Grey Currawong

Maurits Zwankhuizen

While walking the grounds of Mulligan’s Flat
            I first beheld this ghost.
On the ragged branch of a gum it sat
            Beneath a darker host
Which squabbled and squawked and shimmied and shat
            In one vainglorious boast.

While its restless cousins took to the sky,
            It dallied by my gaze
And it held me fast with its yellow eye,
            Which set the grey ablaze
And seemed to say that all that’s truth’s a lie
            That some deeper truth obeys.

With such a mystic air about this bird,
            A sense, a sublime thrill,
At first I dared not trust the written word
            To paint such an idyll,
Nor trust my thoughts, prey to ideas absurd
            That its gaze rests on me still.

Do otherworldly creatures haunt this land –
            Yowies, bunyips and more?
Was this creature guided by unseen hand
            To travel through some door
That links this world we’ve learnt to understand
            With one we may yet explore?

I still can feel those spectral yellow eyes,
…………..Their silent siren’s song,
Like an all-knowing being weird and wise,
            Not just a currawong,
Who briefly let me see through its disguise
            To a world I don’t belong.

Born and bred in Canberra, Maurits Zwankhuizen enjoys writing in all forms and genres. He has written three novels, three novellas, and many short stories and poems. His articles have appeared in New MatildaHuffPostAustralian Geographic and the Sherlock Holmes Society Journal.