But it is time for a poem. I have a friend who is teaching her children to recite poetry (I love that) and the other evening during dinner her nine-year-old recited Magpies, by Judith Wright. The magpies where I live are very "friendly". I suspect someone was or is feeding them, as they swoop in whenever I am outside, with those greedy eyes described. But is is true that few others can rival their song. There is one warbling out my window in the dying sun right this minute. (And these are a few phone snaps I took today as they followed me up the path from the shops with bold intensity, because I was eating something, and sat about on my back fence, before flying off to sing on the neighbour's aerial.)
Along the road the magpies walk
with hands in pockets, left and right.
They tilt their heads, and stroll and talk.
In their well-fitted black and white
they look like certain gentlemen
who seem most nonchalant and wise
until their meal is served—and then
what clashing beaks, what greedy eyes!
But not one man that I have heard
throws back his head in such a song
of grace and praise—no man nor bird.
Their greed is brief; their joy is long.
For each is born with such a throat
as thanks his God with every note.