Oratorio at Bowen Creek

by
Fiona McIlroy

now I know what to do

when my heart is ruffled

torn or battered in a storm


now I know where to go

when my mind is baffled

by the pressure to perform


just walk a bit more slow

to where sound is muffled

soft carpet of starry lawn


from the log- look below

where strobe lights dapple

the granite rock form


all shades of green glow

from pomaderris to apple

from moss to tree fern


the thrill of each arpeggio

as thrush and gang-gang grapple

with tree creeper and scrub wren


the solo gong of oriole

against the rise and free fall

of speckled warbler or wattlebird


hours pass by in liquid flow

as shimmering pebbles ripple

bathing the eye in light and shade


on the way back to the cabin

you can be royally entertained

by the king of mimics-lyrebird 


the Marcel Marceau des oiseaux

dancer, romancer, ventriloquist

and studio artist superb


now I know where to go

to the source of all I seek

the birth of the Word, the babble

of Bowen Creek


the oratorio improvised each

dawn and dusk just for us-

surround -sound tones

from birds and singing stones


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© University of Canberra | Poetry on the Move 2020
Poetry on the Move is a major initiative of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra.

The University of Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, traditional custodians of the lands where Bruce Campus is situated. 

We pay our respects to all Ngunnawal elders - past, present, and future - and to their continuing culture.