Academic journal article Antipodes

Swans

Academic journal article Antipodes

Swans

Article excerpt

We look for their coming again, and celebrate

hullabaloo of hoot and horn on the wetland announcing

descent of a hundred heavenly,

exhausted angels making camp

at this way-stop in their migration. We have debated

the beginning and ending of their journey,

the mystical rapture that takes them up

and leaves a half dozen pairs on the lake for the winter -

which twelve, and why those

few chosen, we wonder . . . mystery

their natural demeanor, the curve of their necks posing

infinite questions above ink-wing and flat

flip-flop feet. Walking past

of an evening, I hear the clarinet blasts of their prattle

die like gossip when the subject

enters the room. Of course the talk

(even of swans!) is all about us, the gross conscious self

dragging along like shadow

so we fidget in our skins. I

envy the insouciance of swans. Lubber-clumsy on land,

they rock along the foreshore like little tubs

on choppy water, with no sense of

their spectacle - and I think, it's because they've skimmed

the skin of water, surfed the sky. …

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