Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Grey Goshawk


There is a flutter in the trees,
And now a sudden, dread unease
Stills all the bushland melodies
Amid the gums;
Stills now the song of wren and thrush,
Robin and honeyeater hush.
Now, with a swoop, a whistling rush,
Grey goshawk comes.

I am the threat: the dread king.
Grim Azrael, is on the wing,
And every little living thing
Dares scarce a breath.
And now a parrot, shrill with fear,
Flies dodging there and doubling here
Thro' inlaced limbs, in mad career
From lusting death.

Grey ghost, grey death, I work my will
O'er forest dense, o'er wood hill,
And on some tree-top rend my kill
With reddened beak.
There is no have in the tree,
There is no habor safe from me;
In many a singing sanctuary
My meat I seek.

Beware! The swift grey ghost is out!
Be still! Grey death lurks near about!
Crouch close! Shrink low! ... But have no doubt
I've marked my kill.
Grim nemesis. I never fail;
Gaint hunger is my spur, my flail.
I feast. And now away I sail
O'er the far hill.

Submitted: Thursday, August 30, 2012

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