Anticipating, Zebra Finches

By JOHN KINSELLA

 

Birds on tree branch

 

Avon Valley, Western Australia

Just below, a roo doe digs into the softest
soil it can find — avoiding rocks — to make
a hollow for itself and the joey heavy in its pouch;
it lifts, digs, turns drops lifts digs turns drops.

Up the valley, a pair of zebra finches have skittered
into residence, for we don’t know how long, at the base
of the wheatbelt mountain — or large hill — Walwalinj;
almost certainly displaced by recent fire, that semi-local migration.

I can place myself in both zones without much effort,
but it’s a dubious skill with undefined political complications —
this seeing that’s messed with my setting, this tendency
to align with what I can only know within limits, and conversely.

 

John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry include Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems 1980-2015 (Picador, 2016) and Insomnia (WW Norton, late 2020). His new memoir is Displaced: a rural life (Transit Lounge, Australia, 2020) and new volume of stories Pushing Back (Transit Lounge, Australia, 2021). He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, and Emeritus Professor at Curtin University. He wishes to acknowledge the Ballardong Noongar people, the traditional and custodial owners of the land he so often writes about.

Anticipating, Zebra Finches

Related Posts

Kentucky farmland

64-West & KY State Fair

D.S. WALDMAN
And how, / if we keep going, pushing ourselves farther / from ourselves, we’d see, eventually, the blankness / we were one day born into. / I forget what you / told me after—I think it had something to do / with loneliness.     

JOANNA ELEFTHERIOU headshot

This Way Back: An Interview with Joanna Eleftheriou

JOANNA ELEFTHERIOU
In this insightful interview with Cameron Finch, Joanna Eleftheriou provides readers with a mini-manual on how to engage in the dialectic of identity, confront the privilege of choosing an identity, and how writers prioritize discovery.

Image of the cover of The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee.

Hunters’ Gate

JONATHAN LEE
The difference, in the end, between life and death is perhaps nothing more than movement? Life on the farm had taught him this, even if he did not quite know how to express such a truth, and Andrew decided to move on the dog’s behalf. He said to the gunman, Wait!