording and phrasing here. Esp admired the blanket simile like. Dark awesome!

  • Valerie Dohren (2/8/2014 3:44:00 PM)

    Never heard of the butcher bird, but as a bird lover I am sure he is beautiful. Great poem Danny.

  • Ken E Hall (2/3/2014 1:58:00 AM)

    Charming recollection of a butcher bird that gave you a theme for a poem at Lightning Ridge, had the same myself in the red centre, thanks for sharing...regards

  • Gajanan Mishra (2/1/2014 6:56:00 AM)

    very good writing, I like it, thanks.

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