Golden pheasants

 

Nature invented art,

so they remind us — gripped by

their need to seed self-

copies ad infinitum:

each one a mobile Venice.

 

Mallards

 

with sequined green heads,

cobalt wing-panels, change to

feathery icebergs

while they feed from the depths; rise

with iridescent sang-froid.

 

Glossy ibis

 

So eerily red —

a Mephistopheles bird.

Nests deep inside sedge.

Just a hint of Art Deco,

with Egyptian blue-green eggs.

 

Lady Amhersts Pheasants

 

True aristocrats —

bodies, solid as trust funds;

each tail, a poised quip.

Head-capes, fanned wide in display,

show them artfully one-eyed.

 

African Greys

 

They snub pleasantries,

obsidian eyes agleam —

each glance shrewd, icy.

If revenge were to be had,

what torture would they devise?

 

Corella

 

She swoops in, close to

the heads of the audience,

does tricks as required,

talks back with quizzical zest.  

Flirty eyes, bright as gumdrops.

 

Bleeding-heart pigeon

 

A crimson stab-wound

on its delta of sluiced red —

a living symbol

set off by plumped beige, flinty

grey: the shades of schadenfreude.

 

Greater Bird-of-Paradise

 

Once, on boughs near clouds,

acrobatic moves all day,

the flounce and flick of

plumes — yellow, airy silver;

many ticks on the dance card.

 

Azure-winged kookaburra

 

An old chuckler with  

summer skies emblazoning

his wings; the browns of

wattle bark and river dirt:

an uncanny completeness.