Cockatoo Chorus (Poetry for Schools)

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            (Submitted for Marsden Poetry for Schools project.)


            “We’ll meet in the eucalypts down by the lake.

            Discussion is needed - you have to partake!”

            Black clouds flew from the oval, park and golf club

            to raucously weigh down trees out in the scrub.

            “Juicy larvae and insects prove harder to find

            all the spraying and logging - ground being mined

            has taken our homes, our gathering sites.

            Together, in numbers we’ll fly up for our rights.”


            From once sacred ground, now suburbs, they flew.

            From gum-tree nesting hollows, so precious and few

            hundreds gathered early, in loud morning debate -

            the Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo parrot’s fate.

            Discussed at great length in the eucalypt trees

            for young; less food, meant less ability to feed.

            “Stop clearing, spraying - playing with our lives!

            If we die, what hope have you got, to survive?”


            Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003


More information, photo © Keith Lighbody and sound file, regarding Black Cockatoos on this page:


Black CockatoosPoempoems for children.Poetry for Schools

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Frances Macaulay Forde

Wed 6th Feb 2019 15:00

Thanks for all your comments TK_, Jason and Ray. Always appreciated.
2003 was a very productive year for me but also the year my first book of collected poems was published in Ireland.
So although many were written over a couple of years at Uni and since, this was one published in that book 'Hidden Capacity... a poet's journey'.

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Wed 6th Feb 2019 13:04

Another sad reminder of the shrinking planet and how beauty in variety will eventually be denied to us - it's already happeningwith food IMO.

I'm intrigued how much of your work has the 2003 date upon it Frances. (They seem forever fresh).


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Jason Bayliss

Wed 6th Feb 2019 06:56

I love the insight in this, "If we die, what hope have you got to survive?"
It never ceases to amaze me how us humans believe we've detached ourselves from nature when we really, really haven't.



Wed 6th Feb 2019 06:33

I love the use of direct speech to give a voice to the birds. This poem has a strong message. I love the rhythm too. It is very descriptive. The choice of lexis creates a picture of something special, ‘sacred’ and ‘precious’. It is a very nice poem that creates meaning in its choice of lexis. Save this parrots.

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