Poetry and verse Fiction

A warning

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Yellow-crested White Cockatoo (Image by Hazydreamscapes | Flickr)

This poem is an *IA Writing Competition (fiction category) entry.


in Australia, when the birds hang upside-down
are they really right-side-up?
those larrikins swinging from the washing line
yellow-crested, beady-eyed
brawling on top of the traffic lights
swearing and shitting as people walk by
and screaming in manic delight 

in Australia, where the endless white beaches hide
cute cephalopods with googly eyes
who turn violently blue in the blink of an eye

do not put your hands in the water
do not put your fingers under the lid of a wheelie bin
do not leave your shoes out overnight
or you will probably die

in Australia, where for only a very brief time
between the hot and cold seasons
can a human venture safely outside
where even the trees are pyromaniacs by design
filling their arms with gifts for the fire

it is hard to believe that the natural world

needs our delicate care if it is to survive
we must focus our upside-down national pride
on our stubborn ability to stay alive

Emma Jayne Willson is a single mum and creative writing student from Perth interested in writing as a form of activism.

* Full IA Writing Competition details HERE.

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